During a hearing on Wednesday, Sen. Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif., threatened representatives from Facebook, Twitter, and Google over posts and advertisements believed to have been propagated by Russians in an alleged attempt to influence the election.
“You created these platforms … and now they’re being misused,” Feinstein said. “And you have to be the ones who do something about it — or we will.”
Translation: Do what we say or we’ll take over your companies and restrict Americans’ free speech for you.
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According to The Verge:
Feinstein’s remarks came during a blistering hearing of the Senate Select Intelligence Committee, which has been investigating Russian meddling interference in the 2016 election. It is the second of three hearings at which representatives for Facebook, Google, and Twitter will speak, following yesterday’s appearance before a Senate Judiciary subcommittee.
Intelligence Committee Chairman Richard Burr (R-NC) began the meeting by warning fellow senators that the precise influence that Russian interference had in the 2016 election will likely never be known. “What we cannot do, however, is calculate the impact that foreign meddling and social media had on this election,” Burr said. “Nor can we assume that it must be the explanation for an election outcome that many people did not anticipate.”
— CSPAN (@cspan) November 1, 2017
One person noted:
This is literally an attack on the First Amendment.
— WSJ Pundit (@WSJPundit) November 1, 2017
— Kurt Schlichter (@KurtSchlichter) November 1, 2017
Exactly. But it’s much worse than that. All of this is due to the Communications Decency Act of 1996. Specifically, Section 230 of that very law, which, as Adina Kutnicki and I explain in our book, “Banned: How Facebook enables militant Islamic jihad,” was interpreted to mean that social media sites can ban anything they want — even constitutionally-protected speech.
Now, members of Congress are threatening to “fix” something THEY HELPED CREATE!
Here’s one of the posts that we’re supposed to believe gave Trump the election:
— Mark Warner (@MarkWarner) November 1, 2017
Politico has a few more, with information about how many impressions each one got. One post, costing about $297.00, got just over 108,000 impressions and 857 clicks. And we’re supposed to believe that put Trump over the top.
Major foreign entities run ads on reg TV. This is a ruse to justify regulating free speech!
— Jo Anne moretti (@JoAnneMoretti) November 1, 2017
Please, don’t give them any ideas…
Good question. Probably the same part that authorized Congress to create a law about private decisions regarding health care coverage…
The Verge added:
In an attempt to stave off federal regulation, the tech companies have announced plans to regulate themselves. Last month Mark Zuckerberg announced a nine-point plan for limiting foreign actors’ ability to influence elections, including new requirements that political ads be labeled and available for public inspection. Twitter announced it would build a “transparency center” where political ads bought on its platform can be publicly viewed.
Last month, a bipartisan group of senators introduced a bill, known as the Honest Ads Act, that would require new disclosures for online political advertising modeled on requirements for print and broadcast media. On Tuesday, one of the authors, Sen. Amy Klobuchar (D-MN) asked tech executives to commit to supporting her bill. None would. The bill still has just one public Republican supporter in the Senate.
Kinda like “common sense gun legislation.” And we all know where that’s going…
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