I am a true believer in free speech. In fact, I’ve posted opposing views for years here on this site. I have really only one rule when it comes to that. If you disagree with me, then disagree with me. If you disagree with another read of this blog, that’s fine, but be respectful. If you start calling them names, and swearing at them, I find that offensive. You can be as offensive as you want at public figures. They are, after all, public figures and they should have realized when they became public figures that they would get heat. Likewise, I don’t care if you name call me. I’ve spent my life in media, on the air as a talk show host among other things. I’m used to it. In fact, when people don’t call me names, I’m wondering what I’ve done wrong. I say that as a rule. I’ve broken that rule one time. That was last week, when I mentioned at the end of my blog blaming Donald Trump for the attack on the Capitol building, that I wasn’t going to post from those that were in disagreement with me.
Frankly, I had heard enough on that subject about how some election had been stolen, and how states were violating their own constitutions, and judges and all sorts of elected officials were on the take. No one ever showed me proof of it. That’s because no one HAD proof of it. If you did, I would have wondered where you got it, since Rudy Giuliani didn’t have any either. And if you had read the transcripts from the various attempts to sue to overturn the election and get additional Trump votes counted, you would have found that Giuliani’s statements in court were way different from what he said when the cameras were rolling. Shades of Adam Schiff, Susan Rice, John Brennan, James Clapper, and a host of others!
Other than that, I’m a believer in free speech. And that’s why Jack Dorsey, the CEO of Twitter, and Mark Zuckerberg, head of Facebook are wrong, dead wrong for banning Donald Trump from their sites. Yes, they are private companies, and they can make their own rules, but to listen to Twitter’s explanation, was about as anal as it gets. Twitter felt that when Trump said he wasn’t going to attend Joe Biden’s inauguration that was “code” that it was ok for his minions to attack the inauguration? Again, I ask, where is the proof? Jack Dorsey is an idiot plain and simple. To ban someone from his website, which I’m sure legally he can do because you can probably refuse service to anyone for anything other than discrimination, was an atrocity at the highest level.
Here we have two companies, and Apple was right in the mix threatening to shut Parler down, that basically has decided that free speech is only free if you agree with a liberal viewpoint. Having said that, I am interested to see whether Twitter shuts down my account (again), or whether Facebook does (again). Both have said that I have violated their terms of service in the past. Of course, all I did was disagree with a point of view that their socialist employees espoused. And that, in the short-term may work. In the long term, they need to watch out.
Both Democrats and Republicans are going after “Big Tech” for different reasons. Neither side really thinks that Section 230 should give these companies a big skirt to hide behind when it comes to posts on their website. And frankly, if you have a problem with not wanting controversy on your website, then you need to let everyone know that you’re only going to allow “Hello Kitty” comments. Nothing at all that could be construed as controversial or upsetting to anyone (and frankly, Hello Kitty is objectionable to me!)
I’m not a fan of Congress or the federal government regulating private or publicly held businesses, but when an industry goes too far, as the technology companies have, then you have to reconsider what they are doing, and whether or not it’s in the public interest. The way around that is to put them under the jurisdiction of the FCC. They would need to have their sites licensed, and have to reapply every so often to continue to operate, just like radio and television stations do. And they would be open to fines and lawsuits, just like other media. Newspapers are exempt from that, because of the First Amendment, but the public not only owns the airwaves, they own the bandwidth as well. And Congress has every right to tell the FCC to expand it’s role and monitor the actions of people like Dorsey and Zuckerberg.
I’ve always told people on the right to be careful when they want to censor someone on the left’s speech because the same sythe can cut both ways, and they can just as easily have their ox gored. But in this instance, it’s only going one way. It needs to be fair for the public, and currently it’s not.
Shame on you Dorsey! Shame on you Zuckerberg! You two are part of the problem, not part of the solution. So much for “uniting America!”
Carry on world…you’re dismissed!