In “How Social Media is Radicalizing Those Who Feel a Loss of Power” April 28, 2022, the author suggests that censorship of social media content is needed to preserve democracy. He identifies “the right” as the threat. It’s not coincidental that immediately after a wealthy free speech advocate vows to allow access and freedom on the world’s most powerful digital “town square” that this author, et al., begin to shout “fire”.
Ironically, or perhaps predictably, in chillingly Orwellian fashion, DHS announced this week that they’ve formed the Disinformation Governance Board just ahead of the 2022 midterms. Prepare for the political weaponization of DOJ and federal law enforcement just as the playing field begins tilting back toward level. In perfect synchronization with this Orwellian instinct, the author makes a statement dripping with anti-liberty sentiment. He states:
“There is a delicate balance between First Amendment free speech rights and protecting the general welfare — the common good. Reining in social media is a bi-partisan issue that Congress can use to unite rather than divide the nation. It is within our power to end the threat of civil war if only we have the will to act.”
No, Mr. Elfers! The Constitution begins with the words “We the people” not “We the government/elites/experts/rich/privileged/credentialed class”. The formula for preserving democracy is more light, more access, more transparency, more free speech, — not less. The change being unleashed on Twitter and the formation of multiple other free speech platforms elegantly reveals the marketplace at work in a free society.
During the pandemic we’ve seen an unprecedented and alarming level of citizen willingness to voluntarily surrender personal liberty in exchange for the illusion of safety. We were betrayed – lesson learned. Now, we will not exchange our liberty for the information “common good” as you suggest. That would be the road to perdition. It seems that those who feel a loss of power, as the author puts it, are in reality the gods of digital information, their acolytes and apologists who are scurrying for dark corners at the prospect of freedom of speech on the new platforms of expression.