From the Pages of Orlando Weekly: Allowing The White House To Regulate Misinformation Is A Bad Idea
The maxim “I may disapprove of what you say, but I will defend to the death your right to say it” has always been a bedrock of liberal democracy. Minus the right to express minority viewpoints without government reprisal, our constitutional edifice crumbles.
So it was unnerving to see Biden administration officials pressuring social media platforms to ban accounts they say spread misinformation about COVID-19, and for the president of the United States to accuse those platforms of “killing people.”
It’s a slippery slope: One administration curtailing dangerous falsehoods opens the door for the next to trample dissent. Once a precedent is set, it’s more likely to expand than contract.
That’s not to let Facebook off the hook. With the hyper-transmissible Delta variant proliferating, we’re on the precipice of yet another COVID wave.
But the Biden administration’s hardball tactics, even if well-intentioned, walk up to a line that government shouldn’t cross. Once we allow the government to be the arbiter of misinformation and expect private companies to follow its dictates, there’s no going back.
More at orlandoweekly.com.
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