There is a difference between Drudge Report, Real Clear Politics, and Whatfinger, and social media sites like Facebook, YouTube, and Twitter.
Drudge Report, Real Clear Politics, and Whatfinger are subject to competitive pressures. There are many alternatives.
But Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube are monopolies due to the network effect. Everybody posts on these sites because everybody reads them. Everyone reads these sites because Everyone posts on these sites. Once the network effect has established a monopoly for a particular service, it is not really possible to challenge the monopoly.
The social media platforms convert the economic power that comes with monopolies into political power. Because these firms originate in San Francisco, owners and employees are very progressive. Now that they have established their monopoly by beating early competitors in a competitive market, they are able to impose their progressive ideology by shutting down voices that express different opinions.
Totalitarian progressives oppose free speech and employ many tactics to censor opinions they don’t like. Censoring social media platforms is just one tactic. Progressive administrators at universities cooperate with progressive students and professors to shut down any speakers with whom they disagree. The establishment media has become an echo chamber for politically correct views. Progressives get people fired from their job for expressing politically incorrect views. This is totalitarian thought control.
Which topic will Facebook say is trending: Trump colluded with the Russians or the Obama intelligence agencies spied on the Trump campaign?
We are starting to see mob behavior in public places (Milo getting chased out of a NY bar and Tomi Larhen having water thrown at her). Antifa and Black Lives Matter riot while the police watch. Will shootings of conservatives (like Steve Scalise by a Bernie supporter) become common and the social media platforms prevent people from discussing it? Free speech is essential to a democracy.
Social media sites are similar to the railroads 150 years ago when there were no airplanes or interstate highways for trucks. Railroads could partner with preferred businesses and raise rates for competing businesses. This concentration of economic power led to the regulation of railroads to promote a free competitive market. Today, social media platforms are partnering with progressives to stifle free speech and subvert our democracy. This is a problem for the government – which has been tasked with preventing monopolies – to deal with.
Social media platforms are tricky because the First Amendment prevents the government from interfering with free speech; however, the solution is pretty simple. Monopoly social media platforms should not be allowed to legally modify posted content. This approach is referred to as Content Neutrality and has a long legal history.
When social media platforms are not allowed to modify posted content, speech is increased, not reduced. Also, consistent with the First Amendment, the government does not determine what speech is acceptable.
What about objectionable speech? The police can deal with threats of violence within the constraints imposed by the First Amendment.
If social media platforms provide an Application Programming Interface (API), third parties could provide censorship services on a competitive basis. Snowflakes could sign up for a censorship service that only allowed progressive ideas. Moderates could select a service that eliminated hard left and hard right viewpoints. Another service could censor posts that contain vulgar language. Users who don’t believe in censorship could do away with it altogether. These services would have to compete for users, and no one would be required to use any of them.
This would be a competitive, free market approach to censorship. Everyone could post their opinions. And everyone would be able to select a service to censor posts that they did not want to read. Or more positively, the user selected service would highlight content that the user wants to read. Trending topics and news feeds could also be provided by competitive third parties.
The current approach uses ownership of a monopoly social media platform to justify censorship by progressives. This is a threat to democracy. The government has a responsibility to deal with monopolies. The government can honor its responsibility and promote free speech and democracy by preventing monopoly social media platforms from modifying posted content
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