Top Three Takeaways – January 13th, 2021
- Online speech is protected speech. If that’s news to you, no worries because based on the extent of news reporting, that’s news to almost the entire news industry as well. The arguments in support of selective online censorship have progressed to the stage where many, who are supportive of the censorship are now suggesting censorship arguments don’t apply to online speech because the companies censoring are private companies and thus have a right to. Except they don’t and those arguing the false narrative are ironically using their protected speech to attempt to eradicate the protected speech of others. That’s because online speech IS protected speech. And that’s demonstrable because of...
- The United States Supreme Court. Numerous challenges to nonverbal speech have been brought before the high court previously. Their track record is crystal clear. Speech time and again is protected. There are numerous cases with applicable rulings to the dynamics in play with the effort for online speech to be censored by the big tech companies. I’ll pick three of the most recent. In the 1969 case of Stanley v. Georgia, the court ruled in favor of the freedom of expression, stating in their ruling... (A) Right to receive information and ideas, regardless of their social worth, is fundamental to our free society. In the 1997 case of Reno v. the ACLU, the first case to challenge online expression, the Supreme Court ruled in favor of online speech being protected speech. In their ruling they explicitly stated: As Congress continues its important oversight of online platforms, it must not legislate in ways that would threaten free expression online. And most recently, in the 2017 case of Packingham v. North Carolina, the court not only ruled in protection of online speech they had this to say... Congress shall make no law prohibiting the freedom of speech, today the most important place for the exchange of view is cyberspace. That’s right. Not only has the Supreme Court explicitly ruled in favor of first amendment protections, it’s most recent related case established that online speech in today’s society is the most important speech with which need to be protected!
- Violation of the public trust. That’s what’s transpired with the big tech companies which have colluded to censor President Trump and platforms such as Parler. Where the misguided argument of online companies being private companies that can do what they want falls flat, is regarding the platform with which these businesses are based. The internet. There is no Amazon, other than the original Seattle bookstore, without the internet. There is no Facebook or Google or Twitter, etc. without the internet. No company “owns” the internet. The internet is regulated by an international consortium worldwide, and the federal government of the United States in this country. As such, all internet service providers, all web hosting services and all communications services which operate on the internet are accountable to federal regulators. Hense why it’s become commonplace for big tech execs to be called to the Capitol to testify about potential violations of the public trust and why countless government agencies, including the state of Florida, are suing numerous companies for a violation of the public trust. This already includes Amazon, Google and Twitter – prior to these most recent abuses. Just as we’re held accountable to the FCC standards for broadcast radio, online companies are accountable to federal regulators regarding the internet. But again, regarding speech, that’s long been settled. Online speech is protected constitutional speech and any unequitable censorship of it is a clear violation of the First Amendment to the Constitution as I’ve just illustrated. There remain two sides to stories and one side to facts.
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