Posts Tagged ‘free speech’

The GOP Internet Censors

Friday, September 11th, 2020

“Republican Senators Marsha Blackburn of Tennessee, Roger Wicker of Mississippi, and Lindsey Graham of South Carolina introduced a new bill Tuesday that would change the terms of Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act, which shields tech companies from legal responsibility for user content they host, or expunge, from their platforms. The bill, called the Online Freedom and Viewpoint Diversity Act, would narrow the kind of user content tech companies can remove from their platforms, and restrict their ability to make ‘editorial’ choices about what content to host and where it appears,” writes Mark Sullivan (with his original links embedded).

I realize it seems like an asymmetry that social media companies can remove content they don’t like without getting sued for content they leave up, but that’s a perfectly justifiable system. Government controls on what social media companies may and may not leave up constitutes censorship, pure and simple.

Rioters Shut Down Denver Pro-Police Rally

Monday, July 20th, 2020

The difference between a protester and a rioter is that the latter hurts people or destroys property. On June 19, a conservative group attempted to hold a lawful, permitted pro-police rally in Denver. A group led by Denver’s Party for Socialism and Liberation intentionally “shut down” the rally, in some cases by violently attacking ralliers, and drove them from the area. As I mentioned on Twitter, the attack was not merely “opposing speech.” I noted that the ralliers “were met, in some cases, by violent assault. And infiltrating another group’s peaceful, lawful, permitted rally with the intention of shutting it down, which they did, is a violation of speech.” Michelle Malkin (with whom I often disagree) posted video of the event, where she had been planning to speak.

Tangentially related issue: Malkin reports that Governor Jared Polis blocked her on Twitter with his @jaredpolis account. My take (edited): “This is an interesting case given lawsuits regarding elected officials blocking people on social media. My quick read: Because this is Polis’s personal account, and he has a separate Twitter account in his capacity as governor [@GovoOfCo], he’s probably ok legally to block people.”

Denver Police Attack Reporters

Saturday, June 6th, 2020

Corey Hutchins rounds up examples of Denver police attacking reporters during the George Floyd protests, mainly by shooting non-lethal projectiles at them and teargassing them. I don’t think anyone is saying that the police intentionally targeted reporters, but neither did they try very hard to avoid hurting them. The Colorado Freedom of Information Coalition also condemns the violence against journalists and lists several cases of such violence. A federal judge forbade Denver police to use teargas and projectiles on peaceful people.

Woodrow Wilson’s Libertarian Enablers

Friday, June 5th, 2020

Jesse Walker discusses the people who enabled Wilson’s statism. George Creel said, “I took this position [as government censor] because I believed in the freedom of the press” and wanted to “be in a position where I could help to guard it.”

Conservatives for Censorship: Vermeule

Friday, June 5th, 2020

George Will writes about Adrian Vermeule’s quest to impose censorship and his antipathy to American liberal values.

Police Attacking Journalists

Friday, June 5th, 2020

ACLU: “Police are Attacking Journalists at Protests. We’re Suing.” (This pertains to the protests regarding George Floyd.)

AP: New York: “Police shove, make AP journalists stop covering protest.”