6:27 P.M. A couple from …

2018FellowBloggers

American

 

A solution to Internet tyranny

Given the amoral sharklike nature of lawyers , the idea of being able to sue amazingly deep-pocketed companies like Facebook would bring about a legal feeding frenzy that would cost social-media companies a fortune and generate a great deal of bad publicity.

While libel is hard to show against public figures , it’s much easier to show against non-public figures. Hence if someone calls Trump a Nazi , it’s essentially impossible for Trump to sue for libel. But if some drugged-up Antifa calls a conservative black person a Klan member , the fact that the black person is not a public figure means that there is a good chance that he could win a libel suit. 

That’s why lawyers would love this; what’s more likely to convince some jury to award huge amounts of money than a simple housewife, a gay man, or a black pastor being viciously libeled by an amazingly rich company?

Contrary to the concerns of the “ let’s surrender now rather than wait for later ” conservatives who declare that Facebook et al have the right to control their content ( apparently unlike bakers in Colorado … ) demanding that sites that control their content be held responsible for their content is not an attack on the First Amendment but rather simply stating that a publisher is legally responsible for what they publish. If a book publisher published a book that lied about a non-public person it would be sued in an instant. That’s why publishers employ fact checkers and require sourcing for claims.

Unless one wishes to argue that libel and slander laws are attacks on the First Amendment , asserting that sites that control their content ( which is what censoring conservative voices is ) are responsible for that content is not an assault on the First Amendment.

This leaves the job of enforcing neutrality on the people , not the government. The government doesn’t have to decide what should or shouldn’t be on the internet. The definition of what comprises criminal posts is already contained in the law so no new action would be required.

The problem with censorship by left-wing social media platforms is due solely to the fact that we’ve let those sites become publishers without having to accept the responsibility that entails.  The “ let’s surrender today ” conservatives are right that as private companies Facebook et al can choose what they publish , but that doesn’t mean that those sites should get a pass on the same libel and slander laws that every other publisher has to worry about.

Source: A Solution to Internet Tyranny

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