One study by the Media Research Center already has documented that Big Tech’s suppression of the real-life news story about Hunter Biden’s abandoned computer laptop and the damaging – to Joe Biden – information it contained cost President Trump the election victory in 2020.
Article cross-posted from our news partners at WND News Center.
But those social-media giants are protected from virtually all liability for what they censor based on Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act. That provides immunity from liability because they are supposed to be “platforms” for speech, not “publishers” of that speech.
Even though virtually every social-media corporation making up the Big Tech cartel in America is known for, and has publicly admitted, censoring statements because of their content, suppressing conservative views and thought and promoting liberal agenda points. Now one expert is offering a stunning solution to that problem: having those tech companies make public their algorithms that determine what is censored.
The concept comes from Kalev Leetaru, a media fellow at Real Clear. He’s also a senior fellow at the George Washington University Center for Cyber & Homeland Security and previously he was fellow in residence at Georgetown University’s Edmund A. Walsh School of Foreign Service and member of the World Economic Forum’s Global Agenda Council on the Future of Government.
“Section 230 must be amended to require that in return for the liability immunity they enjoy, Internet platforms must make the real-world rules, algorithms, design decisions and management directives that determine what we see each day accessible to policymakers, researchers, the press and the public at large,” he explained.
“Social media’s reach into Americans’ daily lives is too great to leave our understanding of its harms and undue influence to the courage of whistleblowers. A new Section 230 ‘transparency amendment’ would require that social platforms make an array of key datasets publicly available, thus replacing chance leaks with routine disclosure and enabling policymakers to have informed data-driven debates as they seek to chart a regulatory path forward.”
He said what until now has been a “closed and seemingly capricious system” needs to be changed into “a public process — akin to our legal and electoral systems — that can be scrutinized and publicly debated.”
He cited his own foundation’s new report “Transparency is the First Step Toward Addressing Social Media Censorship,” in support of his plan.
That, he wrote, “offers a glimpse of what this transparent future might look like, while the full-length research report behind it, “Social Media, Digital Censorship & the Future of Democracy,” details America’s 2½-century journey to a world in which a handful of unelected billionaires wield near-absolute control over digital speech, with the power to censor citizens and governments alike, arbitrate ‘acceptable speech’ for the entire planet, determine ‘truth’ and even silence the presidency.”
He pointed out that both sides of the political aisle are more and more recognizing that increased regulation of agenda-driven social media platforms is needed. He explained Americans first need to understand what those companies do, and how they do it, in order to fix the problem.
“Much as a doctor cannot prescribe a treatment plan for a patient without first diagnosing the specific ailments from which they suffer, meaningful reform of social censorship requires data-driven interventions. Facebook whistleblower Frances Haugen warned last week that ‘as long as Facebook is operating in the shadows, hiding its [work] from public scrutiny, it is unaccountable.’ The problem, as Haugen notes, is that we lack the most basic data on how social platforms function and their impact on society to be able to understand how we might best regulate them,” he explained.
He said the problem with Section 230 is that it didn’t require the companies to provide anything in return for their “near-absolute immunity.”
“States were explicitly barred from narrowing 230’s protections and government was given no oversight role, depriving the American public from influencing or even seeing the rules that govern the digital public square. Most importantly, Section 230 failed to require even the most basic of transparency around how companies wielded its protections,” he said.
That leaves social media companies restricting posts, suspending, banning and demonetizing users based on their views “without any explanation…”
“Even mainstream media is not exempt, as Twitter’s ever-changing explanations for banning the New York Post’s Hunter Biden laptop story reinforces,” he said.
“Moreover, Section 230’s reach now extends beyond the web to the physical world, as Facebook arbitrates which protest marches are permissible to promote; Uber and Lyft ban users over their tweets; Airbnb banishes users over their group affiliations; Amazon refuses to publish books it disagrees with; and even Microsoft crafts acceptable use policies for desktop software. Even foreign-owned TikTok banned Donald Trump, as did its U.S. peers, reflecting the increasingly international reach of Silicon Valley’s rules,” he said.
Will America-First News Outlets Make it to 2023?
Things are looking grim for conservative and populist news sites.
There’s something happening behind the scenes at several popular conservative news outlets. 2021 was bad, but 2022 is proving to be disastrous for news sites that aren’t “playing ball” with the corporate media narrative. It’s being said that advertisers are cracking down, forcing some of the biggest ad networks like Google and Yahoo to pull their inventory from conservative outlets. This has had two major effects. First, it has cooled most conservative outlets from discussing “taboo” topics like Pandemic Panic Theater, voter fraud, or The Great Reset. Second, it has isolated those ad networks that aren’t playing ball.
Certain topics are anathema for most ad networks. Speaking out against vaccines or vaccine mandates is a certain path to being demonetized. Highlighting voter fraud in the 2020 and future elections is another instant advertising death penalty. Throw in truthful stories about climate change hysteria, Critical Race Theory, and the border crisis and it’s easy to understand how difficult it is for America-First news outlets to spread the facts, share conservative opinions, and still pay the bills.
Without naming names, I have been told of several news outlets who have been forced to either consolidate with larger organizations or who have backed down on covering certain topics out of fear of being “canceled” by the ad networks. I get it. This is a business for many of us and it’s not very profitable. Those of us who do this for a living are often barely squeaking by, so loss of additional revenue can often mean being forced to make cuts. That means not being able to cover the topics properly. Its a Catch-22: Tell the truth and lose the money necessary to keep telling the truth, or avoid the truth and make enough money to survive. Those who have chosen survival simply aren’t able to spread the truth properly.
We will never avoid the truth. The Lord will provide if it is His will. Our job is simply to share the facts, spread the Gospel, and educate as many Americans as possible while exposing the forces of evil.
To those who have the means, we ask that you please donate. We have options available now, but there is no telling when those options will cancel us. We just launched a new GiveSendGo page. We also have our GivingFuel page. There have been many who have been canceled by PayPal, but for now it’s still an option. Your generosity is what keeps these sites running and allows us to get the truth to the masses. We’ve had great success in growing but we know we can do more with your assistance.
Thank you, and God Bless!