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OpEdNews Op Eds    H1'ed 10/28/20

Big Tech Social Media is in Over its Head About Censoring Policies

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I'm watching the live grilling of all the Big Tech Social Media leaders of Facebook, Twitter, and Google:

The live grilling - there's no better word for it - will be over by the time you read this, so advance the timeline to 1:08:00 to watch the full hearing.

But more importantly, the free and open internet may be over shortly thereafter, including for much smaller media outlets than these three companies with combined market caps of over a trillion dollars.

Hiring more "fact checkers" won't work, since the information simply comes in too fast. Complying with government regulators and Congress won't work, especially since they do not agree among their divided parties; Senator John Tester said sarcastically that social media companies will soon be required to hire fact checkers that agree with him, or with other Senators. The latest brouhaha is about Facebook and Twitter temporally removing a New York Post article about Hunter Biden (true) while allowing other items from Ayotollah Khamenei and China's president Xi.

I've written about this before. What should be done is to properly identify posters, to unmask fake posters and bots - as Mark Zuckerberg has proposed as an amendment to section 230 of the FCC Communications Act of 1934 (!) on social media, and then to allow everything aside from very narrowly defined incitements to violence, child pornography and other specifically defined criminal acts.

The policy is completely contradictory and hypocritical and cannot be fixed by these companies, or regulated by government, which is just a collection of self-interests. For that mater, why should the American people be "protected" from president Trump's tweets, which have often been flagged or even removed occasionally. As Kim Iversen recently opined on her - so far - free speech vlog, people have the right to lie, and people have the right to listen, or not:

Russia is not the problem; even if they are effective, they are a tiny voice in the American cacophony, and America does the same thing to Russia and other countries with its own Voice of America propaganda - or is it? Let's discuss! As Supreme Court Justice Louis Brandeis said "The cure for bad free speech is more free speech."

How much should the American people be protected from itself?

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Scott Baker is a Managing Editor & The Economics Editor at Opednews, and a former blogger for Huffington Post, Daily Kos, and Global Economic Intersection.

His anthology of updated Opednews articles "America is Not Broke" was published by Tayen Lane Publishing (March, 2015) and may be found here:

Scott is a former and current President of Common Ground-NY (, a Geoist/Georgist activist group. He has written dozens of (more...)

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