The hallmark of a free society is that members of that society are allowed to hold and disseminate views contrary to those propagated by the government. Sadly, some Democrat lawmakers seem hell-bent on changing this.
In a recent letter to Amazon, Sen. Elizabeth Warren has complained about the online platform’s “unwillingness” to “modify its business practices to prevent the spread of falsehoods or the sale of inappropriate products”, as if the tech giant was supposed to be the nation’s nanny. Rep. Adam Schiff is likewise demanding that Amazon take “immediate action” against materials promoting “vaccine misinformation” while also demanding that Amazon and Facebook give the government information about their content removal practices and policies in order to “prevent the spread of misinformation”.
Even more chilling than the fact that Democrats think they should tell private companies what they can and can’t sell is the fact that this demand is clearly a precursor to government censorship. In his letter to Amazon and Facebook, Rep. Schiff indicated that the government should have access to these companies’ content moderation policies in order to “identify potential needs for Federal regulation.”
The form of regulation being sought is no secret. The Democrats want to narrow Section 230 protections so that only companies using “best practices” are covered by the law that is typically referred to as the Internet’s “First Amendment.” Without Section 230 protections, companies could be sued for third-party postings.
For instance, a person who feels a particular book on Amazon offered bad health, financial, or parenting advice could sue Amazon for allowing the book to be sold on its platform. Facebook could be sued if “hate speech” was posted on its site, and the definition of “hate speech” is pretty broad these days.
In fact, anyone who says anything derogatory about homosexuality, critical race theory, the dangers of transgenderism, or abortion is typically considered guilty of “hate speech” by the far left. Democrat Senator and former presidential candidate Amy Klobuchar has already introduced legislation that would eliminate Section 230 protections for social media platforms that allow “health misinformation” to be posted on their sites.
Conservative pundits warned in the early days of COVID-19 that the pandemic would be used by liberal politicians to strip Americans of their basic rights, and that the lockdowns were just the beginning. Sadly, they are being proven right as Democrats do everything in their power to force people to conform to their agenda.
Mandatory mask-wearing has now turned into mandatory vaccinations. The call to eliminate “hate speech” has now extended to eliminating any health-related information.
Given the trend, it’s safe to say that Democrat lawmakers won’t stop even if they manage to get “health misinformation” removed from the public sphere. The target will change, and more rights will be stripped away.