While most of the sane world is getting uncomfortable with the increasingly-obvious conservative censorship going on at Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and other top social media sites, Sen. Kamala Harris is taking the other tact: She’d like to see more of it. In fact, as of this week, she’s decided that ridding social media of “hate speech” will be a major part of her campaign, signaling real trouble for the First Amendment.
At an NAACP speech in Detroit, Harris said that social media companies needed to be more proactive in keeping hateful ideas at bay.
“We will hold social media platforms responsible for the hate infiltrating their platforms, because they have a responsibility to help fight against this threat to our democracy,” she said. “And if you profit off of hate—if you act as a megaphone for misinformation or cyberwarfare, if you don’t police your platforms—we are going to hold you accountable as a community.”
Uh-huh, and what exactly does that mean? She’s going to throw Mark Zuckerberg in prison because he let some white supremacists chat on Facebook?
The truth is that all of these social media companies are doing everything in their power to combat “hate” already while at least giving lip service to freedom of speech. If anything, these companies are doing far too much to police what people say on their platforms. If their enforcement of the rules was in any way fair or equitable, that might be okay. But it isn’t, and everyone knows it isn’t. Conservatives are banned and censored for the slightest infraction while liberals are free to threaten Barron Trump with torture. It’s a joke.
Harris’ remarks aren’t just dangerous to the idea of a free democracy, they are inane and ignorant.
“Online communication platforms aren’t like newspapers or television shows or radio programs,” explained Reason.com “It’s not feasible to expect that social media platforms will be able to accomplish what Harris wants. Instead, her agenda would result in a massive regime of censorship with unpredictable behavior that inspires outrage from those who get targeted. Government-mandated censorship does not lead to peaceful, democratic societies. It leads to anger and rebellion.”
It would be nice to dismiss Harris’s war on free speech as the ramblings of a losing candidate, but we can’t afford to get complacent. Liberals cherish and admire what they do in Canada and Europe, where they fine people and throw them in jail for the crime of “misgendering.” They would love to pressure Silicon Valley into adopting those rules for the internet.
Or, if pressure doesn’t work, force.