If it’s not illegal to say it, it should be illegal not to transmit what is being said

This was from August 26, 2017: It must be made illegal on “social media” to deny service to people who say things that are not illegal to say. Then by coincidence almost exactly a year later, on August 29, 2018, I wrote this: If it’s not illegal to say it then it should be illegal to prevent it from being said. Then on June 10, 2019, I wrote this: If it’s not illegal to say it then it should be illegal to stop it from being said. On July 29, I wrote another on the same subject, under the title: Twitter too. That was followed two days later with this: There is a constituency on the right for forcing media tech giants to become even-handed.

And now I will say it again. This is the problem. The people who run Facebook, Twitter and Google are some of the most powerful people I know. Although there is no doubt about their sincerity in trying to make a ton of money, more to the point is that there is even less doubt about their relentless efforts in also doing all they can to suppress opinions on the right side of the political divide they do not agree with. It would not make any difference which side of the politics they happened to be on in seeing a fault in their program, but in this case they happen to be on the left, and of their intentions there is not the slightest doubt. As in every institution of the left, if you disagree with what they think, they will do what they can to prevent you from putting your views into the public arena. I am at a loss that anyone who believes in free speech should not see this point. If it is some form of misguided right to private property, then I cannot even begin to see the point. Property is regulated at every turn while suppression of free speech is the primary means to wipe out our freedoms in general.

These platforms arose as a promise to connect people up with each other, so millions across the world signed on. And once millions had signed on, it became like the phone company. The service was then not private and individual, but came with the the promise to connect each customer up to their friends and associates. Nor could there be a multiplicity of such businesses if everyone was to be connected to everyone else. Now these same companies, now that they have connected these vast networks, tell us that they will only connect some people, that if they don’t like what you say – legal though it is to say it – they won’t make the connection. They have thus first broken the law by running a publishing house rather than a platform which forbids them to interfere with the speech of those who use their service, and then second, by lying to their customers by misrepresenting the product they originally offered.

I’ll go back to my first post on this: if it’s not illegal to say it, it should be illegal not to transmit what is said. Speaking for myself, I am happy to see some kind of action finally being taken, and it’s not before time.

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