Every week, the WoW! community and our invited guests weigh in at the Forum, short takes on a major issue of the day, the culture, or daily living. This week’s question: What Will Trump Do About Social Media Bias And Censorship?
Jeffrey Avalon Friedberg: What would I do? That’s simple, but not “polite,” because the time for that is long past.
Legally: I would….
I would do something to make their by-now-puckering asses hurt really really really really really bad.
I would do something they cannot afford.
I would lock up as many as possible and keep them there—witnesses, protection—whatever.
I would start the break up of any monopoly.
I would shut them all down as much as possible any way allowed.
What will Trump do? Something similar to maybe only part of the above, but he will also make their heads explode via his Tweets, etc.—and spread their madness, like a plague of fleas up their hairy undies.
He will allow it to go on until it is much worse, and then he will set his machinery in motion.
Right now, this (his machinery) is all just waiting, poised—on standby….
Rob Miller : I think there’s some real meat here, and ironically, the Obama Administration paved the way. For one thing, the major Social Media sites are obviously colluding to effect the coming election. That’s illegal, especially since these sites call themselves public platforms. They also have a clear record of discrimination against certain points of view based on their own arbitrary whims, which are kept secret precisely so that they can be used in an arbitrary way and never ever revealed, merely referred to as ‘community standards.’ Since these are also media companies, this may very well be an FCC violation since sites that are banned or discriminated against in such a fashion are never informed of what violations they may have committed, if any. That is, besides having conservative views.
This combined with their open efforts to collude to influence elections could be real red meat. It might even lead to an anti-trust suit. And certainly to FCC and IRS examinations of, respectively, their corporate practices from a media standpoint and their finances, both on a corporate level and a personal one for their major executives.
Yes, these are private companies, but such companies have been successfully sued before for restraint of trade or other monopolistic practices. We’ll see.
At the very least considering how these companies bowed down to the Chinese and the EU, it might make them a lot less likely to act in such a biased manner.
Patrick O’Hannigan: I can’t remember where I first saw the idea (meaning either at “Instapundit” or “Ace of Spades”), but I do think the president and his administration can exploit the legal differences between “platforms” and “publishers.” Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and other social media players like to think of themselves as platforms, because that allows them the fig leaf of neutrality between competing points of view. There are people who make a good case that these technologies are not platforms, so much as publishing apparatuses (apparati?). Publishers can be sued for libel, among other things. The other thing President Trump could do continues his current strategy of tweeting to his heart’s content, knowing that his tweets drive people crazy, while continuing to appoint lower-court judges, keep an eye on the FCC, etc. It’s sleight-of-hand, and it lets the president take advantage of the manufactured outrage directed against him 24/7 to get things done while the media wastes time on stupid questions like whether he honored the late Senator John McCain sufficiently (FWIW, I’m of the opinion that honors for McCain were over the top to begin with. Ronald Reagan didn’t get such fulsome praise when he died, and he’d done more for this country. Moreover, when Jeff Flake (“the other Senator from Arizona”) said of his late colleague, “Now he belongs to the ages,” he was deliberately borrowing a line first used by then Secretary of War Edwin Stanton to describe Abraham Lincoln at Lincoln’s death bed — and John McCain was not in Lincoln’s class).
Don Surber: President Trump knows the limitations of his power as president; he hasn’t fired Mueller. He will not use the government against the media.
But he also knows his power as the head of a rebellion, and he will continue to push back. Public opinion will change behaviors at Twitter and Facebook.
He is a president the Founding Fathers imagined: a fellow who actually puts country first, upholds the Constitution, respects the office, and does not abuse the power.
The reason is simple, he does not need the job. Fame and fortune, he had. He is an altruistic president along the lines of Coolidge, Eisenhower, and Reagan. He saw a need and filled it.
These are the best eight years of our lives. Enjoy. Mock the media and the critics, and have a blast!
Laura Rambeau Lee: President Trump understands the Constitutional limitations of his power, unlike his predecessor. In his position he speaks loudly and often on behalf of conservative voices and the unfair bias against them by the left-leaning social media platforms.
Hopefully he will continue being our tireless advocate and publicly bring attention and call out the media for their bias. The technology that allows us to communicate with one another can be a double edged sword, especially with the power and control being in the hands of very few individuals. It is up to Congress to pass laws against censorship and to protect everyone’s right to free speech. Our representatives must assure we all receive equal access and our voices not be censored with this rapidly growing and powerful technology. It’s great to know we have such a vocal advocate in the White House.
Well, there it is!
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