by Mitch Kokai
Senior Political Analyst, John Locke Foundation
Facebook recently stated that it will neither censor nor “fact-check” statements by politicians on their site. This is great for political speech but — apparently — unwelcome news to the leadership of at least one of the major political parties.
The Democratic National Committee slammed Facebook’s decision, arguing that “Trump has an utter disregard for the truth” and that “social media platforms have a responsibility to protect our democracy and counter disinformation online.”
This is only the most recent effort by leftist politicians to goad social-media companies into silencing conservative politicians and anyone else they disagree with.
Several weeks ago, we warned that Federal Election Commission chairwoman Ellen Weintraub (D) was convening representatives from Facebook, Twitter, and Google to pressure them into “fighting the disinformation that risks further corroding our democracy.” In other words, to appoint themselves as Big Brother — with her approval — to censor political speech and reporting on elections and hot-button issues.
It’s a heartening sign that at least one of those social-media platforms has wisely decided that less is more when it comes to policing and censoring political speech and the global Internet arena where so many Americans today gather information and news and debate, discuss, argue, and vigorously contest the public issues of the day. To its credit, Facebook seems to appreciate, much more than some progressive politicians, the value of robust political discourse and the danger of vague limitations on political speech.