Donald Trump is America's Greatest Threat to Free Speech

President Donald Trump Speaking Freely
President Donald Trump Speaking Freely
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CopBlaster.com is not in a position to endorse Trump under any circumstances due to his attack on Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act. We depend on Section 230 of that act to allow other people to exercise free speech on this platform. Donald Trump wants to eliminate immunities that online platform providers such as us have from legal liability for statements made by others. Under Section 230 we are not liable if someone signs up for our service and says something tortious. Trump attacked that immunity earlier this year after Twitter censored some of his Tweets. He signed an executive order asking the FCC to look into doing away with Section 230 so that sites like Twitter could not censor him with impunity. While we strongly disagree with Twitter censoring any speech on their platform that is not facially unlawful, the way Trump is going about fighting that censorship is entirely wrong. What Trump should do is try to classify certain social media platforms that have large market shares as public goods. That would give Congress the right to regulate their censorship activities the same way. Many industries are subject to federal regulations based on the essential roles they play in daily life. It has been universally recognized for a long time that once the public becomes dependent on a good for essential tasks that the government can regulate that good. Our idea would involve recognizing the essential role that social media plays in society, that censoring social media amounts to regulating what someone can or cannot say in a public square, and prohibiting such censorship by platforms that have a dominant amount of market share. Then the FCC would be allowed to levy censorship fines for things like deleting Trump's Tweets.


Donald Trump's approach would require to small social media platforms to dedicate an unreasonable amount of resources to moderating content for the purpose of avoiding lawsuits based on the veracity of statements made by third parties. Companies like Twitter and Facebook have the financial resources to moderate content at that level, but most smaller companies do not. If Trump gets his way then small platforms will disappear and only the big ones will be left. Those big ones will end up deleting anything they think might be false or inflammatory just to avoid being treated as the speaker of the content in court. The end result would be a public square where someone is constantly stopping people from speaking. That result is far worse for free speech than leftist tech companies censoring conservative voices for political reasons. Right now conservatives can still go to smaller platforms to exercise free speech, but those platforms would not last without Section 230 of the CDA.


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