VIA SBINSIDER COMMENTARY| December 3rd, 2023
In the 1st amendment to the Constitution the framers explicitly said that Congress shall make no law abridging the right of the speech: … .or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press…
Before the Constitution was written, the courts in New York and earlier in England had ruled that the government could not restrict publication using a system of prior restraint. So, no government could force a publisher to submit news to the government for prior approval of it being printed. As explained at law.justia.com:
…historically considered and taken up by the Federal Constitution, has meant, principally although not exclusively, immunity from previous restraints or censorship.”423 “Any system of prior restraints of expression comes to this Court bearing a heavy presumption against its constitutional validity.”424 Government “thus carries a heavy burden of showing justification for the imposition of such a restraint.”
Under the English licensing system, which expired in 1695, all printing presses and printers were licensed and nothing could be published without prior approval of the state or church authorities. The great struggle for liberty of the press was for the right to publish without a license what for a long time could be published only with a license.
Prior restraint, not quite, but stern warning
In 2021, under the Biden administration, the mechanisms of the intelligence community contacted Meta and Alphabet which own the major social media platforms including Nextdoor, and other social media platforms like Twitter (now X) trying to get any information contrary to the CDC\WHO line on COVID to be suppressed or shadow banned. In other words, very esteemed scientists and virus researchers who disagreed with the establishment medical community (Moderna, Pfizer also chimed in,) would not be allowed to post their views.
To be sure, the process the intelligence agencies used was not overtly coercive. It is not alleged that they crossed that line. But, all of the companies they contacted were acutely aware of the business relationships they had with the Federal Government in terms of funding for research and data mining and many things to which we are not privy.
FTC Section 230
All social media platforms have the absolute ability to control the information that appears on their platform. They are private entities. However, section 230 of the Communications Decency Act of 1996 is a federal law that provides: immunity to online platforms from liability for user-generated content.
Ergo, the companies had no risk if they had published or allowed content that contradicted or questioned the lockdown strategies or whether or not vaccinations stopped the spread of COVID. But they acquiesced to the government bureaucrats, particularly Dr. Fauci, whose ego would not allow any questioning of his authority or righteousness of his opinions.
However, the 230 CDA provision can be revoked\reformed at any time via the Congress. At present, there is no agreement between the Parties on what that change should look like. (No surprise there, so nothing will happen especially after the big tech companies spread around huge campaign donations.)
This security state censorship regime was exposed by left-leaning journalists Matt Taibbi and Glen Greenwald and several others in Congressional hearings this past week.
Why This Matters
The danger to all of us is a media that conspires with the powerful in government to create false or one-sided narratives to support their agenda. In the not too distant past, the Left was the main antagonist of the government, especially during Vietnam and during the Church hearings on the Kennedy assassinations. Professor Noam Chomsky, Dr. Benjamin Spock, Martin Luther King Jr. and their cohort were heard often and the idea that they he should be denied a platform was not ever contemplated-free speech was absolute. Today, the Democratic party has shifted to protecting big government from speech it deems “dangerous” labeling it “misinformation or disinformation.”
Professor Noam Chomsky
This is a world-wide movement pushed by the same elites who warn that our “Democracy” is in danger? Where is the ACLU? Where are the free speech advocates on the Left? Missing in action.