Sen. Kamala Harris announced that her presidential administration would hold social media platforms accountable for so-called “hate.”
While giving a speech at the Fight for Freedom Fund Dinner for the Detroit NAACP, Harris declared, “We will hold social media platforms accountable for the hate infiltrating their platforms, because they have a responsibility to help fight against this threat to our democracy.”
Since the synagogue shooting in Pittsburgh and the Christchurch, New Zealand massacre, “online extremism” has been a target for lawmakers on the Left. These lawmakers contend that the perpetrators of these crimes “used social media platforms to amplify their messages before attacking places of worship in recent months.”
Harris claimed that “2018 was the deadliest year on record for domestic terrorism since the Oklahoma City bombing more than 20 years ago, and I’m telling you, we can’t feed it, I’m telling you I won’t ignore it, I won’t tolerate it.”
She even doubled down by saying, “If you profit off of hate, if you act as a megaphone for misinformation or cyber warfare, if you don’t police your platforms, we are going to hold you accountable.”
Based on this rhetoric and the political Left’s lurch towards more government control over people’s lives, Harris is implying that the government should be stepping in to regulate these platforms.
Obviously the heinous actions like the one in Christchurch, New Zealand should be condemned. However, they are no justification for potential infringement on basic civil liberties such as free speech.
Right now, social media is under fire for several controversial decisions that Big Tech companies like Facebook have made in suspending certain right-wing accounts.
Indeed, private companies like Facebook have the right to associate with whom they please. However, the increasing politicization of American culture and business has started to blur the lines between the public and private sector. And with the state having its paws in everything, we can expect it to take this influence over to social media.
Undoubtedly, this would be a terrible idea. This could lead to Orwellian thought policing that we see across the pond in the European Union which has seen Brussels take a more proactive role in monitoring hate speech on social media. This is a testament to how much the West has diverged from its founding principles of civil liberties.
Political correctness culture in the United States has become very ingrained and is now set to become a political reality. Thanks to its gradual acceptance by the populace at large and the enthusiastic efforts of busybody politicians, it’s only a matter of time before political correctness becomes codified into law on America’s most popular social networks.
Indeed, Trump’s election has put a roadblock on many plans for hate speech laws. However, author Ray Bradbury was correct in noting, “There is more than one way to burn a book. And the world is full of people running around with lit matches.”
Private social media platforms have tried to get ahead of this by banning controversial accounts, but this not enough for politicians like Kamala Harris. Their goal is to create far-reaching laws with actual teeth that companies and individuals must comply with.
Any devout civil libertarian should shudder at the prospect of a government that is constantly monitoring “hate speech.” We could soon arrive at a point where speaking the truth is considered hate speech, thus subject to criminal penalties.
A true nightmare scenario that belongs in a dystopian novel.