Reflections on Dystopian California by Mitch Santell
The State of California is a bit out of control as it relates to ending freedom of speech. You are going to watch news agencies, independent bloggers and social influencers placing their server outside of California and outside of the USA.
The California Senate and State Assembly recently passed S.B. 1424, the “Internet: social media: advisory group” act. Think of the entire State of California acting as a “safe space” for free speech. My prediction? S.B. 1424 once signed is going to trigger all kinds of lawsuits as people have “their feelings hurt.” My insight? Start looking now for a Non-California based platform.
What companies are going to be affected most? Weebly will be touched and manipulated by the bill; I love the Weebly platform, their home office is in San Francisco.
The issue for companies like Weebly is how they will enforce the new rules of S.B. 1424?
California is one step away from going down the unconstitutional road of government-mandated censorship of Internet speech. The California Senate and State Assembly recently passed S.B. 1424, the “Internet: social media: advisory group” act. This fake news advisory act is now on the desk of Governor Jerry Brown for his signature.
According to Section 3085 of the legislation:
The Attorney General shall, subject to the limitations of subdivision (d), establish an advisory group consisting of at least one member of the Department of Justice, Internet-based social media providers, civil liberties advocates, and First Amendment scholars, to do both of the following:
(a) Study the problem of the spread of false information through Internet-based social media platforms.
(b) Draft a model strategic plan for Internet-based social media platforms to use to mitigate the spread of false information through their platforms.
It’s hard to imagine those voting for the bill were motivated by good intentions. In any case, good intentions are not enough. Is it hard to imagine the results of the law will be censorship of views that politicians disagree with and views critical of politicians?
Most likely, Californians are not concerned about “fact-checking” content like “a mile is 5290 feet” or an appeal to form a flat Earth Facebook group; such content poses no threat to entrenched interests. Instead, “fact-checking” will be deployed against those who express doubt, for example, about climate change, vaccine safety, or “educating” children about gender dysphoria.
In a world where most scientific studies can’t be replicated, a consensus should not be confused with an immutable fact.
If you doubt that censorship is the aim of the bill, consider the even more draconian measures that an earlier version of the bill required. Social media sites would have needed to develop “a plan to mitigate the spread of false information through news stories, the utilization of fact-checkers to verify news stories, providing outreach to social media users, and placing a warning on a news story containing false information.”
The First Amendment makes no provisions for government judging the validity of speech either directly or through mandated “fact-checking.” In legitimate cases of defamation, legal remedies are available, but the bar for a successful lawsuit is high.
Why Authoritarians Always Suppress Speech
In his new discussion paper, “The Mirage of Democratic Socialism,” economist Kristian Niemietz of the Institute of Economic Affairs counts “more than two dozen attempts (not counting the very short-lived ones) to build a socialist society.”
“They all,” Niemietz writes, “led to varying degrees of economic failure.” With that economic failure always came “varying degrees of repression and political authoritarianism,” as well as severe limitations on “freedom of choice and personal autonomy in the economic sphere.”
Authoritarians, including so-called “democratic socialists,” must always suppress speech. Why? Human beings have boundless preferences and competing goals. These preferences and goals are sorted out by either socialist planners or impersonal market processes.
Read more here: http://bit.ly/2IaOf5L
There are others who see this bill as illegal:
FCC head honcho, Ajit Pai, didn’t mince words in comments regarding California’s recent passing of a tough net neutrality bill. In his keynote speech for neoconservative policy organization Maine Heritage Policy Center, Pai called California’s SB 822 “illegal” and said it “poses a risk to the rest of the country.”
Pai also hinted that he’d be coming for California should SB 822, seen as the toughest net neutrality law in the nation, receive the governor’s signature, as it’s expected to in the next two weeks.
Federal only supersedes state law on specific issues which the US Constitution delegates to the federal government. That’s the Tenth Amendment. In this instance, the FCC can’t just roll in and pull rank on California, no matter what Pai promises his right-wing, internet-carpetbagging cronies.
Read more here: https://engt.co/2NuvJv0
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