Conservatives are getting ready to handle Big Tech censorship — the wrong way. Breitbart wants Facebook, Twitter et al to be regulated as common carriers. Take American Majority as another such supporter. (“American Majority is a nonprofit organization that provides training to conservative activists and political candidates in the United States.”) Its CEO, Ned Ryun, calls for such re-regulation.
His argument is fallacious: “Pause for a moment and consider that argument for private restaurants denying people of color service because they were the wrong skin color. We, of course, know that behavior was a gross violation of blacks’ civil rights.”
No one has a right (or a “civil” right) to be a customer of a business. Conversely, owners of a business, which is their property, have a right to deny service to prospective customers for any reason or no reason at all.
Having accepted Title VII of the flawed Civil Rights Act of 1964 as a premise, conservatives now logically infer that Big Tech can be forced to accommodate all possible users, possibly with government-made rules (censorship) about what may or may not be said in this newly-defined “public” space.
What’s this mean, if not censorship located at a different source, one that melds Big Tech and Big Government?
Worried about monopoly and being shut out of access to everyone on the internet? Don’t be! Think of the profit opportunity in running a free speech platform. It doesn’t cost that much to build up such a business and to attract customers who’ve been taken off of the Big Tech platforms. The right to start such a business is the flip side of the right of Facebook to turn away users and regulate its content. The government has no business in censoring us. Its only proper business is protecting our property rights, those of Facebook and those of entrepreneurs building new platforms.
If Big Tech and Big Government jointly establish speech rules, it goes against the First Amendment. What else happens? It freezes out the new competitors or potential competitors, because they are forced into adopting the new “industry” rules and standards. Their comparative advantage in hosting wild and woolly free speech disappears. They can’t attract their clienteles. Big Tech becomes a government-born cartel or monopoly.
Big Tech is NOT at present a monopoly, because anyone can start a new social media platform. It’s already happening. Conservatives, stop! Look! Listen! Do not again do the wrong thing by falling into the big government trap.
Search on Free speech + video + sites. You will begin to discover some alternatives to Big Tech platforms. For example, there is Gab. There is Brighteon. Search on uncensored + social + platforms, and you’ll find more links.
The stock of Facebook took a hit from which it has largely recovered. Once its head began calling for government regulation, the stock went up. This is because the market recognizes that Facebook is headed for cartel leadership. This is what the Republican solution amounts to, and it’s the wrong way to go.
Whatever privileges of regulation and subsidy and patent protection and business contracts that the Big Tech giants currently have, these should be removed. Their presence doesn’t justify further intrusion of government, which denies the property rights of everyone.
And the government construction of “civil” rights also doesn’t justify extending them into new areas of regulation and thereby destroying rights and creating privileges.7:54 am on May 8, 2019 Email Michael S. Rozeff