Montel William recently tweeted that people who do a certain thing on their profile would be unfollowed and blocked by him. The problem is, as it became clear in the following thread, he didn’t actually know what the thing he that was upset about and banning people for actually was. He still doesn’t. In point of fact, neither do I, although both he and I have a vaguely contextually idea.
That is a big part of the problem, when it comes to censorship and/or editorial controlling speech on non-governmental platforms. If we don’t know what we are looking at, how do we look when we start banning and/or editorially controlling the content of speech?
Let us step back in history and recall a time when a fringe media person began to accuse people of being agents of a new world order that was seeking to subvert and destroy America, as he defined it. The year was, oddly enough, not 2018. It was, in fact, 1968, and it all hinges on what is a “Public Person” and what is the Press?
Back to last week, we spoke briefly about Senator Mark Warner’s ideas to use the power of government to “solve” the issues of modern Media and “fake” news. Now we are learning more of the details of the proposal, which at this point can best be described as “Orwellian” and “unreasonable.” But before you say that “it will never happen,” let us consider the Kardashians.
I know, we don’t like to do that. But according to a new report, just one minute of watching or listening to them could make you less disposed to help the poor. So if watching the Kardashians generates the “wrong” social outcomes, is it a stretch to predict what Senator Warner’s proposals might do to ‘correct” that outcome?
At the end of the day, the legal issues of the Alex Jones types have yet to be fully explored. It is entirely possible, that the Courts may find that such shows are not “Media” in the sense that tradition holds. It is equally possible that hey will decide that in our tradition of free speech that hey will find that they are “media.” In either case, look for tort laws to become much tighter – which, after all, is exactly what Donald Trump said that he wants.
So be careful what you wish for, as you might get it.