Shadow Banning and Democracy.

Shadow Banning and Democracy are Incompatible.
Shadow Banning and Democracy are Opposites.

Shadow Banning Harms Democracy.

For example, if ordinary citizens cannot run for school board and be noticed because of the opposing political views of a publisher this violates equal time principles. It really is a matter of making an entire group of citizens invisible to the public. You cannot have a democracy under those circumstances.

It gets worse when one party in power tells the media what ideas can be suppressed or which class or type of citizens to suppress. There are constitutionally protected class of citizens.

Religious belief is one of those classes.

So, is social media a public service? Or not? Is it in the public square or do people pay to access it? (i.e., is it a private club or private service?).

Ted Lieu said “everyone can pay to advertise their message on social media.” Untrue!!! Can Donald Trump? Trump campaign? Trump supporters? Ted Lieu AFAIK has not answered such questions.

There used to be FCC regulations about media based on air waves, and equal time. Is the radio to you cell phone a regulated “air wave”? Licensed space, licensed by the government, to the telco provider? Should it be?

There was legislation about whether carriers could charge extra for premium service to those willing to pay. Under that scheme those who do not pay get minimum or no service and have diminished rights.

An article on Forbes about “Digital Equal Access” says:

This digital equal time rule puts the ability to respond to disinformation campaigns in the hands of the party with the greatest interest in timely, persuasive and effective corrections. With this rule in place, the original audience would receive countervailing information, without requiring social media companies or government agencies to act as truth police. 

 The social media companies involved know who received the original candidate’s targeted message.  All they need to do is replicate this audience for the opposing candidate’s response, avoiding the need to share the identities or contact information of the targeted audience and thereby protecting their privacy. 

Above quote is from Mark McCarthy, an adjunct professor in Georgetown University’s Communication, Culture & Technology Program, a non-resident senior fellow in the  

Institute for Technology Law and Policy at Georgetown Law, and a non-resident senior fellow in the Brookings Institution’s Center for Technology Innovation, Previously, I was Senior Vice President for Public Policy at the Software & Information Industry Association


My view: (to promote democracy)

The solution is MORE SPEECH, not less. And no arbitration by the broadcaster.

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