Regardless of political party or platform, governments and social media giants cannot be trusted to decide what is true or false or what speech should be allowed, warns the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) .
Last Thursday White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki told reporters that ‘misinformation’ about the coronavirus is a ‘big deal’, so ‘we have increased the research and tracking of misinformation. Within the office of the Surgeon General, we flag posts for Facebook that spread disinformation. “
“No matter which party is in power, the government can no more be trusted to label ‘truth’ or ‘fiction’ than Facebook or Twitter,” the ACLU tweeted on Tuesday, commenting on a CNN article titled “White House Examines Section 230 Amid Efforts To Push Social Media Giants To Crack Down On Disinformation.”
CNN reports that the White House is pressuring social media platforms to censor posts that the Biden administration declares to be false by threatening to remove liability protections for user posts:
“White House examines whether social media platforms should be held legally responsible for posting disinformation by article 230, a law that protects companies’ ability to moderate content, White House communications director Kate Bedingfield said on Tuesday.
“The debate over Article 230 has taken on new urgency in recent days as the administration called on social media platforms to take a more aggressive stance in the fight against disinformation. Federal law, which is part of the Communications Decency Act, grants legal immunity to websites that moderate user-generated content. “
The First Amendment, not Section 230, is what protects social media companies from liability, the ACLU concludes, citing “truth” statements from past administrations:
“Remember when President Trump said COVID would ‘go away’ without a vaccine?
“Do you remember when President Obama told us that the NSA did not abuse the surveillance programs revealed by Edward Snowden?”
“The president should know that it is not Section 230 that protects social media companies from liability for fake news.
“This is the First Amendment.
“The Constitution protects people – and social media companies – from government censorship campaigns. “
Editor’s Note: This piece was the first published by CNSNews.com.