January 18, 2021

Dawson County Journal

Serving Dawson County Nebraska

Twitter's 'living internet' killing free speech

Twitter’s ‘living internet’ killing free speech

Twitter’s excuse for censoring the New York Post’s stories on Biden-family influence peddling bears striking resemblance to the far left’s view of the Constitution, constitutional scholar Jonathan Turley wrote Monday.

In a Senate hearing last week, Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey said his company’s policies are “living documents,” subject to continual change.

Turley, a law professor at George Washington University, said that sounds like an internet version of the “living Constitution.”

He explained Monday on his website why a “living internet” is so dangerous, urging social media companies to return to their original role as utilitities for free speech, not publishers that vet it.

“These companies are driven by profits and politics, not principle,” he said. “If Democrats take control of Congress and the White House, these companies will face growing demands for increased censorship. That is when ‘living policies’ change ‘to update and adjust them when we encounter new scenarios or receive important feedback.'”

Turley said the alternative is “internet originalism,” with no censorship.

“If social media companies returned to their original roles, there would be no slippery slope of political bias or opportunism; they would assume the same status as telephone companies,” he argued. “We do not need companies to protect us from harmful or ‘misleading’ thoughts. The solution to bad speech is more speech, not approved speech.”

Turley argued that if House Speaker Nancy Pelosi demanded that Verizon or Sprint interrupt calls to stop people saying false or misleading things, the public would be outraged.

“Twitter serves the same communicative function between consenting parties; it simply allows thousands of people to participate in such digital exchanges,” he noted. “Those people do not sign up to exchange thoughts only to have Dorsey or some other internet overlord monitor their conversations and ‘protect’ them from errant or harmful thoughts.”

He pointed out that Twitter now admits there was no evidence that the emails on Hunter Biden’s abandoned laptop were fabricated or were the product of Russian disinformation, a conclusion confirmed by both the FBI and the director of national intelligence.

However, he said, the company won’t apologize for its error.

Instead, Twitter claims its policies are “living documents,” just as the late Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg saw the Constitution as a “living document,” subject to continual reinterpretation as society evolves.

Twitter’s claim, he said, “should turn every citizen into a strict ‘internet originalist.'”

Turley noted the Bidens haven’t denied the emails sourced in the Post story are authentic, and some people in the message threads have confirmed they’re real.

And former business associate Tony Bobulinski has been interviewed by the FBI, under oath, about his claims and evidence of Joe Biden’s involvement in Hunter Biden’s business deals in China, Ukraine and other nations.

“The only obvious ‘disinformation’ about this story has come from Joe Biden and his allies. House Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam Schiff, for example, stated that the entire story was Russian disinformation, a claim repeated by Biden this week. In reality, Twitter and Facebook tried to bury a story by the New York Post that appears to be accurate regarding the source and the content of the emails,” Turley said.

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Twitter’s ‘living internet’ killing free speech