Who Will Censure the Censors?

Read the Medium article here.

5 Things to Know About Regulating Internet Speech

  1. The Powder Keg –  YouTube recently “demonetized” hundreds of controversial channels, after an on-going spat between conservative comedian Steven Crowder and liberal Vox writer Carlos Maza. The host of Louder with Crowder  repeatedly mocked Maza’s flambuoyant personae (aka the “gay wonk”) and ethnicity, and Maza roused a Twitter mob to get YouTube to remove him altogether. YouTube’s kept the videos up, but took Crowder’s ad dollars — pleasing virtually nobody, as Reason’s Robby Soave pointed out.

  2. The Legal Issue - Some kinds of speech, such as incitements to violence, are clearly not protected by the 1st amendment, while “hate speech,” or offensive speech, is not clearly defined. Under Section 230 of the Decency in Communications Act (1996), online platforms like YouTube can set their own guidelines for acceptable speech but are continuing to come under scrutiny for alleged bias against conservatives.

  3. The Proposed Remedy – Trump is talking about antitrust to break up Big Tech monopolies, but most scholars think this is impractical. Republican Senator Josh Hawley just introduced a law to essentially revive the “Fairness Doctrine,” and stop biased censorship of conservatives. This Sunday, I’ll speak to Frank Buckley about his middle-ground idea for a governmental check on “woke” social media censorship.

  4. The Unintended Consequences – Elizabeth Nolan Brown points out that Hawley’s bill would likely make censorship against conservatives worse. The bill would require companies to reapply with the Federal Trade Commission every two years to prove that they are operating in a politically neutral manner. Ultimately, this would mean censoring vastly more political content, Brown notes.

  5. A Quote to Ponder :

“There’s always someone we’re laughing at, and that person is going to take offense. If it’s a conservative laughing at a liberal, even a liberal who seems to be asking for it, even someone who dishes it out but can’t take it, like the butt of Crowder’s laughter, that’s when the progressive social media censors step in.” - Frank Buckley, How to stop the 'woke' social media censors, NY Post, June 10, 2019

Bill Frezza's History of Telecom Innovation (and Not)

This Thanksgiving, try asking a college-aged relative whether they know it used to be illegal to own a phone. Today's smart-phone-owning young people do not remember the bygone era (pre-90s) when you had to rent it from the phone utility, Bell Labs. Real Clear Radio Hour host Bill Frezza has asked college audiences this question many times, as he has waged his one-man-fight to preserve institutional knowledge of the telecommunications industry. A long-time employee of Bell Labs and keen observer of the booming tech scene, Frezza knows the lore behind the stunning lack of progress under the telecom monopoly, and the amazing progress resulting from free competition. How did the industry transform from a corporate cronyist behemoth, which took seven decades to create just seven "apps", to delivering the world’s knowledge at our hip? Don’t miss Bob’s interview with Frezza, as they discuss this history, the modern development of net neutrality, and the silver lining on the regulatory clouds of ObamaCare and Dodd-Frank.




Real Clear Radio Hour - Airs on Saturdays at 10am & 4pm PT on KNEW 960AM & KOSF 103.7FM-HD2 in San Francisco

Competitive Enterprise Institute - CEI.org

http://menckenism.com/ - Chronicling the decline and fall of Entitlement Democracy

Obama’s Net-Neutrality Nostalgia For When Things Were Rotten (The Daily Caller, 2/11/15)

Should we Bring Telegrams Back?

In February of 2006, the last telegram was delivered in America. Why did telegrams stop? Simple. They ceased to be profitable and were no longer needed. Hmmm. Shouldn’t those economic principles apply to the entire U.S. Postal Service? After all, it is required to operate like a business, and any business that loses billions every single year ($5.1 billion in 2011) would close up or be closed up by its creditors. However, the Postal Service has 435 members on its Board of Governors (aka House of Representatives) who insist that the office be funded for their own personal gain, yet if a private Board did that, its members would be in jail. The Service shows the merits of privatization, the malpractice of Congress and the inability of government to do anything as efficiently as private business. In this Sunday’s encore episode, Bob spoke to Ed Hudgins, the Director of Advocacy at the Atlas Society. Let’s put the Post Office in the dead letter bin.

Gambling: Hypocrisy in America

The issue of gambling in America has it all: socialism, attempts to regulate the internet, taxing the poor, government mismanagement and insane criminal laws. Why ban a harmless form of entertainment? Why create monopolies? Pervasive hypocrisy is a national embarrassment. This Sunday at noon, Bob will review gambling from a Libertarian perspective: sanity, not puritanical prohibition.

Censorship on Craigslist

This Sunday, Bob will discuss censorship of adult services on craigslist with Ryan Radia, associate director of technology studies at the Competitive Enterprise Institute in Washington, D.C. After state attorneys general and anti prostitution groups pressured the company to shut down the adult services section, Craigslist voluntarily agreed to go along with it and it is estimated that the company will lose 36 million dollars in revenue this year as a result. But the prostitution and escort ads will not go away, they will just migrate elsewhere on the web. What if prostitution were legalized and regulated taking away the monopoly criminals enjoy? All this has done is masque one of the symptoms of a broad based problem without fixing anything at all.  There’s a reason it’s called “the oldest profession in the world” after all.

Monopolies in the 21st Century

In this episode, Bob speaks to Barry Lynn, Senior Fellow at the New America Foundation. They will explain how monopolies like Wal Mart threaten free markets and eliminate the ability for small businesses to compete with conglomerates. Libertarians believe small businesses are the backbone of our economy but if large companies have the power to put them out of business, we will never again be a thriving nation.