'Jawboning against Speech' with Will Duffield
Government censorship is limited by the First Amendment. Nevertheless, government officials increasingly demand that platforms refrain from publishing disfavored speech.
Everyone knows that special interests lobby government for favors. The Twitter Files have revealed that lobbying is a two-way street, with government lobbying corporations too – often to silence critics of its policies.
Will Duffield of the Cato Institute has become the go-to expert on so-called “Jawboning” i.e., informally pressuring private companies to censor disfavored speech. The Jawboning-industrial-complex includes members of both parties. Major social media companies now have internal teams to handle “suggestions” from government officials. Ban this person. Silence that opinion.
It’s not exactly what Orwell pictured, but it’s still concerning.
I previously interviewed Jenin Younes of the National Civil Liberties Alliance on a related topic. NCLA has defended those who censored for contradicting official CDC stances on COVID, like Martin Kulldorff and Dr. Jay Bhattacharya. Getting banned from a private social media platform isn’t the same as getting thrown in jail for speech. But what if the social media company is acting under implicit pressure from Congress? It’s a classic “Your Money or Your Life!” decision.
Does this kind of censorship violate the Constitution, even if no laws are passed? Duffield joins me Sunday to discuss the nuances of free speech law in the social media era, and to lay out a libertarian vision of digital expression.
Don’t miss it.
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