Sunday, April 26, 2020

Jack Goldsmith / Andrew Keene Woods: Kiss Free Speech On The Internet Goodbye

Their title:
"Internet Speech Will Never Go Back to Normal: In the debate over freedom versus control of the global network, China was largely correct, and the U.S. was wrong."
   As surprising as it may sound, digital surveillance and speech control in the United States already show many similarities to what one finds in authoritarian states such as China. Constitutional and cultural differences mean that the private sector, rather than the federal and state governments, currently takes the lead in these practices, which further values and address threats different from those in China. But the trend toward greater surveillance and speech control here, and toward the growing involvement of government, is undeniable and likely inexorable.
   In the great debate of the past two decades about freedom versus control of the network, China was largely right and the United States was largely wrong. Significant monitoring and speech control are inevitable components of a mature and flourishing internet, and governments must play a large role in these practices to ensure that the internet is compatible with a society‚Äôs norms and values.
...
Beginning in the 1990s, the U.S. government and powerful young tech firms began promoting nonregulation and American-style freedom of speech as essential features of the internet. This approach assumed that authoritarian states would crumble in the face of digital networks that seemed to have American constitutional values built into them. The internet was a vehicle for spreading U.S. civil and political values; more speech would mean better speech platforms, which in turn would lead to democratic revolutions around the world.
   I'm not neutral, but it certainly seems to be conservative and (actual) liberal speech that gets censored by the tech companies. Reddit, Twitter, YouTube, Facebook...all tend to censor stuff that's right of the extreme left.

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