While some counties are declaring misinformation as a public health crisis, others are actively encouraging it. In a recent Pew Research Center poll, 65% of Democrats (two out of every three) voted in favor of the government regulating online speech. They said the government should take steps to restrict false information, even if it limits freedom of information or personal rights. Only 28% of Republicans agreed, with most of them arguing that freedom should be protected, even if it means some false information is published.
Overall, 48% of Americans agreed that the government should be taking the necessary steps to restrict false information, even if it means losing the freedom to access and publish content. This is a drastic increase from the 2018 Pew Research polls, which only garnered 40% of the Democrats’ support in having political authorities intervene online. At the time, only 37% of Republicans agreed.
The White House has even taken steps in working with social media companies to restrict free speech and regulate the rights of Americans through moderated speech. White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki even admits that they’ve talked to Facebook about what posts the administration considers “problematic.” Psaki went on to announce that the federal government has increased their disinformation research and tracking within the Surgeon General’s office to actively flag what they deem “disinformation” about the pandemic.
“We’re flagging problematic posts for Facebook that spread disinformation. We’re working with doctors and medical professionals to connect to connected medical experts … who are popular with their audiences with accurate information and boost trusted content. So we’re helping get trusted content out there,” Psaki said.
Psaki went on to say that social media companies should be coordinating their efforts to take “faster action against harmful posts, as you all know, information travels quite quickly.” Surgeon General Vivek Murthy agreed that we all have the right to make our own choices, but not the right to irresponsibly spread misinformation. The radical left has continued to look for loopholes in free speech and restricting viewpoints they do not agree with.
The Freedom Forum Institute even states that the First Amendment protects false statements of fact, although it does not protect the person against being sued for defamation. The issue made its way into an Ohio courtroom, where pro-life Susan B. Anthony List argued over an ordinance that made it illegal to distribute false statements about a candidate. She emphasized how she was not arguing for a right to lie, but to not have the truth of political statements be judged by the government. The court agreed.
Judge Timothy Black read the ruling in the case, adding that they do not want the government deciding what is political truth “for fear that the government might persecute those who criticized it.” He said in a democracy that the voters should decide.
There used to be a time when adults could look at the information and then decide for themselves what to believe. Now, the government and Biden Administration officials insist that everything is “misinformation” that doesn’t align with their narrative. The 65% of Democrats who voted in favor of the government defining “misinformation” sure wouldn’t feel the same way with a Republican President, House, and Senate. Talk about an attack on the First Amendment.