By Michael Snyder | 9 November 2017
THE AMERICAN DREAM — Are the days of the free and open Internet numbered? The Internet is certainly used for all sorts of horrible things, but it has also allowed ordinary people to communicate on a mass scale that would have been unimaginable decades ago. In the old days, if you wanted to reach large audiences of people with your information you always had to go through corporate gatekeepers. But today, anyone with an Internet connection can literally broadcast whatever they want to say to the whole world. Personally, my wife and I have always been amazed at how many people we are able to touch all over the planet from our little home in the mountains. Over the past seven years our websites have been viewed more than 100 million times, and we receive emails about our work from people all over the globe.
Unfortunately, major changes may soon be coming to the Internet. The election of Donald Trump really angered the elite, and they are blaming the power of the Internet for his victory. They insist that something must be done “for the good of democracy”.
For example, in an opinion piece for the Guardian, U.S. Senator Al Franken proposed that it is time for the U.S. government to step in because Google, Facebook and Twitter have failed to prevent the spread of propaganda, misinformation, and hate speech…
As lawmakers grapple with the revelations regarding Russia’s manipulation of social media during the 2016 election, many are shocked to learn the outsized role that the major tech companies play in so many aspects of our lives. Not only do they guide what we see, read, and buy on a regular basis, but their dominance – specifically in the market of information – now requires that we consider their role in the integrity of our democracy.
Last week’s hearings demonstrated that these companies may not be up to the challenge that they’ve created for themselves. In some instances, it seems that they’ve failed to take commonsense precautions to prevent the spread of propaganda, misinformation, and hate speech.
Those are very ominous words.
So precisely what would constitute “propaganda”, “misinformation” or “hate speech”? […]