The First Amendment bans the government from “abridging freedom of speech.’ Since the beginning, this rule has been a foundation. It has allowed people to fight against injustices. The Civil Rights Movement, Women’s Suffrage, and other protests can only survive because of the First Amendment. So the admission made by White House Press Secretary, Jen Psaki, was horrifying. The suppression of the First Amendment. Suppression of free speech.
A Suppression of the First Amendment Rights
For those reading, this might feel like a scare tactic. After all, a lot of media sites do it. However, this isn’t a joke. In a Thursday Press, the White House’s “new campaign” against COVID misinformation has taken many by surprise. Although the words are pretty, saying they are not blocking. However, no word choice can hide the intentions when the government is “flagging problematic posts” and suggesting “additional steps” that social media companies should take. Nor does it reassure the public when she threatens “legal and regulatory measures” for social media companies. Rather than dancing around it, here is the truth. The United States Government is starting to push its limits. And if we don’t fight this, then we will be giving up our freedom of speech. And there is no going back.
Violations of First Amendment
There is an argument that private companies like Facebook and Twitter can ban users. However, this is different. The moment the government is providing “suggestions” to handle posts that they have “flagged”, they have crossed a line. Even bigger websites like Newsweek and New York Post are seeing how dangerous this is. After all, the line between suggestion and command is hazy when the federal government is involved. But how is this violation of the First Amendment?
Although the First Amendment doesn’t state “online speech” is protected, freedom of expression does extend to the internet. Since 1996, the Supreme Court unanimously agreed that internet speech is protected by the First Amendment. Meaning that these “problematic posts” are people’s rights. Regardless, if the government considers it “misinformation.” When the government is threatening legislation to hurt social media companies and threats of retaliation, companies will definitely obey their “suggestion.” This indirect interference is illegal. And it is a suppression of First Amendment rights. This leads to another problem. Government defining misinformation.
Appropriate legal and regulatory measures that address health misinformation, while protecting user privacy and freedom of expression.
Surgeon General Vivek Murphy’s statement is an oxymoron. Because any type of legal and regulatory measure on information is a violation of freedom of expression. After all, these measures are government-imposed controls over online speech. Due to the Reno v. ACLU ruling, any of these measures would be a direct violation of people’s rights. Especially when the government is deciding what these measures are. These “problematic posts” are not limited to false information about the COVID Vaccine. According to Murphy and Biden, posts that are “misleading” are included. And for them, these can posts can be explaining small risks to noting the effectiveness of vaccines overall. However, it isn’t just about information about the vaccine. According to the Surgeon General, posts that encourage “reject public-health measures such as masking and physical distancing” are dangerous. As a result, anyone who shows skepticism towards government policies is not safe.
While Murphy claims that this is to protect the public, what is misleading is based on subjective standards.
Frank Speech Supports the First Amendment
Despite the Newsweek and the New York Posts efforts, you don’t hear from the mainstream. After all, the mainstream benefits from government control. However, Frank Social Media Network is not tolerating it. This is an issue that goes beyond party lines. No government can say they respect freedom of expression while demanding regulations on online speech. That is why we need to fight the First Amendment! So, become a part of Frank Speech, The Voice of Free Speech, Today!