Wednesday, April 11, 2018


Twitter Announces Support for Honest Ads Act—Though It Won’t Help With Much of the Problems with Twitter

Two Democratic senators, Amy Klobuchar and Mark Warner, and one Republican, John McCain, recently introduced the Honest Ads Act, which aims to require online political ads to include information about who paid for them. Political ads on television, in print and on the radio must already do this, but Google and Facebook had successfully lobbied to be exempted from the requirement. - the Economist.

So the "honest ads act", as you can guess from the title, is a proposal to enact another unconstitutional internet censorship scheme.

This is extremely dangerous to our democracy.
Another clue is that it's co-authored by john mccain, the man who brought you citizens united, wrtl i and ii, free enterprise club, western traditions, and other such landmark first amendment cases that struck down parts of mccain-feingold.

This more recent attack on the internet - long term far more dangerous than the russian incursions - is the usual suspects with the usual agenda, given a new causus belli. Remember the Maine. Remember the Gulf of Tonkin. Remember how an attack on 9/11/2001 by Saudi Arabians was used as a pretext to attack Iraq, Somalia, and Afghanistan, a war that's gone on for 16 years so far at least, with little progress or objective.

Here, the 'honest ads act' violates the principle that the government may not, usually, compel political speech. It's the old conflict between gobitis and barnette. wooley v maynard, miami herald v tornillo, AID v open society, talley and mcintyre are other landmarks saying the same thing.

Twitter is making a tactical mistake in endorsing an unconstitutional bill.
It can be claimed, correctly, that they are trying to use the power of government to muzzle their competitors. i think that's on the wrong side of history. i could be wrong. maybe free speech is passe, and no longer needed. as for me, i took an oath to defend the constitution, and i am gullible enough to take that seriously.
I seek counsel to challenge such regulation. So far Lee Goodman isn't returning my emails. How about you?

What helps protect internet firms today is that they have remained generally popular among consumers by offering cheap services and widely used products. But if a crunch comes, the big tech companies may find themselves haunted by their behaviour now. - the economist again, which i am quoting out of context here.


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