“And Why Stop There?”: CNN Analyst Calls For Sweeping Regulation of Free Speech On The Internet [Updated]

We previously discussed the unrelenting drumbeat of censorship on the Internet from Democratic leaders, including President-elect Joe Biden. Those calls are growing as anti-free speech advocates see an opportunity in the Biden Administration to crackdown on opposing views. One vocal advocate of censorship and speech controls has been CNN media analyst Oliver Darcy who just ratcheted up his call for de-platforming opposing views. Like many anti-free speech advocates, Darcy simply labels those with opposing views as spreading “disinformation” and demands that they be labeled or barred from social media. In a recent newsletter, Darcy calls for every tweet by Trump to be labeled as disinformation while asking “and why stop there?” Precisely. Once you cross the Rubicon of speech regulation, there is little reason or inclination to stop.  Just look at Europe.

Darcy wrote:

“Nearly every tweet from the president at this point is labeled for misinfo. Which had me thinking. Why doesn’t Twitter just take the step of labeling his entire account as a known source of election disinfo? And why stop there? Why not label accounts that repeatedly spread claims the platform has to fact-check?”

There was a time from the very touchstone of American journalism was the rejection of such calls for censorship, including at CNN.

What is chilling about Darcy’s writings is that they reflect the view of many now in Congress and in the Democratic Party.  Indeed, they reflect many in the Biden campaign. Once a party that fought for free speech, it has become the party demanding Internet censorship and hate speech laws. President-Elect Joe Biden has called for speech controls and recently appointed a transition head for agency media issues that is one of the most pronounced anti-free speech figures in the United States. It is a trend that seems now to be find support in the media, which celebrated the speech of French President Emmanuel Macron before Congress where he called on the United States to follow the model of Europe on hate speech.

Darcy is calling for more active and extensive regulation of speech to protect users from thoughts or views that he considers false or dangerous: “Think of it as a version of NewsGuard for Twitter.”

“NewsGuard” has a lovely Orwellian sound to be added to other codes for censorship like Sen. Richard Blumenthal recently calling for “robust content modification” on the internet. Who can object to a NewsGuard, which Darcy describes like some beneficent St. Bernard watching over our news and social postings?  Of course, what Darcy considers “disinformation” or what Blumenthal considers “robust content modification” is left dangerously undefined.

So put me down as preferring free speech without the helpful guards and content modification. Instead, I hold a novel idea that people can reach their own conclusions on such is disinformation just as Darcy does.

Update:

While not directly at issue, the posting quoted Darcy on the need for a version of NewsGuard.  I made reference to the term in the context of Darcy’s call for greater regulation of speech. After this posting ran, I was contacted by Eric Effron, Editorial Director, NewsGuard. In fairness to them, I wanted to include a statement from him and the company:

“I believe you are misconstruing NewsGuard’s role vis-à-vis censorship. Our ‘Nutrition Labels’ provide readers with insights and information about more than 6,000 news and information sites. When we write that a site does not run corrections, say, or that it obscures its true owner, we are not censoring, but rather, empowering citizens to make smarter decisions about the information they consume. That’s the opposite of censorship.”

120 thoughts on ““And Why Stop There?”: CNN Analyst Calls For Sweeping Regulation of Free Speech On The Internet [Updated]”

  1. Republicans and conservatives need to understand there is now unrestricted warfare on the native born American citizens, of working and middle classes, waged by the countless mercenaries of the billionaires, the globalists. The very same who’ve rigged this election in so many different ways, none the least of which by exploiting their monopolistic control of corporate media assets.

    I also predict, that they are going to “cull” us before this is over. The first covid was about as bad as a wicked flu, but the next one will be a killer, such as on the level of smallpox. Oh, they will be justifying this through climate change, if nothing else. Here are their plans to do “lockdowns” for climate change next:

    https://www.marketwatch.com/story/we-need-to-act-boldly-now-if-we-are-to-avoid-economy-wide-lockdowns-to-halt-climate-change-11600879250?link=sfmw_tw

    We are not going to be waging war for “the constitution,” we are going to be waging it for survival, as living beings.

    We need to aim all resources at the billionaires and their minions. State power once regained, must be used to wage war in the information space. Just as CIA and military wage information warfare on their adversaries, we must wage that war on ours. Just as the national government of such places as PRC, Vietnam, Thailand, and others, do not allow the Western globalist mass media to spread endless lies in their nations, we too will one day slap a muzzle on them

    So don’t worry about the First amendment anymore. Let it die. Sweep it out of the way. Our victory will not be gained through “private media” or “free speech.” It will only be gained through organization and systematic attacks on our billionaire masters.

    –Saloth Sar

    1. “we too will one day slap a muzzle on them”

      That royal we again. Your willingness to sweep aside the First Amendment is a good clue that any victory gained by ‘your’ side would very likely be far worse.

      1. Princess you dont know it yet but you will figure it out soon. First amendment whining only serves billionaire interests. They are greater lordships than King George could have dreamed of

        1. I agree they are acting like greater lordships than King George in many ways.

          I do NOT agree that the First Amendment only serves their interests. If that Amendment is swept away then that will certainly serve their interests and yours. Saloth Sar suffered no dissent against him, I’d wager. I’d rather have to deal with present shenanigans than the tyranny you advocate.

  2. People may want Santa Claus to bring a big screen TV for a Christmas present, but they may get a telescreen from Big Brother, courtesy of the Grinches at CNN and cronies. Santa and Big Brother are watching.

    1. You got it wrong red anonymous. Free speech is in the private hands of the global mass media, the Silicon valley overlords, the billionaires. They use it as a sword and shield, to cut our culture to pieces, brainwash us, and then as a shield to protect their billionaire private rackets. It is all based on this outdated and false bromide “free speech.” Put that out of your mind and then it comes clear.

      We are in the crosshairs. We have more to worry about now than “free speech.” That is just another bromide. We need to break them and never let traitors and schemers and liars like Soros pull the strings again. That will one day mean, yes, here it comes, censorship, by the government, once it’s in the right hands.

      Wake up from the fog of delusion about the libertarian stuff. Awaken from the dream of constitutional bromides. This is a civil war and we have not even begun to fight. We just keep losing. But with a clear eyed understanding of where this all ends, we will get moving on hitting back and there will be no more false restraints to stop us.

      The billionaires, the globalists, are the enemy. You, we, are their prey. we must do whatever it takes to crush them, end their financial wizardry and countless levers of control. Make no mistake, this is war, and war can only be won by states which are organized from ancient Sumer until now, for that most essential purpose.

      The hard thing to understand is that the civil war is well underway. There are no fancy uniforms, there are no geographic lines, there is no rigid order of battles. There are countless venues and mostly it is all waged by volunteers and mercenaries. If you are not fighting hte billionaires actively then you are one of their slaves and complicit with their control. You either fight them now or you too become an enemy.

      Once you get that, once you understand it is us or them, it all falls into place.

      Saloth Sar

  3. I had a conversation with a ‘educated’ relative(masters psychology) , and they agreed with this type of Covid-1984 Common Popular Peoples Fraud…..

    I am just a scruffy guitarist…what do i know….however I nformed them of my disagreement.

  4. Jon, do you know the president? Do you know how to reach him? Would he take a call from you? You could be a big help to him and to the country if he would take your advice. You are a constitutional law expert and he needs someone like you right now to help him get his evidence before the courts. I doubt anyone is more qualified than you.

    1. What evidence? Dozens of courts have asked this same question, and gotten the same answer: there is no evidence of fraud or illegality. Trump’s mental illness won’t allow him to acknowledge that he lost the election, so he has created a fantasy land in his mind that the only explanation is fraud. It must be fraud, because how could 80 million American voters possibly reject him? After all, we are enjoying the greatest economy in US history, COVID was all a hoax made up by Democrats, and now that the election is over, we don’t hear anything at all about it–right?

      The real question here is why Republicans keep indulging this exercise in insanity.

    2. Trump doesn’t have valid evidence. That’s one of several reasons that he and his cronies keep losing.

      1. “. . . he and his cronies keep losing.”

        Or not:

        On Sunday, Federal judge Timothy Batten ordered that the voting machines used in three Georgia counties *not* be wiped clean. His order prohibits the “altering, destroying, or erasing, or allowing the alteration, destruction, or erasure of, any software or data on any *Dominion* voting machine in Cobb, Gwinnett, and Cherokee Counties.” (emphasis added)

  5. Jon, seems to me we are at a vrossroads and we need your assistance. Go to Trump to see if he would use you as a consultant (or hire you) so that you can give him in depth advice on how best to navigate his way through this minefield.

    1. What “minefield”? Trump needs a psychiatrist, not another Giuliani. Who is the “we” who need Turley’s assistance? If you don’t believe all of the courts that have dismissed Trump’s lawsuits for lack of evidence, if you don’t believe all of the secretaries of state who have certified the election results, and if you don’t believe Trump’s own cyber security expert who was fired for saying that there was no fraud, then you also need a psychiatrist.

  6. Why aren’t the Libertarians screaming at Turley? “The social media corporations, as private entities, have every right to moderate and censor content on their sites! You don’t like it? Then build your own social media site!!”

    The Democrats are being typically short-sighted and unprincipled, but the deeper problem is that our public discourse is increasingly coming under the control of a few huge monopolies. They must either be broken up, or compelled to allow ALL Constitutionally protected speech on their platforms — by our government.

    1. The problem is that social media corporations want to eliminate free speech on their sites, as well as everywhere else, public or private. It’s called getting your foot in the door.

    2. “Take” social media platforms under Eminent Domain and operate those nascent utilities as state-regulated monopolies which adhere to the Constitution and Bill of Rights.

    3. social media organizations are public utilities in that they inform the public about what is going on in the world. They have a right to screen out offensive words such a f but they have an obligation to the public to report the news in a fair and dispassionate manner. They need to be broken up and regulated in the public interest like banks. Being a private company does not exempt one from public responsibility. We should have learned as much from the 2008 financial crisis.

      1. we didnt learn a thing from 2008. the Fed now backstops all big financial companies. They grow fat as they socialize risk and privatize profit.

        Billionaires are the enemy of the people. It’s them or us.

        Saloth Sar

    4. yyy,
      “The social media corporations, as private entities, have every right to moderate and censor content on their sites”

      Is it possible for the government (NSA/CIA, etc) to be the hand behind the censorship and manipulation of information via the Freedom Act (what the Patriot Act became)?

      1. the FBI and CIA do whatever the billionaires want them to do. The CIA has been in a mind meld with investment banking houses since the OSS days. Other federal bureaucracies are much the same..

        look past the Deep State to those who control it. They’re the enemy. The underlings are all mercenaries. We don’t need more intellectual parsing of this according to the failed liberal tropes of the Enlightenment, we need to make war on our enemies and destroy them, before they finish us off.

        The covid was exaggerated and the useless response has impoverished us. The BLM fracas was terroristic intimidation against us. The election was fake. What more do we need?

        Enough lies, time for organization to prepare for war on the enemies of the people. Unrestricted warfare in every venue and space and domain where progress may be achieved.

        Political power won’t be won by court cases and all the other half measures. It will be won by mass organization and political action which kicks in the teeth of the enemies of the people.

        2021 will be worse unless they get a bloody nose and fast. If we survive we can rethink all these lofty principles later. For now dispense with all the window dressing and half measures

        Saloth Sar

        1. “the FBI and CIA do whatever the billionaires want them to do”

          I doubt the NSA, CIA, FBI, etc are led around by the nose. They have their own agendas and their own designs, I’m sure.

    5. “You don’t like it? Then build your own social media [platform]!!”
      __________________________________________________

      Correct.

      Eliminate unconstitutional, confiscatory taxation, unenumerated regulation and patent protection.

      Make Competition Great Again!

  7. Turley isn’t bothered that 52% of Republicans believe Trump won the 2020 election. Half of Trump supporters also believe Trump won the popular vote in 2016 & think Obama has a fake birth certificate. Turley holds the novel idea that Trump supporters can reach their own conclusions on disinformation.

    JT wholeheartedly supports Trump & his attorneys’ First Amendment rights to claim millions ofTrump votes were switched to Biden votes by communists & Hugo Chavez, the 2020 election “is the greatest fraud in the history of our country” & Georgia’s Republican Secretary of State is “the enemy of the people” for verifying Biden won Georgia fairly & squarely.

    Turley supports Trump’s freedom of speech to declare himself the winner of the 2020 election “by a lot” yet roundly condemns Pelosi for saying Democrats won a mandate by now controlling 2 branches of government & picking up at least 1 Senate seat.

    Simple question for Turley: Who do you think is the most trusted source for the 52% of Republicans who believe Trump won the 2020 election?

    1. Turley isn’t bothered that 52% of Republicans believe Trump won the 2020 election.

      Why should he be bothered by that?

      1. Because Trump LOST the 2020 election, and despite the fact that there is no evidence whatsoever of fraud, Trump keeps lying about it, and his disciples still believe him. It is dangerous to have a malignant narcissist who constantly lies but still is viewed as credible by a majority of his party, a party that includes gun toting radicals. Telling such people that they have been cheated out of a fair election is dangerous, especially when this election was the most heavily-monitored in history.

    2. “Turley holds the novel idea that Trump supporters can reach their own conclusions on disinformation.”

      Turley holds the idea that it’s not the role of a democratic government to dictate what is true or false. In a democracy, that’s for every individual to decide. Nothing could be more basic than that.

    3. It’s Professor Turley, to you (expletive deleted).

      The attorneys aren’t “claiming” voting corruption and election tampering, they are proving it with evidence – facts and testimony.

      You are the personification of disinformation and false propaganda.

      It is eminently comprehensible that you, the guilty, would reject and denigrate.

  8. The President et al. engage in free speech.

    The mainstream media and social media interdict free speech.

    The President is a patriotic American living by the Constitution.

    The mainstream and social media are enemies of America opposing and abrogating the Constitution.

    There is a subtle but profound difference between the free speech of a patriot and the free speech of mortal enemies of the Constitution and America, the communists (liberals, progressives, socialists, democrats,

    RINOs).

    There is a distinct difference between free speech as adherence and patriotism and free speech as the venom of enmity, sedition, insurrection and treason.

  9. One of the many sad things about the assault on free speech is the missing actor – that being the ACLU. 45 years ago I chaired my college’s chapter but it no longer appears to be fighting the good fight. If that group has gone over the edge in this battle, then it is time for a new group to take up the mantle and fight for the freedoms guaranteed in the Bill of Rights

    1. See Wm. Donohue’s history of the organization, published a generation ago. It was never what it claimed to be. Hyperkinetic advocates of free speech like Nat Hentoff and Alan Dershowitz had adopted critical stances to the organization around that time. Dershowitz said back then (ca. 1988) that it was now an amalgam of civil libertarians and political leftists and the objects of the former were commonly frustrated by the latter.

  10. Well, you’re seeing the mentality of the word-merchant element undisguised. Have a look around you at the faculty at your university. Where did the monovox problem come from? From an incapacity to appreciate that other people have different values than you do and that multiple interpretations of the same evidence are not invalid just because they’re uncongenial to your worldview.

  11. The elephant in the room regarding this assault on free speech is the civically-immature constituency they supposedly need to protect. Kant was right:

    Laziness and cowardice are the reasons why such a large part of mankind gladly remain minors all their lives, long after nature has freed them from external guidance. They are the reasons why it is so easy for others to set themselves up as guardians. It is so comfortable to be a minor. If I have a book that thinks for me, a pastor who acts as my conscience, a physician who prescribes my diet, and so on–then I have no need to exert myself. I have no need to think, if only I can pay; others will take care of that disagreeable business for me. Those guardians who have kindly taken supervision upon themselves see to it that the overwhelming majority of mankind–among them the entire fair sex–should consider the step to maturity, not only as hard, but as extremely dangerous. First, these guardians make their domestic cattle stupid and carefully prevent the docile creatures from taking a single step without the leading-strings to which they have fastened them. Then they show them the danger that would threaten them if they should try to walk by themselves. Now this danger is really not very great; after stumbling a few times they would, at last, learn to walk. However, examples of such failures intimidate and generally discourage all further attempts.
    http://www.columbia.edu/acis/ets/CCREAD/etscc/kant.html

    1. The kids with the cluster B personality disorders would likely quit harassing others if they weren’t getting their way with it. Their exhibitionism provides the faculty and the administration with the excuses to do what said faculty and administration wish to do anyway.

      1. As usual, your comment made me look up Cluster B Personality Disorder. Thank you for that. The prognosis does not look promising for 2 reasons: 1. this disorder is likely not going to be treatable by preventing the behavior. 2. The faculty/administration, etc. aren’t inclined to prevent a behavior that is useful to their agenda.

        1. ROFLMAO

          yeah, that’s right, Art Deco was the one who introduced for the first time on this forum personality disorders.
          Good one. of course, AD, being the paragon of honesty, integrity and self-disclosure, will correct you.

          Oh When We Reach the City!!!

          http://wwrtc.blogspot.com/2005/03/

          1. yeah, that’s right, Art Deco was the one who introduced for the first time on this forum personality disorders.

            Reading comprehension isn’t your thing apparently. I merely had not reviewed Cluster B before and his post lead me to look it up. Imagine that, learning something new instead of remaining ignorant. You may want to give a try sometime.

  12. There will be Civil War again if they try to take away free speech, bearing arms and The constitution we built our democracy on!!

    1. Actually, about half the public is perfectly happy with this. Liberals have no procedural values at all. Most of the remainder regard the crimes of our times with cud-chewing indifference. Look at how the Kavanaugh imbroglio affected the Democrats’ electoral prospects. As far as one can see, hardly at all. They’ll do more of that in the future. It’s not as if they have any scruples about anything.

      1. Never was “the public” intended to vote.

        Never was governance intended to be pervasive or complex.

        The American Founders gave Americans the one and only thing they could: Freedom.

        Never was the American republic intended or expected to persist under one man, one vote democrazy.

        The treasury will be used to buy votes even as the Constitution precludes the purchase of votes by restricting the power of Congress to taxing only for “…general Welfare…” not individual welfare, specific

        welfare, charity or redistribution of wealth and to favoring no one (affirmative action, quotas, forced busing, rent control, non-discrimination, fair housing, etc.).
        _________________________________

        “[We gave you] a republic, if you can keep it.”

        – Ben Franklin
        ____________

        Ben Franklin’s was a restricted-vote republic, not one man, one vote democracy, which experienced a turnout of 11.6% in the 1788 election of George Washington through the application of the general vote

        criteria: Male, European, 21, 50 lbs. Sterling/50 acres.
        _________________

        “the people are nothing but a great beast…

        I have learned to hold popular opinion of no value.”

        – Alexander Hamilton
        _________________

        “The true reason (says Blackstone) of requiring any qualification, with regard to property in voters, is to exclude such persons, as are in so mean a situation, that they are esteemed to have no will of their own.”

        “If it were probable that every man would give his vote freely, and without influence of any kind, then, upon the true theory and genuine principles of liberty, every member of the community, however poor, should have a vote… But since that can hardly be expected, in persons of indigent fortunes, or such as are under the immediate dominion of others, all popular states have been obliged to establish certain qualifications, whereby, some who are suspected to have no will of their own, are excluded from voting; in order to set other individuals, whose wills may be supposed independent, more thoroughly upon a level with each other.”

        – Alexander Hamilton, The Farmer Refuted, 1775

  13. Twitter is a private company as has the right to label false information as such. It is not censorship or regulation of free speech to counter speech with more speech. Also let’s point out that Trump has called for government regulation of Facebook and Twitter, which is a free speech issue.

    1. Do you understand the definition of a publisher? If they alter or change the content or access of a particular group based on their standards they are no longer a free speech forum but a publisher and therefore liable for slander or libel charges and discrimination. Please research more than the CNN news feed before posting.

      1. The only thing utile about MollyG’s remarks is (1) she gives you a sense of what brain dead Democrats are ‘thinking’ and (2) she isn’t as verbose as Natacha.

      2. They are not altering it, they are adding commentary, which is their free speech right to do. If the posters don’t like it they can move to a different platform. Free market.

        1. Molly’s never heard of networking effects. And just who is the ‘they’ in this case, and why are they devoting the manhours to policing everyone’s commentary?

        2. We’re going to crush the billionaires and no fake slogans, no Enlightenment bromides, —
          and no ideological straightjackets will stand in our way.
          Mass media liars like Twitter’s Jack Dorsey or FB’s Zuck are enemies of the people.
          They will be destroyed– or if not, we will be

          We understand it’s going to be a matter of survival

          The wise will wake up to it sooner, fools, too late.

          Saloth Sar

    2. Twitter is a private company as has the right to label false information as such. ….

      Well, thank goodness for the clarification. Since MollyG sez a private company can disregard the First Amendment, that means they can disregard the other Amendments too. they can even ignore Federal Laws and Court orders!

      whew! thanks MollyG. When can we expect Kamala to burn tattoos onto our arms, force us to wear Yellow Star of Davids and throw us onto trains to gas us in to private concentration camps? Just asking

      1. They’re not bound by the 1st Amendment. The thing is, they’re absolved of tort liability as if they were a neutral platform, and they’re not a neutral platform. What if AT & T took to breaking into your phone conversations ca. 1990 to tell you your interlocutor was lying to you? The analogy doesn’t occur to MollyG. The incompatability with a robust deliberative culture doesn’t occur to her either. She’s not the sharpest tack in the box.

    3. Molly….Molly….get a grip…..you missed your target by a Mile. You certainly do not understand the very fundamental facets of what Free Speech is all about. I would suggest you read some very early examples of Free Speech….called the Federalist Papers where the Founding Fathers debated issues with many viewpoints that differed widely. Using your idea of free speech…..it would be known as the Federalist Paper. History and the New Left are mutually exclusive concepts these days and genuine education of our youth has gone the way of the Buffalo but Molly….there is a lot of wisdom to found in those Papers and history in general if one is sage enough to look to the past to understand the present and hopefully avoid repeating that history in the future.

      Also….reading some of the personal attacks being made by those that reject the Good Professor’s opinions and others that differ….I am beginning to think some cleaning up of the internet content might actually be a good idea.

      I do find it interesting that is those amongst us who brag of their belief in Tolerance, Diversity, and Freedom of Speech are first to abandon all of that upon being challenged to support their postings with provable fact and who always seem to hide behind some conjured up User Name rather than their real identity. What and who are they fearful of….being associated with their posts and comments?

  14. Why did we fight in Vietnam?
    Democracy is our most important product.
    Speech frei or forever hold your piece. And don’t aim it at me.

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