Comedian-turned-senator Al Franken – yes, that Al Franken—recently wrote an op-ed published in The Guardian titled, “We Must Not Let Big Tech Threaten Our Security, Freedoms and Democracy.” Pretty frightening. Not for the alleged problems Franken outlines, but the “Big Brother” government remedies he proposes.
Franken warns of the “outsized role that the major tech companies” – primarily Google, Facebook and Twitter – “play in so many aspects of our lives.” He goes on to accuse these companies of failing “to take commonsense precautions to prevent the spread of propaganda, misinformation, and hate speech.”
Of course, by “commonsense precautions” Franken is really proposing government-sanctioned, if not imposed, censorship. And what Franken personally considers to be propaganda, misinformation and hate speech might very well not be considered such by others.
As the old saying goes, one man’s trash is another man’s treasure.
Indeed, in reading Franken’s manifesto I came to conclusion that it, itself, is government propaganda by a government official that is filled with misinformation.
For example, Franken claims it’s “alarming” that these three tech companies “have unprecedented power to guide Americans’ access to information and potentially shape the future of journalism.”
You mean like the unprecedented power ABC, NBC and CBS had on television before the advent of cable TV?
“(A)s the wealth of information available on the internet has grown,” Franken wrote, “big tech has taken it upon itself to sort through all the viewpoints, news, and entertainment, and decide for us what we should read, watch, buy, or even how we should engage in civil society.”
For decades the Big Three television networks took it upon themselves to sort through all the viewpoints, news, and entertainment and decide for us what we should watch.
But now, thanks to the very technology Franken seeks to regulate and censor, Americans have thousands upon thousands of options and alternatives which the people themselves sort through and determine for themselves what viewpoints, news and entertainment they choose to read, watch or listen to.
Why would anyone ever want the government to take that away from us?
In conclusion, Franken asks, “What role should these companies play in our lives?”
Wrong question. The real question is what role the GOVERNMENT should play in our lives.
Thank you very much, but I can decide for myself what role Google, Facebook and Twitter play in my life. And I have no interest whatsoever in returning to the Stone Age days when the Big Three TV networks decided what I should watch.
Mr. Franken is free to make suggestions and recommendations as to what I should read, watch, or listen to. But when it comes to him using the coercive power of government to make those decisions for me, I defer to those three famous words by former First Lady Nancy Reagan …
Just … say … no.