Opinion: Don’t let liberal social media titans limit free speech

Dan K. Thomasson: Giving platform to conspiracy-spouting madman is dangerous
Alex Jones speaks outside the Republican National Convention in Cleveland last year. Jones has repeatedly suggested the mass shootings at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Connecticut and a Colorado movie theater were hoaxes.
(David Swanson / Philadelphia Inquirer)

To the editor: The real threats to democracy are people who reject elections that don’t go their way and who are determined to trash the Bill of Rights. (“Speech in America is fast, cheap and out of control,” Opinion, Aug. 18)

Richard L. Hasen says the demise of the conventional old media means that “kooks” aren’t being filtered out and that echo chambers are being created to reinforce crazy views. Considering where he comes from, such an idiotic statement is as laughable as it is hypocritical.

Academia, like mainstream media, is a leftist echo chamber in which education and news have become propaganda. Alternative media is a natural response to these elites, who arrogantly hurl condescending insults toward everyone who disagrees with them.

So Hasen wants social media to stop this threat by using censorship. Facebook and Google are run by liberal billionaires who’ve already been engaging in these tactics, along with profiting from fake news stories. It reveals how out of touch and intolerant Hasen is.


Pat Murphy, Pacific Palisades


To the editor: Hasen wants laws “requiring social media sites to identify and police false political advertising.” And when disputes arise, will this new police force also act as judge and jury?

I wonder how many Americans relish giving Silicon Valley hotshots the power to decide what is true or false in politics. For that matter, how many tech companies would regard such power as anything but a lightning rod for controversy and lawsuits?


With both companies and consumers preferring the lightest possible editorial footprint, there’s no reason social media filtering should become a big problem unless Congress steps in and makes it one.

Michael Smith, Cynthiana, Ky.

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