Professional Liar Kayleigh McEnany Can’t Spread Russian Disinfo On Twitter, Is Oppressed
White House Press Secretary Kayleigh McEnany was locked out of her Twitter account last week because she tried to share the New York Post's garbage story about Hunter Biden. While still in
the Phantom Zone COVID-19 isolation, McEnany whined that Twitter “had her at gunpoint" until she agreed to delete the piece, which, again, is pretty much just straight no-chaser Russian disinformation.
"If they can ban the press secretary of the United States for President Trump, they can ban... a citizen and that is pathetic," Ms McEnany told Fox News' Sean Hannity.
McEnany doesn't need Twitter to spread lies. She has her White House press briefings. Once she was readmitted into the house that @jack built, McEnany accused Twitter of “censoring political speech" like a common China, North Korea, or Iran.
McEnany has a Harvard Law degree, so it's reasonable to believe she is actually secretly smarter than this. She should know a private company can't censor anyone. Censorship is a government action, like when McEnany's boss, Donald Trump, tries to ban “critical race theory" and declares war against The 1619 Project.
Twitter has no constitutional obligation to let people use its platform to spread disinformation and random libel. Twitter could change its business model tomorrow so that the only content permitted are Gwen Verdon photos and videos (plus all affiliated artists). I would gladly pay for that service.
Republican Trump stooges, including senators Josh Hawley and Ted Cruz, are really upset Twitter refuses to help spread the New York Post story. Cruz said the Senate Judiciary Committee will vote this week to subpoena Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey, so he can explain the free market to them. Why would a private business be expected to help expand the reach of an entirely different media outlet? That's not why the Internet killed print media.
Trump has gone after social media platforms for their supposed “anti-conservative bias," which doesn't exist. Facebook specifically is more generous to conservative publications and users. It is true that conservatives lie a lot, so if social media platforms moderate content at all, no matter how objectively, this will impact conservatives more. Mark Zuckerberg has argued that people can decide what's true for themselves, which is dumb and just an excuse not to hire fact checkers or take any responsibility for serving as a Russian patsy ... again.
The FCC does not have the authority to rewrite the law, and Ajit Pai can't appoint himself commissioner of the spee… https://t.co/IsN68zGgmH— Ron Wyden (@Ron Wyden)1602790813.0
The Trump administration has requested that the FCC tinker with a law called Section 230 so social media platforms can't moderate content. This is closer to censorship than anything Twitter is doing. The government would prohibit a private company from controlling what's published on its own platform. Section 230 also provides internet platforms such as Facebook and Twitter with immunity from lawsuits over user content. If that didn't exist, you could sue Facebook and Twitter and not just some random user for spreading lies about you, and there's a compelling argument for holding these companies to the same standards as any media outlet.
That's not good news for conservatives who want to share articles from Russia with love. If held fully liable for content, social media platforms would just start banning problematic users outright. McEnany wouldn't regain access to her account once she pulled offensive content. She'd probably lose her account altogether, because — and we can't believe we have to tell people this — these are private companies offering a (theoretically) free service. If Republicans think Americans don't have a right to healthcare or even privacy, it's absurd that they think we have a right to Twitter.
Conservatives have every right to leave Twitter. It's a free country, especially if Joe Biden wins. They can even start their own social media platform that has no rules and is a big flaming dumpster fire. AMERICA! That's the service Parler was supposed to provide, but conservatives got all lonely without any liberals to harass.
Instead, they'll just keep complaining a lot, because that is what they do.
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Stephen Robinson is a writer and social kibbitzer based in Portland, Oregon. He writes reviews for the A.V. Club and make believe for Cafe Nordo, an immersive theatre space in Seattle. He's also on the board of the Portland Playhouse theatre. His son describes him as a “play typer guy."