Small Government Enthusiast Laura Ingraham Wants The Government To Run Social Media
Last night on Laura Ingraham's "I Can't Believe Anyone Is Actually Saying This Out Loud Hour" on Fox, the conservative host pondered whether or not the government should actually just take over Twitter and Facebook as "public utilities" in order to prevent the non-existent censoring of conservatives on social media.
Along with special guests A Lady From The Federalist, Some Random White Dude and Dinesh D'Souza -- who just today called Wonkette a bunch of desperados who are just bitter that the first person on the moon was not a Pacific Islander (he's not wrong, we are all very upset about this actually) -- Ingraham discussed the idea of social media as the new "public square" and suggested that the only way for conservatives to not have their soapboxes taken away would be for the government to step in and start regulating it.
"There's a thought that given the enormity of these corporations, and this is a public square today. This is the equivalent of what we used to see in the old town square was people with a bull horn. And so could there be a movement to treat them more like public utilities, so they have some quasi-government oversight of these entities?"
So much for the free market, eh? Weird how these people think "getting attention on social media" is a human right, but not health care. For the record, all of these people are still quite welcome to go downtown and yell at people with a bullhorn. I see people who sound just like Laura Ingraham doing that all the damn time. Sometimes they even have sandwich boards and Jack Chick pamphlets.
This has long been a desire of many people on the Right, especially the far right, largely because none of them understand what "public utilities" even are. The fact is -- if conservatives wanted, they could all go on Gab, the preferred social media site for people who get kicked off of Twitter for being assholes. The problem, however, is that no one will follow them there because a social media site filled with assholes is not actually an appealing prospect for most people. Were the government to take over Twitter and Facebook and force them to bring all of the assholes back, everyone would probably just throw Twitter and Facebook in the MySpace/Friendster bin and move on to a new social media network that wasn't controlled by the Trump administration.
The only value any social media site has is the amount of people -- and the quality of people -- who want to use it. Part of the reason social media sites ban trolls, harassers and people who advocate for violence and the occasional Nazi (but not nearly enough Nazis, frankly) is because if those sites were overrun with them, people would not want to use them. I know a number of women who once had huge Twitter followings who left the site because they were being continually harassed and did not need that shit. That, for them, is bad for business.
Ingraham also claimed, as Trump did, wrongly, earlier this week, that Google was also "biased" against conservatives, explaining that she, unlike literally everyone else in the world, preferred "Bing" as a search engine because she has found it to be less biased. As I've only ever heard of people using Bing in order to watch porn without actually having to go to any porn sites, it is hard to tell what, exactly, this even means to her. Probably it is something porn related.
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Robyn Pennacchia is a brilliant, fabulously talented and visually stunning angel of a human being, who shrugged off what she is pretty sure would have been a Tony Award-winning career in musical theater in order to write about stuff on the internet. In addition to her work at Wonkette, she also has a biweekly column at Dame. Follow her on Twitter at @RobynElyse