Dhillon on Midterms and Social Media Censorship

Harmeet Dhillon

Harmeet Dhillon Appears on FBN’s ‘Cavuto Coast to Coast’ To Discuss Midterms, Social Media

According to Dhillon:

Both sides are talking about issues on social media. For example, the Left since the 2016 election claimed the proliferation or alleged proliferation of Russian trolls on social media helped sway the election to Donald Trump, while since the election Republicans have been complaining censorship on social media platforms disadvantaged them. On the most recent election, Republican candidates had some ads taken down on conservative issues like pro-life. While both sides have been complaining about it, there hasn’t been the political will so far to do anything about it. We have different system in America with regard to free speech than they do in Europe or more totalitarian areas of the world where social media censorship is the norm.

Harmeet Dhillon Appears on FBN’s ‘Cavuto Coast to Coast’ To Discuss Midterms, Social Media from Harmeet Dhillon on Vimeo.

The question is what to do about it. I do think there is a lot of pressure on both sides to do something about it. As a conservative I don’t think we should be imposing new regulations or have government censors or independent bodies look at the level of censorship or even impose their own rules. I think we have existing regulatory regimes that could be brought to bear. We have the federal trade commission that could do better job enforcing truthfulness in these companies. Potentially you could have legislation that expands the role of the federal communication commission. We have antitrust regulation already in place, could have, if brought to bear by the Department of Justice. A significant impact on the dominance of these companies with regard to digital advertising which itself is actually strangling a lot of our traditional media companies in the United States. I think if you used existing tools, use them smarter, use them in ways that are tailored to the new technology, that would be good but when we saw these hearings, over the past summer, with the social media companies it, was clear most of our legislators have absolutely zero clue how they work. They have interns who run it for them. They don’t really understand it. We definitely need to look at those things more carefully before making some drastic moves.

Maybe no outside influence but the inside influence is significant. The social media companies are largely staffed by very liberal younger people and they have proven that by the degree of their contributions to the Democrats.

These human censors are taking down largely conservative content. I have not heard the complaint from the Left but I heard it in spades from Conservatives. That is one of the issues. Among the other issues beyond politics is lack of transparency and how our data is taken, how it is used, who it is sold to, who owns it, and who controls it. That is human rights issue in my opinion and that is something completely unregulated right now and really need to be looked at. The social media companies are trying to get ahead of this right now by imposing self-regulation, promising they will be more transparent. I personally don’t think that will happen unless we relieve them of some of their immunity from suit that they have under the Communications Decency Act. It allows citizens, allows the government in some cases to hold them liable, where they lie, where they steal and cause physical harm to people.

Harmeet Dhillon is a nationally recognized lawyer, trusted boardroom advisor, and passionate advocate for individual, corporate and institutional clients across numerous industries and walks of life. Her focus is in commercial litigation, employment law, First Amendment rights, and election law matters.
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