Why Trump Should Declare the Internet a Public Utility Now

The Internet is a public utility and should be treated as such. Censorship based on political opinion should be illegal. 

Recently, Twitter announced new policies which would ban all "hate symbols" as well as "hate groups" from the site, and ban users from "expressing hate towards a person, group, or protected category."

While to the uninformed, that may sound totally non-objectionable and perhaps even a desirable policy, what this really means is that Twitter will ramp up its censorship of the right-wing. Leftists consider groups like the Family Research Council, a Christian conservative organization, and the Center for Immigration Studies, a lobbying firm which favors moderately lower immigration levels as "hate groups." Everyone on the right will now be targeted, not just more controversial figures.

According to Twitter's new policy update, users "may not affiliate with organizations that — whether by their own statements or activity both on and off the platform — use or promote violence against civilians to further their causes."

Now, who is to define "affiliate?" And will this policy apply to the only group which currently commits political violence - Antifa? (Of course not - Antifa accounts will remain free to advocate violence and death against their political opponents.)

But Twitter is only the beginning. The Internet, in the modern era, is the only effective way for the average person to expound their ideas to the public. The Internet is also almost exclusively controlled by a small group of private corporations, which collude to ban ideas with which they disagree.

An example of how this happened was widely reported last August, when the website The Daily Stormer was literally banned from the internet as a result of collusion from the small cabal of corporations which control virtually all web traffic. While I don't endorse all of the material that this site publishes, it should make anyone concerned with free speech outraged when a website receiving millions of views can be shut down at the whims of a leftist corporation - simply because of the opinions that it expresses. Liberals commonly refer to Martin Niemöller's famous poem, "First they came..." to argue that leftist activists should be free of any restrictions. The argument is that even when one disagrees with a group whose speech is being restricted ("first they came for the socialists...",) it is always wise to speak out, because an oppressive government will not stop at censoring views commonly viewed as distasteful. 

If Leftists agree with Niemöller's premise, then they must be opposed to the censorship of the Daily Stormer and other similar websites. But, as expected, they are not. There has been virtually no condemnation of the wave of internet censorship even from the conservatives and so-called "Alt-Lite" - even though they are next in line to be silenced! 

The censorship of the Daily Stormer is just one example of the arbitrary and capricious power that Silicon Valley technology monopolies hold over public discourse. However, while it may be the most prominent case in point, it is far from the only one. Facebook censors a wide range of content with which it disagrees, including mainstream conservative opinions. Pepe the Frog is also banned from Facebook, according to a 2017 report

There has even been criticism from the Left about how Facebook's hate speech policies are too "color-blind and non-intersectional." At Wired.com, "Little Miss Hot Mess" writes

"Like the telephone, Facebook is essentially a utility: To be abruptly cut off from one’s content and communities, based on arbitrary policies, can be annoying if not outright dangerous"

I couldn't have said it better myself. 

This analogy has been raised by many different people, but would it be acceptable for telephone providers to listen in on conversations and cancel service if they didn't like what customers were saying? After all, they're private companies ... which leads into the next argument against declaring the Internet a public utility. 

Some conservatives and libertarians respond to calls to ban technology companies from censoring speech based on political views and/or to designate the Internet as a public utility. They cry, "But Twitter [or Facebook, Google, etc...] is a PRIVATE COMPANY. They can do what they want! After all, we can't have big government interfering with capitalism, now can we?"

This dogmatic view is only consistent if one supports removing all restrictions on what private companies can and can't do. For example, do cheerleaders of corporate internet censorship believe that anti-discrimination laws should be repealed? As a lunch counter in Alabama is privately owned, they can choose to serve or reject whoever they want based on any criterion, right? And if that view is too extreme for some, try getting a supporter of Internet censorship of "Nazis" and "racists" to speak out against state persecution of small Christian businesses for refusing to provide services for gay weddings. "Bigots" must "bake the cake" even when it contradicts their deeply held beliefs, yet, Silicon Valley conglomerates can collude to ban political dissidents from the Internet, which in the modern age is the only real way to expound one's ideas to the public. 

The point is there are already many different restrictions on what private companies can do.  Libertarian dogma must be abandoned and replaced with pragmatic reality when the debate on the internet's status as a public utility takes place. A few companies, dominated by leftists who couldn't care less about "free markets," control the public square in the modern age. When those companies collude to censor dissenting opinions, it is no different than if the government was doing the censorship, as the end result is exactly the same. 

This must be a priority of the Trump administration in the months to come as Twitter and other social media companies ramp up their censorship efforts against right-wing voices. 

It would be quite simple to do. Declare the Internet a public utility and regulate major internet corporations more strictly, prohibiting them from censoring content legal under US law based on political views or "hate speech." This would be fully constitutional under the Commerce Clause and/or Necessary and Proper Clause as well as the constitutions of several states including Virginia and California, which apply free speech protections to certain privately owned places as well.  Any legal challenge would fail. By taking this move, Trump would send a strong message to his supporters that he still is fighting the establishment on their behalf. Declaring the internet a public utility and/or banning political censorship would take power away from liberal censors, whose power is virtually unlimited as of now, and give it back to the people of America to express their views openly and candidly.

Speaking of social media and censorship, come December 18, ResistanceMedia.org's current Twitter account @ResistCM14, is likely to be banned. 

Please follow my backup account @ResistMarxism2 and you will be followed back. 

Also, make sure to follow ResistanceMedia.org on Gab.ai/ResistanceMedia which is a free speech alternative to Twitter.