Anyway, John Zmirak tweets his new article, David French Versus … the Civil Rights Act? which demonstrates the bankruptcy of NeverTrumpism and DavidFrenchism:
Anyone on the Right who tells you "Go found your own Facebook" ... would he have told black Americans "Go start your own chain of lunch counters and hotels!"?
￼8:39 AM - 10 Jun 2019
Here's how Zmirak begins:
"David French holds that the principles of classical liberalism are eternal and immutable, part of the natural law. So he has staked out firm positions on the freedom of contract and association. They must be virtually absolute. But this seems to conflict with his (presumed) commitment to the Civil Rights Act. Imagine reading the following by French:
Many of these racial discrimination controversies share a dreary sameness. A black patron appears at a public accommodation and faces consequences, while multiple white customers get served courteously.
The regularity of the controversies — combined with the persistence of the overt racial discrimination — is resulting in a demand that government “do something” to solve the problem. But the problem is far too complex and deep-seated for the government to solve. And if the government tries to step in with too heavy a hand, it’s going to violate the law. …
Let’s deal with the most serious issue first. American employers and consumer industries — especially in the South — exist in a largely common racial culture. While there of course exists some degree of overt discrimination against blacks, the reasons for the racial culture reach well beyond overt discrimination. …
The market in theory can rather easily correct the problem…. Persuasion, engagement, and market pressure are preferable to attempts to recruit the government to erode First Amendment protections that, in other contexts, stand as a firewall protecting black Americans. …
"Conservatives Didn’t Build Facebook
"Were you shocked to read that? Of course you should have been. French never wrote it. I adapted the above from French’s recent column at National Review. There he pooh-poohs the complaints of conservatives and Christians about social media censorship. I followed French almost word for word, just plugging in “blacks” for “Christians” and “public accommodations” for “social media platforms.”"
UPDATE 1: I'm reproducing here in an update what commenter Forbes provided (comment below). I knew I was missing something that I'd read previously, and Forbes, IMO hits the nail on the head: social media sites are, in essence, trying to have their cake and eat it too:
Social media platforms should be treated as common carriers--no different than any other communication network.
If they prefer to restrict access (censorship), then they are in fact publishers responsible and liable for their content.
The angle social media is playing is to censor content, restrict access, and have no liability as a common carrier.
A civil right for access is a sledge hammer for what closely exists under FCC 'must carry' regs. regarding cable operators. I.e. like Twitter, Facebook, cable operators don't produce content, they are aggregation platforms that monetize what others produce--subject to non-discrimination rules regarding "must carry" local original programming.
The US has ~50 years experience with cable networks and FCC regulations. No need to reinvent the wheel.
The SCOTUS has heard arguments in the case of Manhattan Community Access Corp. v. Halleck which was thought to have a possible bearing on social media sites, but the speculation--based on the oral arguments--is that the case will be decided narrowly--possibly with distinctions such as Forbes suggests in mind.
UPDATE 2: Takes up Forbes' distinctions:
This is scary. CEO of Google openly says they “as a company” are deciding what’s “hate speech,” what’s too controversial to be on YouTube. They’re not acting as a PLATFORM (allowing open access), they’re acting as a PUBLISHER (making editorial decisions)
Google CEO Sundar Pichai defends YouTube practices
6:13 AM - 11 Jun 2019
Although I'm still undecided whether this distinction addresses the monopolistic nature of the situation to the manipulation of search results on an ideological basis, etc., while receiving government contracts. Similar concerns re other companies.