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Public Knowledge Criticizes White House Effort to Control Online Speech

May 15, 2019 , ,

Today, the White House launched a tool to enable digital platform users to report alleged instances of bias on technology platforms like Facebook and Twitter.

The following can be attributed to John Bergmayer, Senior Counsel at Public Knowledge:

“Platforms should treat their users fairly and respect norms of due process. But online services have no obligation to provide a platform for content that violates their terms of service; in fact, a more pressing problem than alleged 'censorship' of any particular viewpoint is the proliferation of misinformation, propaganda, hate speech, terrorist content, and harassment online. This misguided effort by the White House raises serious constitutional questions and could hamper the ability of platforms to moderate their platforms and take down such content.

“To the extent that particular constituencies feel that their viewpoints do not get a fair hearing, we would welcome efforts from the Trump Administration to increase platform competition through the vigorous application of antitrust laws, interoperability initiatives, and similar endeavors.”

For more information on content moderation, view Senior Vice President Harold Feld’s latest book, “The Case for the Digital Platform Act.” For more information on due process, view our latest white paper, “Even Under Kind Masters: A Proposal to Require that Dominant Platforms Accord Their Users Due Process.”