Former FEC Chair Demands Internet "Disinformation" Crackdown In Major Threat To Free Speech

Tyler Durden's picture

Authored by Jonathan Turley via JonathanTurley.org,

In one of the most reckless and chilling attacks on free speech, the former chair of the Federal Election Commission (FEC) and Berkeley lecturer Ann Ravel is pushing for a federal crackdown on “disinformation” on the Internet - a term that she conspicuously fails to concretely define. 

Ravel is pushing a proposal that she laid out in a a paper co-author with Abby K. Wood, an associate professor at the University of Southern California, and Irina Dykhne, a student at USC Gould School of Law.  To combat “fake news,” Ravel and her co-authors would undermine the use of the Internet as a forum for free speech. 

The regulation would include the targeting of people who share stories deemed fake or disinformation by government regulators.  The irony is that such figures are decrying Russian interference with our system and responding by curtailing free speech - something Vladimir Putin would certainly applaud.

In addition to new rules on paid ads, Ravel wants fake news to be regulated under her proposal titled Fool Me Once: The Case for Government Regulation of ‘Fake News.” If adopted, a “social media user” would be flagged for sharing anything deemed false by regulators:

“after a social media user clicks ‘share’ on a disputed item (if the platforms do not remove them and only label them as disputed), government can require that the user be reminded of the definition of libel against a public figure. Libel of public figures requires ‘actual malice,’ defined as knowledge of falsity or reckless disregard for the truth.

 

Sharing an item that has been flagged as untrue might trigger liability under libel laws.”

Without clearly defining “disinformation,” Ravel would give bureaucrats the power to label postings as false and harass those who share such information.  Of course, this would also involve a massive databanks of collections ads and discussions by the government.

The authors of the proposal see greater government regulation as the solution to what they describe as “informational deficits” in the largely free exchanges of the Internet.  There is a far dosage of doublespeak in the article.  Rather than refer to the new regulation as guaranteeing greater government control, the authors insist that “government regulations . . .  improve transparency.” Rather than talk of government controls over speech, the authors talk about the government “nudging” otherwise ignorant readers and commentators.  Here is the worrisome section:

Government regulations to help voters avoid spreading disinformation

 

Educate social media users. Social media users can unintentionally spread disinformation when they interact with it in their newsfeeds. Depending on their security settings, their entire online social network can see items that they interact with (by “liking” or commenting), even if they are expressing their opposition to the content. Social media users should not interact with disinformation in their feeds at all (aside from flagging it for review by third party fact checkers). Government should require platforms to regularly remind social media users about not interacting with disinformation.

 

Similarly, after a social media user clicks “share” on a disputed item (if the platforms do not remove them and only label them as disputed), government can require that the user be reminded of the definition of libel against a public figure. Libel of public figures requires “actual malice”, defined as knowledge of falsity or reckless disregard for the truth. Sharing an item that has been flagged as untrue might trigger liability under libel laws.

 

Nudge social media users to not view disputed content. Lawmakers should require platforms to provide an opt-in (or, more weakly, opt-out) system for viewing disputed content and periodically remind users of their options. We think the courts should uphold this as a constitutional regulation of political speech, but we acknowledge that it is a closer question than the more straightforward disclosure regulations above. The most analogous cases are to commercial speech cases (AdChoices and Do Not Call Registry, which was upheld). Commercial speech receives less protection than political speech.

I have been writing about the threat to free speech coming increasingly from the left, including Democratic politicians.  The implications of such controls are being dismissed in the pursuit of new specters of “fake news” or “microaggressions” or “disinformation.”  The result has been a comprehensive assault on free speech from college campuses to the Internet to social media.  What is particularly worrisome is the targeting of the Internet, which remains the single greatest advancement of free speech of our generation.  Not surprisingly, governments see the Internet as a threat while others seeks to control its message.

What Ravel and her co-authors are suggesting is a need to label certain views as “false” while giving not-so-subtle threats of legal action for those who share such information.  Once the non-threatening language of “nudges” and “transparency” are stripped away, the proposal’s true meaning is laid bare as a potentially radical change in government regulation over free speech and association.

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Rainman's picture

from a "Berkeley lecturer"  

overbet's picture

Long VPNs, encrypted email and btc to pay for them

Twox2's picture

Stunningly obtuse...

Gaius Frakkin' Baltar's picture

I just don't see how California can be integrated. It will always be a festering cesspool of jews, commies, degenerates and White-haters continuously working to undermine White Western idealism as enshrined by the 1st and 2nd Amendments.

Shitonya Serfs's picture

The Internet Communist Suppression Machine is getting stronger. Almost complete. Complete control over: where you get to shop; where you get your news; where and who you get to communicate with; where to bank; etc.

 

Once there are only a few people/overlords providing you these things, the final leg of population control and implementation of the world government (ZOG) will be a cake walk for them.

mtl4's picture

Can't wait to read Ravel's new book on the coming Berkeleyvich Revolution........just seceede already.

Fizzy Head's picture

re: this article.

A. they are running scared of the truth

and 

B. careful what you wish for, libel suits are a 2 way street.

ejmoosa's picture

On B: With our social justice snowflake system, don't count on that one.

Omen IV's picture

would politicians be held to the same standards of disinformation?

wold they be required to disclose their sources? - especially McCain / Clinton / Ryan /

what would be the designation for a expert on anything - who takes selective facts rather than all the facts and applies subjective interpretations of those selective facts to yield the paid for conclusions -can citizens sue for intentional disinformation?

suing politicians for libel would go a long way in creating a new democracy

Omen IV's picture

would politicians be held to the same standards of disinformation?

wold they be required to disclose their sources? - especially McCain / Clinton / Ryan /

what would be the designation for a expert on anything - who takes selective facts rather than all the facts and applies subjective interpretations of those selective facts to yield the paid for conclusions -can citizens sue for intentional disinformation?

suing politicians for libel would go a long way in creating a new democracy

NoDebt's picture

OK, so we can flag everything from the NYT and CNN as false and sue them out of existence with libel suits?

The thing these progs forget is that the sword cuts both ways.  They always ASSUME they will be the only ones in a position to make the call on what is real and what is fake.  But what if they aren't?

This is an extension of my old argument that it is libs who should have been most afraid of Obama doing everything by EO.  They ASSUMED they would never lose power again.  But they did.  And now listen to them scream in pain.

 

Shitonya Serfs's picture

They will make sure you and I are NOT able to take down the "chosen" providers of news.

Yukon Cornholius's picture

3rd Party Fact-Checkers. AHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!!! Like the porn-actress Snopes hired, right? Fuckin' losers.

Akzed's picture

Don't you think there's a double standard about such things?

A. Boaty's picture

Internet censorship for the glorious People's Revolution, Comrades!

ejmoosa's picture

And it is getting more local.  At a local blog I contribute to the Johns Creek City Offcials are trying to shut it down because we dare challenge many of the issues here and they do not like our points of view.

And while they have been unwilling to address the content of the blog, they are attacking those who comment under pseudonyms and anonymously.  

Here's a idea: Try and defeat us on the principles of good governnance, and not some petty snowflake BS.

And just like I do here, I use my real name.  

Once you lose free speech, it will take a revolution to return it.  So defend it with all your might.

 

The Chief's picture

She's a jew, too. Go figure...

God Emperor's picture

California brings the best smut.

Got to hand it to those libturds

Shemp 4 Victory's picture

 

Stunningly obtuse...

That describes the situation precisely. Even in an undergraduate course on media law one would learn that it is nearly impossible to libel a public figure.

This woman and her cohorts are incompetent retards.

espirit's picture

I often use the /s tag, so does this mean I have to switch to /fu tag if this cunt gets her way?

/s on...

Squid Viscous's picture

she smells Jewish to me, like 4 day old gefilte

Bigly's picture

Berkeley=Entrenched old russian commie sympathizers who will NEVER stop trying to bring down the US and traditional US values.

yrad's picture

This is about as "fake" as some of these advertisement on ZH...

 

The Best Credit Cards to Pay Off Debt Fast

 

I mean, how stupid can one be to click this shit?

overbet's picture

I click it sometimes thinking of it as the donate button. Then immediately clear my sandbox

Government needs you to pay taxes's picture

Pro tip: Start shooting before they round up everyone else in the neighborhood.

JustPrintMoreDuh's picture

They're starting to really freak out.  

HowdyDoody's picture

Soros is reported to have put $18 billion of 'his own money' into Open Society. They spent $5(?) billion on Ukraine so it looks like they are planning to run the equivalent of 4 Ukraines. The population of Ukraine is about 50 million, so it looks like they are targetting some 200 million or more.

http://theduran.com/george-soros-prepares-for-all-out-war-pours-18-billi...

mndasher's picture

It would be a way to shut down CNN and MSNBC.  /sarc

Philo Beddoe's picture

I am reporting that she is likley a stupid cunt. Awaiting confirmation from a source. 

Philo Beddoe's picture

Great! There you have it. Real news! 

Philo Beddoe's picture

Multiple sources are now reporting that she is in fact a stupid cunt. 

sheketebaka's picture

Barack Obama was born in Kenya. I'm serious.

Yars Revenge's picture

Not happening.

The US constitution guarantees freedom of speech.

PrivetHedge's picture

That's just an amendment.

The Constitution itself guarantees that the treasury issues the currency: not the FED.

How's that one working out?

Sean7k's picture

Actually, the Constitution does NOT allow currency to be issued by the government. Just gold and silver, with silver being the REAL dollar.

Dollar bills and dollar coins which are not 3741/4 grains of silver are not constitutional money and it is against the Constitution to used them as legal tender.

For more fun facts, read "Pieces of Eight". (It is pricey and you must buy from the author, this is how legal censorship operates)but, it is worth every penny.

AgAuSkeptic's picture

She wants to get grabbed by Trump like all the liberal ladies.

Mekongerbigdonger's picture

Typical dyke. Or maybe dude. dykerdude. Just not sure what it could be. But there always an issue. 

Rex Andrus's picture

What a maroon. They really don't want their propaganda and active internet censorship programs to be the subject of hundreds of thousands of court cases. 

Posa's picture

Well then just skip that step and just arrest the offenders and haul them off to gulags...

A rope leash's picture

Truth is facts. I want facts backed up with clear photographs.

 

8×10 color glossy, if you would please.

 

Otherwise, you're a fucking liar.

 

So shut up.

prymythirdeye's picture

"The regulation would include the targeting of people who share stories deemed fake or disinformation by government regulators."

Now that's fucking hilarious.  Figures this cunt's at Berkeley

 

Come get me, you filthy pigs.  You pieces of shit are only so happy to gorge at the public trough while making "rules" for the rest of us who actually have real jobs

medium giraffe's picture

I like the next part about flagging comments.

See something, say something.