Law professor expertly shuts down Sen. Ron Johnson's false claim that social media is biased against the right
One law expert had a particularly insightful response to Ron Johnson's (R-Wisc.) arguments suggesting social media oversight typically tilts in favor of the left. During the Senate Committee on Homeland Security and Government Affairs on Friday, October 29, Johnson shared his grievances about social media appearing to be more favorable for liberal media.
However, Dr. Mary Anne Franks pushed back against Johnson's claims as she decimated his suggestion of liberal bias on social media platforms. Franks, a professor of law at the University of Miami School of Law and Michael R. Klein Distinguished Scholar Chair, masterfully explained how right-wing extremism is at the root of the problem and why right-wing content must be regulated.
While she did acknowledge that Americans have a right to free speech, she also explained why it does not apply in this particular case.
"Yes, we do have a First Amendment," Franks said. "We do have a right to free speech but we also know, of course, that private companies are not obligated under the First Amendment to take all comers. They are allowed to make their own decisions about what is considered to be high-quality and low-quality content. They can make any number of decisions and I think we would applaud them in many cases to make those decisions.
In a hearing in the Senate Committee on Homeland Security & Gov Affairs today, @ma_franks had a sharp response to Sen. Ron Johnson, who pushed the idea that social media moderation favors the left. She noted the asymmetry of the problem on the right as it relates to extremism.pic.twitter.com/nsPrxMplMV— Justin Hendrix (@Justin Hendrix) 1635450216
She went on to pinpoint the real problem with right-wing content and why it appears to be censored more than left-wing content. In short, it has to be.
"When it comes to the questions of conservative vs. liberal bias, this is not a notion that I am suggesting here. This is not about intuitions or impressions although I know that those can go in many different directions," Franks explained.
She continued, "This is about what the data actually suggests. The data actually do indicate that right-wing content is more amplified on these social media platforms than left-wing content and that right-wing content is more disproportionately associated with real-world violence; not hurt feelings, people being upset but, in fact, actual violence, actual armed insurrections, actual notions of terrorism, and anarchy."
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