“Open Internet-ers” Use Cambridge Analytica as a Crisis Tool to Censor

by Mike Wendy on March 26, 2018

As Congress seeks to haul Facebook’s CEO, Mark Zuckerberg, to testify before it and atone for Cambridge Anlytica, let’s get this straight. This “scandal” ain’t about privacy of your data (which you willingly give up to get the “free and open” Internet). If it were, we’d be seeing the same finger-wagging for Obama’s 2012 big data efforts, which were as aggressive as Cambridge Analytica’s tactics, but are still roundly hailed and credited by the mainstream media for Obama’s win.

Nope.

This whole specious controversy is about content control, which has always ever been the real aim of those pushing for an “open Internet.”

“The idea that somehow these companies have these neutral pipes is not a view I share,” noted Net Neutrality champion, Senator Ron Wyden. In his estimation, “they blew it on the 2016 election.” Though he said this just before the Cambridge Analytica controversy broke open, his point is that the law allows the Platforms (among others) to legally block “objectionable” content, yet they haven’t done enough to do so.

Senator Ron Wyden, speaking at a pro-Net Neutrality rally at the FCC, December 2017.

So, “censor your non-neutral pipes, or legislation is coming” (I paraphrase).

“Unethical data-mining.” “Fake news.” “Russian collusion.” “Propaganda.” Apparently, all of this content trafficking over the Platforms “hijacked democracy” in the last election. And that speech must be controlled “to protect America.”

Of course, all this silliness would have been moot if Hillary had won; we would never have heard about this. Still, we’re seeing the true reach of the concept of Net Neutrality / an “Open Internet,” with policymakers like Wyden (and his party) trying to graft the anti-ISP concept onto the once sacrosanct edge / Silicon Valley to shield Americans from “untoward speech.”

Reason demands that their First Amendment rights must be limited to the benefit of the Collective, you know.

Goodness, what nonsense.

I wish Facebook hadn’t worked to help write Net Neutrality into law under Obama.  However, I don’t wish that it be applied to them to promote “better” speech for our self-governance. This seems to me to be the exact opposite of “open.” And, quite frankly, if “open Internet-ers” like Wyden prevail, America will be worse off for it.  There are other ways to help the market disseminate more credible information for public consumption.

Regardless, let me decide what the good stuff is, thank you.  That’s my job, not Uncle Sam’s (or Ron Wyden’s party), to do.

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