March 21, 2022

465: Social Media Censorship Laws Will Backfire! (with Steve DelBianco from NetChoice)

465: Social Media Censorship Laws Will Backfire! (with Steve DelBianco from NetChoice)

How do we protect free speech and keep government out of private businesses’ decisions?


Joining the program today is Steve DelBianco (President and CEO for NetChoice), where we discuss some of the common misconceptions regarding "Big Tech Censorship", plus how repealing Section 230 is nothing more than a red herring when it comes to policy.

 

NetChoice is leading lawsuits in Texas and Florida -- which introduced legislation to prevent social media companies from monitoring content on their platforms -- to block these bills to protect free speech and keep government out of private businesses’ decisions.

  

  • Legislation like this empowers state governments to police and control speech online, violating the First Amendment rights of online businesses. These bills trample the First Amendment by allowing the government to force private businesses to host speech they’d otherwise remove or restrict. Internet platforms have a First Amendment protection to curate content and decide whether to host specific kinds of speech. 
  • NPR-ization of the Internet: Proponents of these laws claim they will protect free expression and free enterprise when they actually move us closer to state-run media and state-run internetThis is exactly why our Founders created the First Amendment—to protect us from the government telling us what we can and cannot say.
  • Unintended Consequences: The law would prohibit social media companies from moderating just about any content — as the court noted. That means social media platforms would be compelled to host hate speech, violent content, X-rated content, etc. With so much inappropriate content and spam, platforms would lose their value to users, especially given that the law prohibits them from curating (organizing) content in certain ways.
  • In addition to being unconstitutional, these bills are short-sighted: laws like this may be appealing to those frustrated by some social media companies blocking some views and content, but they certainly backfire.
  • Slippery Slope: The Constitution prohibits federal and state governments, not private actors, from restricting Americans’ right to free expression. If the government can force private internet platforms to host certain speech, it’s a short stop before that’s applied to Christian bakers who don’t want to bake custom cakes for same-sex marriages or pro-BLM bakers who don’t want to bake custom cookies for the police union’s holiday party.
  • Private businesses can’t become a vessel for the government’s preferred messaging or else we risk the First Amendment’s entire purpose: to protect private Americans’ and private businesses’ rights to think freely, speak freely, associate freely, and align their actions with their beliefs as they see fit. Internet platforms have a First Amendment right to curate content and decide whether to host specific kinds of speech. 
  •  Ripple Effects: These unconstitutional laws threaten all our First Amendment freedoms. If we accept the basic premise that a majority can enact a law that infringes the rights of the minority (or alternatively, if a minority can infringe the rights of the majority), we’re in deep trouble. Bottomline: Once you accept gov’t compelled speech in the social media context, it’ll just be a matter of time before there’s public pressure (whether from the majority or minority) to force another industry to do the same in another context. For example, Democrats could force oil and gas companies to disclose “facts” about climate change.

 

NetChoice.org has addition information on the importance of protecting “Content Moderation” freedom: https://netchoice.org/category/content-moderation/

 

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Transcript

Brian Nichols  
faced with an uncertain future many business owners and technology professionals don't have time needed to invest in their business technology strategies and as a result are afraid of their technology getting outdated and putting their company and customers information at risk. The digital future is already here. But with all different choices in the marketplace, it's difficult to know which one will be the best fit for you and your strategic vision. Imagine having the peace of mind that your business is backed by the right technology investments that are tailored for your specific needs. Hi, I'm Brian Nichols and I've helped countless business owners and technology professionals just like you helping you make informed decisions about what technologies are best to invest in for your business voice bandwidth, cybersecurity, business continuity, juggling all the aspects of business technology is messy. Let me help at the Brian Nichols show.com forward slash help and sign up for a free one on one consultation with yours truly to dig deep into where you see your company headed and how we can align your business technology towards those goals. Again, that's the Brian Nichols show.com forward slash ELP. To get your simplified business technology started today, instead of focusing on winning arguments, we're teaching the basic fundamentals of sales and marketing and how we can use them to win in the world of politics, teaching you how to meet people where they're at on the issues they care about. Welcome to The Brian Nichols Show. Well, hey there, folks, Brian Nichols, here on The Brian Nichols Show. And thank you for joining us on of course, another fun filled episode. I am as always your humble host. And today, we're gonna be talking about right now it's been top of mind conversation for a lot of folks, am I going to get canceled? I'm going to get removed from the internet entirely. How about this? Let's just have the government regulate internet. Why not? Well, today, we're going to go ahead and talk about that. And today we are joined by Steve del bianco, he's joining us from net choice. Steve, welcome to The Brian Nichols Show. Hey, Brian, thank

Steve DelBianco   
you glad to be here.

Brian Nichols  
Absolutely. Steve, thank you for joining the program. And candidly, thank you for all you're doing out there fighting for free speech, specifically, in this greater tech space as the industry I find myself as my day job living in I know that was where you built up your expertise and your years of experience. And now you're out there fighting the good fight, go to Capitol Hill, and you're standing up there with lawmakers telling them why they shouldn't have all these different laws and regulations policing, free speech and trying to stifle our means of communication. But before we get there, Steve, let's do a quick introduction to The Brian Nichols Show audience, who are you? What got you into this world of specifically free speech in the tech space?

Steve DelBianco   
Yeah, Brian, I must have rocks in my head, I should have stayed in the business that you're in. You know, for 30 years, I ran my own tech consulting firm. When I sold the firm in the late 90s. It was just about the time the government decided that Microsoft needed to be broken up into little parts and Windows needed to be into four separate versions. And I went down to the courthouse here in Washington, DC, and I couldn't believe what I heard, the government was going to redesign Microsoft Windows, because a handful of competitors had convinced some attorneys general and a and a federal Department of Justice, that that was going to solve all their problems, but create problems for the rest of us. So look, I I started net choice with a simple mission 20 years ago to try to keep the internet safe for free enterprise and free expression. You wouldn't believe how difficult that has become in the 20 years since because at some point, in the last several years, we sort of lost our way in this country and decided that populism was more important than principles. So while I would have thought that limited government and free markets was a principle that would be his hurdle, we have lost our way and populace of both parties have decided that they should blame tech, particularly the larger firms, which they love calling big tech blame big tech for problems that government can't seem to solve. So I find myself in the unenviable position of trying to make the internet safe for you know, Amazon, Facebook, Google, Twitter, all of the net choice members, for sure displayed at our website. It's net choice dot o RG. We're a trade association, and totally transparent about the principles we have and the members we represent.

Brian Nichols  
See, right now, when you're starting off, you're I think there's like one or two people in the audience who are like, he's defending Amazon, he's defending these big tech companies. Yeah, you want to why folks, because this is how we can have this conversation. And I think, and this is one thing, too, you know, you mentioned my day job. I'm in the greater telecommunications bandwidth solution sales. And one of the things I constantly hear is this misconception of what the the ISPs are, and what their their infrastructure actually is. Now, I think we're seeing a lot of these questions and concerns maybe being addressed with the advent of web 3.0. But until we get there, right, Steve, I mean, you do have all these different carriers out there from your tier ones to tier threes left to non LEC, and they are out there trying to provide in many cases, just a basic internet service for companies individuals. And yet we do see that there there is this concern, as a it's a misconception, in many cases that a lot of these companies are actively going out of their way to completely turn off individuals. Now, I will say, there are definitely examples where we can point to where people have been, essentially unperson, or they have not been able to host their servers in certain areas, whatever it may be. But with that being said, Is it important for us to maintain some type of anonymity from the fact of not having your, your, your free speech tied to the ability to exercise your ability to get online, and to be able to go onto those platforms agnostic of your political views, or what it is that you're out there saying that might be unpopular. I mean, not getting too political here. But the past two years have been a very controversial topic I'm sure we're all aware of. And it starts with a C and ends with 19. And we've all been having pro con positions on certain vaccines or ways of approaching that the lockdowns and such. So we saw right there, there was an importance for us to have a open an open platform and open dialogue. So maybe you can help us in the in the audience who are struggling, because I know there are some out there who are just you know, they're getting ready to throw their phones against the wall. So Steve, to those individuals who are looking at big tech as the bad guy, where do you think that they're getting things wrong? And how can we help maybe re assert and reframe the actual positions that big tech are taking?

Steve DelBianco   
Yeah, great questions. Brian. When you think about the last couple of years of COVID lockdowns, it was the tech industry who really came to America's rescue, let us stay connected for for families, get access to information and do research. And let us actually maintain our education through things like CEU classes. And when it comes to e commerce, whether you are a seller or a buyer, Amazon was a lifesaver. And over the past three years in big polling that was done by Pew, the most respected institution in America is the military. And just behind them, and number two is amazon.com. They rank higher than every other institution, church or government or any other kind of an organization in America, because Amazon gives us as consumers a phenomenal access to choice value, and convenience, with the option to try to pay a little extra to have it shipped the next day. And if you're running a business, particularly business, that selling goods, Amazon is a godsend with the ability to gather eyeballs all over the country all over the world. And if you put your goods within Amazon fulfillment center, they'll take care of all the shipping, they charge for the privilege, but they'll take care of the shipping on a next day basis. So the tech companies were immensely popular during COVID. And we thought perhaps I had dodged a bullet with the whole Trump scenario. But sure enough, 2020 elections, followed by the 2021 January 6 episode, restore this notion of partisanship, kicking all principals to the side, there became the notion of being angry and having somebody to blame. So half of the country, Brian, half the country blamed Facebook, Twitter and YouTube for allowing Donald Trump to be on their platforms. And the other half of the country was angry because they kicked them off of those platforms on January the six. And so here in Washington, the the dilemma about content moderation, practically cancels itself out. The Democrats are demanding that my members take down more content that they think is disinformation, about the elections, just information about health and safety, like COVID-19. And Republicans, on the other hand, want to penalize tech for taking down too much content that tech believes is inappropriate for our audiences. Because when you think about it, Brian, Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, even Amazon, they're a two sided market. They sit between the advertisers on one side and the audience on the other side. And their job is to keep two audiences happy. And as a salesman, you know how difficult it is to keep one audience happy. But in the middle, you have to please too. So the advertisers don't want to see their ads showing up to next vile content or controversial content. And they've often done boycotts against platforms. On the other hand, the audience does not want to see content that's perfectly legal in America, pornography and nudity are perfectly legal. They're protected under the First Amendment. So all of these kinds of hate speech, for instance, is completely legal in America, all kinds of harassment that happens online and Nazi some white supremacist speech is legal in America, but the platform's Facebook, Twitter and YouTube. They take it down because they promised their audiences They won't have to see that. And they promised their advertisers, the rats won't show up next to it. So here's how we're messed up or messed up, because each side wants exactly the opposite. And the businesses in the middle, well, they're trying to make a buck selling advertising and getting you and I free services.

Brian Nichols  
Yeah, well, and they've kind of set the stage to for where we're heading, which I think is great, you know, and this is one thing about technology that is forever constant, and that it's changing. So the fact that it is changing, and now changing so quickly, I do think we're gonna see a lot of the questions and the problems that we've identified almost become null and void, just with the technology getting to the point where it solves those problems by the very nature of what we'll be doing. But before we get there, one thing I have seen, and this is actually something that was put in the show notes here, so folks can see the show notes, click The Brian Nichols Show comm bring you right to today's episode, but one of the things was brought up with that is the NPR is ation of just across the board, not just the way we approach technology, but the way we engage in conversations. And I mean, it turns into almost like our version of the BBC, where you have one universal truth. And that's scary, because we're seeing this right now. Now, I'm not trying to, you know, ruffle too many feathers. But when you see what's happening over in Ukraine, even though Zielinski is supposed to be one of the good guys, now he's going out of his way to make sure there's only one type of information going out in terms of a state run news. That's a little creepy to me, and I think your average person in America, they're not. They're not at all aware of what that would truly look like, like NPR is the extent of that. But we've seen this creeping authoritarianism, authoritarianism approach to the internet to media to disseminating information. How do we fight back in the interim, Steve, while the technology is trying to catch up?

Steve DelBianco   
Yeah, Brian, you bring up a great point about web three Oh, because if in fact, we can allow users like you and I to have more control, where we could turn the dials on the content, we do see and don't want to see, that would absolve Facebook, Twitter and YouTube have the burden of having to figure that out for every American, because everybody's a little different. But we're not there yet. So in the interim, what happens is competition and choice, competition and choice, think about alternatives to Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube that have emerged over the past two years. Now, many of them were stimulated by what conservatives felt in terms of being censored on social media. So we saw the emergence of parler, Rumble, knee, we getter, all of these platforms exploded, to serve an audience that wanted to see a lot less content moderation. But don't get yourself every one of those platforms, decided to exercise their right to shut down, well, nudity, and pornography and certain forms of harassing hate speech, because they know their audience is going to go for that. So when you think about those alternatives, and then you think about Donald Trump with the ultimate alternative, because competition is the short term filler until we get to a long term of individualized control of content moderation, the web three Oh, that you spoke up. So competition in the interim includes Donald Trump's new social media platform called Truth social. So instead of hosting it on Amazon Web Services are hosting some infrastructure provider that might shut it down. They've hosted it at a company called right Forge, a privately held infrastructure provider with DDoS and cache based edge caching. So this is a firm that has built an entire stack that is immune from pressure from woek corporate interests, or advertisers who want to pull the plug, right in fact, right Forge is gearing up for 50 to 75 million subscribers on Trump's truth, social. And so what do you know if you go to Devin Nunez who's the new CEO Trump's truth social, he gave an interview where he talked about how carefully they're going to moderate the space. They're going to restrict anything that isn't family friendly. So they have pledged on truth social to take down anyone that criticizes Donald Trump or members of his family, because they want that to be a space where Trump supporters can really feel at home. Look, that's their right, Brian, but it is showing you the evidence that we can have competition, different social media platforms, different podcasts, like yours versus say NPR might have a different view of what they want to allow on their platform.

Brian Nichols  
Yeah, I left I might have a little different view than NPR. Also, I hope I'm more lively than NPR because I know whenever I would hear NPR, you know, you get into the Uber and NPR is playing. You fall asleep in five minutes on your way to your destination. So yeah, I'm hoping that I'm at least a little bit more interesting, but to a question that I'm sure raised a lot of people are as they're listening, talk about the last answer there. One thing that we've heard in response to the almost the sectioning off, if you will, of different ways of thinking Is is this dangerous? Is this a good future where we're not having conversations with each other, but rather to our little bubbles now, my commentary, I think that it's, it's better because it's giving us a chance to actually flesh out our ideas and find people we would more likely associate with. And I think the natural consequence of us finding each other in our online spaces is finding ourselves in real life. So a real life example, I just moved from Philadelphia, PA out to New Castle, Indiana. And main reason being my podcast group is out here. People that are like minded, I've met online, are out here and being able to now surround myself with people who have not only shared values and interests, but shared goals. And I think that right there is huge in terms of actually being happier living a happier life and not feeling that you're in constant fighting with your neighbor who just disagrees with you politically. But there is a push, right, Steve, to go back to well, we need to have this kumbaya work together one voice approach to not just the conversation, but in this case, controlling where we have that conversation. So what would be your response, I guess, in terms of the concern that we're gonna be setting ourselves off into a little hive mind groups.

Steve DelBianco   
Yeah, that happens both online and the real world, just like you suggested that people are self selecting ourselves into living in areas where the predominant political views are shared by us. And it's happening more and more as people in America have moved around. But in the online space, you have multiple choices. So think about this, when you move to Newcastle, Indiana, you left Philadelphia, and you didn't move to someplace else, you move to one place, because you can only live in one place. But those who decided to give a try to Trump's social media platform, are wise to not throw away their Facebook page, their Twitter subscription and their YouTube channels. Because you can you can partake of the online media, from multiple places at the same time, you don't have to choose you can choose them all you can experiment with siloed places like the Trump's truth social, where you're know, you're going to pretty much see one point of view without any significant disagreement, you might decide that you get, you get upset with the inability to argue both sides of an issue. And maybe you return to something like Twitter, Facebook, or YouTube to get a broader spectrum of news. So on the online space, you have choices, and you can coexist in multiple online spaces. But in the physical world, that's a big choice to make a big deal for you to up and move. And it's not trivial for you to move again. Do I think it's a good thing? No, I believe we should interact with those who think differently than we do. But how do we do so in a way that's truly a civil conversation, maybe one that's based on a shared understanding of facts, and maybe even principles principles, like limited government and free enterprise, those that sort of united all Americans for better than 250 years?

Brian Nichols  
Well, and one thing I've been consistent on is we got to stop also focusing on winning arguments and actually focus on winning converts, right, I mean, intro the program, instead of winning arguments, we're focusing on changing hearts and minds. And I think that also starts with what we're doing, we have to be also the change we wish to see if we're going in and we're just trying to have a chance to argue with the other side, versus reaching new people and actually changing their minds based on the fact that there may be open for alternatives or looking for a different way of doing things. And in right now, I think, all the times and I would say modern history, this, if any, is a perfect time to actually start getting people to wake up to looking at different ways of doing things. They just spent the past two years saying, Wait, I can't go to work, because I'm not essential what. And that really shook a lot of people. And thank goodness it did. And now we're seeing parents who are standing up saying my kids been learning what in school, and now they're fighting back. And we have business owners who are standing up saying, you can't just shut me down arbitrarily for months at a time. So thank God, we have an opportunity, right to make some of these changes.

Steve DelBianco   
And maybe we ought to take the opportunity to try to be a little more fact based. I mean, there's quite a controversy in Florida right now, our legislation to seven page bill that restricts what can be taught in terms of sexual orientation to kindergarteners first, second and third graders. And if you actually read the Bill O'Brien, right. Not a lot there to be concerned with. In fact, anyone who reads it, who even doesn't like the bill says we don't need this legislation because nobody teaches sexual orientation in kindergarten through third grade anyway. Well, if that's the case, what's wrong with the law? But that isn't what the media is saying. If we tune in to NPR or left leaning media, they're going to characterize it as the don't say, gay bill as if it's really punishing and cruel to our fellow citizens who may have a different lifestyle or sexual orientation. This is only about what is appropriate for children. Why can't we share a set of facts about what is actually in the legislation and then use that to determine whether we I think the legislation is appropriate or not. So Brian, let me let me turn back to something that was written 230 years ago, the First Amendment to the US Constitution. So we shouldn't have an argument about this. Just read the words, the word say, Congress shall make no law to impair the freedom of religion, freedom of assembly and the freedom of speech. So Congress shall make no law that was extended to the states. So when people say they have a First Amendment right, they sort of missed the boat on that it was part of the Bill of Rights. But the First Amendment prohibits the government from telling Brian Nichols, who he can have on his show, and who he cannot have on his show, and what he must say, it prohibits the government, state or federal, from telling Twitter, Facebook or YouTube, what speech they're allowing on their platforms and what speech they decide to kick off. So the First Amendment protects all of us in industry, from the government. It is not something that enables us to let the government force social media or force your podcast to host content, you don't feel like carrying, I don't know, how did we get so upside down in this country over what the First Amendment actually says?

Brian Nichols  
Yeah, well, it goes back to a conversation I had with one of our friends here. Oh, my gosh, I can't remember it was episode 200 or so words matter and Definitions of Words matter. And we've seen two, we've gotten to a point where we almost have two different societies having two different conversations, they're talking about the same thing. But it's like Tower of Babel, they're not even talking past each other, they're not even talking to each other speaking a different language. So thankfully, we know we have an opportunity right now to really make a change, get people to maybe reframe back to, again, looking at more of those common grounds, looking at the principles, looking more at the facts, then hopefully finding some of those commonalities that we used to share. And I mean, thankfully, we're having organizations like net choice who is going out and actually fighting the good fight and trying to keep those platforms open. Now, you're currently leading a lawsuit in which it is shocking to me that it's Texas, and Florida, two states that you would consider mostly to be pro Liberty states are having right now bills that are actively going out of their way to curtail social media companies from disseminating what is and is not on their platforms. And you guys are fighting the good fight, trying to make sure we're keeping it not only the Internet free and open, but keeping these platforms for free and open. But I must ask you in this, we haven't even said the name of the article or the bill yet. The section 230, right. And that's been one of the biggest bugaboos I've seen brought up. So what can we do in terms of addressing the there are inherent flaws in Section 230? Where you can see it sometimes platforms will take advantage of it and say, well, we're not going to curtail certain content, but we will other content. How can we go now is that not the case?

Steve DelBianco   
That has nothing to do with 230

Brian Nichols  
Shame, shame on the media and the internet for getting me to think that's the case.

Steve DelBianco   
Section 230 was written 26 years ago, because a judge in New York took a look at a lawsuit against prodigy for defamation because a bunch of bullet important users on prodigy. were complaining about how they were getting ripped off by Jordan Bell forts brokerage house. You may have heard of Jordan Belfort Did you see the Wolf of Wall Street was a true story. And he sued prodigy because of comments of investors who'd been ripped off, he sued them for defamation. A judge said prodigy was responsible for the things that its users had typed on the Prodigy bulletin board. Well, that's what gave us section 230. That law was written as a direct result of that federal ruling that court ruling and all the 230 says is that bright that any platform any online platform is not responsible for the words that a user puts onto the platform. If the platform adds to it puts a fact check flag or any ads any content, well, then they're responsible. But the person you sue for defamation is the person who said the words, not the platform that carried them. So section 230 of the lawsuit abuse preventer, the clarifies who's responsible for the words they say, if you want to do a thought experiment pretended doesn't exist. If 230 were not here, then lawsuits would be brought against Brian Nichols, right things that I'll say right now, lawsuits would be brought against Facebook, Twitter and YouTube for things that independent user types in Well, under the threat of lawsuits, what are those platforms going to do? They're not going to allow you to type something and have it show up or to set up a photo and have it displayed or a video and have it played. They're going to have to examine everything carefully to see whether they believe they're going to get sued for it. So companies can afford it but a little company doesn't have a chance. Yelp is going to get sued for every time a hotel gets a bad review or a restaurant so they're not going to host reviews anymore. lawsuits are debilitating li expensive and they are crushing for small firms. So throw To 30 away at your peril, because small businesses in America that allow users to express our news and views will be gone.

Brian Nichols  
And one quick follow up because you threw in the fact check that who have we all heard that over the past two years fact check fact check, trust the experts. And we've seen the labels put on a lot of posts. So in that specific example, how would that work?

Steve DelBianco   
To 30 doesn't eliminate the lawsuit over content that was added by Twitter and Facebook and YouTube, if they add anything on top of the content of this podcast, if they put a fact check over Brian Nichols podcasts, well, then they've added that content and Twitter, Facebook and YouTube could be sued in 230 wouldn't play a role at all. But when 230 is kicked to the side, you still have to go to court and prove that it was defamation that it was knowingly false, you still have to go to court and try to figure out whether the terms of service of that platform enabled them to kick you off, because the terms of service are meant to secure the community to match the values of the that they want to cultivate for their advertisers in their audience. That is why Facebook, Twitter and YouTube do a lot of work to moderate the content. And the First Amendment protects their ability to do that. It doesn't protect you and I to go on there and say what we want, it protects their ability to decide what they're going to have on their platforms, and 230 is a sideshow. It has to do with lawsuit abuse. And it is not part of the story. The two laws in Texas and Florida that we sued over were laws that were enacted in a red state, when the red state kind of lost its mind on populism and decided it needed to play for the Trump supporters to pass a law that it knew it knew from the beginning, I testified in both places that the First Amendment made both of those laws completely unconstitutional. And it didn't take a weekend for judges in federal court. In both cases, to set aside those laws as a violation of the First Amendment. It had nothing to do with section 230.

Brian Nichols  
See, that's why we have experts like you on the show who are actual experts about this stuff versus just trusting experts that we're told to trust, we're actually going to ask like real experts. So thank you for that expert analysis there, Steve. And then A is my show. So I can go a little bit longer than we usually do. So one final thing, I think it is important to address this as we go towards the into the conversation is that the slippery slope argument is real. Now, I have had one of my biggest pet peeves all the way back to my college years, I took a public speaking class and I took political science. And we were always advised to avoid the logical fallacies. And one of those logical fallacies was always the slippery slope argument. And I I would get into the best argument debates, whatever you want to call my professors. And I'd say but the problem with that, is that with slippery slope arguments in law, that's literally how law is created. You look at what was the past decision, starry decisis let the ruling stand. And that's how you would determine is this law constitutional? And should we move forward with it? So you're quite literally building new law upon old law. So by its nature, it is a slippery slope problem. So I would love if you could Steve address, what is the actual slippery slope problem that we see here? If we go more towards as you've mentioned, this populist approach towards controlling the internet trying to keep the icky speech off the internet or to try to keep all the speech on the internet by force? What's this slippery slope argument? And how could that impact our ability to communicate freely here in America today?

Steve DelBianco   
Excellent point, the First Amendment is a little more of a foundational document that doesn't necessarily evolve very much over the 230 years. So the First Amendment says that our government cannot get rid of achy speech or compelled speech on the internet. It can't do it online, in Canada and on television either. So because they're restricted, they had turned to the private actors who put up things like social media podcasts, Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube. And if the government can exert pressure on those particular conduits, well, then it might be able to steer speech away from or towards a vision that whatever government happens to be in power decides they want to see. So the slippery slope could become that some court decides that Facebook is so prevalent, that it needs to be treated like a common carrier that has no First Amendment protections, or the Twitter is so important that Twitter has to become like a net neutrality type infrastructure provider that isn't allowed to moderate any speech. Now, think about what happens is an advertiser likely to continue to support Twitter, Facebook and YouTube if their ads show up next to pornography, hate speech and harassing things that are protected by the First Amendment. I think you know the answer, Brian, they would not. So we will transform those social media platforms, from private businesses that try to curate content, we transfer them into another public square, where anybody can say anything they want Since the government can't stop them, so the slippery slope here would be declaring infrastructure providers or social media platforms of a certain scale, and declare them as being common carriers, or completely neutral platforms where they wouldn't be allowed to exercise any judgment on the content that shows up. That's the beginning of the end of the social media platforms we have, including the beginning of the end of Trump's truth, social, since he too would not be allowed to moderate insults and comments made about him and his family.

Brian Nichols  
Well, Steve, I don't know if anybody's listening to this, because I think we all remember we all died from net neutrality being passed that those issues back there, what, three, four years ago. So I don't know if anybody's left to hear what we have here to say but about this for those who did survive the net neutrality purge, and are not paying 1999 to use a subscription service for Twitter. What would be your final thoughts here for the episode in terms of trying to keep the internet and keeping our speech free?

Steve DelBianco   
Yeah, net neutrality is back, Brian. And it's back because it's going to attack, not just the infrastructure providers, but the the software driven services that we enjoy online. So let's let's try to remember what made this country what we are we have limited government. And we do support free markets. And those free markets means free from the government telling them what you have to say on your show, or what Facebook, Twitter and YouTube carry on their platforms, we need to guard those principles and push back on populist tendencies from both directions that cancel each other out at the federal level, but run amok in the States because the red states are enacting bills and laws that have to be challenged in court. And the blue states have their own laws in mind. Think about California, New York, Connecticut, they have laws that would force social media to take down more content than they take down today. Let's keep the government out of social media.

Brian Nichols  
Yeah, let's keep the government out of everything if we can. I mean, I prefer that I think most of my audience would prefer that as well. So I think we can all agree let's keep the government Yes, out of our media out of our ability to talk with each other out of our speech. So with that being said, Folks, if you enjoy today's episode, you want to learn more, not just about Steve, but also about net choice. Here's what you're going to do. Click the artwork in your podcast catcher, it'll bring you to today's episode over at Brian Nichols show.com, where you can find the entire transcript of the episode all of Steve's links plus direct links right here to net choice so you can learn more about how net choice is going out and fighting the good fight fighting our politicians there in DC who would do nothing more than make bring them joy than to curtail our speech, especially when it is online. Steve del bianco, thank you for joining us on today's episode of The Brian Nichols Show.

Steve DelBianco   
Great to be here, Brian. Thanks for all you do.

Unknown Speaker  
Thanks for listening to The Brian Nichols Show. Find more episodes at the Brian Nichols show.com

Brian Nichols  
If you enjoyed today's episode, don't forget to subscribe. Want to help us reach more people? Give the show a five star review and tell your friends to subscribe to find us the Brian Nichols show.com and download the show on Apple podcast, Spotify or wherever you listen to podcasts. Follow me on social media at V. Nichols liberty and consider donating to the show at the Brian Nichols show.com forward slash support. The Brian Nichols Show is supported by viewers like you. Thank you to our patrons Darryl Schmitz, Michael Lima, Michel Mankiewicz hodi John's Craig, the caster and the we're libertarians network

Eric Brakey  
this is renegade statesman Eric Breakey, host of Free America now a podcast for people ready to strike

Transcribed by https://otter.ai

Steve DelBianco Profile Photo

Steve DelBianco

President and CEO

Steve is an expert on Internet governance, online consumer protection, and Internet taxation. He’s provided expert testimony in 25 Congressional hearings and many more state legislative sessions. Steve is frequently quoted on technology issues in the media, including a segment on 60 Minutes exposing barriers to innovation in residential real estate. Steve debated online taxes on CNN Situation Room, CNBC Larry Kudlow, PBS Nightly Business Report, CBS This Morning, and Marketplace Radio.

Steve has spent about 3 decades fighting government’s efforts to curb progress. Steve has a passion for tech because it has proven time and time again, to makes our lives better. Think Uber, Expedia, AirBnb, PayPal and Amazon.

Steve founded Financial Dynamics, an IT consulting firm in the 90’s -- he grew the firm to over $20 million in revenues by 1997 (Steve continues to advise and invest in early-stage companies as a partner in venture capital funds.) But he was pulled into policy when saw how Anti-Trust and other regulations were being used to crush competition and protect the status quo. One great example is DOJ vs. National Association of Realtors (NAR), which tried to block competition like eRealty.com from empowering individuals to manage their own home-buying process. (this is similar to the way Expedia and Travelocity has eliminated travel agents).