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

Thursday, October 19, 2017
By Paul Martin

by Jonathan Turley via JonathanTurley.org,
ZeroHedge.com
Oct 19, 2017

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 Rest…HERE

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