Texas legislators: Stop governments making people join private social media to get critical news

Pratt on Texas - copyright Pratt on Texas all rights reservedEven German Chancellor Angela Merkel understands what Twitter is doing to censor speech is wrong calling their ban on Donald Trump “problematic.” Her spokesperson said that the right to express one’s opinion is of “elementary significance.”

Heck even the ACLU, the American Civil Liberties Union, that normally only cares about civil rights for Leftists, gets it and calls the moves of Facebook and Twitter a wielding of “unchecked power to remove people from platforms that have become indispensable for the speech of billions – especially when political realities make those decisions easier.”

For Texas there is something that legislators need do this session: Prohibit Texas public agencies and local government from using social media platforms as primary or initial means of communication with the public.

Legislators should require that use of any social media, no matter the political tilt of the platform’s owner, be only of secondary use.

I brought this up last session when the Texas Forest Service dropped updating its own website with critical wildfire information and began putting all on Twitter. That requires someone who wants to get lifesaving information on fires from his own government to use Twitter. This is wrong even if one has no problem with Twitter’s political actions.

Also consider that these firms often “throttle” information delivery for reasons other than subject matter such as server demand. That means that while a sender thinks the important message is being sent the opposite can be the case, often.

I also mentioned this in relation to local governments doing similar to the Forest Service as doing so effectively forces private citizens to join, and thereby enrich, these private companies in order to receive critical information.

Legislators should require that use of any social media, no matter the political tilt of the platform’s owner, be only of secondary use. Websites with RSS feeds cost taxpayers nothing more and yet provide a direct to you communication that doesn’t force you to join or support some social media service.

Speak Your Mind

*

© Pratt on Texas / Perstruo Texas, Inc.