Cynical Politicians Turn #FakeNews Into a Rallying Cry for Censorship: New at Reason

Forget petty Russian meddling in American elections; the greater threat is government messing with our freedom.

J.D. Tuccille writes:

Who knew the republic was so vulnerable that our elections could be monkeywrenched by Russian dirty-tricksters spending their office coffee budget on a motley collection of social media ads that would make the authors of Nigerian prince scam emails wince at their clumsiness?

Or, more likely, cynical politicians are making much ado about Putin and company's low-rent effort to make themselves look relevant in order to justify government interference in political speech. Just consider Sen. Dianne Feinstein's (D-Calif.) threat to Facebook, Google, and Twitter during Senate hearings over the clumsy Russky meddling: "You created these platforms, and now they're being misused. And you have to be the ones who do something about it—or we will."

Feinstein thinks government should exercise more control over speech? Such a shocker—unless you saw her try to smother encryption in 2016, or heard her insist in 2015 that edgy material like The Anarchist Cookbook "should be removed from the internet" or her similar effort to ban bomb-making instructions in 1997. And then there was her scheme to narrowly define "journalists" to limit legal protections for people reporting news events, and her vote for the COICA bill that would seize domain names from websites accused of piracy…

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