It is tempting to label those calling for restrictions on "fake news" sites as halfwits[1], but this would be misguided. These people are, at best, useful idiots[2], and, at worst, malevolent actors. Restricting the twin freedoms of Speech and of the Press is almost invariably one of the first orders of business for authoritarian regimes[3].

In the case of Google and Facebook, the latter of the two assessments is almost certainly the more correct. Other actors[4] fall somewhere along the spectrum between the two points. In any case, their ends are dangerous and should be vehemently opposed.

Either representative governance is a good idea and the people can be entrusted to acquire their own information and to make their own decisions or representative governance is a bad idea and should be abolished. The constant creep of half-measures from the Left, slowly eroding the foundations of the Republic (and of representative governance the world over) is as disingenuous as it is dangerous. Anyone who believes the current push will end with "fake news" sites is terribly mistaken.

  1. n.b., there is a world of difference between ad hominem used as rhetorical device and the fallacious use of ad hominem in place of warrant(s). ↩︎

  2. Meant in every bit as derogatory a fashion as was the case of Soviet sympathizers in the West. ↩︎

  3. Once dissent has been silenced, these regimes typically move quickly from authoritarian to totalitarian. ↩︎

  4. e.g., Angela Merkel, who may be fighting to save her chancellorship (and her party) or may genuinely hold the misguided belief that rampant censorship will somehow improve Society. ↩︎