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As I See It

Wisconsin politician seeks to protect online hate speech



The rules of social media outlets are quite clear. Companies which operate them have the right to restrict or ban users, for just about any reason. But one Wisconsin state Senator is crying foul, arguing that he is being silenced for his conservative views. That is laughable. Senator Julian Bradley, formerly of La Crosse, who now represents part of southeast Wisconsin, is introducing legislation that calls for fines, up to a quarter million dollars, for social media companies which ban elected officials from using them. This is in the wake of the ban on former President Donald Trump, whose rhetoric prior to the attack on the U.S. Capitol got him banned from Facebook, Twitter, Twitch and YouTube. Bradley claims they shouldn’t be able to do that. But Facebook and others are private companies, free to set their own rules. These are not utilities regulated by the government. Users must agree to their terms of service when they sign up. That is when they give up their rights to determine how their content will be treated. Lots of people, not just politicians, have been banned for hateful or offensive speech. That is not censorship. That is just enforcing the rules they have established. If people, especially politicians, can’t follow those rules, then they rightly find themselves banned from that platform.

Scott Robert Shaw serves as WIZM Program Director and News Director, and delivers the morning news on WKTY, Z-93 and 95.7 The Rock. Scott has been at Mid-West Family La Crosse since 1989, and authors Wisconsin's only daily radio editorial, "As I See It" heard on WIZM each weekday morning and afternoon.

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