Congress is just using 'Russian bots' as a reason to finally regulate social media

Democrats and Republicans don't agree on much, but lawmakers on both sides of the aisle have an interest in controlling social media. On September 5, Attorney General Jeff Session announced plans to meet with state attorneys general to discuss possible regulation of social media over concerns that platforms are stifling conservative speech. On September 13, Senator Mark Warner, the Senate Intelligence Committee's top Democrat, remarked on this heavy bipartisan support for future regulations at a conference hosted by The Atlantic on digital privacy. "Depending on how we framed it, I think we'd have an overwhelming majority," Warner said, noting that he thinks it's likely citizens no longer desire unconstrained liberty in their internet usage. "I think there is a high chance that people realize that the days of the wild, wild west are over—that there needs to be some guardrails."

RELATED: Daily Wire's Jeremy Boreing: Social media platforms want publisher's rights, but not the liabilities

Every day, Congress is nearing implementation of these online guardrails. On September 5, Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg and Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey testified before the Senate Intelligence Committee, explaining how foreign intelligence agencies were able to use their social media platforms to spread disinformation throughout the 2016 election. Indeed, the Russian Internet Research Agency (IRA), a Kremlin-linked company specializing in online operations to promote Russian interests, created thousands of political ads and fake pages intended to sow division. Dorsey even described the Russian social media campaign as one comprised of "abuse, harassment, troll armies, propaganda through bots and human coordination, disinformation campaigns and divisive filter bubbles."

All these concerns may have merit, but opening the door for government regulation of social media is a cure far worse than the disease. The federal government, which operates a massive surveillance program through the National Security Agency, isn't exactly the best gatekeeper of user privacy and data. Neither is government the best choice to determine what constitutes "fake news" considering how one of the jobs of the press is to hold government accountable. Allowing the government to decide what is acceptable content is a surefire path to harsher censorship than Jack Dorsey or Mark Zuckerberg could dream of.

Facebook should take steps to prevent fraudulent accounts from spreading disinformation, but it's a task for them, not Congress.

But, in relation to the actual extent of the Russian disinformation campaign, Congress' steps toward interference in social media seem absurd. Facebook revealed in last year's November hearing that the Russian Internet Research Agency spent only $46,000 on pre-election Facebook ads. In terms of funding, that's remarkably minimal. Compared to the $81 million spent by the Trump and Clinton campaigns, that sum likely had little influence in voter decision-making. What the Russians did was fraudulent, but it's important to understand the scale of the Russian operation before making the case that Congress should intervene.

It's true that millions of Americans saw the Russian ads and clicked "like" on fake profile pages created by the IRA, but that illicit content still made up a miniscule fraction of what social media users saw on a daily basis. A Facebook report published on April 27, 2017, stated that the reach of known operations during the 2016 election was less than one-tenth of a percent of the total reach of civic content. Facebook should take steps to prevent fraudulent accounts from spreading disinformation, but it's a task for them, not Congress. Even if Facebook could remove all Russian propaganda from their site, users are still exposed to content created by their friends. Ultimately, ordinary Americans are just as capable of creating and sharing fake news or divisive political memes as Russian intelligence agents.

Before handing the reins over to lawmakers, social media users should make an effort to protect their own data and decide what content they want to see. And it can be done, but, unfortunately, a recent Pew Research poll found that most Facebook users are unaware of how their newsfeed works. Of the 4,594 surveyed U.S. adults, 53 percent said they didn't understand why certain posts appeared on their feed while others didn't. Yet, this isn't Congress's problem to fix.

People have means of controlling for themselves what they read on social media. Facebook allows its users the ability to prioritize the content they want to see and hide the posts they'd rather ignore. Users can even temporarily unfollow a friend if they find their long-winded political rants annoying. Despite having these tools, only 14 percent of those Pew surveyed said they had a lot of control over their Facebook experience. Yet, a majority of users—63 percent— said they haven't once tried to influence the content they see. Aaron Smith, associate director of research at Pew Research Center, described this as a major contributing factor in fake news consumption: "Whether or not someone has made an effort to influence the content of their own news feed is often linked with their sense that users have control over the content that appears there."

People ought to take responsibility for their own news consumption.

Concern over social media is fueled, in part, by a lack of understanding of how these networks actually work. And Congress, ever-anxious to put regulations where they shouldn't be, is generating needless panic to exacerbate the problem. But the truth remains that social media users have, in their own hands, the tools for curating their experience online. A user can fact-check and unfollow fake news—whether from a Russian bot or a friend at work. But it should be up to the user to determine the validity of the content they see, not some bureaucrat in Washington. People ought to take responsibility for their own news consumption. No one else is qualified enough for the job.

Lindsay Marchello is a Young Voices Contributor and an Associate Editor with the Carolina Journal. Follow her on Twitter.@LynnMarch007.

Anyone paying attention can see that President Biden is in dire straights come 2024, regardless of who his opponent may be. His administration has been workshopping several ideas to try and craft just the right message. One that will cut through all the noise (failures) and put him on a more solid footing should he go head-to-head in a rematch with the former President.

Biden called in the big guns and he wasn't afraid to call in a few favors either. He drew on his stint as VP and called Anita Dunn out of the bullpen and tapped the Center for American Progress Action Fund to try and help pull this one out. After an exhaustive six-month-long study into how President Trump was able to summon the magic of MAGA — they finally feel they have the winning message.

Dunn has gotten sloppy, however, since her days in the Obama administration. We obtained her contemporaneous notes and emails showing how they coined the term "ultra-MAGA," trying to get a little "extra pop" to his rhetoric. The leaked emails also show the evolution of the messaging over that same six-month period.


[The preceding Memo was a parody written by MRA writers Josh Jennings and Jon Boldt – not the Biden administration.]

Almost every week, new incriminating evidence is mined from Hunter’s wild laptop. And the proof is mounting that President Joe Biden is lying about his knowledge of his family’s crooked deal-making. Everyone knows Hunter Biden is a seriously degenerate guy. Anyone who has handled his infamous laptop needs a tetanus shot.

The salacious stuff on the laptop is sad and pathetic for sure, but that stuff is NOT what is most relevant to the United States. Glenn Beck exposes how the laptop is REALLY about Joe Biden, his abuse of power as vice president, and his ongoing denials now as president.

Now that the 2020 election has passed and their man is in office, the mainstream media have suddenly decided to admit Hunter’s laptop is not Russian disinformation after all. No one has done more research into the Biden family corruption than journalist and best-selling author Peter Schweizer. He has researched the depths of Hunter’s laptop and found more than racy photos. “These aren’t HUNTER’S business deals,” Peter says, “they benefit the WHOLE family.” And he has the emails to prove it.

But the mainstream media still insist President Biden is as pure as his thinning white hair in all of this. As Glenn reveals tonight, he is not. But will anyone in the Biden family see jail time? Americans are fed up with two sets of rules – one for regular citizens and one for the ruling elites.

Watch the full episode of "Glenn TV" below:

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Intelligent people know that wokerness plagues society and must be ridiculed and eradicated from conversations. But what happens when people lose their jobs for calling out the absurdity of woke ideology? What happens when corporations and media sources weaponize wokeness?

Here are five videos that will help us better understand a few of the many issues that wokeness inflicts on society and how we can stand against it.

Bye bye, Target. You crossed the line!

In this clip, BlazeTV host Allie Stuckey of "Relatable" explains how Target recently announced the sale of chest binders and "packing underwear" for women. She expresses how children can be negatively impacted by the sale of confusing clothing items for people suffering from gender dysphoria and the importance of loving the body God gave us.

Today, Allie notices that Target's stock experienced a 35-year record drop. Apparel was named as one of the two underperforming departments. Was pushback from critics of gender-affirming apparel the cause? It is hard to tell, but Allie encourages her audience to continue speaking out when corporations cross the line by making harmful products available for sale to the public.

Listen to the podcast here.

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Wokeness can get you fired

In this clip, Stu Burguiere covers a story about a man who challenged Black Lives Matter using nothing but data and was fired.

Here's the story: "I had been at Thomson Reuters for over six years—most recently, leading a team of data scientists applying new machine learning and artificial intelligence algorithms to our legal, tax and news data. We advised any number of divisions inside the company, including Westlaw, an online legal research service used by most every law firm in the country, and the newsroom, which reaches an audience of one billion every day around the globe. I briefed the Chief Technology Officer regularly. My total annual compensation package exceeded $350,000." Read more

"We live in the era of woke religion," says Stu.

Listen to the podcast here.

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Coca-Cola circumvents Constitution with TERRIFYING mandates on diversity

Glenn Beck loves Coca-Cola. So much so, in fact, that he refuses to drink Pepsi if Coke isn't available. But ... he says the time has come for him to give up his favorite soda. Why? Because Coca-Cola just announced some terrifying new company policies on diversity and equity. It sent out notices to all partnered law firms, demanding a required percentage of diverse attorneys on any legal team working for the corporation. The notice says all legal teams also must report these numbers quarterly and they will lose Coca-Cola's business if they do not comply.

"Equity is not the same thing as equality," Glenn said, adding that equality means we all have an equal chance, while equality means we all have the same outcome.

Glenn explains how mandates like this could affect everybody — even the guy working on the factory line or the truck driver delivering the drinks. Glenn also explains how Coke's new move is nothing less than a circumvention of the Constitution, and he predicts more companies (especially those in support of the Great Reset) will follow with similar policies, too.

Listen to the podcast here.

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Coca-Cola takes a 'pause' on woke initiatives after after pressure from the Right

Glenn followed up on a story about Coca-Cola becoming the poster child for how a corporation could shove leftist ideologies onto its consumers. The company suspended advertising on Facebook in a push to censor former President Donald Trump, published a manifesto about racial equity, and demanded all legal teams working for Coke meet certain diversity quotas.

But, after Trump, Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas), Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.), and many other conservative voices called for a boycott of the company's products, Coca-Cola appeared to shift directions.

Read more on this story here.

Listen to the podcast here.

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Calvin Klein's gender blender ruins sex and Mothers' Day

Chad Prather reflected back to the Great Depression era of enticing photographic entertainment, otherwise known as the callow and deprived years of his youth, when a Calvin Klein pictorial of old would have represented something exciting, something to, say, think about at the end of the day. Had he run across this present weird concept at that age, he would have either been disgusted on sight … or possibly really disgusted when his dumb a** put two and two together the next day. Anyway, his point is: Has the whole world gone crazy? Do we really need this? At this inclusive embracing point in our recent history, what in the world makes Calvin Klein feel the need to be the standard-bearer for a lifestyle screamed largely into existence by a very vocal minority?

Listen to the podcast here.

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Former Disney artist SPEAKS OUT: ‘It’s time to do something’

A former Disney artist, who wishes to remain anonymous, joins Glenn to describe WHY he recently took action against his former employer: ‘I'm tired of watching my country go down the drain. And it's time to do something.’ Today’s woke Disney is not what Walt once imagined, he says, and his recent video release — "It’s A Woke World After All" — exposes Disney’s large stray from its roots ...

Listen to the podcast here.

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Rolling Stone magazine on Sunday published an article that argued in no uncertain terms that the suspect who grotesquely took the lives of ten people in Buffalo, New York, last weekend was a "mainstream Republican."

Like so many in the corporate media, the article's author Talia Lavin — who in 2018 resigned from the New Yorker after falsely accusing a combat-wounded veteran and ICE agent of having a Nazi tattoo — has painted the Buffalo killer as a right-wing, white supremacist, Tucker Carlson-worshipping conservative who is "gripped by a racist delusion."

On the radio program Tuesday, Glenn Beck revealed what the killer actually wrote in his alleged "manifesto," which proves he was far from a freedom-loving constitutionalist, and explained why blatantly ignoring his words will only make the problem worse.

"The corporate media has, from the very get-go, tried to associate [the killer] with the Republicans, to say that he's a conservative, to say that he got all of his training from Tucker Carlson," Glenn began. "But you know it's weird, in the 180-page document authored by the shooter, he doesn't mention Tucker Carlson — not even once. Not at all. There is one mention of Fox News, and it's an infographic showing the top Fox News host, such as Maria Bartiromo and Greg Gutfeld, as being Jewish. He also says Rupert Murdoch is a Christian Zionist who may have Jewish ancestry though it's never been publicly admitted," he continued.

"Oh, another thing. Ben Shapiro is mentioned multiple times, including as an example as the 'rat of the Jewish people.' So gosh, that doesn't sound conservative to me, doesn't sound Republican, doesn't sound like he's learned anything from anybody that is on the right. Moreover, he has described himself as an ethno-nationalist and eco-fascist national socialist. He loathes libertarianism and conservatism in particular."

Watch the video clip below to hear more of the criminal's own words, which prove he was no right-winger and certainly NOT a "mainstream Republican."

Can't watch? Download the podcast here or listen to the episode highlights below:

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