Keep government away from social media and other commentary

Keep government away from social media and other commentary

Libertarian: Keep Gov’t Away From Social Media

Presidential hopeful Andrew Yang has a plan to “rein in the tech companies that he says wield unbridled influence over the American economy and society at large,” reports Billy Binion at Reason. Yang joins the “growing cacophony of Democrats and Republicans who wish to amend Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act” — “the landmark legislation” that “protects social media companies from facing certain liabilities for third-party content posted by users online.” He thinks “removing liabilities would somehow end only bad online content.” Yet social media companies are already trying to do that themselves, however imperfectly. Yang would also have companies work with the government “to ‘create algorithms that minimize the spread of mis/disinformation.’” Yet that brings with it a number of questions, starting with: “Who in government gets to make these decisions?”

2020 watch: New Dem Entries Help Trump

Former Massachusetts Gov. Deval Patrick’s entry into the 2020 race is good news for President Trump, argues Arnon Mishkin at FoxNews.com. “The more time Democrats spend attacking each other, the less time they have to attack the president.” Patrick can’t be written off, and neither can former Mayor Michael Bloomberg, who’ll likely announce his candidacy soon. While “the smart money says it’s too late” for Patrick to win the nomination, his “optimistic message” might allow him to beat the odds. Bloomberg, meanwhile, can “write a check to amply fund his campaign and mount a multistate effort.” Whatever happens, it’s the unpredictability of their candidacies that “makes politics so interesting.”

Tech beat: Why I Blew the Whistle on Google

“I didn’t decide to blow the whistle” on Google’s health care project, known internally as Nightingale, “glibly,” an anonymous writer at The Guardian explains — but “so much is at stake.” Under Nightingale, Ascension, the second-largest US health care provider, would transfer “full personal details including name and medical history” to Google, the Guardian reports, and that information would be accessible by Google staff. The whistleblower says he asked his bosses what Google planned to do with the data” but “no one seemed to know.” The remedy? “Transfers of health-care data to big tech companies” need to be transparent, and patients must have “the right to opt in or out.” They have a “right to know what’s happening to their personal health information at every step along the way.”

National desk: Idaho’s California Problem

In percentage terms, Idaho is now tied with Nevada as the fastest-growing state in the union, observes Troy Senik at City Journal, and a “disproportionate number” of its newcomers are coming from California. The “hordes” are bringing a “breakneck pace of change,” including home prices that have “increased by over 19 percent just since February 2018.” All of which has “fueled” local resentment. And it raises questions “that all similarly situated places must answer: What do newcomers owe longtime residents? And how should the former treat the latter?” Senik’s answer: “We’ll have to learn to live with one another” — and “revive a virtue that modern America too often neglects: mutual forbearance.”

Economic take: Warren’s Wealth-Tax Toll

Elizabeth Warren has a new ad out featuring billionaires “who dislike her wealth tax idea,” writes James Pethokoukis for The Week. Her message for them: “When you make it big, pitch in 2 cents so everybody else gets a chance to make it.” But “the Warren wealth tax is far more punitive than the ad suggests . . . it’s not 2 cents or even 2 percent.” In fact, it’s a “2 percent tax on wealth between $50 million and $1 billion and a 6 percent tax on wealth over $1 billion. The tax is cumulative and would be applied year after year, slowly whittling down existing fortunes and preventing future megafortunes from being created.” With all that “big structural change,” Warren wants America to believe there would be “no meaningful change to American private-sector innovation and investment.” And “no change in the decision-making or actions of Bezos and Gates.” What Pethokoukis wants to know is: How can Warren “be so sure”?

— Compiled by The Post Editorial Board

Source: Read Full Article