‘US Govt Undermines Democracy’ Seeking More Control Over Social Media

by | Nov 2, 2017

It’s preposterous that the US government purports to tell Americans what they are allowed to read on social media, says Daniel McAdams, executive director of Ron Paul Institute. He adds that it undermines US democracy.

Technology and social media giants Facebook, Twitter, and Google have been in the hot seat before US Congress intelligence committees. They were grilled on day two of hearings into alleged Russian interference in the presidential election in 2016. Lawyers for Twitter, Google, and Facebook testified that the amount of Russian-linked content on their platforms was relatively small. But was that what the Senators wanted to hear?

RT asked Daniel McAdams, executive director of Ron Paul Institute whether Senators are pushing the firms to get in line with US foreign policy.

“It’s preposterous that the US government purports to tell the American people what they are allowed to read, what they are allowed to consume on social media,” he said.

McAdams cited Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) who said during the grilling “How do we know that isn’t going to undermine our democracy?” McAdams argues: “Our democracy is based on us having the widest range of information possible with zero government involvement. They are the ones that are acting like totalitarians; they are the ones acting like anti-American; they are the ones that are undermining our democracy.”

In his view, the US government wants to gain more control over social media, which still remains “very democratized” while they “don’t like people thinking outside the lines and coloring outside the lines.”

As to whether the tech companies will bow to the pressure coming from the Senators, in McAdam’s view they ultimately will.

But the reason the Senators are so angry is that there is no ‘there’ there. Senator (Mark) Warner, who’s gone to California, Silicon Valley, how many times they twisted arms, browbeat, smacked these people around: ‘You better find evidence of Russian collusion in our elections.’ He can’t find it. So instead of coming back and saying: ‘You know, I am barking up the wrong tree.’ He yells at the companies: ‘Why don’t you find the stuff,’ so that they have the conclusion first and then they look for the evidence afterward. It just shows how desperate they are getting that they can’t find anything. Even the accounts they claim are ‘Russia-linked,’ what does that mean? Does that mean that is associated with the Russian government or just Russian people? I am an American – I am not an ‘American-linked,’ when I go on the internet. I am an individual.

Watch full interview here:

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  • RT

    RT is a Russian state-controlled international television network funded by the federal tax budget of the Russian government. It operates pay television or free-to-air channels directed to audiences outside of Russia, as well as providing Internet content in English, Spanish, French, German, Arabic, and Russian.

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