- The concern is the spread of disinformation and domestic terrorism content.
- The members of the intelligence community would be present, as well as the US major TV providers.
- Russia will use the event for propaganda purposes.
The US House will hold hearings on the topic of the role of traditional media in spreading disinformation and extremism. The hearings will include experts from the US intelligence community and the TV providers. The main goal of the hearings is for members of Congress to understand the conditions of the broadcasts being provided.
The concern is the spread of disinformation and domestic terrorism content. The innuendo is regarding the US channels Fox News, NewsMax TV, One America News Network, and a few others. House Democrats will focus on the conditions for providing broadcasting to those channels that, in their opinion, spread “disinformation” and” extremist content.”
Cable and satellite TV providers have already been put in the position of a kind of defendant in advance. Some of them were asked by House Democrats whether they would continue carrying these TV channels, which are seen as intentionally spreading such propaganda.
Furthermore, political pressure is being put on the independent channels. However, this is a multifaceted problem. In a free society, there should be a variety of the viewpoints. Nevertheless, when the content incites violence or incites hate, it becomes an issue of national security.
On the other hand, when someone is silenced, they automatically become heroes in the underground. Such content will find different ways of distribution. For example, the Nazi sympathizers find ways to have their message heard within the interested groups.
Moreover, the “cancelling” of certain programming would also automatically glorify the former President of the United States, Donald Trump. As now, he would be seen as a martyr, fighting for free speech and capitalist ideology.
In addition, Russia will immediately use this information as targeted campaigns on social media in an attempt to sow further divide within the US. It should be noted that the West does the same to Russia when supporting Alexey Navalny.
However, the West utilizes open tactics and not the “troll” style of operations so much favored in modern Russia. Just this week, Twitter banned accounts associated with Russia. Allegedly, some of the banned accounts had connections to the infamous troll factory in St.Petersburg that is run by the man dubbed “Putin’s Cook.”
Overall, digital free speech is reaching dangerous levels. At the time when the US Constitution was written, it is very unlikely the Founding Fathers actually predicted that the world wide web would allow viewers to echo in every part of the world.
The issue with social media is the information is readily available and it is almost impossible to know what audience the information is reaching. The calls for violence and “revolutions” can be literarily interpreted, the organization for such events with like minded people is much easier in the digital space.
It would be interesting to follow the outcome of the hearings and possible implementation of the findings. It is also plausible that if the censorship is implemented, there would be conditional challenge that would follow.