We all know corporations lobby government for favors. The Twitter Files show that government lobbies corporations too – often to silence its critics.
Will Duffield of the Cato Institute has become the go-to expert on so-called “Jawboning” i.e., informally pressuring private companies to censor disfavored speech. The “Jawboning-industrial-complex,” as Adam Kovacevich of the Chamber of Progress calls it, is made up of both parties. Companies now have internal teams to handle “suggestions” from government officials.
It’s not exactly what Orwell pictured, but it’s still concerning.
My previous guest, Jenin Younes of the National Civil Liberties Alliance, defends people like Martin Kulldorff and Dr. Jay Bhattacharya, who have been wrongly censored for contradicting official CDC stances on COVID. Jenin says, “Far too few people understand why we have the First Amendment.”
Does jawboning violate the Constitution if no laws are passed? Duffield joins me to discuss the nuances of free speech law in the social media era, and to lay out a libertarian vision of digital expression.
Don’t miss it.
Jawboning against Speech
Over the past two decades, social media has drastically reduced the cost of speaking, allowing users the world over to publish with the push of a button. This amazing capability is limited by the fact that speakers do not own the platforms they increasingly rely on.