News & Politics

Elizabeth Warren Proposes Orwellian Criminal Penalties for Spreading ‘Disinformation’ Online

Democratic presidential candidate Sen. Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass., addresses an audience at a campaign event, Monday, Nov. 11, 2019, in Exeter, N.H. (AP Photo/Steven Senne)

Collapsing Democrat presidential candidate Elizabeth Warren has a new trick up her sleeve to regain momentum. On Wednesday she released a plan to fight so-called “disinformation” and hold tech companies “accountable” for their actions.

“Disinformation and online foreign interference erode our democracy, and Donald Trump has invited both,” Warren said in a tweet. “Anyone who seeks to challenge and defeat Donald Trump in the 2020 election must be fully prepared to take this on – and I’ve got a plan to do it.”

“Since the 2016 election, investigations, congressional hearings, academic research, and countless news stories have detailed the efforts by foreign actors to influence our elections by spreading false information on social media platforms,” Warren said in a statement. “But four years later, our country is hardly better prepared to protect itself.”

To further justify her Orwellian plan to police speech online, Warren invoked the 2016 and Russia’s attempts to influence the election with $100,000 worth of Facebook ads that obviously tipped the scales in an election where $2.4 billion was spent.

“In the aftermath of the election, experts studied thousands of posts from major social media platforms and found that the Russian Internet Research Agency (IRA) sought to benefit the Republican party by creating fraudulent accounts on social media sites like Twitter and Facebook and using them to post and spread false and inflammatory information,” Warren’s statement says. “Disinformation erodes our democracy, and Democrats must have a plan to address it.”

Apparently that plan is to regulate speech online. Warren’s plan may focus on foreign interference, but does anyone really believe that Warren, or any Democrat, if elected, wouldn’t try to police domestic “disinformation” as well? Facebook has already come under fire from the left for refusing to “moderate politicians’ speech or fact-check their political ads.”

Here’s what the New York Times reported back in October:

Facebook’s policy on political speech was quickly put to the test this month when the Trump campaign released a 30-second video ad that falsely claimed Mr. Biden committed corrupt acts in Ukraine. The ad played across social media outlets and on some broadcast networks; CNN and NBCU declined to air it because they said the ad violated their standards.

When Mr. Biden’s campaign asked Facebook to take down the false ad, the social network refused.

According to Cecilia Kang and Mike Isaac, the authors of the article, Trump’s claim that Biden “committed corrupt acts in Ukraine” was false. False? There is literally video evidence of Biden admitting to a quid pro quo with Ukrainian officials to get the prosecutor investigating his son’s company fired. If Elizabeth Warren and the Democrats have their way, companies like Facebook would face “criminal penalties” for not removing political ads that are deemed “disinformation,” like the Trump ad that was accurate but which two New York Times writers deemed inaccurate. The media has also repeatedly accused Trump of sharing “doctored” videos. Imagine some government agency full of liberals deciding what is disinformation and what is not. Would any Republican get a fair shake?

“In both the 2016 and 2018 elections, online disinformation sought to depress voter turnout by telling people they could vote via text, giving people the wrong date for election day, and more,” Warren said. “I will push for new laws that impose tough civil and criminal penalties for knowingly disseminating this kind of information.”

She might as well rebrand her campaign “Warren 1984” because, in a Warren administration, it’s obvious that political speech she doesn’t like will be subject to criminal penalty.

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Matt Margolis is the author of Trumping Obama: How President Trump Saved Us From Barack Obama’s Legacy and the bestselling book The Worst President in History: The Legacy of Barack Obama. You can follow Matt on Twitter @MattMargolis