When Fox News and Newsmax recently accused voting machine manufacturer Dominion Voting Systems of rigging the 2020 election results, Dominion quickly and vigorously struck back at the two with a threat of civil lawsuit; a suit claiming that they, Dominion, had been harmed by the actions of Fox News and Newsmax. Consequent Dominion’s filing, Fox and Newsmax began to quickly and forthwith profusely apologize for and correct their ‘misstatements’.
For years and years, and years, tobacco companies were, with political immunity and lots of good lawyers, allowed to sicken and kill Americans by the tens of thousands with their products every year. In the mid 1990s, more than 40 states commenced litigation against the tobacco industry, seeking monetary, equitable, and injunctive relief, and, as they say, the rest is history.
For going on twenty years now, Congress has fumbled the question of how to regulate social media. Likewise, social media has done some fumbling of its own on how to deal with Congress. Until, they, the social media companies, grew too big and powerful for Congress to deal with (In 2109, Amazon and Facebook each spent ~$17million lobbying Congress).
Dominion Voting Systems’ threat of suit was based on content Fox News and Newsmax had broadcast in re Dominion; on content that they, Fox and Newsmax, knew, or should have known, to be false. It is a well known fact that Fox News, and assumedly Newsmax, make a lot of money off these broadcasts, i.e., they are being paid for the content of these newscasts. Ergo, if a commercial entity, such as Fox News or Newsmax, makes money off broadcasting news content that they have deliberately altered or contrived, it follows that they are responsible for such altered or contrived content; that the commercial entity, such as Fox News or Newsmax, can be held liable for such in-house manufactured content, such tort.
Since its inception in 1996, Fox News has caused our Nation, other nations, great harm by knowingly, purposefully, broadcasting and rebroadcasting content it labeled news that it knew to be false; broadcastings from which it profited greatly. Let Fox News answer for its actions, for this tort, in a court of law.
Seems Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act of 1996 was intended to provide internet service providers some immunity from prosecution for the transmittal of porn by third parties on their services. Of late, Section 230 has been claimed to provide all sorts of immunity from prosecution from all sorts of transmitted content.
These social media companies, particularly Facebook, have become obscenely rich transmitting content, a lot of which was much, much, much worse than porn. Content that has wrongly skewed national elections around the world, disrupted governance, …, resulted in the deaths of thousands upon thousands, at least, of people. Facebook knowingly, for profit, transmitted false and incendiary information that resulted in thousand and thousands of deaths, great political upheaval and distress. Facebook should be held responsible for these torts, should be sued for damages for them. Facebook should pay for the damage done these nations. Facebook should pay for the damage done our nation when it allowed the Russians to interfere in the 2016 election for pay. They took the money for the transmission of content they knew, or should have known, to be false. They bear a responsibility, they must be held responsible. YouTube, Twitter, Parler, …, need likewise be held accountable for this same sorts of tort.
If someone pays for the propagation of information they know to be false, information that they know could and probably will cause harm to others; they, too, should be held liable, culpable, for tort. The Mercers, Robert and Rebekah, put up at least $26million dollars to fund Cambridge Analytica’s illegal collection of information meant to abet Trump’s 2016 Campaign. Information about Facebook customers that Cambridge Analytica obtained using information obtained from Facebook. During the 2016 Campaign, Cambridge Analytica knowingly disseminated information it knew to be false and misleading to targeted groups of Facebook subscribers via Facebook. By their knowingly and willfully paying to have content distributed to the public that they knew to be false and misleading, information meant to skew the will of the people, Robert and Rebekah Mercer have done the nation great harm. They should be required to right their great wrong by compensating the American voters, citizens. (Rebekah Mercer is co-founder of – money bag for – Parler.)
Rush Limbaugh has, for years and years now, broadcast content that he full knew was ridden with lies and falsities, content meant to arouse action, to be incendiary to an audience he knew full well to be comprised of many ignorant or deranged, or both ignorant and deranged, souls. In doing these things, Limbaugh has done great harm the nation. Rush Limbaugh should be sued for every penny he has received for this heinous act. There is a long list of other right-wing talk show hosts that need to be held accountable for similar actions.
Agreed, Congress should have acted long ago on this matter, but they, having been dysfunctional and incompetent for years now, have been unable to act on the matter. Witness the fact that we have just endured four years of the President of the United States issuing formal orders of magnitude, usually, it seems, without any form of vetting, via Twitter with nary a pip, peep, nor a tweet being heard from Congress. Maybe someone should file a civil suit questioning the legality of orders issued by tweet by a twit via Twitter. Perhaps, they should also file a suit against the Congress for dereliction of its constitutional duty.
Fox News has caused our Nation, other nations, great harm by knowingly, purposefully, broadcasting and rebroadcasting content labeled news that it knew full well to be false; broadcastings from which it greatly profited. Let Fox News answer for its actions, for tort, in a court of law.
Facebook knowingly, for profit, transmitted false information, incendiary, information that resulted in thousand and thousands of deaths, great political upheaval and distress. Facebook should be sued for damages, for tort. YouTube, Twitter, Parler, … need likewise be held accountable.
Rush Limbaugh and his fellow right-wing talk-show hosts should be held accountable for the damage done the nation as a consequence of their actions.
The Mercers, and others like them, need to be held accountable for actions they have taken that have harmed our democracy, our nation.