Reason Magazine Endures Censorship After Attacking Conservatives For Fighting It
Reason Magazine is a well-known libertarian outlet that covers various issues around the country from their party’s perspective. Staying true to their promise of ideological purity, Reason has routinely defended big tech monopolies censoring various groups of people on the basis that they are “private companies.”
The magazine recently took their defense of big monopolies another step further, attacking Florida Republican Governor Ron DeSantis for having supposedly conducted an “assault on online free speech” with his recent legislation. In summation, Reason’s argument is that Facebook and Twitter are “private companies” and therefore are allowed to control whatever speech they please on the world’s largest public square.
The law in question that Desantis signed is S.B. 7072, which fines corporate monopolies like Twitter and Facebook up to $250,000 a day should they refuse a platform to candidates running for office.
From Reason Magazine’s article criticizing Desantis:
“But among the many concerns about the bill is that it requires these platforms to carry speech they might find objectionable or offensive. The First Amendment, bolstered by many, many court precedents, usually prohibits the government from mandating that a private company do this. Whether we’re talking about newspapers, cake-makers, or T-shirt shops, America has a lengthy history of court cases forbidding DeSantis from doing what he’s attempting to do.”
In an ironic twist, Reason just over a month later wrote an article complaining of… you guessed it. Internet censorship!
The article, titled “Why Did YouTube Remove This Reason Video?”, detailed YouTube’s deletion of a Reason Magazine COVID-19 related video. YouTube justified the censorship and denied Reason’s appeal on the basis that it violated their “medical misinformation policy.” One cannot help but note the irony in a magazine that routinely bashes others for fighting censorship suffering from that exact fate.
In Reason’s defense, they were philosophically consistent with their message, writing in the article that “While YouTube, as a private company, is within its rights to decide what to carry, the decision to remove this video illustrates a disturbing, censorial trend that has accelerated in the age of COVID.” Whether or not the writers at Reason will develop more self-awareness remains to be seen.
In the meantime, libertarian activists at Reason seem to have their hearts set on defending those who hate them most.
Robert Winterton, director of public affairs for NetChoice, an organization that routinely represents the interests of tech companies like Google, Facebook, and Twitter recently gave an interview to Reason in which he defended their censorship. “Our hope is to disincentivize states from spending money pushing laws that are blatantly unconstitutional,” said Winterton.
Disallowing discriminatory censorship of free speech on the world’s largest square is unconstitutional? It doesn’t take a genius to see the ridiculousness in such a statement.