89°F
weather icon Partly Cloudy

Public utility commission needed for social media

Holding and reading a newspaper is old school these days. However, Facebook, and other social media platforms, have given us the power of instant feedback. I said in a previous column that all feedback is good, even when it is negative.

A nice lady responded to my last column wanting to know what qualifications I possessed to write about the Wuhan virus, demanded that I write opinions only on the Army and police work, and further demanded a petition calling for my removal.

I had to reread my own column to ascertain where I had expressed a scientific opinion beyond my life’s experiences and Master of Criminal Justice and forensic science degrees. Nope. Nothing there. Just facts I strung together to ask some questions.

However, thank you, madam, and many others, for taking the time to read my column and for expressing your feelings on the Boulder City Review’s Facebook page.

There are over 260 million Facebook users in America — almost double from 2010. Three-fourths of the American population use one of more forms of social media. Twitter has about 68 million daily users, 42 percent of which are 18-29 years of age, and over 200 million Americans view YouTube each month.

Google, the de facto American Chinese Communist Party spokesperson (in my opinion) has over 267 million unique users in the United States. Unfortunately, it has a 92 percent share of the search engine market. (I use DuckDuckGo as a search engine).

Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act of 1996, a 100-page bill written 25 years ago to combat internet pornography, is a 700-word clause that eliminates legal liability for third-party content posted to social media platforms and interactive websites. However, the clause also allows owners to remove any content that violates their rules. Politicians from both sides of the aisle are clamoring to repeal Section 230, albeit for different reasons.

Instead of eliminating a 25-year-old legal clause that allows social media owners to run roughshod over people they don’t like, perhaps we should examine the possibility of enforcing the laws and regulations inherent in public utilities.

According to Cornell Law School, “A public utility is an entity that provides goods or services to the general public. Public utilities may include common carriers as well as corporations that provide electric, gas, water, heat, and television cable systems. In some contexts, the term “public utility” may be defined to include only private entities that provide such goods or services.”

Is it time to establish a public utility commission for social media platforms? I say absolutely.

According to the Washington Post, Facebook founder and owner Mark Zuckerberg and his wife “gave $400 million to non-profit organizations to pay election workers, train poll workers, and rent polling locations in various states.” One doesn’t have to be a genius to figure out which states Zuckerberg helped manipulate election results.

Prior to the 2020 election, Twitter locked then-President (Donald) Trump’s account and blocked a legitimate news story by the New York Post detailing the risqué contents of a laptop abandoned by Hunter Biden.

YouTube (owned by Google) covered for Joe Biden during the campaign, but fact checked anything Trump or his supporters said.

A top Google program manager admitted in an undercover Project Veritas video that Google manipulated data and other information in favor of Joe Biden.

Would we allow a billionaire to exclusively own Nevada power? Of course not. We cannot allow billionaire oligarchs to continue running Big Tech corporations.

Election interference, censorship and misinformation are the hallmarks of a totalitarian regime. Why do we allow billionaire oligarchs to commit such atrocities under the guise of “community standards” in America?

Big Tech is more powerful and more dangerous than some third-world countries. Their monopoly must be independently regulated or perhaps broken into smaller pieces a la Ma Bell 40 years ago.

The time to act is now. I encourage everyone to write or call their elected representatives and demand a public utility commission for all social media platforms.

The opinions expressed above belong solely to the author and do not represent the views of the Boulder City Review. They have been edited solely for grammar, spelling and style, and have not been checked for accuracy of the viewpoints.

Dan Jennings is a retired Army captain and a retired BCPD lieutenant. He can be reached at bcpd267@cox.net.

Don't miss the big stories. Like us on Facebook.
THE LATEST
Bishop’s ordination filled the soul

Hundreds of devout souls came out Friday to celebrate one of Boulder City’s own, the Rev. Gregory Gordon, who was ordained as the first auxiliary bishop for the Catholic Diocese of Las Vegas.

Consult pilots about need for air control tower

Did you know that there are over 15,000 public and private airports in the United States, and only 300 or so are served by the airlines? There are only 648 airport control towers in the entire nation. Therefore, there are approximately 14,000 airports without control towers. So, the question is: Does our tiny airport need a control tower?

Extend warm welcome to new council members

Tuesday, the city welcomed its two new council members, Matt Fox and Sherri Jorgensen. I wish them all the best as they begin this new chapter in their lives.

Some information bears repeating — often

So often we say or write something and the intended audience takes it in a completely different way from what you planned or ignores it totally. What do you do?

Does city desire family housing?

Many issues seem to be a perpetual part of Boulder City politics. One of those that always seems to arise during an election is how does Boulder City continue to keep our schools filled with children? Over half the population of Boulder City is older than 50.

Commentary: Water conservation remains key to sustainable future

The last time Lake Mead was at 35 percent capacity, it was being filled in the 1930s. While ongoing drought and climate change have created an uncomfortable reality and stressed water supplies, the Southern Nevada Water Authority has been preparing for this for almost 20 years. Now, with a federal shortage declaration just weeks away, our community’s commitment to conserving our limited water resources takes on a new urgency as we strive to protect the vibrancy of the place that more than two million of us call home.

Enjoy July’s many gifts

Today is July 1 and it marks the beginning of one of my favorite months of the year.

New leaders will bring fresh perspective to city

The recent municipal election resulted in two new council members being elected. I congratulate Sherri Jorgensen and Matt Fox on their elections and welcome their input on City Council.

All Americans deserve health care

Who out there likes to see people suffer? Raise your hand, please. I am dead serious.

Better spending would leave funds for pool

Neighbors, I have lived in Boulder City since 1979 and the new pool was just being built. Now the discussion (is) of a new pool to replace the old pool and the main topic is money.