Do not roll back First Amendment freedoms in effort to constrain proliferating fake news

Fake news is one of the most infamous phrases you could possibly utter in present day America. With both the left and right sides of politics warning of how extreme this danger is, it’s practically impossible not to be aware of it. As it has recently been at the top of almost every single headline and has had devastating effects on the public’s perception of the facts, there is no denying that it is horrible and disgusting, but there is something else relating to it that has got some nervous.

There have been many people across the country (and even somewhat the world) who at this time have asked for legislation of fake news. It has been called such a “threat to democracy” as put by California lawmakers, that the government has to end this wave as soon as possible by any means, but this is a threat to democracy, as these ideas of legislation seem to be more pro-censorship than anything else, disguised as something beneficial.

Freedom of speech is a basic human right that cannot be taken away under any circumstances, and it is too easy to see that these attempts to restrain fake news will ultimately accumulate into mass censorship of the press, going against the First Amendment and leaving us much worse off than we were before. On top of having stories that contain lies being censored; however, so does one see it would be too simple to ban and censor any article that contains something the people in charge do not personally agree with. No one is saying that that would actually take place, but the simplicity contained in executing something such as that is frightening.

I am disgusted with censorship and violations of our rights, which I hope you agree with, and I am ready to speak out in pleas to maintain freedom of speech if at any time (I hope more than anything that that time doesn’t come) actions like these ideas of legislation are taken.

In the reality of today the correct information being supplied to the people is more important than it has ever been, as now with the interconnected pseudo world we have created with the Internet, everyone is a powerful voice that can influence others. If the people are given fake news then they will spread it, like a virtual infection into the minds of the masses, so it is clearly necessary to push the knowledge of how to identify the truth, just like anything we are told from birth until death in the real world. This is no justification for the breaking of our first and most important amendment. “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion,” wrote James Madison, “or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.”

These are our truths, these amendments. Our truth is that those of us who use language have the right to use that language in any way they see fit without being in threat of legislation. This is not legislation of corruption; it is legislation on the very idea of language itself.

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