Obama Is Wrong about the Fairness Doctrine

Source: Cato Institute
by Paul Matzko

“Last week, President Barack Obama expressed his worries about ‘democratic backsliding’ in a speech at Stanford University, blaming social‐​media platforms for spreading disinformation at an unprecedented pace using algorithms that through ‘subtle manipulations’ promote conspiracism, racism, and sexism. … Obama advocates not only for more content moderation by platforms but also targeted government intervention, the work of scrupulous, technocratic regulators who would carefully weigh the costs and benefits of regulations via a transparent, unbiased, and democratic process. He further expects tech companies to work with regulators ‘to find the right combination of regulation and industry standards that will make democracy stronger.’ However, Obama’s reliance on altruistic government regulators is misplaced. That is because the history of attempted government regulation of mass media is marked by a nearly unbroken chain of captured regulators setting policy in back‐​room deals according to the interests of crass partisans and anti‐​competitive industry executives.” (04/29/22)