Monday, November 13, 2017

Yet Another "Fundamental Right" That Doesn't Exist

Writing at The Daily Beast, Karen Hobert Flynn flogs the "Honest Ads Act":

[T]he bill would require Facebook and other website companies to maintain a searchable, sortable, online database of people and groups that purchase political ads. The database would include a digital copy of each ad, the targeted audience and number of views, and the rate charged, as well as information about the purchasers.

Ads that run online close to an election would be required to include a disclaimer identifying who is paying for the ad, just as television and radio ads that air in the same window of time before an election must identify their sponsors.

These are sensible requirements that advance our fundamental right to know who is trying to influence our votes and our views on public policy.

There is a fundamental right at stake here, that being the fundamental right to communicate in any way one damn well pleases, including anonymously.

If you don't know who's telling you something, your rights include:

  1. To believe or to not believe what you're being told;
  2. To peacefully inquire as to the identity of the source; and
  3. To condition your belief or non-belief, in part or entirely, on whether or not you recognize or can identify the source.
There is no "right," fundamental or otherwise, to know who's trying to influence your votes and views.

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