- June 2, 2019 at 9:49 am #111314
In Canada, the CRTC regulates the content of all public broacasting. There actually is a law, or rule, which states that broadcasters cannot knowingly broadcast false information (i.e., lie).
Here is a link to an article, a little old but really relevant today, discussing whether a similar law should be in place in the U.S.
I understand the issue with the First Amendment, but there is a world of difference between someone voicing their individual opinion on a topic (and knowing that it is just their opinion), and a supposedly public news organization such as Fox deliberately broadcasting a doctored video intended to make the featured individual look bad, while purporting it to be true.
I’m not sure what you can do about social media, other than to have sufficient intelligence not to believe a single thing posted, no matter who it is from, unless it is independently verified seven ways to Sunday.
Note – this is not intended to spur a political debate, but to focus specifically on potential content regulation similar to Canada’s
- June 2, 2019 at 11:19 am #111320
Total posts : 443
Yes, I agree, free speech can be taken to far, just as too much freedom is no good either without any boundaries. Can hatred be preached in the papers protected by the first amendment? If we rely on the news media for our information there should be some regulation that what is reported or how a person is portrayed is factual. In fact in the USA if a store owner wants to put a sign in the window saying no gays or liberals allowed that’s not illegal. The US supreme court a while ago ruled a store owner does not have to serve anyone not abiding by the store owner’s beliefs. I’ll take Canada as yes you have rights and freedoms but to a point.
Social media is something else but the legit newspapers, TV and radio news that we rely on for our knowledge of what is going on should be factual.
- June 2, 2019 at 12:38 pm #111321
In the U.S., freedom of speech doesn’t extend to using profane and indecent language over the airwaves; that is already in FCC rules. So the FCC already DOES regulate content to some extent. It wouldn’t be that much of a stretch to have a rule such as Canada has that prohibits knowingly lying over the airwaves. Proving it and enforcing it would be another matter, but it would go a long way to, as the article says, reducing “distrust, cynicism and vitriol”.
- June 3, 2019 at 1:33 am #111322
Total posts : 602
Well, yes and no to all of the above.
The regulation of profane and indecent language has become practically nil at best, mostly because the definition has changed, and now mostly lies in violating “community standards”. If the broadcast happened in a community where no one ever swears then there’s an issue. Again, this has been drastically relaxed because of First Amendment concerns. Most regulation now is inflicted by the station or networks policies, or more importantly, the advertisers. If language or content in a show torques off advertisers enough to cost the station or network money, that language will not be allowed. Today that is the number one enforcer of indecency.
Lying is, in most cases protected by the First Amendment. Look up “is lying protected by the First Amendment” on google and you can read many interesting articles. If you want to stop lying by the media perhaps we should start with the President? I do NOT want to turn this into a political debate, but the President currently is at over 10,000 lies or misrepresentations since taking office. There are several websites tracking this and listing them by quote of what was said and the actual fact. And he’s got an entire staff available to be sure he has the facts right!
Want to fix social media? Perhaps start at the top. The President lies almost daily on Twitter. I follow him. A few days ago he tweeted about his border crisis and stated that 90% of illegal drugs are coming over the US/Mexico border. This is well documented and false. Depending on the specific drug referenced, it’s 10% to a high of 20% for one specific drug. Overall about 12% of illegal drugs cross that border. He has this data. Yet it doesn’t feed his need for the wall so he just makes it up. At least that’s what I figure. Why else would he spew falsehoods? If I can find the actual data, I assume he or his staff can as well. Several times a week since the Mueller Report was released, he tweets, in capital letters “NO COLLUSION. NO OBSTRUCTION. NO NOTHING!!” Yet the report literally says there’s a crap load of obstruction, just that “rules” (not laws) prevented him from indicting a sitting President. Not to mention over 400 federal judges and prosecutors signed a letter stating he could and should have been charged. The outright lies and fabrications he tweets multiple times a day is mind boggling. And of course there are plenty who reply to his tweets and state the facts, with references. Like when he says he never said something, and someone posts the video clip of him saying it. Want to clean up social media? Start at the top.
Remember that cable TV is not regulated by the FCC. They can do what they want. As can a network. A network is not a TV station. They do not have an FCC license. There are stations that carry their content that must be accountable, but a network is NOT an entity regulated by the FCC.
No news source in this country is a “public news organization”. They’re all privately owned and have First Amendment rights to skew the news how they see fit. We do not have a national, owned by the people, news organization. Like the BBC, or Radio Moscow. Would you want news provided by the government? I think not.
If you don’t like the spin on a certain station or network, don’t watch it.
Generally when you see a network that airs a clip that’s been edited to change the content or the perception of the content, it was “the source” or “edited for time” or “edited for clarity” or “we didn’t know” and they apologize. They’ve been doing this for decades.
- June 3, 2019 at 11:50 am #111323
The ability to broadcast over the air is a privilege, not a right.
In return for that privilege, the FCC already does set forward a list of rules that stations must follow, licensed and unlicensed. Whether they follow them, and what happens if they don’t, is a matter for FCC enforcement. As Part 15 broadcasters, we know all about that.
Surely it’s not too much to expect that broadcasters purporting to ‘tell the truth’ as news actually attempt to do so. Again, opinion is one thing. Deliberately broadcasting a doctored video, and doing so knowing that it is doctored, is something else.
That falls under the definition of propaganda. Every tyrant and would be dictator (along with their enablers) in history has attempted to control the message in media. Mitigating that, not enabling it, is exactly what the First Amendment is all about.
Somehow, I don’t think that the U.S. forefathers envisioned the reality of the 21st century.
Broadcasters that deliberately lie should be on the hook to lose their privilege to broadcast. As we’ve seen from social media, there are plenty of other venues to get that particular message out.
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