Last week we learned more details about the Biden administration's efforts to strong-arm Facebook and other social media companies into doing more to combat the spread of extremism and disinformation online. But what if those efforts are doomed to make the problem worse?
You wouldn't think so from perusing the response, which comes from two broad directions. Most observers writing from the center (liberals, progressives, and the few remaining Trump-critical conservatives) have been generally supportive of the move. While there's some uncertainty about whether the administration is going about it the right away, many in this group agree that something needs to be done to curb extremism and disinformation, and so they tend to conclude that any attempt to tackle the problem should be applauded.
Then there are those on the Trumpian right and their allies of convenience on the absolutist libertarian left (Glenn Greenwald, Matt Taibbi, and their imitators), who insist that the administration leaning on social media companies is the leading edge of authoritarianism, and perhaps even a sign that we already live in an authoritarian state where the government and big business collude in trampling basic freedoms in order to suppress dissent.