Following the uproar over Russian meddling in our presidential election process – specifically, the use of Facebook ads to sway public opinion or just wreak havoc – social media companies are establishing disclosure requirements for purchasers of political advertising.
As private companies, it's their prerogative to take whatever steps necessary to correct perceived defects, improve products and services, enhance customer satisfaction, and quell public criticism.
Facebook, Twitter, and all the rivals for our eyeballs will now compete to fix the purported problem. End of story, right?
Unfortunately, no. Very few alleged problems in the private sector are solved without government officials weighing in with the wrong answers and making everything worse – the same government officials who do such a pedestrian job managing the public sector.
Who better to address a complex social or technological problem than some political hacks who know nothing about the issues involved and aren't so bright to begin with?
Enter Illinois State Sens. Ira Silverstein of Chicago and Andy Manar of Bunker Hill with SB 225l mandating the very transparency that social media companies now are implementing.
“Voters deserve to know what organizations are behind all political ads,” Silverstein declares, but you can bet that he, Manar, and their Democrat cronies in the legislature will try to use the law, if it passes, to stifle electoral opponents and protect their incumbency.
In the meantime, a cursory examination of American history would reveal to Silverstein and Manar that knowing “what organizations are behind all political ads” may not be crucial to the preservation of our freedoms.
Anonymous publication is a time-honored tradition in our country. Without it, there may not have been a United States of America. Our Founding Fathers employed it to criticize arrogant British rulers (the Silversteins and Manars of that time), because it was not safe otherwise to say in public what needed to be said.