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January 1, Nikki Haley’s Disturbing Disregard for Free Speech



Social media has undoubtedly lost some of its popularity since its inception in the early 2000s. Initially seen as a democratizing force for free expression and liberal values, the honeymoon period for the industry is over.

Presidential candidate Nikki Haley reminded us of this fact on Fox News Tuesday when she criticized anonymous online speech as the cause of America’s uncivil politics. Haley proposed forcing social media companies to share their algorithms and require user verification as a top priority of her future administration.

While many Americans are disenchanted with online life, Haley’s remedy is a trap. Anonymous users do make life harder, polluting comment sections and tilting the balance of discourse in favor of those hiding behind modern pen names. However, anonymous publishing in America is as old as the country itself. Benjamin Franklin wrote his pre-revolutionary pamphlets under the name Silence Dogood, and Alexander Hamilton, John Jay, and James Madison wrote the Federalist Papers anonymously.

Canadian psychiatrist Jordan Peterson is also not amused by online anons. When he polled his audience on whether social media platforms enable sadistic Machiavellian psychopaths and narcissists by not separating anonymous trolls from real people, 60% of 158,596 respondents disagreed. Haley and others argue that free speech demands public accountability, and those speaking without identifying themselves are troublemakers and “a national security threat.”

Forcing accountability might make public discourse more orderly and civil, but it would also result in less overall speech. Orderly societies are not necessarily free societies, as seen in China, where social pressure and the threat of government persecution silence citizens. Peterson has even suggested separating anonymous trolls from verified users on social media platforms.

It’s odd to see people like Peterson, who has experienced real-world censure and cancel culture firsthand, embrace content moderation solutions that their censors would love to see imposed in the name of “national security.” Imagine how many more bank accounts Canada might have frozen during the 2022 trucker protests if the country had a Nikki Haley-style policy banning anonymous speech online.

There is another way for consumers and citizens online that doesn’t involve government intervention: discernment. Treat accounts with fake names and suspicious profile pictures with dismissal, and punish platforms that don’t meet your standards for reducing engagement by bots by spending time online elsewhere. New platforms will step up with a better model for discourse. Be patient, and trust entrepreneurs to solve problems that consumers want solved.

Haley is not alone in being tired of bots and anonymous jerks online, but the moment the government and social media platforms coordinate on identity verification, free speech in the 21st century will be effectively dead.

Why It Matters

Nikki Haley’s proposal to force social media companies to share their algorithms and require user verification threatens free speech. Anonymous publishing has historical significance in America, and while it can create uncivil discourse, it also protects individual freedom.

Forcing accountability might make conversations more orderly, but it could lead to a society similar to China’s, where people are silenced by fear. Instead of government intervention, we should exercise discernment when interacting online.

New platforms will emerge with better models for discourse, and entrepreneurs will solve the issues we face. If we embrace Haley’s policy, we risk killing free speech in the 21st century.

As our loyal readers, we encourage you to share your thoughts and opinions on this issue. Let your voice be heard and join the discussion below.




  1. 1PatriotForever

    November 19, 2023 at 6:32 am

    Trump helped a floundering Niki and she stabbed him in the back which is typical RINO, shame on those who back her and her Anti American views

  2. J

    November 19, 2023 at 7:18 am

    I don’t think people would be afraid to express their opinion. I think it meant to bring more civility to what is said on the internet.

  3. Sunshine Kid

    November 19, 2023 at 9:34 am

    I used to like Nikki Haley. Not anymore. Free speech is a right, not something the government has any right to control, and more importantly, not something any PRIVATE company has the right to control. You don’t like what I have to say – go somewhere else!

  4. Sunshine Kid

    November 19, 2023 at 9:35 am

    MY COMMENT IS AWAITING MODERATION. That is a INSULT to freedom of speech!!!!

  5. rickl

    November 19, 2023 at 1:57 pm

    Sharing algorithms and requiring user verification are NOT twin solutions.

    Requiring user verification indeed helps stifle free speech, for the reasons given.

    Sharing algorithms, however, helps _promote_ free speech (and free elections as well, for users of electronic voting systems). Software is another form of speech. “Sharing algorithms,” that is, making source code publicly available, helps ‘pull back the curtain’ on computing’s Wizard of Oz, enabling greater trust, transparency, and control over the electronic strawmen, lions, and bots that try to lead our conversations down predetermined golden-colored paths.

    Absolutely require algorithm-sharing for all social media (and voting system!) platforms, while also protecting the identities of the users (as this site does).

  6. Craig Michael Vandertie

    November 19, 2023 at 2:28 pm

    There is no reason why person’s real name should not be required rather than hiding behind a pseudonym, if you are that concerned about what you say making you a subject of public scorn or getting you in trouble then save us all the aggravation and don’t say it.

  7. Stan Stanfield

    November 20, 2023 at 1:56 am

    The larger story here about Nikki Haley, which neither any social media or mainstream media site is bothering with, is that she is not eligible for the office of POTUS – or for that of VP either, for that matter. This is an appalling oversight on the part of the U.S. public, who, by and large, seem to be trusting the major political parties in the matter, to have said something about the issue if there were anything to it, or for the MSM media to have called attention to it. All of which is to trust the wolf to guard the henhouse.

    The fact of the matter is that those two federal offices have a special eligibility requirement for the occupant: that the person must be a ‘natural born’ citizen. Which is a person “born in the country, OF PARENTS WHO ARE CITIZENS” thereof (my emphasis). The definition is from the definitive tome of the day of the constitutional Framers on such nation-building matters, E. de Vattel’s ‘The Law of Nations’. And that eligibility requirement for those two special federal offices (having to do with the fact that the occupant of the higher office becomes as well, then, the Commander in Chief of the nation’s military forces; and the Framers didn’t want anybody in that position who had any DUAL OR OTHERWISE CONFLICTING LOYALTIES OR ALLEGIANCES OR INFLUENCES. Rather, only a person who had SOLE ALLEGIANCE to the U.S.) STILL STANDS, absent a constitutional amendment to the contrary. NEITHER of Haley’s parents were U.S. citizens at the time of her birth.

    The same citizen-type problem holds for Vivek Ramaswamy. As it does for Kamala Harris. And obviously as it did for BHO. Whose two terms in that august office need to be nullified. As this nation gets back under the control of the rule of law – its Constitution. Not the rule of arbitrary law. Another word for which is tyranny. For,either we live by the rule of law. Or we will die by suicide.

    And I for one will not go gentle into that dark night.

  8. James Rowe

    November 20, 2023 at 2:39 pm

    Good luck being in charge of anything! Boycott this nutjob!

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