letter to editor stock art typewriter and notebook

I read newspapers for information, and I assume others do as well. As readers, we should expect that the editor has done the job of checking for accuracy, whether on the front page or the editorial page. If I want to read nonsense, I turn to the MAGASOTA Facebook page. If I want fake news, conspiracy theories or am unable to think for myself, I would turn to Fox.

In the First Amendment, the Founding Fathers of our Constitution wrote that “Congress shall make no law ... abridging the freedom of speech,” guaranteeing American citizens the right to free speech without fear of reprisals from government for doing so.

In the King James Bible it is written that God gave Moses the Ten Commandments on Mt. Sinai. The commandment “Thou shalt not bear false witness against thy neighbor” forbids speaking falsely in any matter, lying, equivocating, and any way devising and designing to deceive our neighbor or speaks unjustly against our neighbor, to the prejudice of his reputation.

The First Amendment gave us the right to speak freely; the Commandments command us to speak truthfully. With the first one being abused daily and the second one ignored, the very fabric of our institutions and society are being torn apart. If one writes disparaging, denigrating remarks about named individuals and cannot provide factual information from a reputable source to validate ones innuendos when challenged, it is garbage, and the proper place for it is the incinerator.

France, Germany and many other countries around the world are in various stages of passing laws designed to rein in the spread of false information on the various social media sites. Google and Facebook are taking steps to restrict their platforms from being used to peddle fake news. It is long overdue for other forms of mass communication, television, radio and print to do likewise.

Restricting one from presenting false statements, misleading innuendos etc. in social media or in print is no more an infringement of one's right to free speech than being required to tell the truth in a court of law.

Odds are our adversaries will not destroy our democracy using weapons of mass destruction. They can sit back and stir the pot of misinformation and watch the American people kill our democracy by accepting lies, innuendos, inaccurate and incomplete opinions which are completely void of facts in all forms of media.

No household, no business, no democracy will survive if propped up by lies. A democracy is easy to destroy, nearly impossible to repair! If one is concerned about maintaining our freedoms, our democracy, they should seek the truth, reject blatant misinformation, appreciate speech-policing and applaud individuals in media who disseminate information based on facts, not lies and innuendos!

Glen Weber

Prior Lake

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