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Member since: Sun Aug 2, 2020, 10:56 PM
Number of posts: 7,510

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Political fraud should be a crime

Not all speech is free. In the specific area of commercial speech there are many laws that make it a crime to intentionally deceive someone to secure unfair or unlawful gain, or to deprive them of a legal right. Freedom of speech does not allow one to lie to another in order to cheat and steal.

Freedom of commercial speech is limited because money and commerce matter.

In a democracy, political speech also matters.

It should be a crime to intentionally lie about a fact in order to gain political advantage or influence political opinion.

Political fraud, like commercial fraud, should be defined as a crime with varying degrees, depending on the seriousness of the offense and the damage to society that it causes.

As an example, consider that an intentional political lie to less than 1000 followers should not be a crime, to less than 10,000 followers should be a misdemeanor, to less than 100,000 a gross misdemeanor, and to more than 100,000 followers a felony.

By defining political fraud this way, we no longer need complicated regulations of social media companies. They can continue to operate as neutral platforms, but the originators of political fraud would be prosecuted for their crimes and removed from the platforms.

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