As I often repeat, government is a regulated monopoly. Moreover, government is supposed to be the most well regulated monopoly of all relative to its power. When you get entities that are as large as governments, but without the quality and forethought of regulation designed for government, you get a huge potentials for abuse.
Even if these social networks of today were not acting in trust to censor certain types of people, the effect of any one of the networks individually could sway elections.
There is an interesting Supreme Court case, Marsh v. Alabama that exemplifies a key understanding about power. There are towns that are wholly owned by single companies. These are called company towns. In Marsh v. Alabama, Grace Marsh did not follow the rules of the company town in distributing religious literature, and was consequently arrested and charged for trespassing.
Marsh’s defense was that she had a right under the constitution to free speech and religion. Marsh won her case in the Supreme Court after losing in inferior courts.
Let’s consider what it would have meant if Marsh hadn’t won. What would it take to completely rid the US citizenry of all their rights? It would take a bunch of companies like google buying up all towns over some period of time, and then claiming the rights of US citizens don’t apply within those towns because the citizens are within private property and must obey custom rules.
Wherever there is a inordinate power affecting the public, that power must be made to obey the constitution. And, this highlights a broader pattern.
The key in avoiding corrupt societies is the regulation of power, whether or not that power is held as a monopoly. The role of government, beyond the basics, is ensuring power is not abused. As such, part of the role of government should be to ensure the rights of the citizens are respected not only by government, but by all those who hold inordinate power.
As an example, if the primary method of communication became the internet, and some oligopoly controlled the communication on the internet, it would be government’s role to ensure the oligopoly respected the rights of the citizenry.
But, as I have mentioned in a previous video, our government is focused on expanding its power through the proxy of corporations rather limiting abuses.