In a now-viral video, Nikki Haley, the former South Carolina Governor and a contender for the GOP presidential nomination has called for social media reforms that will end anonymous social media posting, citing national security concerns.
Haley proposed two significant reforms. Firstly, she insisted that social media companies should disclose their algorithms to the public. This move, according to Haley, is necessary to understand the basis of content promotion on these platforms.
“When I get into office, the first thing we have to do is social media accounts, social media companies, they have to show America their algorithms. Let us see why they’re pushing what they’re pushing,” Haley said during an interview with FOX News.
Secondly, and more controversially, Haley called for the mandatory verification of all social media users with their real names. She labeled anonymous social media posting as a “national security threat.”
“The second thing is every person on social media should be verified by their name,” Haley suggested, adding, “It’s a national security threat.”
According to Haley, this measure would eliminate the influence of foreign bots from countries like Russia, Iran, and China and foster greater accountability and civility online.
“When you do that, all of a sudden people have to stand by what they say and it gets rid of the Russian bots, the Iranian bots and the Chinese bots. And then you’re going to get some civility when people know their name is next to what they say, and they know their pastor and their family members are going to see it, it’s going to help our kids and it’s going to help our country.”
NEW: Nikki Haley asserts that allowing people to post on social media anonymously is a “national security threat”. She promises that as president, she will force “every person on social media” to be “verified by their name.”
I am no lawyer but isn’t this blatantly… pic.twitter.com/MD7CcBZL5r
— Christina Pushaw (@ChristinaPushaw) November 14, 2023
Critics argue that this proposal from Haley is unconstitutional. The First Amendment to the United States Constitution protects the right to free speech, and this right extends to online speech. This means that, in general, you have the right to post on social media anonymously without fear of government censorship.
Governor Ron DeSantis blasted Nikki Haley, saying, “You know who were anonymous writers back in the day? Alexander Hamilton, John Jay, and James Madison when they wrote the Federalist Papers.”
DeSantis added that “they were not “national security threats,” nor are the many conservative Americans across the country who exercise their Constitutional right to voice their opinions without fear of being harassed or canceled by the school they go to or the company they work for. Haley’s proposal to ban anonymous speech online — similar to what China recently did — is dangerous and unconstitutional. It will be dead on arrival in my administration.”
Also citing the Federalist Papers, Ramaswamy criticized her remarks as “disgusting.”
“Alexander Hamilton, John Jay & James Madison wrote the Federalist Papers under pseudonym. Here’s what they would say to Nikki Haley if they were alive: get your heels off my neck & go back to England,” Ramaswamy wrote.
It can be recalled that Vivek took a jab at Haley during the third GOP debate. Vivek made a remark about Haley’s daughter’s use of the Chinese-owned app TikTok.
“In the last debate, she made fun of me for actually joining TikTok while her own daughter was actually using the app for a long time. So you might want to take care of your family first,” Ramaswamy said.
“Leave my daughter out of your voice,” Haley said. “You’re just scum.”