“The View” co-host Joy Behar said Tuesday that the 1st and 2nd Amendments to the U.S. Constitution needed to be “tweaked a little bit” because the Founding Fathers did not have things like AR-15s and Twitter.
Co-host Whoopi Goldberg began the discussion with the news that Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey had stepped down a day earlier and noted that he had been proactive in policing hate speech — namely because Twitter was first to eject former President Donald Trump from its platform.
“Australia wants to go a step further, drafting a legal process for those feeling they have been defamed, bullied, or harassed, forcing them to hand over the identities of the accused bully to the courts. If we had a legal process like this, would it actually make people think twice about trolling or would people just find a new – a new way to troll?” Goldberg asked, but co-host Sunny Hostin appeared to see the merit of the idea.
“It would be so juicy and good. I mean, think about it,” she said. “Don’t you get those nasty tweets from people with that keyboard courage in their mama’s basement or somewhere else, and they’re hidden behind, like, a cat photo or a private account or a frog photo or a flag photo — in my case, I get a lot of flag photos and they say the nastiest things that they would never say to you face to face. I would love their identifying information.”
Guest host Jane Coaston, host of The New York Times podcast “The Argument,” pointed out a few caveats — first noting that Australia did not have 1st Amendment free speech protections.
“Because Twitter is a private platform, Twitter can moderate, edit users, and the content as much as they see fit. My concern is always, like, if I’m on Twitter as I am, and I start, you know, going after somebody who is supportive of something that I find abhorrent, am I a troll? Can they get my identification?” Coaston asked, wondering whether the policy would be abused or punitive and how it would ultimately impact the broader conversation. “What about the use of language, and then it gets into a very murky area because I know, like, I remember in 2016 I got photoshopped in the gas chambers by the worst people in the entire world, and, like, I obviously at a point was, like, I would love to know where they lived and I could, you know, do a little research. I’m just thinking about, like, what does this mean for –”
Co-host Sara Haines said that she wasn’t sure there should be criminal accountability but that people should be required to identify themselves.
Goldberg said her plan was to go the easy route, and just not read the things people were tweeting about her. “For me, the real question is, why do we take your word for something you don’t know anything about? Me. Why am I taking your word that I’m all these things when you don’t know me?” she asked.
“You’re not reading it. You’re smart not to. When the Founding Fathers were busy with the amendments, the First and Second Amendments did not have AR-15s in there, weapons of war, and they didn’t have Twitter. So both amendments, I think they need to be tweaked a little bit,” Behar said then.
“That’s a whole new conversation. That’s a whole new conversation,” Goldberg’s voice took on a warning tone as everyone began talking over each other.
“We make our living on the First Amendment so we love it, but there’s a lot of hate speech and misinformation, needs to be dealt with,” Behar clarified as they cut to a commercial break.