Haley call to ‘verify everybody’ revives old debates over anonymous speech – By Christopher Hutton (Washington Examiner) / Nov 19, 2023
Former South Carolina governor and 2024 Republican presidential candidate Nikki Haley’s call to require identity verification for all social media users to stop foreign actors from spreading misinformation has raised old and new questions about free speech.
Haley on Fox News on Tuesday said posts from anonymous users should be viewed as a “national security threat” due to China and Russia creating bots and fake accounts to spread false information. She said the platforms should “show America their algorithm” and that every person on social media should be “verified by their name.” The proposal drew immediate criticism from her presidential rivals. On Wednesday, she appeared to walk back her comments, saying on CNBC that Americans should be allowed to post anonymously but that Russians, Chinese, and Iranians should not.
But the right to engage in anonymous speech has long been protected in the United States, and free speech advocates say the right extends to social media.