Support the We the People Amendment

Letter to the Editor, Providence Journal - Friday, October 15, 2021

Facebook intentionally 'amplifies division, extremism and polarization,' whistleblower Frances Haugen recently revealed. The damage from this divisive policy is far-reaching. It exposes the danger of granting the First Amendment free-speech rights intended for people to social media companies who control powerful platforms for the speech of actual people. Social media corporations, like other large corporations, have too much economic power and too much political power.

There’s a solution with wide public support — the #WethePeopleAmendment, HJR48, a proposed constitutional amendment that would end the undemocratic Supreme Court-created doctrines that political money equals free speech and that corporations are persons with constitutional rights. Constitutional rights are for human beings.

Seven states, more than 700 communities and 600 organizations are supporting HJR48 which now has 76 cosponsors, including Rep. David Cicilline. I was one of several constituents who met with an aide to Rep. James Langevin asking for his support. He has yet to respond.

The rights of big money should never trump those of people and communities. Facebook’s disturbing harms are just the latest reason why Representative Langevin should cosponsor the We the People Amendment.

Amber Kelley Collins, Wakefield