Haley walks back declaration that all social media users must be verified

After facing considerable blowback, Republican presidential candidate Nikki Haley is walking back her declaration that all people should be required to verify their identities to use social media platforms, after previously calling anonymous accounts a “national security threat.”

Haley, a former U.N. ambassador and former governor of South Carolina, said last week that, if she is elected president, social media companies would be required to authenticate people’s identity before allowing them to comment.

“We’re going to say that they have to make sure every person on social media is verified … everybody gets a verifiable sign so that we know exactly who they are,” Haley said in a telephone town hall with Iowa caucus-goers Friday. “What that will do is it will eliminate every Russian bot, Iranian bot and Chinese bot that’s spreading all of this misinformation, because … it is the cheapest form of warfare for them.”

Haley, who later said similar things on Fox News, also claimed that eliminating anonymity would lead to more-civil discourse online among social media users.

“They’re going to start to be more accountable because they know their family and their pastor is going to see it, and it’s going to be more civilized,” she said.

On Wednesday, Haley dialed back her remarks, telling CNBC she thinks that “life would be more civil” if people were prohibited from posting anonymously but that…

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