A Warning To The Social Media Squelched: Radio Isn’t Open


There’s been chatter of late that those who views have been prevented from dissemination via social media can always turn to another media to get their point across to the American public.

In fact, that media is perhaps the “first” social media — radio.

Only, it’s not open for amateur or private use without a license, and the Commission is making it very clear ahead of Inauguration Day.

The FCC’s Enforcement Bureau late Friday (1/15) issued an Enforcement Advisory, warning amateur and personal radio services licensees and operators that they may not use radio equipment to commit or facilitate criminal acts.

The warning also comes in the wake of the January 6 Capitol uprising.

The Enforcement Advisory reads, in part, “The Bureau has become aware of discussions on social media platforms suggesting that certain radio services regulated by the Commission may be an alternative to social media platforms for groups to communicate and coordinate future activities. The Bureau recognizes that these services can be used for a wide range of permitted purposes, including speech that is protected under the First Amendment of the U.S. Constitution. Amateur and Personal Radio Services, however, may not be used to commit or facilitate crimes. Specifically, the Bureau reminds amateur licensees that they are prohibited from transmitting ‘communications intended to facilitate a criminal act’ or ‘messages encoded for the purpose of obscuring their meaning.’ ”

— Rob Dumke

You can read the full Enforcement Advisory here: https://docs.fcc.gov/public/attachments/DA-21-73A1.pdf