“the less tech-savvy members of the public — those who could actually benefit from access to news via social media — may be unable to get around the restrictions.” — benefit from access to a mix of disinformation, fake and actual news during a time of crisis and panic when tech savvy or not, people are likely to suspend reason in favor of emotion? Yeah, malicious users will circumvent restrictions (as will those tech savvy and determined) but others will not be reached except through official channels.
“None of this is to suggest that social media giants aren’t culpable for the toxic vitriol and information gamesmanship now plaguing their platforms” — really, you want to make Facebook responsible for the censorship of the information that a few paragraphs earlier you said it would benefit people? You trust them that much to reliably censor political stuff, medical and whatnot? And why should they do that anyway? When bombs or drugs get shipped over postal services, are those services culpable (and then put in charge of opening packages and deciding on the content)? If the same fake information is carried over GSM networks (either voice or data), are those networks responsible?
“problems created in part by modern internet giants” — i’d say that the problems weren’t created now nor are they new. Internet giants have increased the playing field 10000x fold and gave a voice to everyone, including those who would exploit that voice for manipulation in various forms. They didn’t create the problem, they just exposed it at scale. Would you take it all back, strip everyone’s voice and make information crawl again? Just wondering because with great information speed comes responsibility, but it’s not just on those who carry the information but also on those producing it and those receiving it to use it responsibly.