Social Media Is Not“Free Speech”

Court observers on Monday suggested that based on how the arguments went in the case brought by television producers in New York against the Manhattan Neighborhood Network TV network, a private entity that the producers were alleging censored speech, nothing was set to change for social media companies. This week, the US Supreme Court is hearing arguments in a case that would have the potential to reclassify social media as constitutionally protected speech.

The idea is pretty straight-forward. Do you have the right to freedom of expression on someone else’s platform? I think the clear answer is no. The court is likely to rule that way too. I have little doubt that there’s institutionalized bias at virtually every media company in the country. My annoyance is when organizations are dishonest in their presentation. When news networks proclaim to be objective yet are documented to be over 90% biased in one political direction. When over 95% of the employees for social media companies adhere to the same political philosophy and they proclaim it doesn’t impact subjective handling of censored content and suspended accounts. But at the same time, it’s their right to be biased. It’s their platform. We don’t have any constitutional right to say whatever we want on Twitter’s servers. And that’s why nothing’s set to change anytime soon. 

If you’re frustrated, build a better mousetrap. That’s the American way.

Photo by: MANAN VATSYAYANA/AFP/Getty Images



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