Twitter isn't the Government

9 May 2022

Commercial businesses are barred from thwarting American citizens' right to free expression in certain cases.

According to Fordham University professor Paul Levinson, television and radio networks broadcasting on public airwaves can decide who and what they transmit. 

It's against the law for them to do so in a manner that goes against the First Amendment.

The banned organization and the Federal Communications Commission may take legal action against a network, for example, according to Levinson.

In the same way, it is unlawful for a commercial enterprise operating in a public park to prevent a neighboring political speech. This would violate the speaker's First Amendment rights. 

Levinson argues that the government must protect people's rights in both cases.

Because they have the legal right to prohibit content from users across the Internet, why were Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat, and Tiktok was given a more liberal standard?

For a while, social media businesses didn't broadcast over the public airwaves, according to Levinson. Instead, they and other organizations used private wired or cabled infrastructure to provide Internet information, similar to cable television.

When Wi-Fi, which utilizes public and private radio waves, started pushing certain information over public networks controlled by the Federal Communications Commission decades later, many Internet users were surprised (FCC). 

However, because many Americans still use wires to access social media, cable restrictions remain.

Although social media firms may not be breaking the wording of the Constitution, Levinson claims that they are breaking the spirit of the founding document by influencing and controlling much of today's public dialogue.

Levinson believes Musk has a valid argument in this regard.

"I am against violating the spirit of the First Amendment because I think communication is a good thing," he said. "But since Twitter is not the government, it has every right to blow people off the system or not allow certain kinds of communication, whether that makes us feel comfortable."

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I'm interested to see what Elon does if the deal goes through. Twitters investors have some interesting backgrounds tied to government, alphabet agencies to be exact.
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