Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas lifted eyebrows over a statement he made that appears to warn social media companies that their power to censor speech they don’t like might be diminished sometime soon.
Thomas gave his thoughts in comments he made in a 12-page concurrent opinion on a Supreme Court ruling that considered whether former President Donald Trump had acted unconstitutionally when he blocked several people from following his now-banned Twitter account. In fact, because the account was banned, the lawsuit was ruled moot.
Thomas deliberated that the argument made by the plaintiffs was undermined because Trump’s social media accounts were later suspended by numerous social media platforms. This was when the tech tyrants went Woke and started censoring people who were not Woke.
The Justice then wondered whether the social media companies found themselves in violation of free speech rights when they censored the use of their platforms.
“Today’s digital platforms provide avenues for historically unprecedented amounts of speech, including speech by government actors. Also unprecedented, however, is control of so much speech in the hands of a few private parties,” Thomas wrote in his opinion. “We will soon have no choice but to address how our legal doctrines apply to highly concentrated, privately owned information infrastructure such as digital platforms.”
It has begun. Finally, a learned Constitutional mind is getting involved in the unfair practices of Big Tech. He had better hire a food taster because the Woke Supremacy wants to conquer the country and the number one way all socialist supremacies throughout history have accomplished this was to silence the opposition. In this case, they will want to silence Justice Thomas.
Justice Thomas considered if social media tech companies should continue to receive an exemption from liability in the now-famous Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act. Publishers do not get such an exemption from liability. What this means is that a publisher has to watch what is posted on their website because they could be sued if they say something inaccurate or if they libel someone in their content. This is why I cannot write an article and post it on the New York times website. They are a publisher and they decide what goes on their site, not the writer.
On the flip side, a platform means that the tech giants in social media are merely providing a place on the Internet for people to post their own comments. They don’t have to worry about being sued if somebody posts foul language or someone spreads misinformation intentionally or otherwise. It’s not them posting it, they’re merely giving a medium for anyone to post.
Section 230 among other things allows platforms to moderate their content, and it is supposed to be in the spirit of what would upset the general public. For example, if someone posts F-bombs for the sake of shock value, that would be considered offensive speech that would upset the average person in a community.
The problem arises when social media companies start censoring speech that is not inflammatory, isn’t looking for shock value, but simply disagrees politically with the radical corporate officers of the company like say, anything Donald Trump said over the last four years. Section 230 wasn’t intended to give tech tyrants full control over free speech on their platforms, which is exactly what they have taken.
“As Twitter made clear, the right to cut off speech lies most powerfully in the hands of private digital platforms. The extent to which that power matters for purposes of the First Amendment and the extent to which that power could lawfully be modified raise interesting and important questions.”
“This petition, unfortunately, affords us no opportunity to confront them,” Thomas concluded.
In Marsh v. Alabama the court ruled that a private town could not use a state trespassing statute to prevent the distribution of religious materials on a town’s sidewalk, even though the town was a privately owned company town.
“Whether a corporation or a municipality owns or possesses a town, the public in either case has an identical interest in the functioning of the community in such manner that the channels of communication remain free. P. 326 U. S. 507.”
“People living in company-owned towns are free citizens of their State and country, just as residents of municipalities, and there is no more reason for depriving them of the liberties guaranteed by the First and Fourteenth Amendments than there is for curtailing these freedoms with respect to any other citizen. P. 326 U. S. 508.”
Rich is a conservative, syndicated opinion writer and owner of MAGA-Chat.com. He writes about politics, culture, liberty, and faith.
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