Big Tech is tightening the screws on “misinformation.”
And misinformation is being categorized as anything the establishment doesn’t like.
But one legal expert said Big Tech is in serious trouble for this reason.
Conservatives and anti-narrative liberals run the risk of being booted off social media for questioning the establishment orthodoxy on any issue.
But Georgetown Law professor Randy Barnett said social media sites may not be able to get away with arbitrary censorship.
During a panel discussion for the Federalist Society, Barnett argued that social media sites have essentially become public accommodations, thus they cannot abridge users’ free speech rights.
“Just as restaurants and hotels or public accommodations reached via government on highways, social media platforms can be considered public accommodations that are accessed via the Internet . . . It is to their credit, that privately companies like Facebook and Twitter have successfully created a communications platform that because it is so user friendly, has come to be as a central means of exercising the fundamental privilege of freedom of speech as privately owned restaurants and hotels are to the privilege of travel. By so doing, they have become public accommodations such as restaurants and hotels.”
Barnett makes a compelling argument that dovetails with similar legal arguments.
For example, tech entrepreneur and Yale Law grad Vivek Ramaswamy argued that Facebook and Twitter became state actors when they essentially did the bidding of the government.
Therefore, they violated First Amendment protections when they booted Donald Trump from their platforms, as did every other social media site.
In October 2020, Democrat Senator Richard Blumenthal hectored Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg and Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey about Trump existing on their platforms.
He threatened them with regulation and other punitive actions.
A few months later, Trump was gone.
That’s just one example of the government twisting Big Tech’s arm.
As conversation has largely moved online, Big Tech censorship has become a vital free speech issue.
If people aren’t even allowed to share true stories – such as the New York Post‘s bombshell story about Hunter Biden’s salacious laptop – then the culture of free speech dangerously erodes.
Not only was The Post locked out of its Twitter account for nearly two weeks, the story wasn’t even allowed to be shared through direct private messages.
If Barnett’s argument holds, Big Tech will no longer be allowed to send counter-narrative voices to the digital gulag.
Stay tuned to Unmuzzled News for any updates to this ongoing story.