The 1st Amendment and Social Media

Still more reason to read Ace everyday: True Con Corporate Class Silent on Censorship of PragerU and the MasterCard-Ordered Banning of Robert Spencer from Patreon.

A reference is made a tweet thread from Melissa Mackenzie in which one of the responses is:

The first amendment does not apply to private companies. If they didn’t teach you that at pragerU I’d ask for a refund.

This is addressed nu Ace in a long-ish quote below:

Meanwhile, while the idiot FakeNews Conservatives continue to insist that “Private Business social media companies can do anything they want,” that’s not true — at least, they can’t do anything they want without serious legal jeopardy.

As Lee Smith again reminds us, social media companies only have a special exemption to the normal laws about liability for libel, conspiracy, facilitating the sale of contraband, etc., that most publications are subject to only because it is assumed that they are not acting as editorial overseeers of the content, picking and choosing what gets put into print.

If a newspaper publishes a defamatory letter to the editor, that newspaper is liable for that defamation. The newspaper picks and chooses what to print, after all; it is responsible for trumpeting that libel out to thousands.

But if libel is published on a social media, the social media company is not legally responsible for it by a special exception of the law.

But that law requires that the social media company act as a neutral platform and not act as newspaper would, exercising editorial judgment about what news is fit to print.

An similar article by Instapundit is linked and quoted on his blog from yesterday.

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