Ross: Trump, social media, and silencing the trolls
President Trump has been publicly scolding Facebook for kicking some high-profile conservatives off of the social media site. He vows “to monitor the censorship of AMERICAN CITIZENS on social media platforms…because we have what’s known as FREEDOM OF SPEECH!”
Indeed we do, which is why he has zero power over what Facebook does.
Facebook, being a private company, could censor all conservative thought, or censor all liberal thought. Or it could censor everything that’s not a recipe for chocolate cake, or even censor the president himself. And the president couldn’t do anything about it, except tweet. Unless Twitter blocked him too – although even then, Trump would still be on every news site since his quotes are the oxygen of the American media.
But the real shocker is that it turns out the biggest advocate for social media’s right to censor users is Donald J. Trump.
Right now, he is being sued by Twitter users who he’s blocked from trolling his Twitter feed. The trolls claim the Trump account is a “public forum” (he’s president) and that for a government official like him to block their comments is an insult to the Constitution.
So what are Trump’s lawyers arguing? That Twitter is a private company and can block any comments it chooses!
That’s exactly what Facebook has been arguing.
So for all his criticism of Facebook, it turns out the president was actually on Facebook’s side all along.
Now, can we move on and fix some bridges?