First it was Twitter, then Facebook and Instagram, and Pinterest got on board. I’m talking about banning the President in light of the events on January 6 in the nation’s capital. Next, Apple and Google announced that the Parler app wouldn’t be available on their respective platforms. Finally, and I mean finally, Amazon got on board with the idea of using their powers for good and suspended Parler’s website, in an effort to stop the drastic spread of communication among fringe groups.
In the coming days, there’ll be continued conversations about whether it’s legal for Twitter to ban Trump (it is) and whether or not it’s censorship (it’s not). But in a media context, this is the most recent example of how social media isn’t going anywhere. It’s not only this thing that kids make money from in Tik Tok houses creating what they call content. It’s more than brands giving consumers the ability to click to buy products from Instagram changing the shopping experience. The difference is that social media platforms are private.
To those who think that this is an attack on the freedom of speech, let me remind you what media law classes teach as well as what’s on the Cornell Law school website :
“The Supreme Court has cited three “reasons why threats of violence are outside the First Amendment”: “protecting individuals from the fear of violence, from the disruption that fear engenders, and from the possibility that the threatened violence will occur.”
Call me crazy but President’s Trumps words were a call to action that violated all 3 of those reasons. Take that further – the Freedom Forum Institute out of Washington DC puts it in simpler terms:
“Although different scholars view unprotected speech in different ways, there are basically nine categories:
Defamation (including libel and slander)
Incitement to imminent lawless action
Solicitations to commit crimes