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U.S. Senator Appears To Forget Facebook Isn’t The Whole Internet — On Twitter

U.S. Senator Josh Hawley weighed in on the question of whether free speech is suppressed, under constitutional law, when private companies make rules about what can be posted on their social media sites. He says that Americans should be able to sue when Facebook limits their use of the platform, because Facebook has a monopoly. He posted this on his Twitter account.

Josh Hawley says Facebook has monopoly
[Photo by Carolyn Kaster-Pool/Getty Images]

Senator Hawley is one of a few lawmakers who have asked Jack Dorsey of Twitter and Mark Zuckerberg of Facebook to appear before the Senate Judiciary Subcommittee on Crime and Terrorism, to discuss how social media influences elections. Specifically, Republican legislators are concerned about the suppression of a disinformation article that claimed to prove Joe Biden was involved in unethical activities.

Responding to a social media post that explained that these sites aren’t government entities, and like other private companies, can set their own rules, and let the free market decide whether to accept those rules or turn elsewhere, Hawley declared that this wasn’t an accurate analogy. Facebook, he says, unlike your local grocery store, has a monopoly. It’s the only ‘supermarket’ in town, and they get to decide who can participate.

This, he posted on Twitter.

Oops. He was quickly, thoroughly, called out as a lot of folks pointed out that he himself was in fact posting on a website that was not Facebook.

Hawley has even proposed a law that would allow social media sites to be sued for ‘censorship’ and being unfair, and he wants the Senate to vote on it next week.



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