White House Communications Director Doesn’t Know Twitter Isn’t The Government
The First Amendment of the U.S. Constitution guarantees the right of free speech, which is often mistaken for the right to say anything without repercussions. It’s not too surprising when the average American citizen doesn’t realize that this freedom doesn’t mean any specific entity has to provide a forum for that speech. However, when government officials aren’t aware, there’s a concern.
Free speech means that you can’t be arrested for criticizing the president — current or past. It doesn’t mean you can, for example, communicate threats. Nor does it mean that Facebook and Twitter (or any other private company) are obligated to allow you to use their platforms for any particular speech.
Unfortunately, White House Communications Director Alyssa Farah either doesn’t know this, or is willingly misleading her social media following.
— Alyssa Farah (@Alyssafarah) October 15, 2020
Twitter and Facebook, by definition, cannot be totalitarian regimes. They are not governments. They are private companies.
Donald Trump has complained previously about these companies forbidding users, who agree to Terms of Service in order to use the platforms, to spread certain misinformation, even threatening to take legislative action.
Though Twitter is forbidding the posting of a certain tabloid piece that accuses Joe Biden and his son Hunter, without evidence, of misdeeds, the GOP is fighting hard to get around these rules. For instance, in the tweet below, you can see Republican Representative Matt Gaetz, amplified by the House Judiciary Committee GOP, working to dodge Twitter’s rules by tweeting the same disinformation, merely skipping the link and posting line by line manually.
Still, while GOP members might claim Twitter and Facebook are guilty of censorship, these private social media corporations continue to not be government entities.