BOSTON (WHDH) - President Trump blasted the social media companies for cutting him off from his millions of followers after the deadly riot at the US Capitol building.
While some questioned the ban on the grounds of violating his First Amendment rights to free speech, Claudia Haupt, Associate Professor of Law and Political Science at Northeastern University said that is not the case.
Haupt said the president’s rights would only have been violated if the state had limited his expression.
“Now what we have here is private companies enforcing their own terms of service so, in this relationship, the First Amendment does not apply,” she explained.
Haupt said that for social media companies the ban was a business decision.
“They basically want to maintain a speech environment on their platforms that appeals to their users,” she said. “Nobody wants to be in a speech environment that is saturated with hate and abuse.”
While tech giants like Amazon, Apple and Google have cut ties with the conservative website Parler, CNN reports that Trump’s son-in-law Jared Kushner has blocked other aides from creating accounts for the president on other fringe social media sites.
Haupt predicted that the fallout from this could be a tougher look at social media regulation and monopolies.
“Very few companies control access to online speech,” she said. “The Facebooks and the Twitters of the world have just gotten too big and too dominant in the communication infrastructure.”
Though the president has been silenced on social media, Haute noted that that is only one avenue of communication available to him.
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