Wednesday, April 7, 2021

Justice Thomas Grumbles Over Trump's Social Media Ban; Supreme Court will have 'no choice' but to take on Big Tech; Argues for making Facebook, Twitter and Google utilities. and related stories

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Justice Thomas grumbles over Trump's social media ban:
The decision by social media giants Twitter and Facebook to ban former President Donald Trump from their platforms appears to have drawn the ire of one of America’s most prominent jurists: Justice Clarence Thomas.
As the Supreme Court issued an order Monday declaring moot a lawsuit over Trump’s blocking of some Twitter users from commenting on his feed, Thomas weighed in with a 12-page lament about the power of social media firms like Twitter.
“Today’s digital platforms provide avenues for historically unprecedented amounts of speech, including speech by government actors. Also unprecedented, however, is control of so much speech in the hands of a few private parties,” Thomas wrote. “We will soon have no choice but to address how our legal doctrines apply to highly concentrated, privately owned information infrastructure such as digital platforms.”
Thomas singled out the owners of Google and Facebook by name, arguing that the firms are currently unaccountable personal fiefdoms with massive power.
“Although both companies are public, one person controls Facebook (Mark Zuckerberg), and just two control Google (Larry Page and Sergey Brin),” Thomas wrote. --->READ MORE HERE
AP Photo/John Amis, File
Justice Thomas: Supreme Court will have 'no choice' but to take on Big Tech:
Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas put Big Tech on notice Monday, warning that the high court — or even Congress — soon may have to step in and address social media companies’ actions regulating free speech “at any time for any or no reason.”
He made the comments in a concurring opinion in the Supreme Court’s dismissal of a lawsuit questioning Donald Trump’s right, while he was president, to block people on Twitter. The court took the action in a one-paragraph order with no noted dissent because Mr. Trump is no longer president and no longer has a Twitter account. The platform banned him this year.
But Justice Thomas warned that a day of reckoning looms for social media companies.
“As Twitter made clear, the right to cut off speech lies most powerfully in the hands of private digital platforms,” the conservative jurist wrote. “The extent to which that power matters for purposes of the First Amendment and the extent to which that power could lawfully be modified raise interesting and important questions.”
The appointee of President George H.W. Bush said digital platforms provide for “unprecedented amounts of speech,” but control over that speech is concentrated in the hands of private companies. --->READ MORE HERE
Follow links below to related stories:

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