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Free Speech Versus Censorship?

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Published: Jan. 13, 2021 at 7:35 AM EST
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PRESQUE ISLE, Maine (WAGM) -More fallout from the domestic terror attack on the capitol last week. Now a new storm is brewing involving big tech companies and social media platforms like Facebook and Twitter. Conservatives are now saying the first amendment right of free speech is under attack and these platforms are imposing censorship. Shawn Cunningham reports...

In the past few days Facebook and Twitter permanently suspended President Trump’s personal account (TAKE GRAPHIC)

The social media platform saying it was taking the action “due to the risk of further incitement of violence.” President Trump regularly used Twitter as a way to communicate announcements, policies and opinions. Now conservatives across the country are crying censorship and an attack on freedom of speech. WAGM This Morning Matter of Law Contributor and attorney Luke Rossignol weighs in...

Luke Rossignol Attorney, Bemis & Rossignol

“its a private entity its a private platform.”

Shawn Cunningham NO STANDUP

Despite the platforms having a hoard of public social media users, Rossignol goes onto explain the difference between private platform companies like Twitter and Facebook and the government...

“The first amendment protects people from the government if somehow and someway the government was shutting down his ability to speak than that would be a violation of the first amendment and it would be unconstitutional censorship.”

Big tech companies are reacting since the assault on the capitol. Conservative backlash over Trump’s ban is growing. And they’re coming out swinging. The app, Parler which is popular with conservatives and pro-trump supporters says its suing Amazon for suspending the platform. Amazon following suit after companies Apple and Google removing Parler from their stores. The companies citing an increased number of public posts advocating violence.

Rossignol says privates companies need to have policies that are consistent with customers across the board...

“I think they get to have their policies now whether they’re breaching their own contract with the people who sign up to use their platform that’s between them and their customers is a different issue...whether they lose customers remains to be seen”

But he says the bigger problem looming in suspending some accounts and posts versus others is a lack of exchange of ideas..

“the more these platforms do this the more you eliminate differing viewpoints and when you eliminate differing viewpoints you take ideas out of the marketplace right that’s what Jefferson liked..”

What Thomas Jefferson might have liked, but even he might not have imagined the conflict and state of affairs happening in our democracy right now. Shawn Cunningham, NS 8.

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