On Monday, the U.S. Supreme Court rejected a lower court ruling that former President Donald Trump tried to prevent critics from accessing his now suspended Twitter account. Justice Clarence Thomas challenged the social media company to kick users out. The absolute power of the platform.
The court rejected a decision of the Second Circuit Court of Appeals in New York that Trump’s attempt to stop critics violated the First Amendment and concluded that the permanent suspension of the former president from Twitter made the issue useless.
But Thomas believes that despite Trump’s “limited control” over his 89 million followers, Twitter has full power.
To say the least, the gap between Twitter̵
He said that the defendant in the lawsuit pointed out that Trump’s accounts are similar to “a public forum protected by the constitution. But when a private company has unrestricted power to eliminate this situation, say something is a The government forum seems a bit strange.”
The judge said that media companies that can regulate the content of their users under the law may have to be regarded as monopolies.
“Today’s digital platform provides an unprecedented amount of speech, including the speech of government actors. However, the centralized control of so many speeches in the hands of a few private groups is unprecedented.” Thomas said.
He said: “We will soon have no choice but to resolve how our legal principles apply to highly centralized private information infrastructures, such as digital platforms.”
Trump used his Twitter account-@realdonaldtrump-to make statements about his government’s policies and dealt with his critics by allowing him to bypass what he said was the regular media filter on his communications.
Two days after the riots in the Capitol on January 6, Twitter banned Trump’s account, “because it might further incite violence.”
Twitter and other social media companies have been criticized by Trump and others for their censorship policies.
Thomas compares social media companies to “ordinary operators”, that is, public and private companies that pay for transmission services, but points out that the power of companies such as Twitter, Facebook, and Google goes far beyond traditional communications companies.
“These platforms are not the only means of distributing voice or information, and this hasn’t changed in the slightest. One can always choose to avoid toll bridges or trains, but to swim the Charles River or hike the Oregon trails.” Thomas said.
“However, when evaluating whether a company has strong market power, it is important that the alternatives are comparable. For many of today’s digital platforms, there is nothing.” He added.
The case started when many people blocked by Trump in 2017 filed lawsuits with the assistance of the Knight’s First Amendment Institute at Columbia University.
A New York court ruled last year that Trump’s use of his account made it natural.