On Monday, Justice Clarence Thomas announced that the U.S. Supreme Court soon will have to put an end to Big Tech tyranny. He cited the ”glaring” problem of social media platforms like Facebook and Google wielding unlimited power to censor users whose views they don’t like. These tech giants, he argued, ought to be regulated like common carriers, which are legally required to serve all customers. AT&T can’t refuse to open a phone account for you or limit your conversations. Amtrak cannot pick and choose who rides its trains.
Thomas’ opinion offers hope at a time when Democrats controlling Congress are demanding tech giants do more censoring, not less. On March 25, Democrats on the House Committee on Energy and Commerce ordered tech CEOs to clamp down on ”disinformation” and silence views that ”undermine social justice movements.” Spoken like true totalitarians.
Thomas’ ground-breaking announcement was made in the context of a case involving Donald Trump. As president, he blocked critics from commenting on his tweets or retweeting them. Critics sued, claiming the president’s Twitter account is a public forum. The high court ruled the case is now moot because Trump is out of office. Thomas concurred, and agreed with a lower court ruling that Trump violated his critics’ First Amendment right to be heard.
But Thomas said ”the more glaring concern” is not what Trump did to a few critics. It’s the power of tech giants to censor or ban users entirely, even a president.
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