Looks like 2021 is shaping up to be much like 2020. Too much happening, delaying what I want to write about for what I need to write about. And since it seems everyone has become a Constitutional scholar once again, I feel we need to have a discussion about how the First Amendment (and in fact, all of our Constitutional protections actually work).
For those who mercifully don't know, discussions of censorship and the First Amendment protection of free speech are popping up again because social media companies like Facebook, Reddit, and Twitter banned President Trump from their platforms as a result of Wednesday's insurrection at the Capital. Tech companies like Apple and Google have gone further and removed or threatened to remove the social media site Parler from their app stores, unless the "unregulated" platforms put in some kind of content moderation.
This move has of course led to cries of censorship and a violation of the First Amendment Protection of Free Speech from those on the right. There have been both calls to leave Twitter and to launch a Spartacus-like #WeAreTrump hashtag. Hard to both leave and trend at the same time.
You can tell the Twitter ban particularly hurt Trump, especially when you view the timeline of his epic addict-like downward spiral yesterday.
It began when Twitter and Facebook immediately banned Trump on Thursday following his incitement of the protestors leading to the sacking of the Capital and the failed insurrection attempt. Facebook's ban was almost immediately announced to be permanent. Twitter's was initially a temporary suspension - a twelve-hour ban or cooling off period if you will.
Once his twitter was reactivated, Trump sent out two since deleted tweets. The first looked to the future, the second addressed the inauguration.
"The 75,000,000 great American Patriots who voted for me, AMERICA FIRST, and MAKE AMERICA GREAT AGAIN, will have a GIANT VOICE long into the future. They will not be disrespected or treated unfairly in any way, shape or form!!!" - January 8, 2021, 9:46 am
Twitter decided in light of those two tweets and in light of Trump's half-hearted "concession" speech, to ban Trump indefinitely.