Tech companies crack down on Trump, supporters
by Lynde Langdon
Posted 1/11/21, 07:32 am
After Twitter banned President Donald Trump for life on Friday, many of his supporters left the platform for the conservative-friendly social media site Parler. Google suspended Parler from its app store on Friday, and Apple threatened to do the same if the platform did not police posts that might incite violence. Amazon cut the site off from its web hosting service at midnight on Sunday. Parler CEO John Matze said in a post that the company “won’t cave to politically motivated companies and those authoritarians who hate free speech.”
Is all of this legal? Tech companies do not have the same constitutional duty to protect free speech as the government, though lawsuits in the future likely will test the limits of the companies’ freedom. States and the federal government have sued Google and Facebook for building internet monopolies. Throughout his presidency, Trump unsuccessfully pushed to change the law so courts could hold Big Tech liable for the content it does or does not allow.
Dig deeper: Read Steve West’s report in Liberties about congressional efforts to regulate Big Tech.
Editor's note: WORLD has updated this report since its initial posting.
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