Why Big Tech Should Not Be Viewed as a Private Business

Should First Amendment rights be extended to Big Tech corporations to publish and censor as they please?  This is a question that has agitated the discussion on whether antitrust legislation should be applied to infogiants such as Google, YouTube, Twitter, Facebook, Reddit, Amazon, Pinterest and many others that have cornered the market on a public resource, information, and an essential human activity, the consumption of information. A solution to the problem of data sequestration and restricted access practiced by these companies is to rebadge them either as publishers or, alternatively, as public utilities.

These entities are protected by Section 230 of Title 47 of the United States Code, which allows them to “restrict access to or availability of material that the provider or user considers to be obscene…or otherwise objectionable” (italics mine). This provision has become, in effect, a license to censor expressions of opinion that run counter to the convictions and political views these companies promote. The First Amendment argument absolving Big Tech from complicity in monopolizing political discourse is succinctly summed up by a commenter to an article I recently posted in which I advocated antitrust legislation with respect to social media. He writes, in part:

“A private company…is exercising its First Amendment rights to do whatever the hell it wants short of libel and slander and incitement to violence…No private company has the obligation to carry content which it opposes ideologically. No private company has the legal obligation to be content-neutral… [T]hat would be a blatant violation of its free speech rights. The government can neither suppress nor compel speech nor demand ideological neutrality from private entities...Changing the rules to subvert the Constitution by defining companies you don’t like as “utilties” or “publishers” is the kind of fascist trick the left is always trying to get away with.”




Thumbnail Photo Credit: N/A by N/A is licensed under N/A N/A

Gun Dynamics® in the Media

NRATV
Forbes
US News & World Report
Fox Business
Nasdaq
AAN
NYT
GUN WORLD
Newsmax
yahoo
guns.com
techjollof
presscorp
Circa
wgmd
newstage
baltimore post
Longroom
peoples trust toronto
Christian Science Monitor
Forextv
srn news
compuserve
dailyworld
rockland county times
investing.com
wallstreet reporter