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Social media posts not protected under First Amendment

Free speech doesn't include social media posts
Posted at 5:54 PM, Jan 12, 2021
and last updated 2021-01-12 17:54:06-05

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (WTXL) — Following the violent protest at the Nation's Capitol Wednesday, social media platforms are removing messages inciting violence.

Websites like Twitter and Facebook have even banned President Donald Trump.

Under the First Amendment, social media can suspend users for what they say according to First Amendment Foundation President Pamela Marsh. That's because the amendment only restricts Congress from passing laws restricting language.

Since those websites like Facebook and Twitter are private companies, they get to control what's said.

"To say that we need to regulate Facebook and require them to keep this language up or that they're not allowed to censor really puts a huge liability on those companies. When people get killed like they did at the Capitol or harmed or targeted or stopped. It means that something needs to be curved," said Marsh.

Twitter says it has banned 70,000 accounts promoting Q-Anon conspiracy theories.

Facebook is also restricting content that promotes lies about election fraud.

The newly favored conservative social media site Parler has been taken offline indefinitely.

Because it relies on vendors like Amazon to operate, it had to shut down when those vendors stopped providing support because the service "violated their content-moderation rules."