Twitter, Facebook, and a host of other privately-held companies have imposed bans on President Donald J. Trump, believing that his incendiary comments on January 6, 2021, helped fan the flames of outrage that resulted in an assault on the Capitol. Trump and others have decried the social media blackout as a direct assault on conservative points of view, and as a draconian targeting of only certain types of speech.
A British judge refused the United State’s request to extradite WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange after finding there was a “substantial” risk that he would harm himself. “I am satisfied that, in these harsh conditions, Mr. Assange’s mental health would deteriorate, causing him to commit suicide with the single-minded determination of his autism spectrum disorder,” District Judge Vanessa Baraitser said in a ruling released on January 4th.
The order prohibits American companies from doing business with TikTok’s parent company, ByteDance, a move experts say would eventually prevent Americans from using the app. Both the American Civil Liberties Union and the Knight First Amendment Institute at Columbia University warned the White House’s efforts to cut ties with Chinese social media companies violate the First Amendment rights of U.S. users.
On May 28th, President Donald Trump signed an executive order that aims to roll back legal protections for social media platforms. His order was immediately met with withering criticism from First Amendment experts.
A federal appeals court ruled that President Trump’s Twitter account is a public forum, and his practice of blocking critics violates the First Amendment. The decision arose from a July 2017 suit filed in U. S District Court for the Southern District of New York by seven Twitter users who had been blocked after they made critical remarks about Trump and/or his policies. The critics, represented by Knight First Amendment Institute at Columbia University, sued Trump and Daniel Scavino, the White House’s Director of Social Media, for violating their First Amendment rights.
Across the ideological spectrum, Supreme Court Justices appeared to find common ground in that “mass searches of our digital effects […]