What Does Free Speech Mean Online?
January 28, 2021
Weeks ago, President Trump was banned from nearly every social media platform because of his role in the events at the Capitol Building on January 6th. Just before Congress was set to certify Joe Biden as the next president of the United States, Trump instructed his supporters to, quote, “fight much harder” against “bad people” and “show strength” at the Capitol. The social media bans on Trump and his supporters ignited a debate about whether these social media companies have too much power over the speech of their users. Should they have banned Trump sooner? Are these bans legal? What kind of precedent does banning Trump and others set for the speech of marginalized communities? And should the government rein in the private sector power of these companies?
Joining us to address some of these questions is Kate Ruane. She’s senior legislative counsel for the First Amendment of the ACLU.