OKLAHOMA CITY (KFOR) – Free speech and the First Amendment have been widely talked about in recent days since Twitter suspended President Donald Trump’s account for risk of inciting violence.
Legal experts say private companies don’t fall under the First Amendment like the government does, so Twitter’s ban on the president is legal.
“It has no application to private speech, companies like Twitter and Facebook are not subject to First Amendment constraints like the government would be,” lawyer Bob Nelon said. “It’s a private company, private platform, they can set their own terms of service and decide who can use it and who can’t.”
Those who support the president disagree with the decision.
“It’s a sad day when big tech has more power than big government and they can censor the President of the United States,” Donald Trump Jr. said in a Facebook video.
Nelon says a case that actually involves a First Amendment debate is about President Trump blocking users from responding to his tweets. The Supreme Court will hear that case soon.
Nelon says many legal scholars would say that may be a violation of the First Amendment.
“His action is government action and would be covered by the First Amendment as opposed to the platform itself,” he said.
As for Twitter’s suspension of Trump’s account, “It may be frustrating to the user that wants to use that platform, but it doesn’t violate the law,” Nelon said.