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Do Social Media Companies Have Too Much Power Over The First Amendment?


Thursday, Jan. 21, 2021

While much of former President Trump’s language was not traditionally “presidential,” it has been largely protected thanks to the First Amendment.

But since the U.S. Capitol riot, Trump has been banned from many major social media sites and some right-wing apps were muzzled.

While critics suggest this is a slippery slope toward total censorship of conservative thought, supporters of the restrictions argue Trump’s incitement of the riot was deadly and allowing him to stoke further violence is dangerous.

As social media, press freedoms and a deeply divided America collide, we revisit the question: what does the First Amendment actually protect?

We sit down with national experts to analyze what freedom of speech means as Big Tech remains more powerful than ever and a new administration takes office.


RonNell Andersen-Jones, professor of law at the University of Utah and affiliated fellow at Yale Law School’s Information Society Project

Jillian York, director for International Freedom of Expression at Electronic Frontier Foundation

Katie Fallow, senior staff attorney at Knight First Amendment Institute

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Jesse Steinmetz is Producer of Charlotte Talks with Mike Collins. Before joining WFAE in 2019, he was an intern at WNPR in Hartford, Connecticut and hosted a show at Eastern Connecticut State University.