The First Amendment protects citizens against government censorship and limitations of freedom of expression, though it does not prevent private companies from setting their own rules.
And so, any discussion of free speech is irrelevant without bringing online social media platforms into the conversation. Every one of these huge platforms supports bigger government, higher taxes, and government dependency, and they have the power to legally censor or cancel any individual or private entity that does not fit their agenda.
Consequently, an ideologically authoritarian government can easily skirt A1 by using its social media allies to legally censor and cancel all opposing speech and information.
For Constitutionalists like me, this is where the real fight is today, and those at the forefront must have very specific goals:
-Legally enable and encourage universal access to the internet;
-Legally protect online freedom of expression irrespective of ideology;
-Restrict and monitor any and all government efforts to access personal data and censor perceived opposition by politically weaponizing social media; and,
-Establish and financially incentivize smaller social media platforms, and greater ideological diversity.
To summarize, these immensely powerful private companies like Facebook, Twitter and Google currently set their own rules, and control the political discourse of a nation. This is extremely dangerous for a free society, and so these companies must be prevented from arbitrarily limiting the political speech of their users, or risk disbandment through Anti-Trust legislation.
This may seem extreme, but the survival of our republic may well depend upon it, as it did more than a century ago.