US Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas on Monday dismissed a previous ruling from a three-judge panel, arguing that Twitter’s January ban of Trump exposed the potential abuses of its legal protection.
Thomas specifically criticized Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act, explaining in his ruling that the right to cut off one’s speech “lies most powerfully in the hands of private digital platforms.”
Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act is a decades-old law that protects technology companies from lawsuits and provides platforms wide range control over speech on their sites.
Thomas compared the platforms, like Facebook and Google to common carriers and warned these big tech should be “regulated” in a manner similar to telephone companies.
This is not the first time Thomas has called on the government to review Section 230. In a court order from 2020, Thomas claimed that placing no limits on an internet company’s discretion to take down material can in turn protect companies who “racially discriminate in removing content.” At the time, Thomas cited the court case Sikhs for Justice, Inc. v. Facebook Inc., in which the Sikhs for Justice company sued Facebook for blocking access to their page in India.
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