Big Tech, social media and new challenges to free expression

 Big Tech, social media and new challenges to free expression

In my previous article describing First Amendment basics, I mentioned that the law of free speech evolves over time, as new issues inevitably arise. The Founders seem to have expected this. That’s probably one of the reasons they drafted the First Amendment in such general terms.

However, few new issues have presented a bigger challenge to traditional notions of what free speech means than the rise of the internet and Big Tech. Internet and social media platforms such as Twitter, Facebook, Google and Amazon have become the primary means by which much of the public conversation in this country — about politics, social issues, morality and almost everything else — is conducted.

As a result, the recent actions of the Big Tech companies to block certain speech and speakers on their platforms raise important free speech concerns because what they are…

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