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First Amendment rights on social media


Recently, Facebook has taken fire across the political spectrum about how it enforces rules about what speech is allowed on the platform. Conservative commentators have had their accounts suspended; minority rights groups complain of fierce and persistent hate and harassment.

The First Amendment does not apply to privately owned social media companies. But if companies remain opaque and unaccountable about their rules and enforcement, regulatory pressure will grow. The best response is transparency and corporate social responsibility: disclose more information about how rules are enforced and conduct impact assessments on how rules and their enforcement mechanisms affect different user communities.

Rebecca MacKinnon, Ranking Digital Rights Project, New America

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