Opinion | Facebook, Free Expression and the Power of a Leak

July 1, 2017

Facebook, Free Expression & the Power of a Leak, by @MargotKaminski
https://www.NYTimes.com/2017/06/27/opinion/facebook-first-amendment-leaks-free-speech.html Internal company choices vs. the law

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“But there are also crucial distinctions. Where First Amendment law protects speech about public figures more than speech about private individuals, Facebook does the opposite. If a user calls for violence, however generic, against a head of state, Facebook deems that a credible threat against a “vulnerable person.” It’s fine to say, “I hope someone kills you.” It is not fine to say, “Somebody shoot Trump.” While the government cannot arrest you for saying it, Facebook will remove the post.

These differences are to be expected. Courts protect speech about public officials because the Constitution gives them the job of protecting fundamental individual rights in the name of social values like autonomy or democratic self-governance. Facebook probably constrains speech about public officials because as a large corporate actor with meaningful assets, it and other sites can be pressured into cooperation with governments.”
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