Trump faces First Amendment barrier in attack on social media

Attorney General Jeff Sessions is intensifying pressure on the social media over its elimination of certain users that the Trump administration feels blocks the free flow of ideas particularly those from conservatives. The Justice Department released a statement announcing a meeting with some state attorneys general September 25 to discuss the problem. (The Guardian, September 5, 2018, by Olivia Solon)

In a recent interview President Donald Trump said that Facebook, Google and Amazon could face antitrust problems. (Business Insider, September 5, 2018, by Bob Price)

In Columbia Journalism Review, September 6, 2018, Jared Schroeder cites a 1974 U.S. Supreme Court decision, Miami Herald v. Tornillo, in writing that the Trump administration is facing stiff odds if it intends to regulate the social media to give a greater voice to conservatives. In the Miami case, the court struck down a Florida law giving political candidates a right to reply to criticism. The court agreed with the Herald that under the First Amendment the government could not force expression in requiring the newspaper to “publish that which reason tells them should not be published.”

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