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23 Aug, 2019 09:24

Free speech v free enterprise? Lawsuit over big tech censorship strikes at core of American values

Free speech v free enterprise? Lawsuit over big tech censorship strikes at core of American values

A looming court battle over social media censorship challenges America’s dual devotion to free speech and free enterprise, an analyst told RT, arguing that popular platforms like Facebook have essentially become public utilities.

The DC Court of Appeals has agreed to hear the merits of a lawsuit brought against Apple, Facebook, Google, and Twitter by conservative commentator Laura Loomer, who accused the big tech giants of conspiring to silence her political views. Loomer has been banned from several major internet platforms, including Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, Medium, and PayPal.

The case has sparked conflict between two American traditions, media commentator Gina Loudon noted.

There’s a confusion I think, because Americans love free speech and we love private property.

She said that platforms such as Facebook and Twitter have become so widely-used that they’re “almost like public utilities,” noting that big tech companies essentially have a “monopoly on communication.”

Google, Facebook, and Twitter continue to insist that user bans are never motivated by politics. A spokesperson for Facebook told RT that the company has “always” banned individuals or organizations that “promote or engage in violence and hate, regardless of ideology.”

Also on rt.com We have FREEDOM OF SPEECH in America! Trump reacts to Facebook ban

The tech giant did not comment on Loomer’s lawsuit.

Loudon, however, disputed the claim that popular platforms such as Facebook and Twitter are politically neutral.

“You can only come to one conclusion when it seems to only happen against conservatives,” she said.

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