Common Carrier: Facebook, Twitter, et al

Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas makes an excellent point.

Thomas wrote that companies, who are not subjected to the first amendment, do not have the “right to exclude.”

I’ve worked for phone companies. Yes, they are common carriers. And let me tell you, we not only could not censor customers, we weren’t supposed to listen in beyong the most limited monitoring to do maintenance. And telling anyone what you did accidentally overhear was a felony; which is why I can’t tell about one truly bizarre phone call I heard during a forced lightwave system switch. He has a new… what??

I think Thomas is correct. And… it would even be helpful to the big social media platforms to have that status. Interfering with a common carrier’s operation is a federal felony. That’s one more tool in the box for fixing hackers and spammers. The companies would lose their alleged right to censor speech thy don’t, but wouldn’t it be worth it?

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2A advocate, writer, firearms policy & law analyst, general observer of pre-apocalyptic American life.

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