Last Friday, Twitter permanently banned DJT due to further risk of incitement of violence until Inauguration Day. A few days before that, Facebook did a temporary suspension that would last for 20-30 days or so.
FWIW, I fully support that move by both the companies.
Apple, Google and Amazon effectively decapitated the right leaning app Parler by cutting off it’s distribution and hosting. I am ambivalent on that one as I believe its not in their scope to do so.
A lot of angst is being expressed that this violates First Amendment (freedom of speech and assembly) rights guaranteed by the US constitution.
Perhaps, it’s a violation. However, these companies do not represent the government and technically don’t have to guarantee free speech and can be governed by their Terms of Service.
Biden should appoint a highly capable FCC commissioner, whose mission for 2021 would be to craft a series of regulations governing speech online. And it could be done in collaboration with the United Nations so it can be applied across the globe. Why? There is so much whataboutism. What about this other leader, they ask, who said this and he/she is still on the platform. How come?
Until that happens, we will have a series of ad hoc situations and no one will be happy.
Probably a good time to be a lawyer in D.C.