By JOHN KANELIS / firstname.lastname@example.org
Time for a brief civics lesson to the minions of Donald J. “Insurrectionist in Chief” Trump.
Many of them are yammering that Twitter’s decision to ban Trump permanently from the social media platform is a violation of the president’s First Amendment rights of free speech.
Ummm, no. It isn’t. Not even close.
Trump has made liberal use of Twitter to get his message out, to do an end-around the filter of what he calls “mainstream media.” He was wildly successful at it, collecting 88 million or so followers. Many of them hung on every pronouncement he made. To be candid, I followed him, too, but only to see what kind of nonsense he would send out there.
He also used it to foment lies, such as the voter fraud lie about the 2020 election.
Twitter took action as a private business and banned him. Why doesn’t it violate the First Amendment?
The amendment instructs Congress to pass “no law” that restricts a number of personal liberties; one of them is free speech. The founders directed the amendment at the legislative branch of government, ordering Congress to refrain from passing laws that inhibit free speech, religious freedom, a free press, freedom to assemble peaceably, to seek redress of grievances against the government.
The amendment does not prohibit a private business, such as Twitter, from blocking someone from using that platform to spew lies … which Donald Trump has done!
There. Civics lesson is over.