Shapers of Cyber Speech – Silicon Valley and American Discourse

In January, Twitter and Facebook removed President Trump and many of his followers’ accounts while Google, Apple, and Amazon cut business ties with Twitter competitor Parler over alleged contract violations, crippling its business. Many on the right are incensed. Others see these actions as an example of polycentric checks-and-balances in the classical liberal tradition. Yet even among those who welcome the silence, many are troubled by Silicon Valley’s aggressive actions. But if there is a problem, what is to be done? Between the First Amendment, the bitter partisan divide in Washington, and the need for some content moderation in widely-used social media, what are the realistic regulatory options for curbing Silicon Valley’s influence on the national discourse? What are the potential downsides of some of these options?

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As always, the Federalist Society takes no position on particular legal or public policy issues; all expressions of opinion are those of the speaker.

Neil Chilson

Senior Research Fellow for Technology and Innovation

Charles Koch Institute

Billy Easley

Senior Policy Analyst for Technology and Innovation

Americans for Prosperity

Stewart A. Baker


Steptoe & Johnson LLP

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