Social Media Use and Viewpoint Discrimination: A First Amendment Judicial Tightrope Walk With Rights and Risks Hanging in the Balance

Posted: 29 Oct 2018

See all articles by Kathleen Hidy

Kathleen Hidy

Xavier University - Williams College of Business

Date Written: August 29, 2018

Abstract

This Article examines the judicial reaction by United States courts to viewpoint discrimination challenges involving social media disputes and investigates the risks of a rights-centric approach to these legal claims. Increasingly, social media users in the United States rely on social media networking platforms for their consumption and dissemination of news and information and their exchange of ideas and opinions. As the national conversation and court of public opinion in the United States move online, courts of law face difficult questions about how social media use impacts bedrock constitutional principles surrounding free speech and debate. The constitutional limits of viewpoint discrimination under United States Supreme Court First Amendment jurisprudence provide the legal framework to address such questions. However, lower courts struggle to apply this jurisprudence in their adjudication of viewpoint discrimination claims brought by social media users. This Article analyzes the risks posed by this judicial reaction to a rights-centric approach to these viewpoint discrimination claims.

Keywords: First Amendment, Social Media, Viewpoint Discrimination

Suggested Citation

Hidy, Kathleen, Social Media Use and Viewpoint Discrimination: A First Amendment Judicial Tightrope Walk With Rights and Risks Hanging in the Balance (August 29, 2018). Marquette Law Review, Forthcoming . Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3261227

Kathleen Hidy (Contact Author)

Xavier University - Williams College of Business ( email )

224 Smith Hall
3800 Victory Parkway
Cincinnati, OH 45207
United States

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