Normalizing De-Platforming: The Right Not to Tolerate the Intolerant

34 Pages Posted: 3 Oct 2021

See all articles by Robert Sprague

Robert Sprague

University of Wyoming - College of Business

Date Written: September 1, 2021

Abstract

Following the attack on the U.S. Capital in January 2021 tens of thousands of accounts, including the Facebook and Twitter accounts of then-President Donald Trump, were suspended or deleted. Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act grants online digital platforms immunity from liability for not only allowing third parties to post information online but also for decisions to remove that content. Since the “Great De-Platforming” of 2021, the viability of § 230 immunity has been called into question. This paper explores the legal boundaries in which online digital platforms operate. It argues that robust online speech requires that platforms must continue to enjoy immunity for their decisions on which content and users must be removed in order to ensure that intolerant speech does not squelch all other speech.

Keywords: Communications Decency Act, Section 230, De-platforming, First Amendment Free Speech, Online moderation

Suggested Citation

Sprague, Robert, Normalizing De-Platforming: The Right Not to Tolerate the Intolerant (September 1, 2021). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3915739 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.3915739

Robert Sprague (Contact Author)

University of Wyoming - College of Business ( email )

1000 E. University Avenue
Dept. 3275
Laramie, WY 82071
United States

HOME PAGE: http://www.uwyo.edu/mgtmkt/faculty-staff/faculty-pages/sprague.html

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