Twitter: To Be, or Not To Be, a Corporation-Person

What Happened to Citizen’s United, Donald?

Liberals have bemoaned the Jan. 21, 2010, Citizens United ruling claiming that Companies are like people, and can contribute arbitrarily large and hidden funds to PACS to exercise their free speech in influencing elections.  Today, Donald “The Retaliator” Trump executively ordered Twitter and other social media to be subject to liability because they dared to point out articles that refute his lie of significant mail-in voter fraud.  So Trump is now claiming that social media companies do not have the right to free speech, at least in Trump’s Land, during Trump’s Reign.  Trump accused Twitter of interfering in the 2020 election.

Of course, just the opposite would happen if Social Media companies believed that they now had liability.  They would have to counter all lies.  (Trump was up to 18,000, just by mid April, since he had been in office.). Even though Trump only made a fraction of his lies on Twitter, people who quoted them from elsewhere would have to be countered, or ejected.  Trump himself, with his 80 million followers, would be the first to be ejected as too great a liability.  Oh well, anything to distract us from the 100,000 Coronavirus deaths.

While it appears that Trump is just extra sensitive, it is really probably the case that Trump and his subservient Attorney General Barr plan to appeal a possible election defeat to Trump’s Subservient Supreme Court on the basis that mail-in ballots were provided.  UC Irvine election expert Richard Hasen pointed this out in an editorial.

Mark Zuckerberg, founder of Facebook, was overly anxious to “lick the boot” (Shakespeare, The Tempest) that had not even been raised in his direction, announcing that he would never interfere with political statements.  I’m guessing, it’s to get entrance to China, a dictatorship with no freedom of speech.  (Hmm.)

Since I stole the title from Shakespeare, I looked into Shakespeare’s censorship during the Reign of Queen Elizabeth I, where all plays had to be approved by the Master of the Revels.  This is why Shakespeare wrote his plays in historical England or in Italy.  The Queen blamed a revolt on the play Richard II.  His plays were also “Bowdlerized” of off-color comments in 1807.

Of course, I am not a lawyer, so I have not clarified this argument of hypocrisy in the necessary 80 page “brief”.  So be it.

About Dennis SILVERMAN

I am a retired Professor of Physics and Astronomy at U C Irvine. For a decade I have been active in learning about energy and the environment, and in lecturing and attending classes at the Osher Lifelong Learning Institute (OLLI) at UC Irvine.
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