Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas made a statement that according to The Washington Free Beacon, is likely to “embolden” the opponents of tech companies concerning their protection under the First Amendment.
Thomans’ statement indicated that he doesn’t see a clear-cut defense for the Silicon Valley tech giants in the free speech amendment when considering the case Biden v. Knight First Amendment Institute.
The nation’s high court was hearing the case that considered whether President Joe Biden can block Twitter users from his personal account.
The Free Beacon reported that Thomas’ concurring opinion in the case puts forward the idea that major social media companies could be treated as both “common carriers” and as “places of public accommodation,” which are designations that, if enacted, would restrict the platform’s ability to bar some speech.
“Even if digital platforms are not close enough to common carriers,” Thomas said according to the publication.
The Supreme Court justice went on to point out that “legislatures might still be able to treat digital platforms like places of public accommodation.”
Mike Davis, founder of the anti-230 Internet Accountability Project said he believes that “Justice Thomas is right: Big Tech’s massive power to deliver and control the information flow in America gives it ‘common carrier’ status.”
According to Davis Google, Amazon, Facebook, and Twitter “have a different responsibility than other companies—the responsibility to avoid viewpoint discrimination and to protect the free-speech rights of its users.”
The question of whether the aforementioned platforms have a right to censor free speech has been a question of much import to conservatives, considering that the banishments seem to be predominately pointed toward right-leaning views.