Big Tech, Speech And The President Of The United States : 1A "The First Amendment, like all of the U.S. Constitution, applies only to government. It's a set of rules about what government can do to its citizens," says RonNell Andersen-Jones, professor of law at the University of Utah.

Want to support 1A? Give to your local public radio station and subscribe to this podcast. Have questions? Find us on Twitter @1A.
NPR logo

Big Tech, Speech And The President Of The United States

  • Download
  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/956471675/956550251" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">
Big Tech, Speech And The President Of The United States

1A

Big Tech, Speech And The President Of The United States

Big Tech, Speech And The President Of The United States

  • Download
  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/956471675/956550251" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">

Facebook and Twitter have both banned President Trump after an insurrection at the U.S. Capitol. YouTube has suspended his account for at least a week. DENIS CHARLET/DENIS CHARLET/AFP via Getty Images hide caption

toggle caption
DENIS CHARLET/DENIS CHARLET/AFP via Getty Images

Facebook and Twitter have both banned President Trump after an insurrection at the U.S. Capitol. YouTube has suspended his account for at least a week.

DENIS CHARLET/DENIS CHARLET/AFP via Getty Images

For years, social media companies have tied themselves in knots to avoid muting, freezing or outright banning President Donald Trump.

But when the president incited a mob to attack the U.S. Capitol, less than two weeks away from Trump's exit from office, Big Tech finally cracked.

Twitter permanently banned President Trump. Facebook froze his account for at least the remainder of his term. And as of this posting, YouTube has suspended the president's account for at least one week, citing the "ongoing potential for violence."

Is getting booted from your favorite social platform the same as violating your right to free speech?

And even if it's not – are we comfortable with private companies having this much control over what we can say – and where?

RonNell Andersen-Jones and Andrew Marantz join us for the conversation.