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OpenMarket: Free Speech

  • USMCA Won't Protect Tech from Trudeau

    December 16, 2019
    A point of contention in the debate over the new U.S., Mexico, Canada (USMCA) trade agreement has been whether or not the final deal will include language inspired by Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act. Despite opposition from some including House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, Section 230-type language will be included in the final agreement.
  • Government of Singapore Demonstrates Real Online Censorship

    December 2, 2019
    Singapore’s recent policing of online content provides an instructive example of the difference between private curating of material by platform owners and dangerous curtailing of free speech by governments. 
  • Twitter's Ban on Political Ads Has No First Amendment Implications

    October 31, 2019
    Twitter Chief Executive Jack Dorsey announced that the social media platform will ban all political advertising. This comes on the heels of Facebook’s recent announcement that the company won’t fact check political ads on their platform. Whichever tack tech companies take with their privately owned platforms, there are no First Amendment implications. The First Amendment prevents only the government from making laws that abridge freedom of speech.
  • Cautiously Optimistic about Facebook's New Approach to Speech

    October 23, 2019
    It seems increasingly the case that there is a lot more to like about what Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg has to say than not. His recent speech at Georgetown University, outlining the company’s general direction when it comes to content moderation, is no exception.
  • Where Facebook Interim Report on Bias Falls Short

    August 20, 2019
    Today former U.S. Senator Jon Kyl (R-AZ), in fulfillment of an arrangement with Facebook, released an independent Interim Report (and accompanying op-ed) cataloging the primary concerns of conservatives who, as is now well known, regard Facebook as unfairly biased and opposed to conservative viewpoints.
  • Leaked White House Executive Order on 'Censorship' Violates Two Basic Constitutional Tenets

    August 9, 2019
    Earlier this week it was reported that the Trump administration was drafting an executive order to combat perceived “censorship” of conservatives on online platforms such as Facebook and Google. Without details, the Competitive Enterprise Institute urged caution since the First Amendment does not empower government to police speech but rather restricts government from limiting or compelling speech.
  • Nipping at Big Tech's Heels: Competition in Social Media

    August 7, 2019
    There has much bemoaning and hand-wringing by members of Congress on the alleged dangers of social media.
  • More to Like in Zuckerberg's Aspen Talk Than Not

    June 27, 2019
    Yesterday at the Aspen Ideas Festival, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg touched on some of the most pressing issues facing his company and big tech as a whole. While his continued calls for government regulation of social media companies and other online services are dismaying, many of the principles Zuckerberg laid out represent exactly why such government intervention is not necessary and likely won’t produce better results.
  • State Legislatures Seek to Undermine 'Janus' Decision

    June 27, 2019
    Labor unions continue to deny the First Amendment rights of public employees despite the Supreme Court’s landmark decision in Janus v. AFSCME, which ruled one year ago that non-union workers cannot be compelled to pay union fees as a condition of employment. Many public employees that want to drop their membership have found it can be exceedingly difficult to do so.
  • Post-'Janus', Unions Continue Undermining Public Workers' First Amendment Rights

    June 24, 2019
    It has been nearly one year since the U.S. Supreme Court restored the First Amendment rights of public employees, but many members are still having difficulties exercising these new rights. In the landmark Janus v. AFSCME decision, public employees who are not members of a union can no longer be forced to pay agency fees, better known as forced union dues, as a condition of employment.

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