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January 6th and President Trump: A Study of Social Media in Today’s America

Alex Sung () and David Douglas Klein ()
Additional contact information
Alex Sung: Student USA
David Douglas Klein: Adjunct Instructor, New Jersey City University, USA,

RAIS Conference Proceedings 2021 from Research Association for Interdisciplinary Studies

Abstract: In the wake of the January 6th mob insurrection at the US Capitol, does the Federal government need to implement protocols that flag insurrection and domestic terrorism on social media platforms such as Facebook and Twitter? The US Supreme Court protects Free Speech on privately owned media, but the most popular Internet sites have evolved by 2021 to become wide-spread spaces for public and private communication. Currently, these global platforms are permitted to selectively censor and regulate speech at their discretion without infringing upon First Amendment rights. The ubiquity of social media means that the publicly-available speech (e.g. posts) of Twitter and Facebook’s billions of users is controlled by what’s recently called by Congressional critics and commentators as “Big Tech†. The most recent President of the United States Donald Trump was permanently banned from the largest social media platforms. On July 7, 2021 he filed class-action lawsuits targeting Facebook, Google (owner of YouTube) and Twitter. Many Americans with conservative views feel social media silence their voices, while those with liberal views argue that social media platforms do not eliminate hate speech. This paper will delve into whether increased government oversight and applying the rights of the First Amendment to individuals online can maintain peaceful public discourse, avoiding any future violence. The paper will also provide an overview of the essential legal hurdles the Trump lawsuit faces but will not analyze the strengths and weaknesses of the Trump case.

Keywords: censorship; social media; January 6 riot; free speech rights; Trump ban; Facebook; Twitter; political bias (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Pages: 6 pages
Date: 2021-08
New Economics Papers: this item is included in nep-ict and nep-law
References: View complete reference list from CitEc
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Published in Proceedings of the 23rd International RAIS Conference on Social Sciences and Humanities, August 15-16, 2021, pages 93-98

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