HARLINGEN, Texas (KVEO) — President Donald Trump was banned from several social media sites following the riot on capitol hill last Wednesday.
Social media platforms like Twitter and Facebook are coming under fire from people online saying banning President Trump from their services was censoring him, some suggesting it was a violation of the First Amendment.
KVEO spoke to a local lawyer to get a better picture of whether or not Twitter banning the President from its site was illegal in any way.
“You have a constitution that protects free speech, the expression of that free speech. But it is originally created to protect that suppression and oppression from the government,” explained Ricardo Barrera, an attorney at Barrera Law Firm.
Barrera told KVEO that tweeting was “ a different situation than, for example, having a microphone in the middle of the capitol mall.”
The first amendment says:
Congress shall make no law… abridging the freedom of speech.First Amendment to the Constitution
This amendment only applies to the federal government, and not to private companies, therefore sites like Twitter cannot violate yours or President Trump’s First Amendment rights because the First Amendment does not apply to them.
“President Trump can go into a park and holler until ‘till his throat is sore, he can do whatever he wants in a right forum,” said Barerra.
Barrera explained that Twitter and Facebook are not those forums.
“You’re clicking on the contract when you click on the service, and you’re subject to whatever they decide they want to do with you.”
When you sign on to use a site like Twitter, you must agree to their rules to use it and you must follow them to continue doing so.
You can view the Twitter Terms of Service by clicking this link.
Think of it like your house.
You have your own set of rules that must be followed by guests in your house. If you see a guest breaking those rules, you are within your right to ask them to leave. Or, you can decide that the transgression was too minor to warrant such a potentially dramatic confrontation and you let it slide until you can’t allow it any longer.
That is essentially what Twitter and other social media sites did by banning President Trump after Wednesday’s events.
“Everything that he did would be against that contract regarding the terms and services, and any behavior that they saw violated that they unilaterally have the right to exclude him,” said Barrera.