Conservatives (or rather alt-right), as well as folks on the (extreme?) left are outraged with screams of censorship after Facebook banned several high profile figures for hateful rhetoric.
Even the President of the United States decided to share his thoughts regarding the removal of alt-right voices from the social-verse (repeatedly).
I am continuing to monitor the censorship of AMERICAN CITIZENS on social media platforms. This is the United States of America — and we have what’s known as FREEDOM OF SPEECH! We are monitoring and watching, closely!!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) May 3, 2019
How can it be possible that James Woods (and many others), a strong but responsible Conservative Voice, is banned from Twitter? Social Media & Fake News Media, together with their partner, the Democrat Party, have no idea the problems they are causing for themselves. VERY UNFAIR!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) May 4, 2019
On the other end of the political spectrum, many folks were upset about Louis Farrakhan being banned from Instagram & Facebook, with rapper Snoop Dogg voicing his displeasure upon Instagram.
Before both the extreme right & left launch a boycott brigade against the big, bad, corporations for banning their beloved leaders for violating the First Amendment, they might want to re-read what it says again.
Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances. (First Amendment of US Constituion)
The right to peacefully assemble includes businesses, as business owners cannot be forced to associate with customers they deem to be unruly, offensive or contrary to how they desire to operate their business.
It’s why Christian bakers are allowed to refuse to make gay wedding cakes (yeah, the cases are being appealed but the Supreme Court will uphold it), as well as why gay owners at coffee shops can prohibit Christians from buying drinks in their establishments.
Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Google, YouTube, etcetera, do have the right to openly censor conservative voices on their platforms, as there are numerous alternatives online & off for them to voice their opines.
Is it a smart business move‽ It depends on who their paying customers & advertisers are as they ultimately influence what content exists on social networks (money talks, everything else walks).
But if you are not paying for an internet service (even a global powerhouse like Facebook) then you have no power to alter these companies policies, as they are not going to bite the financial hand that feeds them.
Image Credits: Ben Garrison
Update: Fixed block quote.