Justice Thomas suggests U.S. should regulate Facebook, Google, and Twitter like phone companies
SAN DIEGO (KUSI) – Justice Clarence Thomas is arguing that tech giants such as Twitter, Facebook, and Google have become so powerful that they must be regulated, similar to utilities like telephone companies.
“As Twitter made clear, the right to cut off speech lies most powerfully in the hands of private digital platforms,” Thomas wrote, referencing Twitter’s ban of former President Donald Trump’s Twitter account, @realdonaltrump. “The extent to which that power matters for purposes of the First Amendment and the extent to which that power could lawfully be modified raise interesting and important questions.”
Justice Thomas argued that private companies are not subject to the First Amendment but are unique businesses in the way they are likened to common carriers and thus, cannot have the “right to exclude.”
Facebook has about 3 billion users and Google has about 90% market share in search, Justice Thomas elaborated, citing the tech giants’ power.
Dan Eaton, KUSI Legal Analyst of Selzer, Caplan, McMahon, and Vitek, joined KUSI to discuss Justice Thomas’s arguments.