For this trust to endure, these platforms must be transparent about their own policies and be consistent in their enforcement. Fortunately, experimenting platforms do not need to start from scratch. Lawyers and judges have spent centuries wrestling with similar questions surrounding free speech. Their answers can be deployed to defend the remarkable global public squares the platforms have created.
Regarding adoption of First Amendment common law — as opposed to each platform’s “improvised” rules — it’s nowhere near that easy, because…
- these instances are infinitely unique & highly subjective
- common law hasn’t caught-up with the internet age yet
- transparency engenders gaming-the-system & toeing-the-line
The legal precedent for First Amendment proceedings isn’t equipped to handle the volumes these internet platforms manage. Preexisting law requires a careful, time-consuming, resource-intensive legal process that don’t scale — think of trials in courtrooms.
With caveats, I generally agree about the principle of social media platforms making their user banning proceedings public. Sure, such openness regarding appeals and outcomes is a means of quality control, assuring consistency.
Social media platforms, transparency & the preexisting First Amendment standard /by @BuzzFeed…
\n* They have run into trouble where the lines blur between their missions and the missions of the journalists,…