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On Monday the Supreme Court threw out a case involving President Donald Trump blocking users from his Twitter page. Since Trump has been permanently removed from the platform by Twitter executives, the case is no longer relevant.
However, Justice Clarence Thomas took the opportunity to comment on the extensive power big tech companies have and whether they should or can be regulated by the government.
In the order vacating the case, Thomas wrote extensively about President Donald Trump’s Twitter feed, Twitter’s decision to ban him permanently from the platform, Amazon’s book banning and whether big tech can be regulated like a public utility, given its extensive reach and power.
Here are the pertinent details grabbing people’s attention, especially in Silicon Valley:
Some aspects of Mr. Trump’s account resemble a constitutionally protected public forum. But it seems rather odd to say that something is a government forum when a private company has unrestricted authority to do away with it. The disparity between Twitter’s control and Mr. Trump’s control is stark, to say the least. Mr. Trump blocked several people from interacting with his messages. Twitter barred Mr. Trump not only from interacting with a few users, but removed him from the entire platform, thus barring all Twitter users from interacting with his messages Under its terms of service, Twitter can remove any person from the platform—including the President of the United States—“at any time for any or no reason.”