The First Amendment is arguably the single most important law of the land. To many, it’s the very foundation of the United States.
However, these same people have become increasingly concerned in recent years. They believe freedom of speech is in very serious danger.
And now, a former President believes there are cases were the First Amendment doesn’t apply.
In giving a speech at Stanford University, Obama first described himself as “pretty close to a First Amendment absolutist.”
But he quickly clarified that statement by saying that this particular rule doesn’t apply to everything — in the interest of stopping “disinformation.”
Essentially, the former POTUS is saying that freedom of speech just doesn’t count for private companies.
This includes the likes of social media corporations such as Facebook and Twitter, and that remark has already received a ton of backlash from Constitutionalists.
As Obama stated (from Breitbart):
The First Amendment is a check on the power of the state. It doesn’t apply to private companies like Facebook and Twitter.
While content moderation can limit the distribution of clearly dangerous content, it doesn’t go far enough.
Obama said the problem is that over time, “we lose our capacity to distinguish between fact, opinion, and wholesale fiction.” Or “we just stop caring.”
That’s when social media companies need to step in.
Obama added that certain dangerous people also use social media to distract users, and are basically “flooding the public square with raw sewage.”
That’s when the former President said he wanted to see mass social media reform and regulation, which certainly seems anti-1A, according to many citizens.
But Obama believes that because we can’t tell the difference between a “peer-reviewed article by Dr. Fauci and a miracle cure pitched by a huckster,” social media needs to clamp down.
He even claimed that “people are dying because of misinformation” (referring to instances of COVID-related information).
But in the end, saying that the First Amendment doesn’t apply in what are essentially public forums — well, it’s not going over well with certain people.
- Former President Barack Obama called himself “pretty close to a First Amendment absolutist.”
- But he said this doesn’t apply to private companies, including social media corps like Facebook and Twitter.
- He argued that “misinformation” can hurt people, and demanded reform and regulation for the social media titans.