Virtual Free Speech vs Private Property Rights
There are many people today who want the U.S. government to rule or pass a law forcing privately funded or publically traded companies that provide space on the electronic “Information Super Highway”, not to eject them off social media platforms. They want to force those companies to allow everyone to stay on their company provided privately owned computer servers that are connected to the internet.
I have read what many people complained about by being slapped down for their free speech and ejected from online privately owned or even publically traded social media companies. And I am a poster child for being slapped down and ejected off through suspension from 2013-2016 from Twitter, then let back in and ejected again during May of this year from Twitter for posting simple verifiable facts in a non-threating manner, was I naturally upset? Yes.
The following Petition extract from the White House website whiffs of a leftist approach to violate the U.S. Constitution of the United States, which quickly exceeded the required number of signatures needed for the White House to take action under the guise of protecting free speech, to force companies to allow their speech on private property. All that was needed are 100,000 signatures to complete the process and 100,472 signatures have been recorded as of this writing in very short order. The Petition in part reads—
“The internet is the modern public square. It is where political campaigns are fought and won, where journalism is created and distributed, and where grassroots movements are born, yet, the free and open internet has become a controlled censored space, monopolized by a few unaccountable corporations.
By banning users from their platforms, those corporations can effectively remove politically unwelcome Americans from the public square”….STOP! —
Since I am not an attorney or Constitutional scholar I can only go with what I have researched and read from the U.S. Constitution and various organizations that have commented on property rights and free speech. Based on my own findings I can only surmise that when one is connected to the Internet through their Internet Service Provider (ISP) privately owned servers with their Browser open or not they are using someone’s private property
One could also say when you are surfing the web going from web page to web page you are looking at someone’s private property as you go by, maybe that’s the “public square”, but I doubt it since you are using an ISP to get on that electronic highway via their private property called servers.
As to social media sites that one enters into electronically and becomes a member of it on the company’s virtual premises of physical electronic servers, this is called tangible property, or better said privately owned property, you are not in the public square where one can say anything they like protected by the U.S. Constitution. As to a company’s private property it can be tangible, meaning you can physically hold it and has actual physical touchable form or it is intangible property where you cannot physically touch it or hold it, which means no physical form.
The CATO Institute on Private Property—
The Constitution protects property rights through the Fifth and Fourteenth Amendments’ Due Process Clauses and, more directly, through the Fifth Amendment’s Takings Clause: “nor shall private property be taken for public use without just compensation.” There are two basic ways government can take property: (1) outright, by condemning the property and taking title; and (2) through regulations that take uses, leaving the title with the owner — so-called regulatory takings. In the first case, the title is all too often taken not for a public but for a private use; and rarely is the compensation received by the owner just. In the second case, the owner is often not compensated at all for his losses; and when he is, the compensation is again inadequate.
In England today the government patrols the Internet where there are certain words its citizens are not allowed to write about, so everyone has to be careful as to what they electronically write, even if such words cross their lips in the open public square or go to jail or pay a fine. The Chinese government monitors the internet as well, same applies to what you write and say on the tightly controlled internet or it’s off to jail or even worse.
Many people today don’t realize what they are asking for when they want our own government to force private entities to allow anyone on their private social media platform to utilize it for their free speech. A government forcing private media companies to allow anyone to stay on their site is in effect government tyranny, something the Left has been after for over 100 years.
Actually, our government constitutionally can’t get involved in forcing private entities or companies to allow anyone on their sites to exercise free speech for a very good reason, the “Bill of Rights”. The Bill of Rights is what the “People” told the government it can never eliminate, the Bill of Rights is not a list of what the government says is your rights, they already pre-exist.
The following partial extract is part of the Preamble to the “Bill of Rights” written by Congress when they added the “Bill of Rights”. Please take careful note what is said at that time—
THE Conventions of a number of the States, having at
the time of their adopting the Constitution, expressed a desire, in
order to prevent misconstruction or abuse of its powers, that further
declaratory and restrictive clauses should be added: And as extending
the ground of public confidence in the Government, will best ensure the
beneficent ends of its institution.
For your review from the National Archives of the United States on the Fifth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution and specifically your private property rights—
No person shall be held to answer for a capital, or otherwise infamous crime, unless on a presentment or indictment of a Grand Jury, except in cases arising in the land or naval forces, or in the Militia, when in actual service in time of War or public danger; nor shall any person be subject for the same offence to be twice put in jeopardy of life or limb; nor shall be compelled in any criminal case to be a witness against himself, nor be deprived of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor shall private property be taken for public use, without just compensation.
Many people today want some type of government intervention or some kind of #IBOR (Internet Bill of Rights) as I have seen people post on Twitter, where even some threaten to sue Twitter for ejecting people off their private virtual tangible property.
As to the Petition for “Protect Free Speech in the Public Square” by getting the U.S. government involved against private companies when they eject people, I am not surprised as to how many and how fast the signatures busted the 100,000 signature threshold for government intervention on free speech. Could it be that the wrong public education had something to do with it? I firmly believe this weighs in heavily, since public school textbooks today skew the U.S. Constitution and teach a dangerous ideology that has killed millions of people in the past, like the National Socialists of Germany, the Nazis that seized power—
In my opinion this Petition should not be acted upon to implement what the Petitioners want and only those who are looking for political mileage or notoriety will embrace an implementation of it.
I cannot in good conscious not offer my personal solution to the writer on the Petition and to those who have signed it, so here is what I propose: Since the Left leaning social media companies are using our own laws to shut out your free speech, which is perfectly legal, why not create your own social site, by buying your own servers or renting them and create your own social media platform. We do have a “Free Enterprise System” called open competition, a system that made us the richest, most free and most powerful nation on earth in very short order, let’s not screw with it, the Left wants to destroy it.
Another avenue is to go to other social media sites where you can be welcome, that way you can say whatever you like within their “Terms of Service”, snub your noses at Twitter and Facebook while leaving the government out of forcing companies in a “free enterprise system” against their own Will allowing you stay and say whatever you wish. In short, stop asking the government to solve all your problems or someday a small group of bureaucrats will end up doing even more thinking for you like the Left wants, a centralized tyranny, where all freedom eventually disappears.
Reference link: CATO Institute