Many people seem to misunderstand the First Amendment and freedom of speech in regards to Parler and Twitter, not to mention their misunderstanding of the basic tenets of the free market.

There are those who believe Parler losing business partners and Twitter denying Donald Trump a forum are frightening and egregious violations of the First Amendment. I don’t think that is the case at all.

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The First Amendment gives you the right as an individual to personally say what you like, when you like, on most topics. Obviously, there are some restrictions like national security, slander, public safety, inciting a riot, etc. What it doesn’t do is give you the right to use FREE social media platforms run by private companies to say whatever you desire any time you wish on their dime and space.

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It also does not give you the right to be published by private firms at your own discretion. Some people, who may call themselves fans of the free market, do not comprehend the concept of private property.

On the free-market side of the question, writer Emily Nunez said, “If you don’t think Government can shut down business because of covid or mandate them to enforce procedures…But you do think Government can force social media companies to keep accounts that they don’t want…do you really understand property rights?”

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Thus it is interesting to hear sunshine capitalists, weekend conservatives, and part-time free marketeers who believe in the sanctity of the private sector, except when private firms do things they don’t like. Then they become out and out socialists, demanding the state punish a firm for daring not to do their bidding. Ah yes, freedom for me, but not for thee, they say. Not exactly consistent.

Yes, the times are perilous. But that does not excuse a situational application of free-market principles. Remember the cake controversy in Colorado in 2018? A bakery turned away customers it didn’t want to serve, customers whose service desires would violate the bakers’ personal beliefs. I would venture to guess many conservatives agreed with the view of the bakery. I did. But now some of those same conservatives want to use the government, as they didn’t in the cake case, to force clients upon the private sector? Still not consistent.

There is also a Chicken Little school on this question that apparently believes there was no free speech in this country before Twitter, as the loss of the use of Twitter or Parler seems to tell certain people that free speech is almost gone.

They also seem to think when a free service of a private company bans you from using their product, that is also the end of free speech. Though strangely, those reading this who disagree with me will have the opportunity to say it right here in the comments section or on many different other platforms. But obviously, free speech is nearing death. It’s nearing death just like Trump will be inaugurated on January 20th and the president really helped the campaign in Georgia.

This piece was written by David Kamioner on January 11, 2021. It originally appeared in LifeZette and is used by permission.

 

The opinions expressed by contributors and/or content partners are their own and do not necessarily reflect the views of Drew Berquist.