'The wrong way to fix social media'

'The wrong way to fix social media'

July 26, 20191 min read

In a recent column published by the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, Associate Dean and Professor Enrique Armijo of the Elon School of Law addresses flaws in a plan to crack down on social media content many find objectionable. 

Armijo, an expert on how new technologies affect free speech issues, explains how the Communications Decency Act prevents internet websites and applications from being liable for the content of their users.

Now more than 20 years since that protection was codified, there is a movement to legislatively revoke that immunity from liability as debate about whether internet platforms should assume more responsibility for the content they publish and distribute. 

Anyone who calls himself a conservative should be embarrassed to be associated with this idea. As an initial matter, the legislation ignores the fact that a publisher's decisions as to what to publish are protected First Amendment speech. 

Armijo goes on to note that "the actual First Amendment rights of platforms cannot be sacrificed to protect rights of access to the platform's users claims but don't exist. We can all hope that neutrality will guide the hands of power, but the government cannot command neutrality from the powerful."

If Dr. Armijo can assist with your reporting about free speech, social media and new technologiesplease reach out to News Bureau Director Owen Covington at ocovington@elon.edu or (336) 278-7413. Dr. Armijo is available for phone, email and broadcast interviews.

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