Eric Goldman, Eric, Donald Trump discussed on The DeMaio Report with Carl DeMaio and Lou Penrose
The day My report is Eric Goldman, He's associate Dean for research and a professor at Santa Clara University School of Law. Eric, Thanks for stopping by Yeah. Thanks for having me. So in a very brief indictment against this lawsuit, explain why the court should throw this lawsuit out. Yes, So Actually, there are three lawsuits so that former Trump filed against the social media services and at their core, They say that the social media services have become like the government sufficient to be governed by the constitutional protections. That restrained government behavior and snow credible argument that any of the social media services are the government their private actors. As a result, they get the protection that the Constitution provides to private publishers to exercise editorial described That's a good summation. Um do you think that the social media giant's I know that you don't like the the theory being advanced in these cases here? Is there a inappropriate proper Challenge to the social media giant's restricting speech on their platforms because there's a lot of people out there who feel that they're unfairly silenced. In what has really become an important public town hall. Uh, yeah, They found out that people want to have their say on the Internet services, but they aren't the only game in town and I think that's really important to recognize a lot of times people really want. Including what President Trump valued the most was the access to those Internet services audiences what we called free reach, as opposed to free speech. And so the bottom line is that we can't expect we are entitled to free of our of our message is we have to go earn that. And so really, when we think about the social media giant's as you describe it, we should acknowledge that they aren't the only place that we have a opportunity to say. But there's a place to reach an audience that we have to pay by those places rules if we want the to reach the audience. Okay. Uh, it's a kind of a logical argument, but it doesn't seem to fit the the prune eared shopping center versus Robin's case where the U. S Supreme Court. 1980 affirmed that shopping centers were areas of free speech because, in essence they had created and represented to the public that they were public gathering spaces. And this all stemmed from a California case where some kids wanted a petition regarding something at the United Nations and a shopping centre said this is private property. We can restrict. Um, in your in your argument there, it seems to fly in the face of premiered because one a private venue even if there are private sector actor. Puts themselves out there to the public as a gathering spot or as a place where you may converse and may expect a town hall like environment. They cannot start then, uh, choosing what content they want to provide. So how do you reconcile that with the argument you just made Uh, yeah, First, let's just acknowledge the hard case really should be anathema to most conservatives. It says that private property owners don't actually own the property They think they own. They don't have the exclusionary rights that we normally associated with property ownership. So if we really believe in property rights, we should cream yard as a worrisome incursion into those rights. But in terms of the applicability of premier to the online sector, Um I both persuaded the matter of matter of factual analogy but also as a matter of legal president, premier, It has nothing to do with the online environment. It's simply apples and oranges, whatever incursions would allow and physical safe. Yeah, but hold one second again. I think that's a specious argument. When you say online is not the same as physical, because guess what online is no different than physical because online's convenience is that it brings people together without physical limitations that the whole concept of going online and being virtual. If you've ever been to a zoom meeting, you kind of know that pretty much on the face, but Now let's go to the next element, which is the Supreme Court also ruled that President Trump violated free speech laws. Uh and this was in the case where he started using the Twitter platform in the Facebook platform features the software the features. To ban and silence people who were criticizing him. And in the case, I think it was two years ago, the courts ruled that his Twitter account was indeed a quote public. Forum. That's their words, not mine. I link that back to prune your words because they talked about a public forum there as well. I know that Trump is being a little hypocritical here because he banned people's speech himself and was caught for it and it was was slapped by the courts for it. But aren't aren't the same rules applying here that that the software is being used by staff at these agencies that these companies to limit free speech. Shouldn't that precedent apply here? Uh, I'm not sure where to go with that. The, um when President Trump blocked users being able to talk to each other On Twitter. Um he was acting in an official government capacity. In fact, he acknowledge that in today's complaints, um and so he was acting as the government squelch speech that censorship that violates the Constitution. That's a pretty straight board documents. When an Internet service chooses what it thinks the sitter its audience. It's exercising editorial discretion. The kind of discussion of the Constitution protects so that it really matters who's doing the deciding and what their legal status is. When a government official says, You can't talk to each other. Censorship with a price and he says, We don't want to publish this. That's free speech. It's free speech, but it gets into that whole issue of a public forum, which again I think the important part of that case against Trump is not that they were saying, Hey, you restricted free speech. That's what they did say. But the fact that the courts have already held that these Internet social media giants are indeed public forums. That's the important, uh, a applicability of those cases. And it's not something from 1980 like pruned yards. This is something from just two years ago, and ironically, it happened to involve President Trump. But the courts have said that these Internet providers are indeed public forms. So my question to you as I think, a lover of the Constitution and a lover of the law. As I am. Um, how many more restriction does there have to be before? There's a problem? Before we can actually say either. It's a constitutional issue or even a case of fraud against people because they were told, Come and sign up for Facebook and share your family's photos and talk to your friends about various things in your life and share your opinions. And in exchange, we won't charge you with thing, Eric. We won't charge your thing..