Could the FBI have violated the First Amendment?

December 14 – Here comes some more info drips from Twitter. 

The latest is the Federal Bureau of Investigations may have violated the First Amendment with the Twitter moderation requests. 

Keep in mind, Twitter is a private company. Management can ban anyone they want. 

Where it gets tricky is if there’s a government actor that’s forcing some of that conduct. If there’s evidence that the FBI was specifically telling Twitter to keep content off the platform or ban certain uses, that’s where the First Amendment comes in. 

Attorney Clint Barkdoll said, “This Twitter story just gets stranger and stranger by the day. It sounds like this is now going to be the subject of an investigation in the newly comprised House when they take their new seats in about three weeks. It will be interesting to see where this goes.” 

When Facebook was asked, CEO Mark Zuckerberg said yes there were memos from the FBI, but they were not specific about content or users. 

Barkdoll said, “This Twitter information is now suggesting the FBI may have been much more specific to Twitter on certain content and certain users.”

Michele Jansen of NewsTalk 103.7FM said, “This is frightening. The FBI has no business inserting itself into our elections. That’s banana republic type of behavior. That is not what’s supposed to happen in a free society with representatives representing their constituents. This is the exact authoritarianism everybody was accusing Trump and his administration of trying to engage in. If this proves to be something more nefarious and more specific, then it is the structure, the security structure all these intelligence agencies, then they have taken a role in our government that is completely authoritarian and unconstitutional.” 

Barkdoll said, “I think that will be a big subject at this House investigation. They do need to get the records. Musk keeps dropping this data every few days, but I hope the House is able to say just turn over everything, not just the stuff that you want us to see. I think it’s going to be an interesting case.” 

Some members of the House are saying they want this to be one of the top priorities during the new session. 

Barkdoll said, “So I think you’re going to see a committee formed very quickly and you’re going to see this launch off the ground as early as January. There’s scenarios that Jack Dorsey, the former CEO, and other management within that company are likely going to be called before Congress to answer questions about this.”