Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists: Do social media bots have a right to free speech?

Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists: Do social media bots have a right to free speech?. “While the Kremlin agents who interfered in the US election likely wouldn’t be beholden to a state-level law in the United States, or deterred by it, domestic political campaigns and businesses might. For at least one constitutional scholar, that possibility raises this question: Do bots, like citizens, have that most sacred right enshrined in the First Amendment to the US Constitution, the right to free speech? Laurent Sacharoff, a law professor at the University of Arkansas, thinks the people programming bots may want US courts to answer that in the affirmative.”

Court: Politicians who block citizens on social media violate 1st Amendment (Ars Technica)

Ars Technica: Court: Politicians who block citizens on social media violate 1st Amendment. “A federal appeals court in Virginia ruled unanimously Monday that a county official who blocked a citizen from accessing her official Facebook page is in violation of the First Amendment.”

Quartz: US courts are figuring out if the government can block you on Facebook

Quartz: US courts are figuring out if the government can block you on Facebook. “In the last two years, there’s been a cascade of lawsuits in the US against public officials who have blocked people on social media and deleted critical comments. The list starts with the highest one in the country, president Donald Trump, and goes all the way down to a county board chair. As officials use social platforms more and more to communicate with their constituents, bypassing traditional media channels, the question of how they treat these avenues is becoming increasingly important.”

Brookings Institute: Regulating free speech on social media is dangerous and futile

Brookings Institute: Regulating free speech on social media is dangerous and futile. “The calls for regulating social media and technology companies are politically motivated. Conservatives who support these policies argue that their freedom of speech is being undermined by social media companies who censor their voice. Conservatives who celebrate constitutional originalism should remember that the First Amendment protects against censorship by government. Social media companies are all private businesses with discretion over the content they wish to promote, and any effort by government to influence what social media platforms promote risks violating the First Amendment.”

Freedom of the Press Foundation: Google should protect whistleblowers and increase transparency, not stifle it

Freedom of the Press Foundation: Google should protect whistleblowers and increase transparency, not stifle it. “Companies that claim to care about transparency—especially those like Google, which have the power to influence civil liberties for people across the world—should implement robust internal policies to protect whistleblowers. Whether they bring their ethical concerns to their supervisors or the press, tech workers should not have to fear retaliation for alerting people to an issue of profound public concern.”

Columbia Journalism Review: Press protections might safeguard Google’s algorithms, even from Trump

Columbia Journalism Review: Press protections might safeguard Google’s algorithms, even from Trump. “Regulating algorithms might seem like entirely new legal territory, since Google and its cousins are only two decades old. But a newspaper case from 1974 has quite a bit to say about whether the government can control, under the First Amendment, companies’ algorithms and how they produce and organize information.”

University of Florida: First Amendment Advocates Support Citizens’ Right to Criticize Government Agencies on Facebook

University of Florida: First Amendment Advocates Support Citizens’ Right to Criticize Government Agencies on Facebook. “In a case reminiscent of the dispute over President Trump’s blocking of critics from his Twitter feed, University of Florida College of Journalism and Communications Brechner Center for Freedom of Information and Marion B. Brechner First Amendment Project are supporting the free-speech case of a Texas police critic who was forbidden from posting to the Facebook page of her local sheriff’s office.”