ECU professor says President Trump’s ban on social media not infringement on first amendment rights

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GREENVILLE, N.C. (WNCT) — Many people are upset over President Donald Trump’s ban from social media sites, calling it an infringement on free speech.

Twitter, Instagram, Facebook and other sites permanently suspended Trump’s accounts after last week’s insurrection at the U.S. Capitol. Twitter said Trump’s tweets incited violence. Facebook has Trump’s account locked until after Joe Biden is inaugurated as the next president.

The president’s supporters, including Donald Trump Jr., claim free speech is under attack. Communication experts say private companies do not fall under the first amendment. ECU professor Brian Massey said social media companies have the legal authority to suspend a user’s account, even President Trump.

“Twitter is within its rights to do this,” Massey said. “Any other social media platform you can think of that is a private company is within its rights to enforce codes of conduct that may include stopping people from outrageous speech.”

Massey said the fact Trump Jr., can still post to social media is proof free speech is not under attack.

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