The Political Shape of the Debate About Regulating Social Media
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These days, calls to treat social media platforms as common carriers are mostly coming from the Right, likely because such platforms are perceived (rightly or wrongly) as run by progressives who are especially likely to censor conservative voices. But the link to the argument in the Citizens United dissent may help explain why some top scholars on the Left, such as Erwin Chemerinsky, Michael Dorf, Genevieve Lakier, and Nelson Tebbe, have suggested similar regulations.
Some advocacy groups on the Left have likewise accused platforms of improperly restricting their speech. And of course even many conservatives, while generally more skeptical of government regulation of private actors, have long been open to some regulation, especially when the private companies have been seen as monopolies or close to it.
Hard-core libertarians, who oppose virtually all government regulation of private business transactions, are likely to oppose common carrier status for platforms (and perhaps the concept of a common carrier altogether). And of course many liberals, moderates, and conservatives may conclude that, even if such common carrier rules aren’t theoretically impermissible, they are likely to be unsound in practice. But my point here is simply that the concerns about platform power are not exclusively a matter for one or another side of the ideological divide.
 Prasad Krishnamurthy & Erwin Chemerinsky, How Congress Can Prevent Big Tech from Becoming the Speech Police, Hill (Feb. 18, 2021), https://perma.cc/645W-LMLP.
 Michael C. Dorf, Could Clarence Thomas Be Right About Twitter?, Verdict (Apr. 14 2021), https://perma.cc/D7AB-8Z4M.
 Genevieve Lakier & Nelson Tebbe, After the “Great Deplatforming”: Reconsidering the Shape of the First Amendment, Law & Political Economy [LPE] Project (Mar. 1. 2021), https://perma.cc/56F3-KMBE.
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