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After the 2009 Iranian presidential election, in which some people opposed Mahmoud Ahmadinejad's reelection, Hillary Clinton defended U.S. efforts to ensure that the Twitter social networking service has remained available for use by Iranian protesters. She said she considered it important to keep "that line of communication open and enabling people to share information (see here)."

But now, in the US Election:

US president claims fraud in election, but most of effective media censor or tags his comments. Isn't it important to keep line of communication open and enabling people to share information in the US?


Is there some law that help Trump on the issue?

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    Are you talking about social media platforms that have rules & restrictions regarding the spreading of misinformation? Can you show an example of what you mean?
    – Erik
    Commented Nov 12, 2020 at 16:04
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    In iran election there was 100s of misinformation. everyday there was fake news about people that were killed by government, some of which I personally saw was wrong (I was in northwest of Iran). but media highlighted them. After 10years i dont have evidences
    – user 1
    Commented Nov 12, 2020 at 16:09
  • I meant an example of what you mean is going on right now, not back then. Just an example of trump being censored so we can easily see exactly what you mean with "media censoring".
    – Erik
    Commented Nov 12, 2020 at 16:13
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    From my perspective, this is asking three separate questions at the same time: "Why is Trump being censored?" (the question title), "Is it legal to censor Trump?" ("Is there some law that help[s] Trump..."), and "Is censoring Trump compatible with America's democratic values?" ("Isn't it important to keep [that] line of communication open..."). This site is designed to answer one question at a time, not three. I think the third question is your main question, but I am not sure.
    – MJ713
    Commented Nov 12, 2020 at 16:51
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    What actual evidence has been presented of voter fraud? Random videos of people making claims doesn't provide any proof. Especially since it appears that none of the people with the "evidence" and "proof" are not willing to go to proper authorities to have it investigated.
    – Joe W
    Commented Nov 12, 2020 at 16:57

3 Answers 3

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Trump is not sharing information, he is using his position as president to spread baseless lies about election fraud. Twitter has no obligation to enable that.

A Twitter spokesman said via email: “As votes are still being counted across the country, our teams continue to take enforcement action on Tweets that prematurely declare victory or contain misleading information about the election broadly,” (CNBC)

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    who decides that his statements are baseless?
    – user 1
    Commented Nov 12, 2020 at 16:10
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    @user1 so far none of his legal challenges have changed any state results. He's only "won" cases seeking a court to order that existing rules be followed.
    – Caleth
    Commented Nov 12, 2020 at 16:20
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    @user1 What actual evidence has been presented of voter fraud? Random videos of people making claims doesn't provide any proof. Especially since it appears that none of the people with the "evidence" and "proof" are not willing to go to proper authorities to have it investigated.
    – Joe W
    Commented Nov 12, 2020 at 16:57
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    @user1 As usual, it's the free market. Twitter decides on Twitter, Reddit decides on Reddit, Stack Exchange decides on Stack Exchange... Commented Nov 12, 2020 at 16:58
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    @user1 That's not how facts work. You don't decide what is true via an election. Something is true if it is proven to be.
    – yeah22
    Commented Nov 12, 2020 at 17:16
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In the US, it is legal for private entities to censor or refuse to publish statements that they disagree with. Contrary to popular belief, the First Amendment only prevents the government from engaging in censorship. Twitter's refusal to publish or flagging of some statements and not others is a decision made solely by Twitter and its executives. Everyone else can only speculate.

There has been discussion in the US Congress of passing laws regulating social media censorship, but so far, no such regulation has been introduced.

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    Answer might benefit from pointing out that the Iranian example cited by the OP is the U.S. objecting to the Iranian government limiting the ability of the Iranian people to access Twitter. President Trump's access to Twitter has not been limited. Commented Nov 12, 2020 at 16:43
  • @jeffronicus: Not only that, but the comparison with Iran is doubly flawed because Trump still had plenty of access to spread his side of the story, Fox New (the largest cable channel), Newsmax, OAN etc. Whereas in Iran, almost everything press is controlled by the government. Commented Feb 22, 2023 at 6:54
  • As for (Iranian) laws: "Article 500 of the penal code states: "Anyone who engages in any type of propaganda against the Islamic Republic of Iran or in support of opposition groups and associations shall be sentenced to three months to one year of imprisonment."" So, yeah, in Iran CNN and much of the liberal press would have been closed (and thrown in prison) in an analogous situation. Commented Feb 22, 2023 at 6:59
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Is there some law that help Trump on the issue?

Not really. There is something called Section 230 immunity which, to the best of my understanding--and I'm not a lawyer or anything, so I could be totally wrong--protects social media companies from liability for moderating their communities. This is generally a good protection.

However, my understanding is that Section 230 is worded in a way that favors social media companies in a way that allows them to censor people (like what happen to the NY Post), and this is generally considered totally legal.

There has been some suggestions recently that Section 230 should be "reformed," though this is controversial.

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