“Mr. Dorsey, who the hell elected you and put you in charge of what the media are allowed to report and what the American people are allowed to hear?” Senator Ted Cruz of Texas.
That's what Cruz asked of Jack Dorsey, co-founder and CEO of Twitter at a Senate hearing today.
I think the question is best turn around to ask Cruz this: Who the hell elected you to tell a company what it can or can't do? After all, Cruz is anti-regulation.
The Twitter CEO is obviously not in charge of what media are allowed to report. Nor does he determine what the American people can hear. However, he does run the company and as such he is required to make the best fiduciary decisions he can to increase shareholder value.
Cruz is one of many millions of people who think the First Amendment allows them to saw whatever they want, whenever they want, however they want.
That's simply not true and has never been.
Twitter is a de facto publisher of all content on its platform and can control as it wishes. Just as anyone with a Twitter, Facebook, or other social media account is a publisher of their own sites. They are not required to allow anything other than what they want.
I'm the publisher of this blog. If someone writes a comment I dislike, I can remove it without having censored anyone. The word "censorship" itself derives from the Roman Empire when the government could and did censor its people.
Remember the First Amendment's first five words, "Congress shall make no law ..." Even our originalist jurists would note the very first amendment in the Bill of Rights makes no mention of Twitter.
And if Cruz's little boo boo feelings are hurt, he can post in numerous places curses against social media -- no one is going to stop him.
Peace and First Amendment freedoms unto all of my brothers and sisters.