PSA: The First Amendment does not insulate companies from anticompetition law.
Imagine a world in which every time a business released a deceptive ad (e.g. claiming their herbal cure cures diabetes in 24-hours!!!) the company could shield itself from FTC litigation by claiming their lies are fully protected by the First Amendment. It’s absurd.
The fact that one is speaking does not a magical shield against all legal liability make.
My piece, “Google and Facebook don’t qualify for First Amendment protections,” has been published with The Guardian this afternoon. It’s a (very) condescend version of my Emerging Threats essay with the Knight First Amendment Institute at Columbia University.
My contribution to The Knight First Amendment Institute at Columbia University’s Emerging Threats series is now up, as is a great introduction by David Pozen and responses from Eric Goldman, Frank Pasquale, and Genevieve Lakier.
(here’s the PDF version of my piece)(here’s the PDF on SSRN)
More on the Series from their site:
“The Knight First Amendment Institute’s Emerging Threats series invites leading thinkers to identify and grapple with newly arising or intensifying structural threats to the system of free expression. Fake news, hostile audiences, powerful private platforms, government secret-keeping, and other phenomena have the potential to destabilize political systems and undermine economic and social reform. The papers in the series explore ways to address these threats and preserve the foundations of democracy essential to healthy open societies, including the United States.
The Emerging Threats series is edited by David Pozen, professor at Columbia Law School and inaugural visiting scholar at the Knight Institute.”