Contradictory Treatment of Social Media Platforms by Courts

Courts treat social media platforms on a case-by-case basis, apparently in accordance with the interests of the Democratic Party. The range is from remote computing service providers unauthorized to even access the content that they store or transmit, to Section 230 interactive computer service providers, not publishers of the content, to publishers of that content protected by the First Amendment.

Example of treating social media platforms as remote computing service providers is this warrant, issued by DC Judge Beryl A. Howell in Jack Smith’s prosecution of Donald Trump: “pursuant to a request made under 13 US.C. § 2703(f), Twitter is required to disclose the following information to the Government for each account or identifier listed in Attachment A: 1. All business records and  subscriber information, in any form kept, pertaining to the SUBJECT ACCOUNT”, the SUBJECT is Donald Trump.

The law defines “the term ‘remote computing service’ means the provision to the public of computer storage or processing services by means of an electronic communications system;”

The text of the law reiterates that it is applicable only to providers of technical services, similar to phone companies:

“(1) A governmental entity may require a provider of remote computing service to disclose the contents of any wire or electronic communication…”

“Paragraph (1) is applicable with respect to any wire or electronic communication that is held or maintained on that service … solely for the purpose of providing storage or computer processing services to such subscriber or customer, if the provider is not authorized to access the contents…”

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