Social media giants such as Twitter, Facebook and YouTube have special privileges that most media companies don’t have, and some say they are abusing that privilege by censoring opinions, mostly conservative, that they don’t agree with.
It’s the difference between a ‘platform’ and a ‘publisher’. Under the law, social media ‘platforms’ are not liable (this includes copyright infringement) for what is uploaded to their sites, because they serve as a posting venue for everyone. Now the individual is still liable for what they do, but the social media company isn’t.
A ‘publisher’ is different, because it limits who can post and exerts editorial control over what they say, it can be liable for what people write.
But some wonder when social media companies censor content that they don’t agree with or add additional comments to tweets as Twitter does, are they in fact functioning as ‘publisher’ with ‘platform’ privileges?
Calling it an attack on “free speech,” President Trump said he plans on making some changes.
There are alleged anti-trust issues at play as well. This Twitter thread explains more.