A republican form of government requires a free and open public square. The Founders thought that free speech was necessary for self-government. In an address to the officers of the army, George Washington said, "...the freedom of speech may be taken away, and dumb and silent we may be led, like sheep, to the slaughter."
All political power originates in the American people, therefore the right to freely reason and deliberate is essential. Only in a free and open public square is every voice heard, and the best arguments prevail. Today, social media platforms are the modern-day equivalent to the public square. Social media is where people discuss ideas and make their voices heard.
During the dawn of the internet, Congress laid out policies that enabled the internet to flourish. Section 230 of the Communication Decency Act provides platforms, like Twitter and YouTube, legal protections against liability. Publishers, like CNN and the New York Times, are responsible for the content on their websites. If publishers print something defamatory, they can be sued.
Given that a platform does not moderate its content, section 230 provides legal protections against liability. It also allows platforms to remove graphic and violent material while keeping their legal protections. Recent activity by tech leaders against section 230 has prompted President Tr