Fox News senior judicial analyst Andrew Napolitano on Wednesday shot down President Donald Trump’s threat to regulate Twitter after the company fact checked one of his tweets.
A note added to the president’s tweet encouraged users to “get the facts about mail-in ballots,” which Trump had wrongly called “no less than substantially fraudulent.”
“We will strongly regulate, or close them down, before we can ever allow this to happen,” Trump wrote in response to the fact check.
Fox News host Sandra Smith asked Napolitano if Twitter has the power to fact check the president.
“Can they do this?” the Fox News host wondered.
“The short answer is yes,” Napolitano replied. “The president is right about the bias in social media and the president is also understandably not happy about his being fact checked. I mean, nobody would.”
“But Twitter is privately owned and publicly held,” he continued. “It’s not owned by the government. And so the First Amendment, which guarantees the freedom of speech and of the press, since it only regulates the government, does not regulate Twitter. So stated differently, Twitter can take down, modify or correct any user it wants, including the president of the United States.”
Napolitano predicted that it will be almost impossible for Trump to “regulate” Twitter’s free speech rights.
“Look, I don’t like what they say,” he remarked. “But I’ll defend to the death their right to say it. Under a Supreme Court decision that the president likes called Citizens United, Twitter has freedom of speech just like you and I and the president himself.”
Watch the video below from Fox News.