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Quinnipiac Student Sues Facebook Over 'Censorship'

Richard Drew
The logo for social media giant Facebook appears on screens at the Nasdaq MarketSite in New York's Times Square in 2018.

A law student at Quinnipiac University in Connecticut is suing Facebook after the company removed his posts that named the White House whistleblower.

The lawsuit claims Facebook violated the student’s First Amendment right to free speech and says the process of removing posts is totally opaque.

Nadine Strossen, a professor at New York Law School and former president of the ACLU, says the U.S. Constitution only protects the student’s First Amendment rights from government censorship.

“Not only do private sector companies like Facebook have no responsibility to honor his free speech rights, to the contrary, Facebook, as a media company, has its own First Amendment free speech rights, which include making decisions about what it will publish, and what it will not publish.”

Strossen says Facebook has won several lawsuits that tried to argue the company violated the free speech of its users. 

She says a better way to ensure transparency about how social media companies suppress content is to create federal laws. 

Cassandra Basler, a former senior editor at WSHU, came to the station by way of Columbia Journalism School in New York City. When she's not reporting on wealth and poverty, she's writing about food and family.