The Supreme Court has decided that schools have an interest in keeping an eye on what students post on social media sites in order to avoid “substantial disruption” on campus. But just where does campus end and how disrupting must speech be for schools to act and stay on the right side of the First Amendment?
The law is clear: employers get to decide whether or not an employee’s latest Tweet is grounds for termination and the First Amendment, though meant to be a shield from government overreach, is no shield from private consequence.
This month, 129 years after his birth and almost 82 years after the adoption of the Library Bill of Rights, it seems fitting to remember the work done by Forrest Spaulding in creating a bold and straightforward document that continues to inform the library profession in the United States and around the world.
Many of the bills use very similar language, referencing “unfair trade practices” and “censorship.” Several bills would require social media platforms to warn users of their specific electronic speech transgressions and give violators a grace period to clean up whatever part of their act that would see them banned. Some bills empower the banned to file consumer complaints with state attorneys general or, like Texas’ SB 2373, to file suit.