by Jack Greiner of the USA Today Network
Mr. Greiner is identified as the managing partner of Graydon law firm in Cincinnati and the attorney who “…represents Enquirer Media in First Amendment and media issues.” So I guess we’re supposed to take what he says as truth and the final word on a topic. So when Mr. Greiner says:
“With all due respect to Ambassasor Haley, she has this completely backward. Presumably, she considers Twitter’s decision to be a form of censorship, similar to that exercised by China’s Communist regime. But it is pretty clear its not. Not by a long shot.”
Mr. Greiner makes two key points. The first point is Twitter is a “private” company, not a government. While he is correct that Twitter is not the government, he is wrong about it being a “private” company. Twitter is not a “private” company, it is a “public” company. I proved it by asking my iPhone the question of “How can I invest in Twitter”. It answered by giving me suggestions of how I could buy stock in the company. It gave similar responses to “How can I invest in Facebook” and “How can I invest in Amazon”. Each of those companies started off as truly private companies, but at some point in time the original owners decided to cash in on the value of their company and offered shares to the general public. That makes them public companies, not private companies. As public companies they are under a much different set of rules and regulations. They are also subject to boards of directors and ultimately stock holders. As a true “private” company management and owners have the right to make decisions that don’t violate laws in any manner that they choose, whether it enhances the value of their company or not. But as management (and boards) of public companies, their ultimate responsibility is to shareholders. And in the past, the test was always “Does the action enhance the share holder’s investment value?” If the answers is “No” there usually are consequences. If the answer is “No and it was egregiously no” management opens the company and themselves up to legal consequences.
Was management’s action of excluding the President of the United States from using Twitter in the best interest of the shareholders of Twitter? How about its action to deny the ability of individuals to question whether the results of an election were legitimate like millions of voters believe is the case? How about freezing the account of the New York Post when it properly reported shortly before the November election that there were Federal investigations underway regarding Hunter Biden’s business ties to foreign governments? There are many open questions as to whether the management of Twitter has been and is acting in shareholders’ best interest. So “private company” doesn’t just mean “non-government” as Mr. Greiner would like us to believe. There is some evidence that Twitter’s management believes they answer to no one, but themselves. If that is the case, then they are very similar to the Chinese Communist Party.
Mr. Greiner goes on to tell us “…certain speech is ‘unprotected’. And speech that incites violent (I think he meant violence) fits in that category.” We’ve heard the claim that President Trump’s speech to those who attended the rally “incited violence”. However they don’t point to which words they were. Certainly when he urged those who had attended the rally to go to the Capitol Building peacefully and patriotically it is hard to see that those were words inciting violence? And the fact that the Capitol Building was breached prior to President Trump urging individuals to go to the Capitol Building would lead an honest person to question whether his speech incited the breaching.
So in the typical fashion of lawyers arguing a case in the best interest of their client, Mr. Greiner uses words that might not really apply to the actual facts of the case before him.
- The Chinese Government uses the means available to it to make sure that speech that they don’t like doesn’t appear and that those attempting to express it don’t have a platform with which to speak.
- The management of Twitter is using the means available to it to make sure that speech they don’t like doesn’t appear and that those attempting to express it don’t have a platform with which to speak.
That may not sound similar to Mr. Greiner, but to many of us, whether we support President Trump or not, it sounds very similar. It sure does to me! Twitter’s actions are a form of censorship and it is being done by a “PUBLIC” corporation. Shame on them!
Hopefully Twitter’s shareholders will be upset with the company’s management’s actions too.