Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas wrote that tech giants such as Facebook, Google, and Twitter should be reined in and should become utilities.
"As Twitter made clear, the right to cut off speech lies most powerfully in the hands of private digital platforms," Thomas wrote, referring to the company's suspension of then-President Donald Trump's Twitter account. "The extent to which that power matters for purposes of the First Amendment and the extent to which that power could lawfully be modified raise interesting and important questions."
Thomas wrote that companies, who are not subjected to the first amendment, do not have the "right to exclude."
"If the analogy between common carriers and digital platforms is correct, then an answer may arise for dissatisfied platform users who would appreciate not being blocked: laws that restrict the platform's right to exclude," he wrote.
Thomas explained that the scale of Facebook, Google, and Facebook's market power and domination of the market share, writing: "It changes nothing that these platforms are not the sole means for distributing speech or information. A person always could choose to avoid the toll bridge or train and instead swim the Charles River or hike the Oregon Trail... But in assessing whether a company exercises substantial market power, what matters is whether the alternatives are comparable. For many of today's digital platforms, nothing is."
Thus, Thomas says, accounts such as the suspended @realdonaldtrump need to be controlled by the government to ensure that the power of a platform to unilaterally remove a government account" would have to be "reduced."
"We will soon have no choice but to address how our legal doctrines apply to highly concentrated, privately owned information infrastructure such as digital platforms," Thomas wrote, saying that legislation would be necessary to make such a thing possible.