Oversight Board Member Admits Meta Doesn’t Prioritize First Amendment

May 17th, 2024 3:41 PM

A Meta Oversight Board member recently confirmed the obvious: Meta might be an American company, but it certainly doesn't prioritize the First Amendment in its policy decisions. 

Kenji Yoshino, a New York University Constitutional law professor and member of the Meta Oversight Board, asserted that the U.S. Constitution is not the baseline for the tech company’s free speech policies. “Our baseline here is not the US Constitution and free speech, but rather international human rights norms,” he said at a National Constitution Center town hall event.   

Yoshino noted that America is an “outlier” when compared with other countries because it has such strong legal protections against censorship. He explained that as Meta became a global company “it could not simply default back to U.S. jurisprudence.”

The Meta Oversight Board member claimed that Meta looks at “striking a balance” between international values like “safety” and “dignity” and the U.S. Constitution. However, he admitted, “oftentimes that calculus comes out differently than it would if the baseline were First Amendment norms.” 

Yoshino contrasted the two different attitudes toward freedom of speech, explaining that in the U.S. “the [protecting] the speech we hate doctrine, is part of an expansionist and rigid vision that is intensely speech protective.” In Europe, however, the attitude is “much more tilted toward equality and dignity than it might be toward speech.” 

But the European standard is far from perfect. For example, multiple European countries, including ScotlandFrance and England, criminalize alleged “hate speech.” 

Applying European standards to Americans can lead to anti-First Amendment censorship. This is especially problematic as U.S. government agencies have reportedly resumed coordination with tech companies, indicating actions directly violative of the First Amendment.

Conservatives are under attack. Contact Facebook headquarters at (650) 308-7300 and demand that Big Tech be held to account to mirror the First Amendment while providing transparency, clarity on “misinformation” and equal footing for conservatives. If you have been censored, contact us using CensorTrack’s contact form, and help us hold Big Tech accountable.