Re: Free speech?
Surprisingly, ElReg has failed to see the real problem here:
"The President has, in retaliation, threatened to close down Twitter and other social networks, even though he can't"
yes, he can: social media benefit from a legal protection (Section 230 I think) which puts them in the box of "information platforms" and not "information editors". In short, it means that they only relay messages from users between them, and don't, themselves, create information like newspapers do. But by doing just that, editing messages of a user to other users, Twitter has stepped out of that role and became editors, not only a platform, and they can loose that protection (Section 230)
In other words, this could end Twitter for real.
What I don't understand: why do some people (including ElReg) think that Twitter, Facebook and co. are some special constructs ? They are only advertising platforms that disguise as messaging services, and it would be very easy to target them and bring them to their knees: it's enough to apply to them the rules that apply to other advertisement organisations, and they're dead. And nobody would cry after them.