In a former ruling for a case a judge argued Donald Trump's Twitter account was a public forum.

But recently there was another case, where PragerU media sued Youtube, arguing that they infringed freedom of speech because Youtube was a public forum, and it also becomes a state actor (something I came to the same conclusion before reading this case when just thinking about these kind of issues)

First Amendment doesnt apply on Youtube

This last case the judge said

The Supreme Court in that case found that "merely hosting speech by others is not a traditional, exclusive public function and does not alone transform private entities into state actors subject to First Amendment constraints."

To me this judge is doing a workaround to avoid saying the word "Youtube isnt a public forum", because there are other rulings which said social networks were in other situations, but at the same time the judge seems to be implying it isnt for this case.

Could the Equal Protection Clause apply here? How can a social network like Twitter be under certain circunstances a "public forum", and another social network apparently to be implied not to be? Or how can it be argued that "First Amendment doesnt apply to Youtube", but the First Amendment applies to Twitter?

It looks to me the judges arguments in social networks issues in relation with freedom of speech are getting more and more obscure and fuzzy, to avoid showing there is a double standard.

  • 2
    There’s a vast difference between the actions and publications of President of the United States and a private corporation. It’s worth noting that in the rulings associated with your case about Trumps Twitter account placed no obligation on Twitter and was instead all about how the Whitehouse was obligated under various laws to preserve etc the tweets.
    – user28517
    Feb 28, 2020 at 4:19

1 Answer 1


The cases are completely different

YouTube can restrict speech in the space they own because they are not the government. The President can’t because he is the government.

From the article:

PragerU's claim that YouTube censored PragerU's speech faces a formidable threshold hurdle: YouTube is a private entity. The Free Speech Clause of the First Amendment prohibits the government—not a private party—from abridging speech

In the case of Trump it was he that was limiting access, not YouTube and he can’t do that.

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