But note well the speakers here. Hawley, Biden, and Cohen have immense public platforms. Hawley even enjoys an extraordinary legal immunity that other citizens can’t even dream of – thanks to the Constitution’s Speech and Debate Clause, he can’t be held legally responsible for anything he says in the performance of his official legislative duties. There are no more privileged speakers in America than members of Congress.
Celebrities have their own websites. They’re sought after for speeches, interviews, and op-eds. Politicians have campaigns and ad budgets, and they also have abundant opportunities to speak online and in the real world. If they succeeded in making social media companies liable for users’ speech, they would pay no meaningful price. You would, however. Your ability to say what you believe, to directly participate in the debates and arguments that matter most to you would change, dramatically.
Large internet companies that possess billions of dollars in resources would be able to implement and enforce strict controls on user speech. Smaller sites simply lack the resources to implement widespread and comprehensive speech controls. Many of them would have no alternative but to shut down user content beyond minimalist input. Once again, the powerful would prevail.