Protect the Filter Bubbles: Emphasizing User Speech Rights in Algorithmically Curated Online Forums
Dr. Jasmine McNealy
College of Journalism and Communications
In 2018, Knight v. Trump sparked discussion about the boundaries between government and citizen speech on social media. Some scholars argued that the courts erred in their decision and that the speech in question has been characterized as government speech. Others argued that the court decided correctly and that the use of forum analysis was necessary in order to ensure the health of our democracy as well as free speech rights for social media users. This article considers this debate within the context of algorithmic curation of social media feeds. This article argues that (1) social media platforms are not designated public forums due to the algorithmic curation of online user speech, (2) due to this, the public forum doctrine should not have been applied to the Knight v. Trump case, (3) despite this, user speech rights should be protected online. It also reviews proposed models of thinking that could address unresolved issues of the case.
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