Appearing before a subcommittee of the House Committee on Homeland Security last week, the Institute’s Litigation Director Alex Abdo discussed the many competing First Amendment interests at play in the relationship between the government, social media platforms, and researchers. He noted that “while the First Amendment forbids the government from coercing private actors into suppressing speech, it does not preclude the government from trying to persuade private actors to embrace its views.”

Moreover, turning specifically to the work of private researchers who study social media platforms and share their findings with the public, the platforms, and the government, Abdo emphasized that they are exercising their First Amendment rights and urged the subcommittee to tread carefully in this area. 

Read Abdo’s full testimony here.