NEW YORK—One day after Twitter for the first time added a fact-checking label to one of President Trump’s tweets, the president threatened in a tweet to “strongly regulate, or close down” social media platforms. This followed earlier tweets by the president erroneously claiming that the platform had violated the First Amendment by following its fact-checking policy. 

The following response can be attributed to Jameel Jaffer, Executive Director at the Knight First Amendment Institute at Columbia University.

“It’s disturbing that the president misunderstands the First Amendment so fundamentally. There is absolutely no First Amendment issue with Twitter adding a label to the president’s tweets. In fact, there would be no First Amendment issue with Twitter banning the president from the platform altogether. The First Amendment restricts only government actors; it doesn’t restrict Twitter or other social media platforms. The only First Amendment issue here arises from the president’s threat to punish Twitter in some way for fact-checking his statements.”