Can you be prosecuted for a social media post? Dothan attorney has the answer

Local News

DOTHAN, Ala. (WDHN) — After seeing the chaos that unfolded at the country’s capital, many took to social media to let their voices be heard.

But, depending on what you post, you can get into some serious trouble if what you say passes the Brandenburg test.

“The question becomes, and it’s under the Brandenburg test; there’s going to be three things that a user has to be aware of,” Dothan Attorney Ben Irwin said. “There must be intent to cause imminent lawless action, and then how close, how imminent is that action they’re asking for, and then the likelihood the imminent action will occur.”

A huge topic of discussion over the past few months has been if Facebook, Twitter, and other social media platforms have the right to sensor posts.

This was brought up again when Trump’s posts and accounts were suspended during and immediately after the capitol riots.

“So yes, you have to follow their terms and conditions,” Irwin said. “No one ever sees them. No one ever reads them. They’re, you know, this long, but when you look at those places, yes, you’re going to have limitations on that.”

“If they deem you to have hate speech, if they deem you’re saying things that are false and misleading, they have the ability,” he added. “But it’s also why when your accounts get suspended for saying things, they have that right you’re using their resources.”

Irwin also said that people with social media pages do have the right to hide or censor comments on posts if they do not follow along with that page’s specific guidelines.

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