FSF President Tweet Pulled

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Free State Foundation president Randolph May is scratching his head over a tweet that Twitter refused to allow him to promote.

May said that he had wanted to spend $50 to promote one of his "quotes of the day" he tweets periodically. 

He said the tweet was as follows: "The principle of the Constitution is that of separation of Legislative, Executive, and Judiciary functions, except in cases specified...and it ought to be so commented and acted on by every friend of free government." #ThomasJefferson."

According to a copy of an email from Twitter, the platform immediately rejected the tweet promotion as a violation of its policy against political tweets in ad campaigns.

Twitter and other platforms are under pressure to prevent election meddling, including through political ads and paid promotions.

May points out he has defended Twitter's freedom to decide what goes on its platform, but was surprised that a tweet about Thomas Jefferson and separation of powers was off limits for promotion.

"I’ll continue to defend Twitter’s First Amendment right to reject whatever speech or content it decides it doesn’t want to carry, even when its decisions are beyond silly or capricious," said May. "But it’s a sad state of affairs, not for me but for the country, when Twitter determines that quoting Thomas Jefferson on separation of powers as a means protecting free government cannot be promoted because it's a ‘political’ statement rather than the statement of foundational constitutional jurisprudence and philosophy which it is."

He ads that it is "more than a little ironic" that a defender of net neutrality for ISPs does not apply that same policy to itself.

John Eggerton

Contributing editor John Eggerton has been an editor and/or writer on media regulation, legislation and policy for over four decades, including covering the FCC, FTC, Congress, the major media trade associations, and the federal courts. In addition to Multichannel News and Broadcasting + Cable, his work has appeared in Radio World, TV Technology, TV Fax, This Week in Consumer Electronics, Variety and the Encyclopedia Britannica.