Google has successfully argued that its search results are analogous to a newspaper editor’s decisions about what op-eds to run. They aren’t, though
There’s no doubt about it: the internet giants are on Congress’s radar. Despite intensive lobbying efforts by these companies, both individually and through their collective trade association, legislation imposing new restrictions on how they operate seems increasingly likely. “You’ve created these platforms. And now they’re being misused,” Senator Dianne Feinstein told the general counsels of Facebook, Google, and Twitter in a recent hearing. “And you have to be the ones to do something about it. Or we will.”
That hearing was directed at Russian interference in the 2016 presidential campaign, but the companies are under scrutiny for a host of other reasons as well. One is the ways their own platforms shape and alter the flow of information, as when a company like Google demotes or delists competitors’ sites like Yelp! while bumping up its own Zagat-infused local offerings.
Alternative link to the article Google and Facebook don’t qualify for first amendment protections | Heather Whitney