(Image: Twitter)

Any remaining doubt about the social power of the companies that control social media in the West should have been put to bed by the digital defenestration of Donald Trump.

Given that Facebook and Twitter have immense, unprecedented power to manipulate and control what we read and hear and who gets to write or say it, and they have finally chosen to exercise that power in a brutally unsubtle way, is that OK? What can, or should, the law do about it?

Free speech is an abstract notion, in that it has never existed anywhere. All societies constrain its exercise for the same reason that they constrain free choice. That leaves no basis for arguing it is wrong in principle for social media companies to exercise some control over the content on their platforms.