Twitter, instagram, Snapchat, etc. all familiar names to people living in and well connected and free liberated place. Here we all believe our first amendments are a must and should and possibly have been honored for years and years to come. With the newer developments of social media things like sharing free speech, ideas and the right to expression have been more accessible than ever. That is until someone crosses the line and posts something that maybe be demeaning and hateful towards woman or the LGBTQ community or something of the sorts. Then what should those free speech and right to expression enthusiastic sites do. Ban those accounts that are discriminatory, preaching hate speech or releasing obscenic content? If so then were can they draw the line between accounts that are purposely hurting people and those who are actually exercise go their amendments. This poses a new question for our society, Do social media outlets (twitter, Snapchat, instagram,etc.) violate the right to free speech when banning or suspending accounts for hate speech?
It’s a very hard line to draw. Nonetheless, social media hinders free speech in one way or another. No matter where you stand on the line, left, right, center, you will see the effects. If people are using their right to free speech in a negative or abusive way then social media should have the right to ban or delete an account after at least one fair warning. Many areas of social media are having a difficult time drawing the line between what is acceptable and what is hurtful or even offensive to others. And to be completely fair anything can be deemed as offensive or hurtful in this day and age. Even schools are prohibiting the use of social media and even banning some accounts.
According to the District Administration, High Schools are trying to determine what is acceptable to permit in the classroom. The social media that they accept has to be permitted for educational purposes and not used inappropriately but students and/or teachers. The big idea for schools and social media is safety vs. free speech, which one is more important.
According to Daily Telegraph, Universities are even challenging violation on free speech. One University banned its Conservative Society’s social media accounts for bringing to light a survey highlighting that the University is “very intolerant of free speech”.
According to New York Times, twitter, a media outlet highly known for its free speech, has recently been banning certain accounts due to the usage of dehumanizing and hateful speech. Twitter has made multiple statements explaining their usage policies.
Overall I think one can see that social media has no way of protecting everyone from hateful speech without putting some sort of limitations of the first amendments. There really is no way to censor everything that everyone says, therefor people need to either not be so sensitive, be more respectful or not use social media.
HarryYorke. “Students’ Union Bans Tories in Free Speech Row.” Daily Telegraph (London), Mar. 2017, p. 9. EBSCOhost, search.ebscohost.com/login.aspx?direct=true&db=f6h&AN=8Q2123134966&site=ehost-live&scope=site.
Schachter, Ron. “Social Media Policy: Safety vs. Free Speech.” District Administration, vol. 49, no. 8, Aug. 2013, p. 48. EBSCOhost, search.ebscohost.com/login.aspx?direct=true&db=f6h&AN=103369527&site=ehost-live&scope=site.
CECILIA KANG, and KATE CONGER. “Inside the Struggle at Twitter Over What Warrants a Ban.” New York Times, vol. 167, no. 58051, 11 Aug. 2018, p. B1. EBSCOhost, search.ebscohost.com/login.aspx?direct=true&db=f6h&AN=131175628&site=ehost-live&scope=site.