i. Although anyone can post whatever they want, inappropriate content is not tolerated.
ii. For example, Facebook has a way of reporting abusive content, which is then removed or hidden from the end-users.
iii. Other companies, such as Instagram, Twitter, and Discord, also censor what their users can say and what they cannot say.
iv. Accounts that are associated with inappropriate content are suspended or removed permanently.
i. The use of social media is highly controlled in North Korea, Syria, Iran, China, and Germany.
i. Companies delete content or accounts without recourse, rationale, or warning (White House, 2020)
ii. Some companies, such as Twitter, are slowly applying political bias by attaching warning labels to some tweets.
iii. The companies invoke groundless, inconsistent, and irrational justifications for restrictions or censorship (White House, 2020)
iv. Participation in selective censorship is a threat to people’s freedom of speech.
• Although social media companies are privately owned, governments use them to block content that they deem inappropriate.
i. In the “Knight First Amendment Institute for Columbia University v. Trump, Donald Scavino and the U.S. President Donald Trump was accused of blocking people from self-expression in a Twitter account (Supreme Court of the United States, 2020)
Social media is censorship, which has prompted the U.S. government to develop policies to promote open and free debate on the internet. One of the policies developed by the U.S. Government is section 230 (c) of the Communications Decency Act “(section 230(c)). 47 U.S.C. 230(c).”
The Economist. (2020, October 22). Social media’s struggle with self-censorship. Retrieved from https://www.economist.com/briefing/2020/10/22/social-medias-struggle-with-self-censorship
Supreme Court of the United States. (2020). Supreme Court of the United States. Retrieved from https://www.supremecourt.gov/Search.aspx?FileName=/docket/docketfiles/html/public%5C20-197.html
White House. (2020, May 28). The executive order on preventing online censorship. Retrieved from https://www.whitehouse.gov/presidential-actions/executive-order-preventing-online-censorship/