Fandango’s Provocative Question #7 this week is:
“Do you believe that social media sites should be able to censor what people post on their sites and ban content creators from posting? Or do you consider such actions to be a violation of freedom of speech, which is guaranteed as a right in the First Amendment of the U.S. Constitution?”
A social media site owns the site and can choose to censor if they choose to censor. If a person who creates content on a social media site objects to being censored or seeing others censored, they may try to organize other content creators to plea to the site to change things, but if they are unsuccessful then they have a decision to make. They can continue to create content at the site with the knowledge that censorship is lurking in the shadows and is ready to pounce, which may stifle their creativity, or they can choose to leave that social media site and create their content elsewhere.
I do think anyone who is in the business of hosting multi-media for creative content needs to be very careful about what and who they choose to censor. There needs to be as little censorship as possible. Content that advocates hate crimes, criminal enterprise involving children or other vulnerable victims is content that the business would be prudent to censor, for liability reasons if for no other. Using patreon for an example, what if the entity they chose to censor was advocating the selling of children?
As free as we would like to see ourselves be, as protected by the First Amendment, inherent in the US Constitution are the limits, as outlined. Complete “freedom” wouldn’t bother with any kind of document that limits. We are inherently limited, and that’s ok.
That said, if there comes a time when sites start censoring for other than the bare minimum, we need to be very worried. We’ve already seen abuses in the insurance and healthcare systems, where individuals are denied procedures, medications, etc. because of religious beliefs surrounding control of others’ bodies. We must be ever-vigilant when it comes to maintaining our civil rights.