For decades and in every modern society, the issue of free speech had been a significant point of debate. It is a generally pleasant thing that free speech thrives in a democratic society, backed by the constitution. However, there are limits and social media platforms have been called upon to ensure better scrutiny of the information being disseminated through their platforms.
For some months, Facebook and Twitter have come under fire for not putting in place, policies, and measures that will censor hate speech and misinformation. The social media companies are powerful in that they control what we see online on their platforms.
Renewed calls for internet sponsorship on free speech
Several points have been raised by social media users and security agencies for social media companies to use their control against hate speech, nudity, and terrorism. Mark Zuckerberg, Facebook CEO, reiterated his company’s approach to the issue of free speech censorship. He argued that it is crucial for the society and the social media platforms to encourage free speech expressions but not to the detriment of tearing apart the society.
Facebook came under pressure after the 2016 US elections in which some perceived Russian actors used the platform to interfere in the elections, using fake accounts and running misinforming ads.
A diverse approach to free speech censorship
Contrary to Facebook that relies on the centralization approach, just like its proposed crypto Libra, in enforcing the protection of free speech on its platform, Jack Dorsey’s idea is sharply different based on decentralization. Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey has strong support for Bitcoin and decentralization and is at the forefront of a project on open source social media protocol.
It is still immature to conclude on which will thrive out of the centralization and decentralization approaches employed by these two social media platforms on free speech. One clear thing, though, is that the restriction is going to offend many people, while others will also welcome it.
Featured image by Pixabay.