In recent months, censorship on social media has become a major talking point for netizens who argue that Silicon Valley companies have a bias which dictates their rules and regulations.
On Wednesday, The White House launched a new tool for U.S. citizens to submit a complaint if they think they were unfairly censored, banned, or suspended on social media platforms like Twitter and Facebook.
“SOCIAL MEDIA PLATFORMS should advance FREEDOM OF SPEECH. Yet too many Americans have seen their accounts suspended, banned, or fraudulently reported for unclear “violations” of user policies,” the site reads. “No matter your views, if you suspect political bias caused such an action to be taken against you, share your story with President Trump.”
In recent months, blatant social media censorship of the far-right has become a major talking point for netizens who argue that Silicon Valley companies have a liberal bias which dictates their rules and regulations.
Committees like House Energy and Commerce and Senate Judiciary, have held six hours of hearings to discuss the right to First Amendment and censorship on the Internet. The testimony from victims leads to no major revelations.
First Amendment law postulates that the government should not engage in content control. The idea can be traced back to John Milton’s Areopagitica (1644): “Let Truth and Falsehood grapple; whoever knew Truth put to the worse in a free and open encounter?”
The point here is that censorship impedes individual expansion. People should be allowed to explore ideas and express themselves to become fully functioning individuals. When Silicon Valley companies like Google and Facebook engage in censorship, they deprive the individual of their democratic rights.
First Amendment Expanded to End Social Media Censorship
The tool hosted on Typeform, asks netizens for screenshots and links of the censored content and provides a text field where they can describe the actions taken against them. The user is also asked to choose between Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Instagram or “other” as the platform where the violation took place.
Legal scholars have recognized that when companies are given control over online communication, they are semi-equivalent to a governmental actor. In other words, private censorship is just as dangerous as government censorship.
Silicon Valley social media companies have become the modern-day equivalent of public forums like public streets. It’s time to recognize that the reach of the First Amendment needs to be expanded to online communication.
I just posted this in comments on Breitbart and was promptly censored for it:
With ISIS we are just playing Wack-a-mole. Wipe them out in Syria, the pop up again in Africa, and everywhere you wipe them out they will just pop up somewhere else. It’s an ideology, and you cannot kill that. All you can do is wipe them out wherever they turn up to keep them in check.
I wasn’t personally censored but I went to share this: Donald Trump accomplishments – the patriot hour on YouTube.
you won’t be surprised- try to find this summary of accomplishments…it can’t be shared and it looks like all the comments stop from 8 hrs ago shortly after posting. This is so maddening they have so many ways to censor! I have screenshots- I can’t even save the image. I also can’t get back to the original page it’s gone and it was in meme form.
Here is what was there – this is on Twitter:
FB is currently blocking me from my personal page, all groups i am a member of or am an admin on, and messenger. They originally blocked a post that they said did NOT meet their community standards (they would NOT say what standard) and banned me for 30 days. I asked for a review and they said they were WRONG yet they still will not allow me to post for 28 more days. This is the 2nd time in 30 days they have done the same thing — the 1st being for 24 hours. Any attempt to use their on line channels are greeted w/ “You are using this feature too fast” or try again later. FB will have their way or they will have a tantrum. This is what they objected to: I am surprised by Epstein’s manner of death. I would have figured that he would have escaped by some manner such as shape shifting, then took one of his private jets to head for his island, then had an F-16 from the NY Air Guard shoot him down in the Bermuda triangle.
Yeah, I just came off a FB ban for posting a link to chicks on the right. They called it porn. It was a short from our President. I did screen shots and posted them on FB today. So far no new ban
I was hoping this was a link to report the censorship. Saddening. John Long