Fandango’s Provocative Question # 7

Fandango has come up with another thought provoking question this week. We’ve been talking about this subject all week at our dinner table and it’s been loads of f.u.n. (fantastic, unusual, nice).

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?

Yes and No. Done. What you wanted like reasons? Oh bother, now what?

Do I believe that social media sites should be able to censor and ban content creators? Yes. Why? Well, simply put it’s their site. I think sometimes we forget that social media platforms are first and foremost, businesses. There is a reason that you have to create an account, that you have to agree to 3 pages of terms and conditions. Social media sites have, in my opinion, not only the right but also the responsibility to audit and censor certain posts. They are providing a service and they have the responsibility to provide the best service they can and that includes refusing to promote subjects and posts that may be considered unacceptable. Just as I expect my local grocery store to audit it’s purchases and provide me with a safe environment in which to buy clean and healthy food (OK that’s another matter of opinion but let’s save that one shall we), I expect the folks who run the social media sites in which I participate to provide me with a safe cyber environment as well.

As for freedom of speech, sorry folks that dog just won’t hunt. Freedom of speech doesn’t apply to the private sector. Freedom of speech only applies to governmental interference it does not mean that you get to post your favorite poem, or hateful rhetoric, on somebody else’s fence and not expect it to be taken down by the owner of that fence because they disagree or disapprove. OK, my opinions on freedom of speech could quickly turn into a major dissertation, but let me leave you with a couple of thoughts.

This first quote I have no idea where it came from but I bless whoever said it because it needs to be said A LOT in this country in particular.

“The human tongue has no bones and yet it is capable of inflicting as much damage and pain as any knife or other weapon.”

The second is a paraphrased quote from the 1995 film “The American President”

“America isn’t easy. America is advanced citizenship. You gotta want it bad, ’cause it’s gonna put up a fight. It’s gonna say “You want free speech? Let’s see you acknowledge a man whose words make your blood boil, who’s standing center stage and advocating at the top of his lungs that which you would spend a lifetime opposing at the top of yours. Show me that, defend that, celebrate that in your classrooms. Then, you can stand up and sing about the “land of the free”.

Words, spoken or written, are powerful things, please wield them wisely.

Til next time ~Peace ~JPP

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