FPQ7: Censorship [rant!]

This week Fandango asks…

“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?”

First, let’s talk about the First Amendment. This right guarantees us speech (mostly) free from governmental interference. People are very often confused about this point. The POTUS, much as he may wish to, cannot tell us what to say on our blogs. But our blog platform host, along with our IP, has terms and conditions that we agreed to when we signed up. That’s not the gov’t, and they can enforce their rules, whether against hate speech, however defined, or whatever other thing.

And any individual can ban anyone from comments. I personally have a long list of blocked IPs. These are people who have tried to post shitty comments or spam here and I have censored them. I absolutely have a right to do that. I don’t owe these jerks the right to ruin my convos; they can get their own free blogs. I have blocked loads of people on Twitter too ~ they can’t comment on my tweets because they can’t even view them. When I had a Facebook account, I blocked annoying sorts there all the time, as sensible people do.

Anyway, now we’ve established that it isn’t a violation of our right to free speech for social media sites to ban content. But the question remains: should they? Should the admins police bullies and creeps or let us duke it out among ourselves?

My opinion is that the site admins not only should police content, but they should be much more heavy-handed about it than they are now. We can’t duke it out because the playing field is unbalanced. If I’m a woman posting under my real name, and locatable in meatspace, and an army of trolls attacks me, how am I supposed to fight that? Normal people give up, delete their accounts to protect themselves, and the trolls win. That’s fundamentally unfair… and it happens constantly because anonymous accounts are permitted everywhere.

Let’s take Facebook, which I have deleted. There was a time when FB was vigilant in forcing people to use their real names and identities ~ sure, some fakers snuck through, always happens. But it was a better place then. There wasn’t the massive, continual bullying and trolling, or the fake political bots. But FB caved to pressure from supposed victim groups and allowed people to use any name. To me, that began their great downfall. Billions of users… where to even start sorting that out? And they don’t want to anyway since it’s all potential revenue for ads.

Well, that’s the thing. Right? These sites don’t really want to stop any of this drama because it generates more clicks and excitement than a bunch of people talking about their lunch, which is how we writers initially used Twitter when it was 140 chars and no pics. But the sites have to pretend to care now. Since everyone hates Milo and his brand has died, he was an easy target to dump. Wink wink, nod nod, we’re gonna crack down on hate speech. Yeah, right. And in the meantime look for any Ann Coulter thread… Oh not her. She brings in the bucks. (Not alone, mind. She spews and a fuckton of her haters scream back. It’s a formula. Who wins? Advertisers.)

Back to Facebook. They’re more popular than ever, even though their stock has sunk and new scandals come out weekly now about how they’ve misused people’s data and helped to subvert our elections by allowing the bots to flood Instagram, etc. Normal users don’t care. They just shrug it off. Must keep chatting with friends. Must keep sharing photos. There’s no other way to stay in contact with peeps if I give up messenger. Etc. They’ve been completely brainwashed by the Zuckerborg.

Facebook knows this, so they have very little motivation to actually do anything about the “hate speech.” It’s all smoke and mirrors. And the other social media sites follow suit and don’t shoot themselves in the foot to “clean up” and lose clicks and ad revenue by throwing off people who generate buzz.

Yes, I think they should. No, it doesn’t violate anyone’s rights as long as everyone is treated fairly according to the T&Cs we all agreed to. But it’s not going to happen. The bullying and hate will continue and even get worse as the 2020 election ramps up… starting from the top and oozing on down. Maybe if Twitter banned the POTUS for bullying, that would send a strong message.

17 responses to “FPQ7: Censorship [rant!]

  1. The Haunted Wordsmith

    People forget that social media sites are companies. Publicly traded, yes, but still companies that can make their own rules that does not have to ensure free speech. For the same reason Walmart does not have to allow protesters to stand in their parking lots or by their front doors just because they are open to the public.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Yup. Not sure why people don’t get that.

      Liked by 1 person

      • The Haunted Wordsmith

        Because they buy into the “without us there would not be” ______ mentality. It’s that way on YouTube, Reddit, Quora, and hell, even Minecraft. When Minecraft sold to Microsoft, people realized that when they created a mod, it could, through the TOCs, be taken and integrated by the company itself without payment, permission, or byline. Microsoft hasn’t without permission or even paying the mod creator to help implement it in the main game. The modders argument was that they did the work and it was theft. The company’s perspective was without the base game there is nothing to mod. YouTubers are the same way. They feel that without them, there would be no YouTube. They forget that companies use it for promotions. Many YouTubers just don’t want to ask permission to use content. It’s the same mentality in games where people hack…”I pay money so I should be able to do whatever I want”. People just don’t like rules. Then there is always the person that will say the rules are biased.

        Liked by 1 person

      • Ah. I haven’t spent much time on those sites except to like cute kitties on Reddit and to search for vids to my fave songs on the YouTube app. What you’re saying reminds me of the men on dating sites who felt they should be an exception to the rules.

        Liked by 2 people

  2. You are 💯 % right. All these bullies and haters in the name of free speech should be banned.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I don’t like general censorship by platform providers. Who has the say as to what’s offensive? Does some Trump (or Obama or Schumer or Pence)-hater decide what gets the boot? Some fake algorithm?

    On FB — which is the only social media platform I know — everyone has the ability to censor both what they see and who can see or comment on what they post. I assume the others are the same. So, why should Z-berg or one of his slaves determine that? To be clear, they have an absolute right to do it. I just think if they do, they’re a bunch of f%#?$&%!s and s&@%#€*#s and it’s all b%*#?!€t . . . Hey!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Heh. Yeah, I can see a difference of opine on the issue. As long as we can block peeps I’m not too fussed. The so-called “liberal media” loves Trump ~ all they do is write about him. Foxnews has articles about alligators 🐊.


  4. In addition to confusing free speech “rights” on SM, people seem to think the 1st A protects them *from* speech they find offensive. That’s dumb.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Yep,uh-huh, umhmm, yes, agreeing with your whole position. It is oh so convenient to overlook the terms and conditions that we agreed to. Hmmm, question is what’s left for me to say in my response to the FPQ? 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Zuckerborg, I love it! Well written response, Paula.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. I agree with much of what you say here, until I got to this part:

    “Must keep chatting with friends. Must keep sharing photos. There’s no other way to stay in contact with peeps if I give up messenger. Etc. They’ve been completely brainwashed by the Zuckerborg.”

    I enjoy Facebook, have no plans to delete it, and am not brainwashed.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Kay! I kinda got on a roll there. 😀 Probably a bit defensive because of seeing a bunch of essays lately on how people “can’t possibly” give up FB and not only that but it’s only the privileged who can even consider such a thing because in some areas it’s people’s only way of connection. Well geez.

      Liked by 1 person

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