Daniel Halliday
Aug 26 ยท Last update 3 mo. ago.
Should online companies protect free speech or censor content that they deem inappropriate?
In an era of fake news and social media should the internet be a place of free speech, or do companies such as Google, Youtube, and Facebook have the right to self-censor and regulate content like a traditional media outlet would?
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The internet reaches too many vulnerable people to be completely open to free speech
0 agrees
0 disagrees
Freedom of speech and a company's right to regulate their service both need to be protected
0 agrees
0 disagrees
We should strive to preserve freedom of speech in every avenue of life, especially online
0 agrees
0 disagrees
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The internet reaches too many vulnerable people to be completely open to free speech

Online freedom of speech is a nice idea, but the internet is too pervasive, and has become too wide spread to be left completely unregulated. The internet is now heavily integrated in daily life of around half of the planet (over 4 billion individual daily users). Regulation of some kind seems especially important when considering a large proportion of these users will be children with unlimited access. In addition, when considering the number of users with mental health problems or who may be potentially mentally unstable, and compare this to the rise in terrorist, and/or politically or racially motivated attacks, we can see that there have already been negative effects of a fairly open free speech policy online.

When discussing discussing censorship online it is important to remember that the vast amount of censored content is of a violent or sexual nature, almost all of it of no political significance. The majority of filtered content is therefore a case of protecting vulnerable and even average users from extreme violent or sexual content, filtering companies often being given the instruction to leave politically relevant content online with a violence warning. Many people that argue for complete freedom of speech online have probably not considered that with a complete lack of regulation a huge amount of horrific traffic accidents, animal mutilation, and child sex abuse that gets uploaded and would stay on to the internet for anyone to see. Some form of regulation needs to be in place to protect vulnerable people and society at large from extreme content and the consequences of it.

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Daniel Halliday
Nov 7
Approved
DH edited this paragraph
Online freedom of speech is a nice idea, but the internet is too pervasive, and has become too wide spread to be left completely unregulated. The internet is now heavily integrated in daily life of around half of the planet (over 4 billion individual daily users). Regulation of some kind seems especially important when considering a large proportion of these users will be children with unlimited access. In addition, when considering the number of users with mental health problems or who may be potentially mentally unstable, and compare this to the rise in terrorist, and/or politically or racially motivated attacks, we can see that there have already been negative effects of a fairly open free speech policy online.
Freedom of speech and a company's right to regulate their service both need to be protected

The power of the internet is unprecedented, and we should not fall down at the first hurdle in the infancy of its use. Inevitably companies based on the internet have the legal right to censor their content however they see fit, but time will tell if users will still want to utilise heavily or badly regulated services. Maybe optional censorship is the way to go, preserve free speech while regulating by giving heavy warnings or possibly additional age verification checks to protect children. Then censorship can be used with a case by case, user regulated, with a removal option in order to place this choice in the user's hands, while making it explicitly clear as to what they are about to see.

The large online companies are swamped with content to filter, with 500 hours of youtube videos, 450,000 tweets and 2.5million facebook posts being uploaded every minute. Facebook, overwhelmed with the massive amount of content violations on its platform, currently contracts much regulation of content to third party companies. One such company was TaskUs a content moderation service based in Manila. Big cultural and exploitation questions remain however, with workers often being young school leavers, making less than $500 a month and more likely to be from a conservative Catholic background, considering they are from the Philippines.

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Latest conversation
Daniel Halliday
Nov 7
Approved
DH edited this paragraph
The large online companies are swamped with content to filter, with 500 hours of youtube videos, 450,000 tweets and 2.5million facebook posts being uploaded every minute. Facebook, overwhelmed with the massive amount of content violations on its platform, currently contracts much regulation of content to third party companies. One such company was TaskUs a content moderation service based in Manila. Big cultural and exploitation questions remain however, with workers often being young school leavers, making less than $500 a month and more likely to be from a conservative Catholic background, considering they are from the Philippines.
We should strive to preserve freedom of speech in every avenue of life, especially online

The internet is such an important tool that is revolutionising communication worldwide, but it is only revolutionary as a free speech communication tool. If we censor or in anyway alter free speech online, there will inevitably be consequences on its usefulness in spreading important information. Companies are already effectively censoring content, and this censorship has already gone too far in limiting the much needed free speech of certain regions. We can see from examples like Youtube removing videos showing conditions in Palestine, following a request from the Israeli government, that these companies have an ideological agenda and their services are no longer tools for open communication.

The internet has revolutionised the dissemination of information for the better. Services such as wikileaks.org, ipaidabribe.com and various social media networks have enabled more people to be informed and inform others of societal corruption than ever before. Censorship threatens not only rights of free speech but makes corruption more viable, undermines democracy and is a step towards totalitarianism.

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Latest conversation
Daniel Halliday
Nov 6
Approved
DH edited this paragraph
The internet is such an important tool that is revolutionising communication worldwide, but it is only revolutionary as a free speech communication tool. If we censor or in anyway alter free speech online, there will inevitably be consequences on its usefulness in spreading important information. Companies are already effectively censoring content, and this censorship has already gone too far in limiting the much needed free speech of certain regions. We can see from examples like Youtube removing videos showing conditions in Palestine, following a request from the Israeli government, that these companies have an ideological agenda and their services are no longer tools for open communication.
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