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. Optional censorship may be the way to go in order to preserve free speech, while regulating content by giving heavy warnings or possibly additional age verification checks to protect children. In this process censorship can be used in a case by case, user regulated way, with the option of a removal mechanism in order to place the 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 moderation 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 the company is based in the Philippines.
However there are some alternatives to dealing with the issues of extreme content and fake news that do not involve censorship, and they are proving to be quite effective. Following several stories of mob violence involving lynching in India the popular messaging app Whatsapp began limiting forwarding capabilities instead of attempting to censor content directly. This method showed significant improvement on forwarded messages in India, is thought to stop fake news stories from getting out of control and has subsequently been rolled out universally by Whatsapp. Companies are within their rights to address issues like this, and over time will probably develop more sophisticated ways, as to not dissuade customers from using their platform by directly censoring contents.