The Instigator
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The Contender
Con (against)

Social Media should be more proactive on what they censor regardless of politics

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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 2/9/2021 Category: Politics
Updated: 5 months ago Status: Debating Period
Viewed: 337 times Debate No: 127154
Debate Rounds (4)
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Social Media should be more proactive in taking down content. A while back, Many social media sites banned Trump and others after the domestic terrorist attack. I strongly believed they should have been more proactive before this as it could have possibly stopped this event from happening.

Freedom Of Speech

Freedom of Speech is not protected under social media. Many social media sites have the power to block and ban content from their site that goes against their rules. So in reality social media does not completely follow the Freedom of Speech rule, This is because while you can say anything there are still consequences for what you say. Social media sites are their own private company and not the government's, They have complete control over what they allow or don't allow onto their site and that is a fact.

What should not be allowed?

Anything that is either false or dangerous should not be allowed onto the platform. This includes bigotry and fake news. Twitter a while back had tried to denounce tweets but not actually delete them, Which is for lack of a better word, Silly. If they are false or dangerous why allow them onto your platform for millions to see? Social media companies have the power to take anyone off the site they deem dangerous and they are always very hesitant to. This hesitancy should stop and they need to be able to be stricter on what they allow so they don't continue to create serious harm that social media is encouraging.


Firstly, Three points of contention:

1) While I accept that Freedom of Speech is not protected under social media, I never thought this was relevant because the crux of the issue was not about government regulation of Social Media (i. E. Twitter, Facebook, Google) to stop them from censoring certain things. Instead, The issue is clearly whether this movement towards more censorship is a good thing, When there are several reasons why that is not the case (which I will explain in my substantive). But to surmise, It is frankly worrying to know that only a handful of companies essentially have a monopoly on speech and it was never going to a good thing to encourage them to use more of that power.

2) Under the specific example of Donald Trump, It's obvious at the time no one took what they said as a legitimate incitement of violence. To explain, Incitement of violence under legislation is very specific: Unless Trump said "I order to to storm the Capitol building armed with guns" then there is no legal grounding for incitement of violence. Let me be clear: I am in no way denying that what he said directly influenced the egregious events that happened a the building - but to attribute such a connection to be codified under law; will set a dangerous precedent for laws regarding speech. Imagine if someone heard me saying "The rich are exploiting the poor" and decided to murder a wealthy man. No one can argue I didn't influence that person's decision - but do I deserve to get punished by someone who took the meaning of my words and put it in the wrong way?

3) Our opposition talks about how anything that is "false or dangerous", And "bigotry and fake news" should be removed/censored. While that sounds good, Morally righteous, Virtuous, Uncontroversial, Upstanding, Acceptable, If you look closely, It sounds completely unproductive. What defines something as "false" or "dangerous"? What defines something as "fake news" or "bigotry"? What if it's half-false, Or what if something is half-fake. If someone finds something bigoted but everyone else disagrees do we take it down because it offends a single soul? I'm not against removing the content that my opponent labels as dangerous, And fake, But I want some clarification to exactly how that is supposed to be determined, Because right now, I see what they have said is essentially a blanket solution that doesn't actually do anything. Moreover, Trying to censor speech on a platform with literal tens of millions of users is impossible, So when they say that this will prevent "terrorist attacks" I haven't seen why that would actually be the case.

On the issue of free speech, I haven't heard any actual stance/opinion on how much the opposition values free speech but I hope we can all agree it is a fundamental human right. Free speech is the cornerstone of democracy and self-expression, But what the opposition proposes is vitally, An assault on this right by giving the 'thumbs up' to corporations to censor whatever they want. I believe this will lead to inherently bad outcomes for society, For the same reasons places did not recognise freedom of speech existed as brutal dictatorships and so forth.
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Debate Round No. 4
2 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 2 records.
Posted by Surgeon 5 months ago
Surely as private corporations they shoud be allowed to offer their product on their rules. As a consumer of their product you can either choose to use it or not (I do not for example). The market mechanism will allow other comapnies to enter it and offer something different if there is demand and maybe consumers like me will be interested in them.

What I object to is the pretence that they lack political bias and that they offer a platform with freedom of speech. It is obvious that the Media groups controlling these platforms have very strong and clear biases and do not offer freedom of speech on their platforms.

Freedom of speech, Is freedom of speech and under all jurisprudence, Convention and long fought for rights, People should be able to say and think what they hell they like, Short of direct and specific incitement to violence.

The modern trend to police and determine what people can and cannot say because it is "hate" laws or claims of "false or fake news" is positively Orwellian. Even if you think the people promoting these as "crimes" have only good intentions, It always ends up in a totalitarian disaster (which we are sleeping-walking into right now, Under the guise of being a sort of "sickly sweet kind"). It is good to be kind, But better to be truthful and seek truth.

No person cannot be guilty of a crime for holding an emotion (such as hate), Nor for thinking the "wrong" things, Nor for saying the "wrong" things. Society has fought against this kind of statist bullying for centuries. States have now simply just outsourced this form of censorship to private companies. But as private companies with property rights they can do what they wish, But not false advertising. Which they are doing now by claiming their impartiality, Fairness and by claiming to act as guardians of free speech.
Posted by Hezikiah 5 months ago
Jason, Shouldn't you be in school?
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