Times change but our rights do not. This sentiment, repeated mostly by conservatives and libertarians, aims to show that no matter what changes in our society, our rights should always stay the same. This is a good mindset for any freedom loving individual. But what happens when society changes so much that the way we enforce these rights change? No, we aren’t talking about guns. We are talking about the mother of all rights, freedom of speech. More specifically, we are talking about how it is threatened on social media.
Garrett Summers | United States
On the Joe Rogan Experience, Joe Rogan and Brendan Schaub discussed the kinks with the launch of ESPN+ and UFC events. They also talked about how not everyone has a television that can connect to the internet, but it is apparent that the US is moving in that direction. They said it was likely that ESPN saw this too and decided to start their streaming service now so that the bugs would be worked out by the time the consumers are more able to access this kind of content. What they did not to elaborate on was what this meant for cable and satellite providers. Once the majority of Americans are able to access the internet via their televisions, it is possible for television stations to broadcast their own content without the cable middle man or the FCC.
Roman King | United States
Years ago, I was charged with political fervor and revolutionary zeal and landed myself some rather important volunteer positions within the Libertarian Party. I became a leading member of their social media teams. I was a Facebook inbox manager, as well as a leading Twitter content manager. It was where I learned some pretty useful skills in the modern working world. I learned how to professionally manage a social media page, how to professionally communicate with people asking important and sometimes thought-provoking questions, and how to interact with co-workers in a professional environment. I have always and will always attribute many of the skills I have now to where I began: working with the Libertarian Party at both the local and national levels. It’s hard to overstate the importance that year or so of work had on me.
The First Amendment in the Bill of Rights affirms that all people have a right to freedom of speech. This means that the government cannot suppress or ban someone for their political ideology or their belief. However, a private organization could do such a thing; for example, a church or private school can ban profanity on their grounds. There is a free speech gray area relating to what public/private partnerships can and should do about it; this is a problem with our crony capitalist system.
Have you ever said or done something that no matter how much backlash and disapproval you received as a result, you knew you were right? This is probably a common feeling we all have, especially considering the present PC culture. We must be cautious in our words and actions because anything we do or state can be taken out of context and used against us.
Unfortunately, it seems that unrestricted speech is under threat from social media corporations. As the internet becomes increasingly centralized, the abuse of power by tech monopolies and governments is becoming more probable. With those concerns in mind, a group of developers at Gab decided to develop Dissenter, a commenting tool created for the purpose of improving users’ ability to speak openly on the internet.
Despite their best efforts, their attempts of gaining approval by the MSM were futile, as their platform got labeled as an “Alt-Right” social network. As a result, their extension got banned from Mozilla and Chrome extension stores. But was it fair for the MSM and Big Tech to end up labeling and ostracizing Gab’s social platform like that?