CRJ 3340, DB2, EJ
HELLO, CAN YOU PLEASE PROVIDE YOUR OPINION TO THE STATEMENT BELOW:
The First Amendment protects individuals from government censorship. Social media platforms are private companies and can censor what people post on their websites as they see fit. Hate speech is speech that offends, or attacks people based on race, ethnicity, national origin, religion, gender, sexual orientation, disability, disease, or other traits. The First Amendment protects hate speech from government censorship unless that speech incites or is likely to incite imminent lawless action. while social media companies have First Amendment rights with respect to their own speech, they do not have an unconstrained right to suppress the speech of others. Although we are free to say what we want, we are not allowed to express any opinion that offends, threatens, or insults groups, based on race, color, religion, national orientation, or disability (hate speech). Because they are private companies, Twitter, Facebook and other social media can limit speech on their platforms and I am sure there's enough platforms around were one can express themselves free and openly with enough like minded individuals to feed their gratification.
social media platforms are like newspapers in some ways but not others. Like other media organizations, social media companies sometimes make decisions about which content to publish, and they sometimes add their own voices to public discourse as they do when they attach labels to users' posts. When the companies engage in these activities, they are exercising the kind of editorial discretion that the Supreme Court has protected against government interference again and again. But social media platforms are different from newspapers in important ways. They are primarily vehicles for others' speech, rather than their own. They do not exercise close curatorial control over the content they publish. They do not take responsibility for the content they publish in the same way that newspapers do and the law does not require them to. There is also an incredible disparity in scale between (many) social media platforms and newspapers.
Social media, as it exists currently, is an oligopoly, with a handful of private companies controlling the structure and use of the platforms which mediate our communication not only with one another but also with the public sphere. The First Amendment only prevents government restrictions on speech. It does not prevent restrictions on speech imposed by private individuals or businesses. Facebook and other social media can regulate or restrict speech hosted on their platforms because they are private entities.
Many legal scholars have recognized that when a private actor has control over online communications and online forums, these private actors are analogous to a governmental actor.
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