Tech companies have built monopolies through social media platforms and asserted their censorship power to violate the First Amendment and impose their “personal” beliefs on the public. Big tech should be held accountable for how it censors citizens’ free speech. Traditionally, in the United States, the majority considers that marginalizing the minority is wrong. Yet recently it has felt like with the rise of social media giants like Facebook, Google, Apple, Twitter, and Amazon, social media has been scrambling to conform its users and content creators to this that they consider “reprehensible” or politically correct. .
What gave so much power to big tech companies was Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act, which was created after a law firm sued an Internet service provider in justice for a user’s post moderated by the Internet service provider. This law firm was able to sue them because they moderated the post. Congress then created Section 230 to protect Internet companies and spur growth in the developing industry. The first part of Section 230 states that providers of interactive computers are not responsible for what their users post. This part was intended to protect freedom of expression. The second part of Section 230, according to the United States Government Publishing Office, states that “any action intentionally taken in good faith to restrict access to or availability of material that the provider or user considers to be obscene, lewd, lascivious, filthy, excessively violent, harassing or otherwise objectionable, whether or not such material is constitutionally protected,” protecting the site’s moderators from prosecution. Initially, this was seen as a way for social media to allow free speech to thrive on their platforms while regulating it for platform optimization, but it also allowed social media companies to modify the content as they wish, since they are no longer responsible for what happens. they edit.
The free market should reign supreme and tech companies should have protection from their users’ posts and the ability to moderate content to some extent for optimization purposes, but the problem appears with the paragraph of Section 230 which states that these companies can censor whatever they want. deems “otherwise objectionable, whether or not such material is constitutionally protected,” according to the US Government Publishing Office. As the Internet increasingly becomes the preferred means of communication and social activity, the ability of corporations to infringe on the constitutional rights of citizens becomes more and more of a problem. Coupled with immunity from any content users create on their platform, the section provides the ability to let almost anything happen on their site, but also censor content at will.
Social media companies have abused their powers of censorship and immunity to serve the needs of pop culture. There are many examples of this, but the ones we hear about most relate to political viewpoints. “The tech industry has long leaned left,” according to CNBC, and their immunity seems to have had the effect of silencing right-wing politicians, like when Twitter permanently suspended President Donald Trump’s social media accounts or when Amazon kicked Parler off its website. servers, or when Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell’s Twitter his account was frozen for posting a video of people shouting violent threats outside his home, according to The Freedom Forum Institute. THE Freedom Forum Institute asks: does social media have the right to silence the US government? It seems like we only hear about these censorship issues in mainstream news when they involve famous people. Still, the real consequences are how this affects the population and whether it’s not always as extreme as a ban, but perhaps some content in the algorithm that caters to certain opinions is pushed over d other content.
Social media is a business, so it should be regulated like a business and should not be allowed to discriminate or violate free speech. Businesses should be subject to the same rules as the rest of the United States and censor only the type of expression that free speech does not protect. A simple way to do this would be to remove this section from Section 230 (US Government Publishing Office): “otherwise objectionable whether or not such material is constitutionally protected.” The constitutional rights of citizens that support American democracy will become obsolete if big tech companies, which are active in almost all of our daily lives, are allowed to ignore them.