Facebook, Twitter, Instagram are diligently working to determine what is the cultural norm. By banning censoring and demonetizing conservative opinions, whilst simultaneously allowing opinions of people outright breaking their rules, these social media giants are telling people what is acceptable.
One egregious example of a blatant slap in the face of conservatives is the video of Brian Sims, a democratic representative from Pennsylvania. Sims went on a public rampage in front of a Planned Parenthood where he openly harassed an elderly woman and three underage silent protesters live streaming his offense. Offering money for their names to his viewers, constituting a Hate Crime for his condemnation of them openly praying. Yet, his account remains active. However, by Twitter's own standards, the doxxing of people is not allowed. Taken from Twitter rules on Abusive Behavior:
"We believe in freedom of expression and open dialogue, but that means little as an underlying philosophy if voices are silenced because people are afraid to speak up. In order to ensure that people feel safe expressing diverse opinions and beliefs, we prohibit behavior that crosses the line into abuse, including behavior that harasses, intimidates, or uses fear to silence another user’s voice."
"Context matters when evaluating for abusive behavior and determining appropriate enforcement actions. Factors we may take into consideration include, but are not limited to whether: -the behavior is targeted at an individual or group of people." In Sims case, he targeted Christians praying peacefully. In his tirade, he screams that their praying is un-Christian
The statement laying claim to freedom of expression may indicate, that people are free to express themselves as long as it falls in line with the thinking of the employees who oversee content. As far as diverse opinions, it is questionable whether or not holding a different belief on issues such as personal morality or political affiliation is considered to be a diversity.
Facebook said in a statement, "We've always banned individuals or organizations that promote or engage in violence and hate, regardless of ideology." However, they still allow groups like Antifa, who engage in violent content and acts of aggression to remain active on their platform. In addition to their posts, they allow them to promote their hate platform, and events.
So inclusive is the Facebook ban, it includes a ban on people who appear to be white nationalists. Essentially declaring them as white separatists while allowing other groups to express their national pride. "Over the past three months, our conversations with members of civil society and academics who are experts in race relations around the world have confirmed that white nationalism and white separatism cannot be meaningfully separated from white supremacy and organized hate groups. Our own review of hate figures and organizations – as defined by our Dangerous Individuals & Organizations policy – further revealed the overlap between white nationalism and white separatism and white supremacy. Going forward, while people will still be able to demonstrate pride in their ethnic heritage, we will not tolerate praise or support for white nationalism and white separatism."
Who and what should be censored? The First Amendment gives Americans the right to speak freely. The founding fathers declared this right so fundamental it is the First Amendment. Even the supreme court ruled that Hate Speech does NOT violate the First Amendment. "There’s no exception for hate speech under the First Amendment’s protection for freedom of expression unless the speech is direct, personal, and either truly threatening or violently provocative."
Americans may not like hate speech or people who speak in a hateful disgusting manner, however, it is a principle by which we have continued to exist in this country peacefully since the Civil War. Remove our ability to speak freely, and you will have a powder keg about to explode. Everyone should have the ability regardless of the topic to engage without threats of violence, damage to one's occupation, or threats of boycott. It is imperative that these freedoms be returned to social media. While the left threatens boycotts and physical violence on a public platform, compliments of extremely wealthy donors, (via the same platform that is censoring and limiting the livelihood of conservatives), members opposing this have little alternative but to suffer their wrath.
In the words of Justice Black, the Supreme Court in 1972, "The freedoms…guaranteed by the First Amendment must be accorded to the ideas we hate or sooner or later they will be denied to the ideas we cherish." [quoting Healy v. James, 408 U.S. 169 (1972).]
Unless a platform by which conservatives can speak freely opens up while not negating or censoring opposing opinion, there is no alternative and social media giants will continue their crusade to dictate their moral turpitude. This is not just a First Amendment issue, but rather a cultural issue. Are we going to allow social media to dictate our morality or lack thereof?
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