President Donald Trump made an accusation that Facebook was out to get him in September. At the same time, many liberals have called out the social media site for helping grow and expand Trump’s campaign.
Those who are right-winged often accuse social media sites of being too liberal and favoring leftist views. They claim the sites silence free speech. In reality, the content being pushed out from these sources are deeply offensive and inflammatory. Social media outlets like Twitter have the right to take action to protect the general public from abuse. These claims also include sites like Facebook along with Twitter. This perception is in fact not true.
Forty-five percent of all adults from the United States say they get their news from Facebook. This places pressure to deliver well-informed and equal information for both sides of the political spectrum.
In actuality, NewsWhip data found that the popular outlets on Facebook are much more heavily conservative than they are liberal. Even though it may not be the intent of the company, Facebook allows sites like Conservative Tribune and American Military News to go viral much easier over other already reputable and recognizable news sources. This means the places with more left-leaning information do not have equal weight and strength as conservative ones. The bias affects the opinions of the public using Facebook which has an impact on the United States voters who then decide on the country’s political state.
For the claim on the silencing of free speech, social media users must understand they are using sites owned by a company. Yes, the people have the right to say what they want, but the company has the ability to restrict or suspend the hurtful actions of one user upon another.
There are certain instances where a Twitter account suspension is completely acceptable. In July 2017, actress and comedian Leslie Jones was attacked with racial and sexist comment by Breitbart editor Milo Yiannopoulos. He wrote intense harassment against Jones surrounding the time of the “Ghostbusters” remake debut. Twitter said,
“People should be able to express diverse opinions and beliefs on Twitter. But no one deserves to be subjected to targeted abuse online, and our rules prohibit inciting or engaging in the targeted abuse or harassment of others.”
This was a clear and simple violation of the Twitter rules presented to each of its users.
There were many twitter accounts suspended or warned of suspension during the Twitter “cleansing.” This was in response to the criticism of allowing fake, misleading and hateful information due to Russian interference. Both Google and Facebook also faced similar criticism because they were a target for professional and illegal propaganda operation run by the Kremlin.
Because of the chaos around this issue, Twitter had to deal with a large number of accounts that were linked to this Russian interference. The social media site was doing what it could to reduce fake news that had a link to conservative accounts.
These types of comments that spew hate speech should not be accepted or allowed. It infringes on the safety of groups in the public. Without Twitter suspending these malicious accounts, it would make it seem as if what they are saying should be suitable to the general public in environments outside the internet.
Not all Twitter cases are so directly hateful and so clear that they should not be allowed. This is for the instances which are obviously cruel and uncalled for which lead conservatives to perceive that there is an anti-conservative bias overall.
This opinion also goes for the liberal side of Twitter. If left-leaning accounts are making similar remarks of harassment because of one’s race, sexuality, gender or anything similar, they should be dealt with in the same manner.
Malicious remarks of any kind cannot be perpetuated and tolerated by sites like Twitter or Facebook. These sites combined are responsible for over 2 billion active accounts. These 2 billion people must have an equal opportunity to explore outlets across the entire political spectrum. They all also must be accounted for in the case of hate speech.