Facebook and Twitter have the right to decide what to allow on their platforms. They have the right to decide what to promote and what to censor.
They have the right to decide what to allow in their terms of service. They have the right to ban.
They have the right to censor. They have the right to manipulate algorithms and business decisions in order to make their platforms look the way they want them to look.
They have the right to decide which ideas are permitted on their platforms, and which are not. In other words, they have the same right to freedom of speech as any publisher.
It is not censorship when they block, ban, alter or modify content, as long as they don’t engage in discrimination or misrepresentation, which would violate the principles of equal opportunity. They are just the gatekeepers of information.
But the most important thing that Schneier is missing is that the ideas we are censoring are not ours, but are ours.
They are the ideas of the author(s). He doesn’t understand why we feel that free speech should apply to those ideas. And in fact, he misunderstands why we use the First Amendment.
Yes, we want to protect people from government oppression, but freedom of speech shouldn’t stop when you put the government in charge of providing the internet.
We should use freedom of speech to prevent government oppression of those who don’t like the message, even if it limits others’ freedoms.
When did it become okay for anyone to censor others?
I know you are asking when it became okay for anyone to censor others. The answer is it was obvious that college students were really turning to social media for various forms of protest.
They had been empowered by social media and the idea of using it for many different purposes, but it appears that some college students were not being as respectful as they thought they were being.
People didn’t take many public events seriously anymore. It didn’t matter what the cause was, people were going to engage in what they deemed appropriate forms of protest.
They posted pictures of the flag and of their location and, as a result, the cops were given the order to show up, even if no one was there and even if the protest was nowhere near them.
People were allowed to incite violence
People were allowed to incite violence, however, as soon as some of the protestors in Ferguson were acquitted of the charge that they set the fire that led to the death of Mike Brown, social media in general (including Facebook) decided to censure some people that were involved in protests.
They took down their pictures. They banned them.
In fact, Facebook decided to take down certain photos from the protests. Even if someone was there and was supporting the cause, Facebook felt it was inappropriate to show their support to those who were protesting.
Remember when Richard Spencer was supposed to be punched in the face on camera during a press conference?
He posted it online. It didn’t make any sense, but Facebook took it down.
After the fact, he posted another version of the video and Facebook took that down too. People with dissenting opinions have been blocked from Facebook and that is wrong.
Freedom of speech only stops when someone is violating the rights of others.
I mean, Facebook has the right to block any posts that contain hate speech and that is appropriate, but taking down posts for the purpose of censorship is something different.
If they are in the business of delivering the best user experience, then why would they censor posts that might tarnish the user experience?
Why would they take down any post at all? Why would they censor a post that didn’t violate anyone’s rights, unless it was on purpose?
But if they are removing posts for the purpose of censorship, that is reprehensible and is a violation of a user’s freedom of speech.
This is how fascism gets started
This is how fascism gets started, and in fact, this is how some would like to see the government at all times.
They would like to be able to censor the opposition. They would like to censor any viewpoints that they do not agree with.
They would like to make sure that people see only what they want them to see. This is why they are so hypocritical when they support free speech for the right and not the left.
If they had their way, they would silence and censor everyone.
Freedom of speech ends when the government is in charge of providing the internet and when they decide that certain viewpoints are not appropriate for certain platforms.
That is why we must be very careful about who we elect as president.