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Social Media Censorship & Lack of Accoutability

INTRODUCTION

Social media is one of the most widely used aspects in life. People use it for communication, spreading their views, and promoting themselves. However, social media has come under fire in recent years. Some critics accuse big tech companies like Twitter and Facebook of censorship. On the contrary, these companies deny any sense of censorship and promise that their app promotes freedom of speech while limiting content that can promote extremism and danger. However, there are some who accuse social media of not doing enough to curb extremism and other forms of threats.

EXCESSIVE CENSORSHIP

With the millions of users using social media in their daily lives, censorship has become an aggressively debated topic. After Elon Musk took over Twitter, he has faced criticism for silencing critics and adhering to the government of Turkey for silencing dissidents. In response, Twitter states that they are doing so for legal reasons in Turkey. There have been countries like China and Nigeria that limit users’ access to social media. In spite of the government’s attempts to censor social media content, the app owners also play a role in censoring content. In India, Twitter has censored many people who speak out against Modi’s government.

LACK OF INITIATIVE

In contrast to social media companies attempts to censor content, there have been times where they have taken little to no action on the matter. With Facebook, a whistleblower came out blasting the company for failing to take measures to protect the safety of users online. The whistleblower stated how Facebook took little action to minimize the public health risks that were visible online. Similarly, Facebook got into controversy after it was discovered that Instagram caused negative body issues for girls. During the capitol riot on January 6, social media companies were accused of being complicit in letting the attack unfold. Some politicians accused the companies of taking no action to limit the posts about violence that day. 

CONCLUSION

In retrospect, social media apps hold a great influence on society. Social media can be quite restrictive while also doing nothing to curb online extremism. The most efficient way to mark a balance with this issue is to censor content that can be threatening to users while also allowing users to freely express themselves.

SOURCES

https://encrypted-tbn0.gstatic.com/images?q=tbn:ANd9GcSjdl1YXUDgaKXhJd_mHfJNduHmX-13nhyKyg&usqp=CAU

https://www.theguardian.com/world/2023/apr/05/twitter-accused-of-censorship-in-india-as-it-blocks-modi-critics-elon-musk

https://www.theguardian.com/technology/2021/sep/14/facebook-aware-instagram-harmful-effect-teenage-girls-leak-reveals

https://www.theguardian.com/technology/2021/dec/29/facebook-capitol-riot-frances-haugen-sophia-zhang-apple

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