Social Media Regulation

I think that sites like Facebook and Twitter ought to promote an environment where people of all ideologies have a voice. I think that they ought to not filter out any comments or posts that don’t fall within two key exceptions: 1. Posts that cross a certain threshold of civility, like posts with obscene content and excessive swearing. 2. Posts that perpetuate falsehoods, especially dangerous ones. As long as platforms like Facebook and Twitter facilitate separation of public discourse into distinct channels, they’ll be contributing towards increased polarization and political sectarianism. Platforms like these tend to use algorithms to give individuals the information they want to hear as opposed to strictly the information they need to hear. Of course, changing this practice may make the platforms less popular, and we may see something of a rightward shift take place on those platforms, but I believe that’s just a price that needs to be paid. We live in an era where the channels of communication are regulated by a relatively small number of companies, and we just wouldn’t trust other key infrastructure systems in private hands. The government is responsible for regulating what happens on our highways, and similar to that, government should be responsible for providing at least a minimal level of regulation for social media communication taking place on the internet.

From my limited understanding of Section 230, I think that I generally support it more than I oppose it. It supports free speech, because it prevents an excess of lawsuits. I can’t speak to whether or not it does anything to make providers responsible for regulating misinformation, though.

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