Weekly Post 10

Social media censorship has been an increasingly important and complicated issue. Social media companies have focused their energy on censoring body parts and false information while also trying to censor hate speech. I don’t think at all that body parts should be censored. It just seems much more harmless compared to the other two. Also, like your post, a lot of these pictures are used for empowerment not damage.

As far as false information, I think the flag feature works well. I was on Facebook a couple weeks ago and someone posted a very blatantly fake description of what Black Lives Matter is about, but obviously they didn’t know because they posted it. But after being flagged false and everyone in the comments letting them know, the conversation was at least allowed to happen. If false information is always censored, people still believe it, but there is just no opportunity to learn anything if there is no discussion. So I generally believe that false information should not be censored, but flagged.

Hate speech however is completely different. I recently read an article that talked about an algorithm that detected uncivil messages sent to U.S. and Canadian Politicians. The purpose of this was to see if there was a discrepancy between how men and women in politics are treated online. They put specific key-words into the algorithm and they were able to find these uncivil messages with the algorithm at over a 90% success rate.

It is definitely possible to find the hate speech messages that should be the target. The technology is there, and if you use it in a smart way, it’s possible to strike that balance. To me, it’s about the social media companies not focusing their censorship algorithms in the right place. If you are trying to censor too many things then obviously it is going to be overwhelming. A prime example is the “boob squeeze” policy.

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