Is free speech required a permissible range?
There are three major social media; Twitter, YouTube and Facebook. These media are in hot water because they have to handle inappropriate contents by lots of users. Lately, the video and pictures which contains heading of Mr. Foley spread out over the whole U.S. through the social media. Currently, the social media began removing the video and pictures of Foley after his family request, but the social media is not actively searching them (Twitter Faces Free-Speech Dilemma)
According to the list, Twitter is more generous to sensitive content than other two corporations. Twitter allows all of graphic or gratuitous violence, nudity or pornography and hate speech; on the other hand, YouTube and Facebook ban them. However, Twitter is doing right thing? Free speech is important but what if it harms some people? Images of Foley are a representative example; his family may not talk about Foley in public. Also, the image is offensive. Twitter announced that they will remove the images showing heading of Foley; however, they will remain them if it is not flagged.
Why does Twitter try to keep the permissible range of free speech?
ASK.com defines, “Where there is freedom of speech criticisms to a government are freely voiced and can therefore be responded to but if there is restriction, rumours, unfair criticisms and other falsehoods are circulated by word of mouth.” The purpose of free speech is to correct falsehood and find truth through discussion.
Twitter needs more strict policy to ban specific content. Accepting every speech may not help correcting falsehood. Twitter allows graphic violence and pornography. All different ages can access to Twitter, and then harmful and lewd content may have a bad influence upon the minds of youths. According to “Responses to Internet Hate Sites,” Leets mentions, hate speech may be framed as a tension between free speech and equality (Leets, 297).” Allowing hate speech such as racial discrimination respects free speech; however, it can be against equality.
There is always controversy between free speech and other factors such as pornography, violence or hate speech. Who has the responsibility to distinguish the boundary line? Both Twitter and users have. If twitter has more specific and strict policy of content, the user will follow it. Reinforcing understanding policy is not hindering free speech but improving environment of free speech.