Censorship’s Expansion into Social Media

6 Feb

Recently, Twitter announced the ability to withhold tweets in certain countries; these tweets would be invisible to users located in that country. To many, myself included, this is censorship on a large scale.

Before we all become enraged, we should ask ourselves: why do such kinds of censorships need to occur in the first place? Social media platforms, like Twitter, are our generation’s main method of communication. Some use social media productively, connecting with people who can aid their own careers; some use them for amusement, writing silly posts and hear their friends’ equally silly responses; and some use them just to avoid boredom. But once in a while, some will use social medias for malicious intent. A serious downside of social medias is protecting the user’s identity; on the Internet, faces and identities do not exist, only what others choose to share. Social networking with strangers has often led to kidnapping and hacking; many of these victims were prey to deception.

I would be angry too if I was denied freedom of speech. But how many kidnaps and hackers are needed before social media companies need to intervene and provide safety measures? Such awful occurrences tarnish the companies’ reputations, and if unchecked, social networking may be gone forever.

We also forget that we have always been susceptible to censorship: social media and the government have long possessed the ability to restrict our freedom of speech. But having that power does not constitute freely using it.

Social networking is still relatively new today, so Twitter’s censorship ability and other similarities we may see in the near future may just be trial-and-error to find the best way to ensure social media platforms are safe and effective environments.

by Shan Huang

Source: http://www.technewsworld.com/story/74291.html

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