When it comes to social media sites such as Facebook, Twitter, or YouTube, many will claim that these sites abuse the freedom of speech by removing content. True, hate and violence should not be tolerated, but should it be up to private companies to decide what is allowed or not? Sure, there are user agreements allowing these sites to ban content, but a counterargument is that these major sites have effectively become public utilities and should be regulated further. Their market power is so strong these sites can ban users without worrying about losing much business or market share.
Recently, YouTube has removed a popular figure, Logan Paul, as a preferred partner, and put his projects on hold, after he posted a video with a dead body in Aokigahara Forest in Japan, The Verge reports. Now it has come to a point where a handful of reports can result in a ban.
Social media sites, such as Facebook, have also been accused of discriminating conservative media in favor of liberal ones. Twitter is also known for banning users for posting insensitive or politically incorrect content. The question is: Should these sites be allowed to control free speech?
Nowadays, those who post need to be careful what they say. Is that an infringement on freedom? Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, and the likes are effectively oligopolies and don’t need to worry about losing revenues as long as there’s no viable competition. And there is none in sight. Perhaps, it is time for national regulators to get involved.