To put it simply, free speech is defined as the right to express a point of view or opinion without being held back via censorship. To trace its origin in American history, free speech was given birth by implementing the first Amendment. With free speech people have the ability to express their thoughts without having to think twice about something which, in reality, is a great way to empower the citizens of any state. However, that isn’t the only way people use it. When first Amendment rights were given to people it was for the purpose of expression to flow freely but of course with such a powerful right comes big responsibility and some people did abuse this privilege to propagate hate speech against particular race, religion and other ethnicities.
We live in a world where most people take to social media to express themselves. Now the lines do become blurry here. Many people wonder whether free speech is still applicable to social media or is it being hindered using censorship?
With so much happening around the world, social media is the one stop shop for the masses since most of the activities are being done online. Considering that we are in the middle of a pandemic, people have become more and more dependent on their social media for news, business and their daily dose of entertainment. Social media, in all its glory, may be a great tool for doing business but it also holds a lot of power in the form of regulations.
You see, with algorithms in place, a whole lot of keywords and content can be banned or censored so that it doesn’t reach the masses. Whereas, every day we see so much going “viral” on the internet. So it is high time that we ask ourselves whether social media for free speech exists or is just a mirage created by the higherups?