Freedom of Speech On Social Media

How people are using the power the Internet gives us

Have you ever posted something without thinking how it could affect others? Have you ever been offended by someone else’s post? Social media gives people a digital platform to voice their opinions, but some people have taken this freedom too far.

Getting into arguments on platforms like Twitter is all too common for high school students. But recently, an increasing number of adults are getting mixed into the feuds too. A large number of people are afraid of face-to-face confrontation, so they use the Internet to say things they wouldn’t necessarily say in person. Social media profiles and usernames allow us, not only to hide behind false profiles if we choose to create them, but also to post things we most likely wouldn’t say in person. These arguments could be avoided if there were more restrictive rules and guidelines on social media outlets. However, this might cause the number of users to decrease because people seem to want unlimited freedom of speech online.

Aside from the trivial feuds that take place that we have all witnessed, countless social media users find ways to voice their political and social opinions, sometimes sparking more significant clashes. This is where those media rules and guidelines come into play. If someone is offended by a post, they usually have the option to report the post as spam, abusive content, inappropriate content, or something of the like. Recently, in light of President Donald Trump’s constant activity on Twitter, more and more people have been open about their views on certain policy issues such as women’s equality, LGBT rights, and environmental conservation. Social media users are now willing to share their opinions with a wide range of people. But not everyone has easily accepted the criticism they have received for posting those opinions.

Policy issues have been the recent center of attention in trending topics on Twitter. While freedom of speech is a constitutional right, promoting topics like racism and sexism is where the line should be drawn. Cyber-bullying is sometimes worse than verbal bullying because a greater number of people may see what is being posted, making the message more widespread than spoken gossip. Fortunately, most forms of social media have rules for users to follow so that people can’t say whatever they want to without a filter.

Despite the numerous negative aspects of social media, there are certain benefits of using sites like Facebook or Twitter. Spreading awareness about topics is an everyday occurrence. Fundraisers like GoFundMe are increasingly popular ways to raise money for important causes. Because some people have a large following, it is easy to advertise all kinds of events.

In essence, the power to influence others is available to anyone who has a social media account of any kind. Whether it be through Twitter, Instagram, Facebook, or Snapchat, people both abuse and respect the power social media gives us. Users need to remember that anyone can see what you post, so you need to be careful about the potential consequences of your actions, especially how your posts may affect others.