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Comm 3 Debate:

Motion: This House believes that major social media platforms (e.g. Facebook, Twitter)
should censor bigotry.

Title: Should Facebook and Twitter be Regulated Under the First Amendment?
Author: Lincoln Caplan (for Wired)

Important Notes:

In an age when so much public discourse happens on platforms like Twitter,

@realDonaldTrump should be subject to the same strict standard as a designated, or
limited, public forum used for expressing views of the president.

One wrote that @realDonaldTrump is a personal accountthe work of Trump-the-man

(albeit a man to whom people pay attention because he is president), just as it was before
November [of 2016], and not Trump-the-president. His decisions about that account are
therefore not constrained by the First Amendment.

the government can restrict speech based on its content only if the restriction
serves a strong interest of the government, like preventing violence.

Theres no right to free speech on Twitter. The only rule is that Twitter Inc. gets to
decide who speaks and listenswhich is its right under the First Amendment. If
Twitter wants to block Trump, it can. If Trump wants to block followers, he can. Trumps
account cant be a designated public forum, as the center claims, because it isnt
public at all. Rather, Trumps account is a stream of communication thats wholly owned
by Twitter, a private company with First Amendment rights of its own.

The First Amendment and its clause protecting the freedom of speech do so only by
prohibiting government action restricting that freedom (Floyd Abrams, a venerated
lawyer and advocate for free speech)

anticensorial, against all but narrowly defined government interference with and
control over free expression

Facebook removes hate speech, which includes content that directly attacks people
based on their: race, ethnicity, national origin, religious affiliation, sexual orientation, sex,
gender, or gender identity, or serious disabilities or diseases.

It does not allow organizations and people to use Facebook if they are dedicated to
promoting hatred against these protected groups.

And that violates the free speech axiom that, in public discourse, all speech is
A major premise of these recent proposals to reinterpret the First Amendment is what the
Supreme Court said in June: Social media are todays town halls and public parks,
where ideas compete for influence on topics as diverse as human thought.
Title: Regulate Social Media Platforms Before its Too Late
Author: Natasha Tusikov (for The Conversation)

no right of speech is absolute.

big social media platforms not only have few safeguards to prevent the deliberate
manipulation of information, but they also have financial interests in maintaining the
status quo.


It is the responsibility of the author, not the social media platform, no create and interpret
content on the internet. Thus, to sensor bigotry or hate against a certain person or a
certain group of people is a violation of free speech, unless it poses an authorized,
ratified, or directly threatened" violence

Title: The internets war on free speech

Author: Brendan ONeill (for The Spectator)

Facebooks bans are political. In September last year Angela Merkel was overheard
asking Facebooks founder, Mark Zuckerberg, what he planned to do about offensive posts
about the refugee crisis. We need to do some work, he said. And he did. In February he
said that in Germany, with the migrant crisis here and all the sensitivity around that, his
service would clamp down on xenophobic posts.

Facebook has more power to shape the agenda than any media mogul, pope or
king in history. He who controls Facebooks trending bar controls the present. Being
turfed off the site for saying stuff its bosses dont like seriously degrades your ability to
be an engaged public person.

we need censorship in order to guarantee a better kind of free speech. This is the
digital world we all increasingly inhabit, where freedom is censorship, and censorship is


A violation in the freedom of speech can also be interpreted as a violation on the freedom
of information, especially in this era where