Chattanoogans sound off on social media censorship

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CHATTANOOGA, Tenn. (WDEF) – In the wake of social media giant Twitter banning accounts ranging from President Trump to Representative Marjorie Taylor Greene, an ensuing debate has erupted over whether these actions constitute as censorship.

The Washington Post reports that online misinformation fell by a whopping 73 percent following the President being banned from Twitter and other social media sites, citing data from research firm Zignal Labs.

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Some say that the move was justified to curtail further violence.

“When speech becomes dangerous, we have to do something about it. You can’t yell fire in a crowded theater, as commonly said. So I think it is within their rights, if they deem it to be dangerous speech,” says one Chattanooga local, Jason Elliot.

Other locals were divided regarding Twitter’s move to ban certain accounts, like President Trump’s, from their platform. While some said that it was within their rights as a private company to do so, others said that they should be held to a different standard as a place of public discourse.

“The thing is, everybody’s always arguing how they’re a private company – they can do what they want. But the only people saying that are the people that agree with the policies that Twitter is doing. If you’re going to classify yourself as a private company, then you should start saying that, ‘okay, here’s what we want on our platform, here’s what we don’t want.’ But if you’re advertising like, ‘oh you can post your thoughts here, you can say whatever you want’, and then you go back on that, I think they should be held accountable to that,” says another local, Joshua Marshall.

Marshall argued that the rules of Twitter were unfairly biased against conservative voices.

“We can say what we want, right? On the left, we can say what we want. But you can’t say what you want because we don’t like it, basically,” he says.