There is a great debate on the horizon regarding free speech, the internet, private social media companies, and extremist propaganda.
As of today, social media corporations such as Facebook and Twitter are still considered private entities, not broadcast avenues, and as such, are beholden only to themselves in terms of decency and the criminality of ignorance. While most of these organizations have shown some effort to curb the dissemination of extremist propaganda via their respective platforms, they’ve been slow in getting to the nitty gritty work of it, causing concern among many in the media community.
Now, given the exploitation of these communication tools by radical Islamic terrorists, there is mounting pressure for these internet entities to put the kibosh on extremism altogether or possibly face hefty penalties.
“Ministers are considering a new law which would mean Google – which owns YouTube – and other social media sites like Facebook and Twitter can be prosecuted if they allow such videos to be disseminated.
“Theresa May, the Prime Minister, made clear her displeasure at internet companies that publish extremist content on Friday, saying ‘the ball is in their court’ over taking action.“Google publicly apologised this week after the growing scandal over extremist videos on YouTube led to a series of companies pulling their adverts from the internet giant.
“Google, which owns the video sharing website YouTube, and other social media sites have an agreement to take down extremist content within 24 hours when they are alerted to it.”
24 hours is an eternity in the world of the internet, and the concern over these companies’ lethargic response is alarming.
This sort of brazen ineptitude only strengthens the argument for the regulation of these sites to adhere to standards and practices that are universally accepted, including the termination of both Facebook and Twitter’s fascist censorship of viewpoints that do not necessarily harmonize with the viewpoints of their founders.