Social media companies not targeting political parties, but speech that violates decency

Posted 1 February 2021 at 8:25 am


The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette wrote an editorial titled: “The War on Free Speech.” I would like to respond.

This is a very complex issue not easy to adequately address in a letter to the papers. First, the U.S. Constitution guarantees free speech; corporations do not guarantee free speech. Facebook, Twitter and other social media platforms are private companies and when we want to use these platforms we have to sign a user agreement. Violations of that agreement has consequences.

Most of these social media platforms use automated artificial intelligence to monitor the cacophony of opinions and suppress those that violate company rules and common decency such as abusive and dangerous activities. (Personally, I question how hateful, abusive, lies or pornographic speech advance ideas in the market place of free speech).

Therefore, the idea that social media is censoring one political group over another demonstrates that one political group violates common decency more than other political groups. Furthermore, the editorial undercuts the idea that there is a war on free speech by pointing out that when one platform blocks certain speech those who engage in that speech will just move to another platform. Thus free speech is not blocked. Thank you.

William Fine