The argument for social media censorship

Writing in The Washington Examiner, Ryan Khurana challenges the recent criticisms of social media platforms such as Twitter and Facebook for perceived bias towards conservative voices.

Reflecting on the results of a recent survey by Axios that discovered that 57 per cent of Americans now believe that social media is harmful for democracy, with Republicans being more likely than Democrats to hold this view, Khurana argues that the conservative criticism of social media’s ability to impartially monitor content fails to recognise the complexity of the task at hand.

Khurana writes that “In one minute in 2016, Facebook saw 3.3 million posts uploaded, Twitter nearly 450,000 tweets, and 500 hours of video uploaded on YouTube. Since then, surely, these numbers having only increased.” Therefore, the “difficulty of the task reveals how many cases of supposed censorship result from mistakes, rather than attacks”.

With criticism coming from both the right and the left (the latter for a perception that the major social media platforms do not do enough to counter hate speech and the belief that “fake news” helped elect Trump to office in 2016), large tech companies have been left with “few friends in Washington”.

Khurana concludes by challenging the conservative antagonism towards social media. He writes:

Greater interconnectivity is a positive for conservatives and liberals alike. The sad truth is that those peddling anti-social media narratives on the Right are no true friends of free speech or free markets, principles upon which conservatism once stood.

To read the full article on The Washington Examiner website, click here.


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