The topic of censorship on the internet is a hot topic issue for everyone. Especially as the usage of the internet becomes more prevalent for Americans. Censorship online is not new to 2019. Everyday users have started talking about it and their fears of being censored online.
On May 2, 2019, Facebook and Instagram, a Facebook company, banned Alex Jones, and subsequently InfoWars, along with other accounts for spreading what Facebook considers violence or hate. Alex Jones had been banned on Facebook before in August of 2018.
“I am continuing to monitor the censorship of American citizens on social media platforms. This is the United States of America — and we have what’s known as freedom of speech!” Donald Trump posted on Twitter on May 3, 2019.
“Everyone has a right to say what they want, as long as it’s not causing harm to anyone. I do not feel that it is a violation of free speech,” said Teresita Rutherford an art history major at Chabot.
“If the material is inappropriate, then Facebook should ban those accounts, but not if it was just because of their political positions. It is a violation of free speech unless the accounts broke the terms of any contracts they had with Facebook,” stated Alejandra Espinoza-Mejia, a Business Major.
Facebook has not violated anyone’s freedom of speech, Facebook is not a government entity. Facebook is a private business that can refuse service to anyone when Facebook feels a user is breaking Facebook’s terms of service.
The last major time the topic of online censorship was brought up in the news was when the Federal Communications Commission repealed net neutrality in June 2018. Net neutrality is the belief that internet service providers (ISP), such as Comcast, should treat all websites equally, without favoring some sites and blocking others.
“I’m worried that net neutrality is gone, it could be like other countries where popular websites have a subscription by the internet providers on top of paying for the internet,” Rutherford stated.
Internet users were worried that ISPs would slow down or block websites for any reason. The blocking of websites entirely is a form of censorship on the internet.