Eddie Hinkle


Free speech and it's limits

I read an interesting discussion by Nick Heer:

Something that is perhaps most notable about social platforms like Twitter is how they have packaged and exported the First Amendment. But the weird thing is that they don’t have to do that: they’re a private company, and they can make their own rules as they see fit.

He mentions that Free Speech is a "uniquely American concept". As an American I agree and firmly believe that Free Speech is most definitely the right answer.

However, I think that the basic understanding of Free Speech, even among Americans is flawed. Free Speech is often thought to mean "I can say what I want, when I want, to whom I want and not have any repercussions." That is however, not the purpose of Free Speech. The purpose of Free Speech is that it is not illegal to discuss your viewpoints. That said, a restaurant doesn't have to serve you if you are disturbing the other customers with your "Free Speech". In the same way, I believe that the Internet should have Free Speech. Anyone, anywhere, anytime should be able to post whatever they want on the internet. On their own website.

Twitter is a company and a platform. In technology terms, it is not unlike a restaurant with customers that come to enjoy the atmosphere. Twitter has both the right and the responsibility to take care of the majority of it's customers at the expense of the minority customers that are causing a disturbance. And if Twitter won't take care of it, the customers will leave the same way they would do if their peaceful dinner was disrupted.

This is actually very similar to the thoughts that Manton Reece has about micro.blog. Here is how Manton describes the difference between a user's website and the micro.blog social network:

We believe there needs to be a line between the social network and the content at your own site. Your web site is your own, where you have the freedom to write about whatever you want, but a service like Micro.blog has a responsibility to build a safe community for its users.

That is one reason that I use micro.blog as my primary social outlet. I still occasionally read and respond to other user's tweets, and I use Facebook for some occasional family related activities, but for general social activity I use micro.blog by first posting on my website and then allowing micro.blog to syndicate that content to my social network.

39.83 ℉Frederick, Marylandindieweb
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Thanks! Good extension to what I wrote.
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