The Real Victim of Social Media Censorship is Personal Responsibility, by Brittany Hunter

Banning certain views from social media sites prevents people from either thinking for themselves about those views or debunking them. From Brittany Hunter at

Between Trump’s tirades against alleged “fake news” outlets and the recent banning of Alex Jones from Facebook, Apple, and YouTube, our society appears to be obsessed with trying to silence the opposition by controlling the flow of information. And while the recent Jones prohibition has sparked a national debate over who the First Amendment applies to, there is more to this story than just the issue of state-protected free speech.

To be sure, the Bill of Rights is vital to individual liberty and was written explicitly to restrain the government from infringing upon the rights of the people. And while Facebook may sometimes be more accommodating to the government than many of us would like, the fact remains that it is a private company and it has the right to ban whomever it chooses. The same goes for YouTube and Apple.

And while we are each free to disagree with the decision to censor certain users, debating the constitutionality of Facebook and Apple’s decision ignores the real heart of the matter: Facebook, CNN, Apple, YouTube, and Fox News are not responsible for the spread of misinformation, no matter how much believing so may reinforce our own narratives. When all is said and done, the only person responsible for distinguishing fact from fiction is the individual.

When I was a child and used to accompany my mother to the grocery store, I would always stare in wonder at the sensational tabloid magazines that sat near the registers. “Saddam Hussein is Really a Woman,” one headline read. Another claimed to have an exclusive interview with a man with four heads while another had the scoop on the exorcism of a demonic cat. Even as a child, I understood these headlines were false, but I was still confused.

“Why are these magazines allowed to tell lies? Shouldn’t this be illegal?” I asked my mother. “What if someone believes them?”

“Some people do believe them,” she said as she told me about her friend from school who never missed an issue of World Daily News. She continued, “But each person is responsible for making that decision for themselves.”

To continue reading: The Real Victim of Social Media Censorship is Personal Responsibility

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