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  • Matthew Diemer

The Right to be Heard



Yesterday we talked a little bit about hate speech and social media. Today, I want to talk about the responsibilities politicians have when they use social media.


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I think this is an interesting article about it:


https://www.mtsu.edu/first-amendment/article/1738/government-use-of-social-media


Basically, one side of the coin is that, like I mentioned yesterday, the social media platforms have the ultimate authority over who and what will and won’t be allowed to participate. But when a major political figure (like a president) uses Twitter as a town hall, blocking individual users could be seen as an attack on their first amendment rights.


In one case, people who were blocked from Trump’s Twitter argued that their first amendment rights were being violated, and in another, the court had to decide whether a school board member’s Facebook page was a public forum. (They decided it was.)


Basically, the question is: are social media platforms public spaces, and do politicians have a responsibility to act as such?


We’ve all seen by now that people can get “cancelled” for something they said on Twitter 10 years ago…


Remember this?


https://www.nydailynews.com/news/politics/anthony-weiner-won-give-twitter-article-1.125890


Even after a giant scandal, Weiner couldn’t leave Twitter alone, because he felt that as a politician, he HAD to communicate on there.


What do you think?


Should we think of social media as public or private? Does anyone have a right to use it?


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