Freedom of Speech Meets Social Media

We all love our right to Freedom of Speech and the First Amendment, but, when it comes to the Internet, should there be a limit on this freedom?

Recently, the co-founder of Reddit, a social networking site has come under fire for his site and the boundaries of freedom of speech. A “troll” on the site got found out for posting inappropriate content and instigating fights with other users. To explain, a troll is someone who does just that, starts fights and posts things they shouldn’t just for the sake of attracting attention. To tell this user to stop could potentially be infringing upon their right to freedom of speech. A Reddit co-founder is defending the user because of this right, but should he be?

As adults, we know that the Internet is a public place, and because of that we are supposed to be respectful. If you choose to partake in a website that others can view, you know there are repercussions if you post something that’s inappropriate, be it words or images. To sign up to participate in any public space, you have to agree to the rules of the forum before you can be a part of it.

This is where people have problems. When signing up for an account and agreeing to the rules, they are not actually signing away their freedom of speech but agreeing to be respectful of others opinions and not post inappropriately. Sure, you can argue that it’s infringing upon your rights, but you signed up voluntarily knowing the rules. If you read through the list you would know what behavior is expected of you and if you’re not happy with anything listed, you can choose to not sign up and leave the site.

With social media this is becoming an increasing issue. People feel they should be able to post whatever they wish on these sites, but should they? Should there be a limit to what we can post in public arenas such as Facebook, Twitter, and Reddit?