Dead Reckoning is an article focusing on the content the internet has, and how not everything users’ see can be trustworthy. The article speaks about four strategies that helps users avoid some of the bad content or help users figure out what they are really looking at. Strategy one focuses on trust and verification, strategy two focuses on, distributing economic incentives, strategy three focuses on de-prioritizing and banning accounts, and finally strategy four focuses on regulatory approaches. For the purpose of this essay I will be focusing on strategy three. In that portion of the essay it talks about how Facebook will censor or even go as far as banning accounts that they viewed were breaking their regulations to keep their site clean. Although we might assume that Facebook’s process of banning accounts and censoring content is important for providing a safe and enjoyable user experience, I want to suggest that their policies not only give the social media company too much power, but fundamentally challenge the first amendment, ultimately undermining the role of public discussion in a democracy.
According to “Dead Reckoning,” Facebook has claimed that they have “long invested in preventing fake-account creation” (23). This quote explains that Facebook was looking for accounts that circulated fake news, or that had information on the site that should not be there. Facebook later admitted that they are trying to reduce the effect social media has on people by taking down some of the information people are posting that are closely related to “low-quality content such as clickbait, sensationalism, and misinformation” (24). These issues sway both robotized content evacuation and human-drove content control arrangements. The principles used to settle on these choices to even consider being censured and too obscure to be in any way connected reliably.
One company that has first hand experience in this is CrossFit. CrossFit is a branded fitness regimen that helps users improve their fitness and health. According to Techspot a main PC and innovation distribution built up in 1998 and CrossFit’s own press release, CrossFit believes that Facebook should slow down and really reconsider the banned content. In the press release CrossFit speaks about how Facebook banned Banting7DayMealPlan user group without any warning. Banting7DayMealPlan is a site users can post about healthy dietary habits like a low carbohydrate diet or a high fat diet. According to CrossFit, Facebook serves as a “de facto” stressing the fact that Facebook gets the final say in what is and is not shown on their site, which can become problemattic.
What Facebook is doing can be problematic because CrossFit grows year by year by 166 percent, so when Facebook chooses to delete their information with no warning, it also leaves users to question what gives Facebook the authority to decide what is and is not allowed to be seen on their website. Although we might assume that Facebook’s process of banning accounts and censoring content is important for providing a safe and enjoyable user experience, I want to suggest that their policies not only give the social media company too much power, but fundamentally challenge the first amendment, ultimately undermining the role of public discussion in a democracy. All on all Facebook should not be permitted to delete whatever content they feel like especially with no warning. Not only does it hinder users From their first amendment rights, it demotes their credibility as a good source of expressing whatever content users might want to express to the public.