• Stella-Loo

Big Tech Censorship

This is where you may start to hate me already.

Is banning a person from posting or blocking an entire site or app the beginning of taking away our civil rights? Terms of Service are legally binding agreements.

Social Media Sites can put whatever they want in their terms of use, to which everyone agrees when they sign up (whether they read them or not). If you violate the terms, you suffer the consequences. This is a rule. You get hushed in a library for talking too loudly. Is that a civil right infringement? No.

Web Browsers can block whatever content they want. It's not censorship. It's called having rules. For instance, see Google's Terms of Service (legally binding) and scroll down to the subheading, "Respect". Most specifically...

"- don't abuse or harm others or yourself (or threaten or encourage such abuse or harm) -- for example, by misleading, defrauding, defaming, bullying, harassing, or stalking others"

This exact wording was in there as of version dated March 31, 2020. The last time their TOS was updated was October 25, 2017. At that time they simply stated, "We may add or remove functionalities or features, and we may suspend or stop a Service altogether."

Platform Users can absolutely be banned from individual sites if they violate a site's terms of use. Twitter's Terms of Service section 4 leads with a link to The Twitter Rules and goes on to state, "We may also remove or refuse to distribute any Content on the Services, limit distribution or visibility of any Content on the service, suspend or terminate users, and reclaim usernames without liability to you."

In summary, be respectful, reasonable, nice, non-bullying, and behave with at least a modicum of decorum online and in person. I don't think that's too much to ask.

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