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Should Social Media Companies be the Arbiters of Speech?

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Twitter’s newly-instituted fact checks might be dismissed as mere “Band-Aids” on a gaping wound. It’s true, they won’t drain the internet cesspool of trolls, liars, and hyper-partisan political screechers.

The question posed by Twitter’s announcement is not whether you think it’s a good idea for people to see the Foley video. Instead, the relevant question is whether you want Twitter, Facebook.

If, despite these dangers, you are someone who wants Dick Costolo, Mark Zuckerberg, Eric Schmidt and the like to make lists of prohibited ideas and groups, then you really need to articulate what principles should apply. If, for instance, you want “terrorist groups” to be banned, then how is that determination made? There is intense debate all over the world about what “terrorism” means and who qualifies. 

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