Taking Sides: Social Media Companies SHOULD NOT Ban Individuals From Their Platforms for Hate Speech

Mason West, Columnist

  Cancel culture has grown way out of control, and is punishing people for unprecedented reasons. From athletes to music stars, cancel culture is a trend that is used to make people feel good about themself by punishing good people that have made mistakes. Corporations and social media platforms need to set aside canceled culture because it’s a threat to democracy and it has little effect on creating change. If we want to create change, taking away free speech is not the answer.

  The first reason why corporations should not be able to ban free speech is because every person has the right to free speech. Just because a corporation has different views than someone, it does not give them the right to take away someone’s opinion. According to the New York Times, because Twitter is a corporation, it can decide what it regulates on the platform. If the government isn’t allowed to take away free speech, then why are corporations and social media platforms allowed to? I think this is unfair, and laws should be in place to ensure every person has the right to freedom of speech because it’s an essential in our American democracy.

  Decisions shouldn’t be made off cancel culture because cancel culture defames people and does not evoke change. For example, according to CNN, NBA star Kyrie Irving tweeted a link to a documentary deemed to be antisemitic. Following his tweet, he faced backlash and consequences from the NBA. “In terms of the backlash, we’re in 2022, history is not supposed to be hidden from anybody and I’m not a divisive person when it comes to religion, I embrace all walks of life,” Irving said. This proves that Irving was just expressing his opinion, and had no intentions in harming the Jewish community. Right after the incident, book sales of the documentary skyrocketed, and Irving refused to change his opinions. 

   Overall, there needs to be a clearer line on what’s able to be banned and what’s not. Opposing opinions is not a clear reason for a ban on social media, as it is taking away freedom of speech. According to Anne Hudley from the University of California, “Canceling is a way to acknowledge that you don’t have to have the power to change structural inequality.” This is important because it shows that canceling culture has little effect on the problem itself. Cancel culture must be put to a stop as it is taking away the important value of freedom of speech.