Our Rights. Do most of us even understand them?

Our Rights

Do most of us even understand them?

By Mustang

A common complaint today is that one or another social media platform have banned someone because they, in some way, violated platform standards of conduct.  At least, that’s the allegation; but I have to ask: Um … so?

Perhaps it is true that social media standards are draconian, and they may even be politically biased.  We may not like these so-called standards, but there is another argument.  Given what we know about human behavior on social media, some of which is out-right cowardly and vulgar, most of which we would never tolerate from anyone in person, and some of which is clearly dangerous to public safety, what is wrong with an attempt by social media to enforce well-mannered and lawful dialogue?  

Hasn’t it been true in the past that terrorists have used social media to communicate their plans and aspirations? Aren’t there predators on these platforms, people who bully and harass others?  Aren’t there some people who are unable to construct simple sentences without using the “F-bomb”?  I’m trying to imagine how many of us would host an afternoon party at our homes and then put up with such nonsense from one of our guests.  Speaking for myself, I wouldn’t put up with it more than a nanosecond.

Beyond this, there is the inane argument that social platforms are denying its clients their first amendment right to self-expression (no matter how inappropriate those expressions may be).  Well, a short review of the First Amendment is in order. The Constitution and its amendments only apply to government’s behavior toward us … it does not protect behavior between private persons. 

In other words, there is no right to free speech when someone is standing in our living rooms making an ass of him or herself —and should I toss an offensive person out the door, they have no right to have me arrested, or drag me into a civil court, for doing so.  I’m thinking we ought to stop using the “first amendment” argument: it is silly.

I often wonder if social media platforms aren’t part of the reason our society has become so fractured—so, my final argument, allowing that Facebook or Twitter is not a government entity, is that if people are offended because social media restricts their speech or behavior, they can always cancel their accounts—which, as best as I can tell offers us access to their platforms free of charge.  We do have choices, right?  We could, for example, reduce our profanity, curtail the tendency to be rude or obnoxious to people we have never even met, and we could seek ways of expressing our political proclivities other than shouting at one another.

What say you?

21 Responses to “Our Rights. Do most of us even understand them?”

  1. the unit Says:

    I guess if I had a blog site, my disclaimer would be “Go Ahead, Make My Enough is Enough.” Could work in lot’s of situations, left and right and in between. And that’ad be that. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Ed Bonderenka Says:

    It’s interesting the way you posed this.
    Many blogs post disclaimers that unacceptable language will not be tolerated.
    Some blogs are closed so that other voices (trolls) cannot intrude.
    I frequent one blog whose owner truncates a particular person’s posts for brevity.
    Everyone else complains about the length (and sometimes tone) of his comments which can mask other comments.
    Facebook and Twitter, however, present themselves as an open forum and then behave otherwise.
    Not because of “community standards” but political bias.
    It’s their playground, their rules, but as others have pointed out, they should own it.

    Liked by 3 people

    • bunkerville Says:

      When FB first came out, it was a way to connect with family and friends and especially kids who usually hated to call home. It was fun. Then it morphed into a behemoth that could and did get out of control. I don’t know what the answer is. Maybe there isn’t any. I for one do not want the southern Poverty Law Center to do the controlling. Then again, I would prefer that it not have terrorists spewing their filth and recruiting. Best to walk away I guess. I for one have ended my FB account. But I miss it.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. the unit Says:

    Points made yesterday by Bunkerville and Mustang are well made. And as Ed said certain references and comparisons are “counterproductive, if not unseemly.”
    Perhaps a better expression could be made like did the revolutionary patriots. 🙂
    John Jay said he could find his way across the country by the light of his burning effigies. – New York State Historical Association

    Liked by 6 people

  4. petermc3 Says:

    Much of the blame for the bastardization of the 1st amendment lies at the feet of the SCOTUS. The most glaring example may be its ruling that the purveyors of pornography have a right to have it pumped into every American Household; that’s freedom of speech? Burning the American flag in public is freedom of speech? Public defecation and nudity are now freedoms of speech not to be trampled on. What is not freedom of speech, although it comes under the misinterpreted and misapplied separation of church and state, is prayer in school, the ban on teaching the golden rule and kicking God out of our public and some private institutions. God help us all- can i still say that in the privacy of my own home?

    Liked by 4 people

  5. bob sykes Says:

    Take another look at the 1st. The telephone company cannot monitor or censor your phone calls nor can it deny you service for offending the sensibilities of one or more of its employees. And the phone company is a private corporation. That is the correct model for FaceBook et al.


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