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Full Version: Social Media: Private Companies or Public Utilities?
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Just wanting to see where folks are in this debate.

It seems to me that social media has become another form of “public utility” much like cellular companies. Cell companies cannot ban you for talking on your phone about things that they disagree with, so why should the social media giants be able to do so? I have never used "social media" so I don't have a dog in this fight, but it seems that the owners of these platforms would not be harmed by allowing the same level of free speech that we expect in any other form of media.

Thoughts?
Ok....some good discussion starting to happen.

~mc~

Phones aren’t monitored as bad as social media 1dunno1

I don’t know Scratchinghead
It's not a subject that I've done any serious digging into.

IMO, social media sites like Twitter and Facebook are transnational telecommunications companies and should be regulated as such considering they are based in and do business with the USA.
I don't think so

I don't like the government having the buck stop with them when it comes to social media, or else these companies will have zero repercussions for their decisions and they will blame the government for everything

Zuckerberg desperately wants the government to regulate FB so he's off the hook
I think public utility because "we are their product"
If you believe that We The a People are the Government...then We The People own these companies and several others including Amazon.

Why?

We funded them.

They are not private companies. They are government created/sponsored entities.
Just some thoughts off the top of my head:

When broadcasting (radio and teevee) came into prominence, the government had regulations because, as they said at the time, the "airwaves belong to the people." Broadcasters, up until the 80s, were held to strict regulations. A certan amount of programming had to be devoted to public service. No company could dominate a market so that only their views were being expressed. Lots of regulations like that AND they were strictly enforced. Break a regulartion and you could be fined or worse still, lose your license to operate.

This system, with its regulations, oddly enough allowed for small radio and teevee stations and even newspapers to operate in a relatively free marketplace.

In the 80s, that all changed, under the guise of making things a "free and more open marketplace." So what happened? The big guys gobbled up the small guys and now we have pretty much one narrative on the teevee and radio.

So why should you care? You don't watch teevee or listen to radio, right?

You should care because it's the same pattern. Social media is the broadcasting outlet of the current era. It all started out as a free and open exchange, right? Look at it now.

Okay, that's all I have to say for the moment.