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Facebook, Twitter and others urged to commit to "1st amendment for social platforms"

World News Publishing Focus

World News Publishing Focus
Your Guide to the Changing Media Landscape

Facebook, Twitter and others urged to commit to "1st amendment for social platforms"

As the various social media act more and more as the distribution platform for news, as well as for other content produced by their users, their ability to both protect freedom of speech and protect their users from hate speech are increasingly called into question. Syed and Smith point out that social platforms don’t typically create speech but provide a venue for their users’ expression. Therefore they earn their users’ trust through how they manage “our own collective expression”.

So far, the companies haven’t been enough transparent about their processes, the writers argue, which has led to inconsistencies in how their policies are applied. To counter this, they propose First Amendment principles as the foundation on which to build more transparent policies.

Last week Facebook and Twitter, among other tech companies, committed to new EU rules to combat hate speech. Previously, Facebook has faced significant criticism for the practices behind its Trending Topics section.

Syed’s and Smith’s piece was mostly met with positive reactions. Whether it leads to concrete action on the social platforms’ part remains to be seen.

Author

Teemu Henriksson's picture

Teemu Henriksson

Date

2016-06-07 10:10

Author information

The news publishing industry is experiencing transformation at an ever-growing pace, with new policy issues arising as the landscape changes.

We will be examining policy discussions that will define the news publishing environment of the future, the key topics being internet governance, privacy and copyright. Click here to learn more about our work.

WAN-IFRA Media Policy team and experts.


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