Reddit’s Commitment to Free Speech Wavers

A moderator on the popular site Reddit recently closed and deleted discussion threads deemed offensive, which discussed the attacks in Orlando and the issue of Islamic terrorism.

As John Brandon reports for Fox News,  Reddit responded that the deletions were due to automated filters that aim to remove hate speech. Yet users have criticized the removal of the posts, seeing it as censorship.

Brandon quotes Danny Paskin, a professor at California State University, who stated that “Reddit has to make a choice: Does it want to truly be a forum for public exchange of information, or does it want to be a private company running under its own rules?”

As private companies, sites like Reddit and Facebook are free to set the terms of their use, including disallowing certain types of speech. However, to the degree that companies like Reddit do impose automatic filters on speech, they will limit the vibrancy of debate on their forums and cannot claim to hold freedom of expression as a core value.

More Blog Posts

05-20-2020 01:20pm

StoryCorps Connect During COVID-19: Finding a New Way to Share America’s Stories

StoryCorps pivots to digital to keep building connections between people during the pandemic.

Read more

05-19-2020 05:39pm

Free speech provides comfort during COVID-19 pandemic

Trying circumstances can also present opportunities for people to come together. When people feel as if they face a common challenge, differences and divisions begin to blur. That’s cause for optimism.

Read more

05-14-2020 11:20am

Five steps for public officials to protect public health, regain public trust, and ensure civil liberties during COVID-19 crisis

Americans and their public officials grapple with the dynamic while working to protect public health and maintain the public confidence necessary for successful adoptions of temporary measures and ultimately restoration of their full civil liberties. Charles Koch Institute Senior Fellow Casey Mattox offers advice on the subject.

Read more

Sign up for updates