Update #1 (Jan. 12): According to this official announcement by Facebook, the social media giant is now removing/censoring all content with the phrase “Stop the Steal.” Don’t people have the right to be wrong? Is this the beginning of a new era of massive social media censorship? If so, why do reprehensible despots like the Ayatollah Khomenei or Cuba’s new dictator still get to use Facebook and Twitter? Whatever the reason, what’s the next thing to be banned? Pictures of Donald Trump? Messages in support of Scientology? Slogans with the phrase “Blue Lives Matter”?
Update #2 (Jan. 13): YouTube has just announced that it is not only “suspending” Trump’s video platform for seven days; YouTube is also “indefinitely disabling comments on President Trump’s channel …” Is it now time to regulate Big Tech?
I will begin teaching my survey course on “The Legal and Ethical Environment of Business” on 11 January 2021, and this semester, I will once again focus on social media companies like Facebook. Below are some screenshots of the homepage of my course:
For my part, I am conflicted over this opening question. On the one hand, the risks mentioned by Zuckerberg cannot be ignored, but on the other hand, Zuck’s decision sets a dangerous precedent. Also, it is unlikely that Trump himself will be charged with the crime of incitement. So, how would you answer this question?