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First and foremost, I would like to separate myself from the crowd of people who also call for social media regulation but do so because they want to take down 'offensive' content, rather than keep it up. I personally believe that holding such a belief is unforgivably tyrannical. Hopefully my explanation below answers why I believe this as well. ​ Social media companies represent a revolution for public discourse - the ability to say something and have the *entire world* be able to see it within seconds is truly phenomenal. However, the conduct of companies such as Facebook and Twitter in recent years represents an existential threat to the very public discourse that it contributes so much to. Arbitrary bans based on vague terms of service are artificially altering the range of public discussion on these platforms. ​ This is a bad thing for a multitude of reasons: 1. Censorship is a double-edged sword. People who are *unpersoned* from social media don't just disappear; they simply go underground. As a result, there is no way for ordinary people with opposing views to debate them and force them to rationalise their points of view in a discussion. This contributes to their already allegedly radical or hateful views becoming more extreme. 2. Hate speech has value in the sense that it also forces reasonable people to rationalise their beliefs. Sure, having a heated debate with a member of the alt-right or a communist might be uncomfortable or even distressing, but these debates with fringe radicals serve to strengthen your own convictions and arguments, and perhaps iron out any creases in your logic. 3. What constitutes 'offensive material' is wildly arbitrary and subjective. What offends me will not offend you. Love him or hate him, Professor Jordan Peterson made an excellent point regarding this: Say you're standing in front of a group of 10 people. Have a discussion that doesn't offend any of them. You'll probably succeed. Now see how achievable that is in front of 100 people, or a thousand. It becomes exponentially more difficult to the point where it is impossible - *someone will always be offended by something*. To combat this, social media companies have come up with a vague metric for what constitutes 'offensive'. The problem with this metric is that it disproportionately operates in favour of one side of the political aisle. Conservative voices are disproportionately banned for things that liberal - left-wing people get let off the hook for. It is apparent that social media companies are inherently biased against conservatives. However, even if they weren't - even if they were banning people for 'offensive' conduct with relative objectivity and not in favour of either political group - it would still present a problem. The problem, as I see it, is the fact that three companies have a monopoly on mass-media (Facebook, Twitter and Alphabet (Google)), and are misusing their powers. Here in Australia, we turned the railroad system into a government asset, simply because the companies had become so essential to the public wellbeing that we could simply not afford for the private companies to have the power to bar people from using the trains at their discretion. Social media networks present a similar situation. The argument of "a private company can do what it wants" should apply for almost any small business, company or corporation. It becomes an issue with far more nuance once the companies in question: 1. Provide a good or service that is so imperative to society at large that it would be exceedingly detrimental for people to not have access to them, and; 2. Have a monopoly on the market. Facebook, Twitter and Alphabet all fall under these categories. It is also not so simple as "start your own social media company" - a company was started, called [Gab.ai](https://Gab.ai). After the Pittsburgh synagogue shooting, their web host GoDaddy dropped them with 24 hours notice. They got their website back up online, but now some of the largest network service providers in Australia and New Zealand have blocked the web address for all of their customers. Gab is also subject to smear after smear from the legacy media, as the white supremacists purged from all the platforms have made their way over there, as it is the only free-speech platform around. All in all, the status quo presents far too many hurdles for people to organically start up their own social media platforms if they are aiming to adhere to the principle of free speech. The solution, as far as I'm concerned, is for the state to step in and force these companies by law to adhere to principles of freedom of speech. The only content that these platforms should be monitoring is actual law-breaking content, such as child pornography, or terrorist networks. Banning 'offensive' material is a tyrannical waste of time. ​ As of yet, these companies show no sign of slowing down their censorship. They must be forced to stop it. ​ EDIT: There is a distinction to be made between activities such as credible threats of violence, calls to action, libel and slander, and simple expression of viewpoints that don't break these clear-cut legal principles. Saying "I hate a certain group of people and *wish* they would all be killed" is free speech; saying "I hate a certain group of people, everybody go out and start killing them all" is incitement.