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Social Media Giants Set Up “Free Speech Zones” to Censor Dissent

WashingtonsBlog
Thursday, March 1, 2012

The Bush administration gutted free speech rights by limiting protesters to “free speech zones” which were often miles away from the meetings or conventions being protested, and well away from the media spotlight.

For example, here is the “free speech zone” for protesters at the 2004 Democratic National Convention:

Social Media Giants Set Up “Free Speech Zones” to Censor Dissent First amendment zone2Social Media Giants Set Up “Free Speech Zones” to Censor Dissent blank

 

Social Media Giants Set Up “Free Speech Zones” to Censor Dissent First amendment zone1

Obviously, whatever speech protesters made went unheard.

 

Social media sites like Reddit are doing the same thing. For example, a friend submitted the following world news stories to the largest Reddit category, WorldNews:

Reddit filtered the stories out, and moderator davidreiss666 said:

Please summit those to /r/WorldPolitics or /r/Israel instead.
Thank you.”

 

Worldnews has more than 1,200,000 readers. Posting on Worldnews means one’s speech will be heard … like protesting in front of a convention.

In contrast, Reddit’s Worldpolitics section has less than 50,000 readers. And the Israel section has just over 7,000 readers. These are back alleys where almost no one goes.

So Reddit is doing just what George W. Bush did: banishing protest to “free speech zones”.

Note 1: See this for background on censorship by Reddit and other social media websites.

Note 2: It is not a lack of understanding of Reddit’s rules which is causing this site to be censored on Reddit. For example, the friend submitting the posts to Reddit is one of the 20 most popular Redditors. With more than 150,000 “karma” points, I am personally probably one of the 100 most popular Redditors. Two Reddit moderators – one who is much more popular than davidreiss666 supports the right of this site to free speech.

And – prior to the involvement of 1 or 2 moderators who have decided to censor this site – stories from this site were voted up to Reddit’s front page on numerous occasions.

This proves that it is the political agenda of certain moderators – rather than failure to follow posting guidelines or a lack of interest in stories from this site – which is the main problem.

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