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Free Minds & Free Markets

Social Media Giants Shouldn't Be Arbiters of Appropriate Speech: New at Reason

Dpsoons / Dreamstime.comDpsoons / Dreamstime.comOf course, Facebook, YouTube, and other media are free to ban conspiracy-mongers such as Alex Jones from their platforms, writes David Harsanyi. They have a right to dictate the contours of permissible speech on their sites and to enforce those standards dutifully or hypocritically or ideologically, using any method they see fit. No one seriously disputes this.

Twitter also has a right, as a private entity, to take a stand and, as the company's CEO, Jack Dorsey explains it, dispassionately allow free exchanges of ideas—even the ugly ones Jones' Infowars offers—as long as users don't break the company's rules. Yet here we are, watching a number of journalists—supposed sentinels of free expression—demanding that billionaire CEOs start policing speech that makes them uncomfortable.

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