In an op-ed piece for the New York Times, Google Chairman Eric Schmidt proposed a digital checkpoint for all posts on all social media platforms. According to qz.com, Schmidt advocated for the creation of an algorithm that would monitor all social media platforms and censor all posts that the algorithm determine to be “hateful” or “harassing”.
“It’s our responsibility to demonstrate that stability and free expression go hand in hand. We should build tools to help de-escalate tensions on social media, sort of like spell-checkers, but for hate and harassment,” Schmidt wrote.
Schmidt also advocated for targeting the accounts that terrorists use on Facebook, Twitter, Youtube, and other social platforms.
While shutting down the terrorist linked social media accounts is a necessary part to winning the war on terror, Schmidt’s algorithm to censor the social media posts of all citizens is in direct conflict with the constitution.
Who would define what “hate” and “harassment” speech is? If it were left up to the current president and his administration, all conservatives and their views would be considered “hateful” and “harassing.” For example, Democratic leaders have specifically accused Republicans and their pro-life stance as the reason that a lunatic shot people at a Planned Parenthood. If it were left to liberals to decide the parameters of “hate”, then speaking out for the life of unborn children could be considered hateful.
Censorship is a slippery slope. It would all boil down to who is in power and what they deem acceptable. Censorship is anti-American. It is so anti-American in fact that the founding fathers made free speech their 1st priority and dedicated the 1st amendment to preserve it.
What do you think? Is Schmidt’s algorithm a good idea?