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Does Fact-Checking Violate the First Amendment?

Should freedom of speech apply to social media? The answer is not as simple as it seems. Social media does seem to have a responsibility, but where do we draw the line? Erin Elmore from Turning Point USA believes that freedom of speech does not apply to social media because platforms have biases. On the other hand, Helen Lee Bouygues from Reboot Foundation thinks that social media fact-checking is an intangible goal, but one that has a very important aspect. The spreading of misinformation should be the main concern that everyone shares. Bold TV’s very own Julia Sun sits down with these two to discuss this hot topic. 

First Amendment of the Constitution

With the most recent presidential election, we have seen more “fake news” than ever before. Is it up to the social media platforms to fact-check our posts? Or would that be ripping away our freedom of speech? According to Elmore, there is absolutely no reason for these platforms to be fact-checking every single post. Even Bouygues slightly agrees because it is just not possible to do so. There is no way that every platform can sift through each and every single one of its users posts. Plus, platforms already claim that they are using the disclaimer for misinformation on posts that don’t seem accurate. 

Is fact-checking censorship?

Bouygues brings in a very important aspect. There has not been enough research to show that social media platforms are biased toward conservative opinions. So while Elmore feels as though this is censorship, there isn’t factual evidence to go off of. All of our energy needs to be shifted from hating the media, to what we can do in order to improve it. Misinformation is a danger to us all, but is social media the root of that issue, or is it something bigger? 

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