WordPress references Facebook’s recent trouble with offensive content by asking: Is it a websites job to moderate the content users post? Or should users have freedom to say what they want? Is there a happy medium? If so, how would you structure it?
The second question asks: “…should users have freedom to say what they want?” The assumption underlying this question is that, currently, ‘all’ users have freedom to say what they want. Is that true? I don’t think so.
“Freedom isn’t Free” is a phrase we hear often in the U.S., referring to sacrifices that military members make. To carry that saying to this topic, if “Facebook Freedom isn’t Free,” that means someone is making a sacrifice. Someone is paying the cost of people saying whatever they want.
Elderly and disabled people pay for this freedom through quips to pictures of them living their lives, minorities do it through mockery and assigned characteristics, homosexuals pay for this freedom through hate with a velvet tongue, and women exchange their freedom for threats of dominance.
This is an excellent example of social privilege rearing back on it’s hind legs and clawing our faces.Those with social privilege (men, white people, Christians, able-bodied people) don’t have to question the way they are portrayed. They don’t have to defend themselves against others’ assumptions. I don’t know that there is a happy medium, because no matter how something is structured. Until the overarching social contract, the arrangement of people’s “places” and its inherent inequality is rewritten, there won’t be.