The concept of free speech is omnipresent in American life. As a right enshrined in the First Amendment to the United States Constitution, Americans are free to share their opinions, ideas, and beliefs in public. However, as communication moves from traditional spheres of public expression to online platforms, corporations are controlling the content posted by users. Since participation in online communities is considered to be a private voluntary experience, executives at large internet companies like Facebook often exercise more control than the government when it comes to speech. Companies have crafted policies, like a workplace code, to control what users may post.
Personal Branding and Social Accountability
The Problem with Anonymity
Facebook discovered that users post more offensive content when given the option to post it anonymously. Some critics of policies limiting anonymous content argue that burgeoning social movements often operate under a veil of anonymity to protect activists. The internet is the most influential cultural forum of our age. In limiting a user’s ability to post anonymous content, will internet companies unintentionally censor the exchange of important ideas? On the other hand, many people have discovered the destructive power of anonymous online comments and reviews. Operating under the cover of an anonymous handle, internet users can post false and defamatory content without fear of repercussion. If your reputation has been damaged online, an internet defamation lawyer can help you regain control. Internet anonymity can be a powerful tool, but also a damaging weapon.
Image Credit: Spencer E Holtaway