Social Media and Government Regulation (Part 2)

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Last week, we discussed some reasons to consider for social media government regulation. Now, let’s see how it could affect the freedom and rights of the people.

The Freedom of Speech, Expression, and Press

With regulations comes, a backlash.
For media in general, any form of restrictive regulation could mean a violation on some constitutional rights such as the freedom of speech, expression, and press.
Any form of silencing the media is a violation of freedom of expression. This does not limit only to media companies, but to individuals as well. Censorship is good but too much of it could silence people.
Regulation can also violate the freedom of speech and the press. It would mean the items we see online would be pre-censored by the government. There is a huge possibility that the issues of the government would be screened out, too.
This is very dangerous. Nobody can stand up against the government. People can’t revolutionize and revolt. Regulating any form of expression – including social media – could defeat the purpose of democracy.

The best we could do…

Social media responsibility is a concept not so far out. It is something we could do by ourselves and not depend on some government regulation.
Always be critical in everything you read. Question it. From its authenticity to its content, content to meaning, meaning to ideology. Don’t just blindly believe and follow whatever you read on social media.
As they all say, ‘think before you click’. Think if it would be helpful to the community. If you think it could do harm, don’t just ignore it. Report it. That way, you can prevent misinformation to spread like wildfire.
As for privacy and safety, tinker with social media’s privacy options. Be careful on allowing permissions especially if it gives access to your data. Don’t be enticed to fill every blank detail. If you can, ignore answering all the other details in your account. Information such as your address, birthday, education, job, and more.
Lastly, it would be good to educate others about social media use, too.
Many groups are actually advocating this. Social media literacy has also been a part in curricula worldwide. And this is very important in a time when social media is addicting. It’s better to create a generation of critical thinkers than just merely receiving information.
Government regulation, after all, might not be the best solution. The society or the community should work on self-regulation first before resorting to any law. Because if laws are implemented, we might end up sorry we asked for it.

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