Censorship is an increasing problem in the world today. Although Americans have the First Amendment to offer them free speech, individuals can be censored by corporations. The simplest definition of corporate censorship is when an employer, business associate, or spokesperson censors a person’s speech with the threat of loss of access, employment, or income.
Censorship Raises Issues with Free Speech
Many people argue that censorship goes against the First Amendment, which entitles a person to free speech rights. While many people look to the government as being the top threat against free speech, they often overlook a growing entity that may be a bigger threat.
It is clear that private enterprise has worked for centuries to control free speech. Some refer to censorship by companies as the shadow state. Americans have been warned for many years about the seriousness of this type of censorship. In 1902, Teddy Rosevelt gave a speech about corporate control and warned of the danger’s corporations had over the lives of citizens.
While it is clear the government cannot censor a person’s speech, individuals are not without consequences when their free speech produces liable or is a credible threat. At what point does censorship from corporations cross the line into illegal silencing?
Private Corporations Have the Right to Censor
Over and over in the media, it has been made evident that censorship is a topic that is growing in intensity in the United States. As a country founded on specific freedoms, citizens often resist any notion of being silenced for any reason. One example of censorship from corporations is social media giants like Facebook and Twitter. These corporations are actively censoring individuals, including entertainers and politicians.
Because they are private corporations that are not run by the government, businesses have the right to censor individuals who work for them or who use their services. Even the leader of the free world is not exempt from such censoring.
Censorship Is on the Rise
Unfortunately, censorship is far-reaching. The White House recently stated that if a person is banned on one social media platform that they should be banned on all others. At what point is a line in the sand going to be drawn? With the government having more power over private corporations, is there a danger to free speech with government overreach?
While it is clear America has not yet reached the likes of the Chinese Communist Party, censorship is still a problem that needs to be addressed in these changing times. If free speech is to be protected, it must be protected in all sectors, not just governmental.
It will be interesting to see how this topic evolves over the next ten years. How censored will American citizens become? For free speech to remain alive and well in the country, it will take everyone raising their voices to be heard and demanding their rights be protected. Once free speech begins to crumble, no matter through what avenue, it is clear there will be a decline in the sharing of thoughts and ideas across the country.