Chronicle poll results: Curbing hateful speech on social media
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Chronicle poll results: Curbing hateful speech on social media

We asked our readers if the government should do more to regulate hateful speech on social media. Here's what they said.

Last week, the Chronicle asked its readers in an electronic poll the following question: “Should the government do more to regulate hateful speech on social media.” Of the 207 people who responded, 75% said yes; 15% said no; and 10% said they weren’t sure. Comments were submitted by 53 people. A few follow.

Free speech. What is so hard to understand?

Who decides? Everyone is offended by something said or in print. That’s the price we pay, not very great, for living in a society that protects free speech. If we ban offensive speech coming from the right, does it end there? Or from the left? It’s more important to protect all, even that which may offend — otherwise it’s purely arbitrary and decided by the whims of others

I don’t trust whoever’s currently in charge to decide what content is OK or bad. Some years that could be the alt-right, others the woke left, and neither should have that authority. Content that violates laws (like fraud or libel) should be removed under those existing laws. For the rest, we should accept some personal responsibility in our reading choices.

Hate websites should be blocked and shut down by the federal government.

The government already sticks its nose in where it doesn’t belong. If you don’t like the tweets, go hang out with different birds! Be adult, not childish, and make your own decisions. Waiting for Big Brother to decide for you is akin to courting disaster.

First of all, the U. S. Constitution forbids this. Secondly, we’ve reached a point where even benign comments are now considered hate speech by some people. There is no reasonably intelligent way to monitor and control hate speech.

Until they do there will be no change for the good. It will only get worse.

Social media outlets should police their own platforms but this is not something the government should be involved with.

Yes, but it’s hard to do when elected officials are some of the biggest spreaders of the vitriol.

Not sure how they would do that. Perhaps programs could be set to block and eliminate accounts entering specific words/phrases. Many people have become entirely too brave and comfortable making statements anonymously they wouldn’t have the nerve to make if they were easily identified. PJC

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