Should Harmful Content Be Censored On Social Media?

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Inaccurate claims or misleading information-based content go viral in social media and become the cause of violence. Sometimes the contents with wrong information have life-or-death consequences. Especially when it is a question of understanding science and making health decisions.

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But some social scientists raised the question that is removing the content is the ultimate solution. They claimed that removing information can look a lot like censorship and it may discourage people to raise their voice in any issue. They also mentioned that facts should not be disputed which can be important evidence of future changes.

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The world’s oldest continuously operating scientific institution the Royal Society challenges the newest ways of communicating information. They suggest social media adjust their algorithms so that it can prevent misleading content go viral. They recommended taking steps against the people who are making money off false claims.

The Royal Society says, “Removing content may exacerbate feelings of distrust and be exploited by others to promote misinformation content.” This “may cause more harm than good by driving misinformation content…towards harder-to-address corners of the internet.”

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However, the experts who are working on the way misinformation spreads online haven’t agreed with that claim. They still believe that removing content is the best solution when it is very harmful, clearly wrong, and spreading very widely.