Essay about Social Media is Free Speech Gone Mad

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Social media is “media for social interaction, using highly accessible and scalable communication techniques. Social media is the use of web-based and mobile technologies to turn communication into interactive dialogue.” The notion of freedom of speech is “the right to express information, ideas, and opinions free of government restrictions based on content and subject only to reasonable limitations.” Social media rapidly travels virally, thus magnifying issues so that they are more exaggerated than they would be through conventional media. How do we ensure that this technology benefits society and does not create a scenario which is of detriment to us – how do we prevent “free speech gone mad”? Athlete’s use of social media highlights a…show more content…
Athletes commonly use sites such as Facebook and Twitter to connect to their fans. These ‘authentic interactions’ directly with fans has an ‘accumulated influence’ effect causing a larger than life profile that can promote the player and the product the player represents. This method of communication has had a beneficial and detrimental impact on the careers of players and their sponsors. “All it takes is one wrong tweet, even if it is taken out of context from the actual meaning behind it, to tarnish a player, an organisation, and a sponsor’s image.” Pittsburgh Steelers American football running back Rashard Mendenhall recently logged into Twitter and expressed his position on the death of Osama Bin Ladin who was responsible for the 9/11 attacks. Mendenhall wrote “What kind of person celebrates death? It's amazing how people can HATE a man they have never even heard speak. We've only heard one side...” The recent almost empathetic attitude towards Osama Bin Ladin led to Rashard Mendenhall losing his endorsement deal with Champion athletic brand. The repercussions of open unedited comments by sportsmen display the need for restrictions on social media. American college athletes have recently been given restrictions on social media sites. Boise State banned players from using any social media during the season. The

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