Essay on Social Networking: Limits to Privacy and Freedom of Speech

1186 Words5 Pages
According to the first amendment, citizens of the United States are guaranteed freedom of speech. My older friends and family members tell me that that is true, or at least it used to be. In our current generation there is one major factor of society where freedom of speech is extremely limited. That part of society is social networking. This leaves me to, is our generation free to express our opinions whenever we feel the urge? According to Oscar Gandy’s (1993) perspective, “we probably do not.” Recent studies have shown that teenagers are willingly giving up private information to social networking sites just to be able to join that online community, and not realizing the problems this can cause. One main issue is that…show more content…
Susan B. Barnes of firstmonday.org states “Today we have organizational and software procedures that control the exchange of interpersonal information in social networking sites, text messaging, instant messenger programs, bulletin boards, online role–playing games, computer supported collaborative work (CSCW), and online education. All of these applications fit into the larger category of social networking, or networking that support social collaboration.” When looking at social networking as a whole, it is to be noticed that it is a part of life as it is known today. There are so many aspects of social networking that allow the users to put up any type of personal information or personal opinions out into the world that many people can see. As explained in Barnes article, social networking is like an umbrella that is being held over society today, it must be used, and has such a strong control over many ways life is run. Simply giving up social networking is no longer an option and even if it were it would essentially mean giving up freedom of speech. To really establish the issues in social networking, it needs to be determined if there is a problem overall. Amitai Etzioni (1999) argues the first step in examining a privacy issue is to determine whether or not there is a problem. Do we have a problem with the sharing of private information on social networking sites? According to the popular
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