Week Seven

Media and Law

This week I want to talk about censorship. Censorship can come in all sorts of shapes and sizes. Some typical ones that people know of is “bad books” such as To Kill a Mockingbird or The Catcher in the Rye. But, censorship can be anywhere. It can be shown in social media to this day because Instagram, for example, has started a new algorithm to locate and analyze photos based on the amount of skin detected. This can apply to fitness gurus or perhaps athletes; and their photos are getting flagged. A person knows there is not a naked person in the photo but to Instagram it is deemed as inappropriate. The algorithm makes sure that less people see these posts once they’ve been analyzed by the algorithm.

Other forms of social media censorship is something that may actually happen in terms of the government and what they allow on social media. For example, if you go to China you might notice that there are certain things that do not come up on your social media or online search results. Because of these strict rules, even media found online can be blurred or blocked out entirely because it goes against their laws. If found posting this contraband, it can be punishable by jail time.

Another example would be Tumblr. This one has stirred up some headlines recently: Tumblr is censoring posts which contain female-presenting nipples. This was created to help keep pornography or inappropriate videos that people would report or find disturbing.  However, since this is affecting users who also do not post nude images. But, this change effected people who are trying to promote fitness, athletes, models, and even just regular people on vacation at the beach. There have been multiple times when this algorithm flagged post of people working out, doing yoga, and it kind of leads consumers and users of the platform to believe that even though its intentions are good, it is censoring their users.

Image result for female-presenting nipple
(via Google)

Due to the errors of these algorithms, posts that are G-rated have still been taken down. Memes have started to arise and bring some fun into the whole situation, though.

In the future, I probably will not make much change because I was not effected by this, however, I know one day I will be. When this day comes, I am going to fight back against the capitalistic-nature of companies deciding what I can and cannot say on my page. If that means that my account is banned, then that is when it is going to be my time to push harder. I believe that everyone should be free to speak their mind, even if it opposes someone else’s views.

I think it is weird how laws also effect what is put online. In a world where everyone can be in contact with anyone else, there should be some universal laws of the internet. These “laws” should not allow the voices to be oppressed, but instead, encourage those people to speak their minds. Nobody should be censored, be slandered, or put down in a place where knowledge should be shared and enjoyed for all.