Both sides: The debate over social media and censorship

National News

CHICAGO (NewsNation Now) — Snapchat is banning President Donald Trump, the latest in a line of suspensions and bans from the likes of YouTube, Facebook and Instagram.

The moves have ignited a debate over social media and censorship. NewsNation spoke with people on both sides of the issue.

MIT media professor Ethan Zuckerman said social media sites are within their rights to ban users who don’t follow their policies.

“That said, more broadly, I’m not thrilled about this idea of how much control Facebook and Twitter have of anyone’s speech,” said Zuckerman.

We also spoke with UCLA law professor Eugene Volokh about the social media de-platforming of President Trump.

He thinks private companies like Twitter have a right to ban users, but that banning an elected official with a large following may be an excessive use of their power.

“I’m not saying that Twitter violated its own policies. It’s hard to tell because the process is not transparent. It’s not like the courts where you have all these court records,” Volokh said.

Both people NewsNation interviewed, while falling on different sides of the debate, still are seemingly in agreement on wondering if social media companies have too much influence in public discourse in America.

Watch the full conversation and a look at both sides of this issue in the player above.

President Donald Trump in his White House video on Wednesday night condemned the social media bans, calling them an assault on free speech. He said Americans should listen to each other, not silence each other.

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