Free speech, privacy and censorship are very large issues concerning social media sites today. Anyone who has ever logged onto a social media site knows to expect a status or a tweet consumed with an individual’s opinion. Their opinion could be on the latest episode of Pretty Little liars, a status about how much they hate the Auburn Tigers, or a tweet about their political opinion. The question isn’t weather or not it happens, because everyone has read that post from that way to opinionated person. The question is should those opinions be censored because a countries government disagrees with it? Some governments think so. The article, “Twitter isn’t Evil” states “The company (Twitter) announced at the end of last week that it would censor tweets on a country-by-country basis”(Thompson). If the Government doesn’t approve of the tweet that you have created, Twitter will be forced to censor your tweet. Nations that do not like their citizens to say or tweet anything that is insulting about the leaders of their country, have welcomed the censorship. Twitter is widely used and is recognized as a form of free speech. Censoring what an individual posts online is an invasion of free speech. “Supreme Court Justices, presidents, prime minsters and dictators for life will decide much of the future of free speech”(Thompson). Free speech through twitter lies in the hands of a countries leader. Limiting our free speech through Twitter could lead to a snowball effect of more and more free speech rights disappearing. In order to censor these tweets the Government will be invading privacy by gaining access to their citizen’s social media accounts. Governments are not the only ones invading an individual’s privacy rights, mobile applications are invading privacy as well. The article “Mobile Apps Take Data Without Permission” states, “Last February, Lookout, a mobile security company, found that 11 percent of free applications in the Apple ITunes’s Store had the ability to access users’ contacts”(Perlroth & Bilton). Applications downloaded on mobile devices are invading privacy through gaining access to personal information. Mobile application companies have been blamed for other privacy violations such as using tracking software, recording phone calls and keystrokes and encrypted Internet searches. These mobile applications are not only invading the app users privacy, but also doing so without permission or even a fair warning. “The State of the News Media 2012” concludes, “Facebook users spent an average of 423 minutes each on the site in December” (Mitchell, Rosenstiel, Christian). Facebook users are spending a lot of time online and most smartphone users access Facebook through a mobile application. If a Facebook user is spending such a substantial amount on that application, the application could be invading the app users privacy while scrolling down there news feed. Privacy right violations and the non-existence of free speech rights are seen throughout social media websites, even if the users of these websites vary.
Two main sites, Facebook and Twitter, define social Media. These social media sites are well known thought the United States as well as many other countries. Twitter users and Facebook users are both in search of the same things; connections to friends, a source to stay informed and a way to express their opinion for the world to see. While the purpose behind theses two social media websites are similar, there are also a few differences between the two. “The State Of The News Media 2012” states, “There are some strong demographic differences when you break down those who use Facebook for news and those who use Twitter” (Mitchell, Rosenstiel, Christian). The differences they found were that Twitter users where more likely to be younger than Facebook users. Twitter uses are also more likely to be male, more likely to be more educated and more likely to be less white than Facebook users. Facebook users are more likely to be older and have children living in their household than Twitter users. Facebook and Twitter also function differently. Facebook allows multiple albums of photos to be posted, where as Twitter allows only a single post and a single photo. Twitter updates are limited to one hundred and forty characters long, while Facebook statuses are nearly unlimited in the number of words allotted. The article “Twitter isn’t Evil” states, “In countries where Twitter does business, the company has to follow local laws”(Thompson). Twitter is a global business that reaches millions of people worldwide, however, Twitter, as a company must follow the laws that the country has set forth. Countries guidelines and laws include censoring tweets therefore; Twitter must censor what the country deems in need of censorship. Thus, Twitter is a powerful site where a citizen’s opinion can reach millions within seconds. Facebook is not being forced to be censored, so why is Twitter? Twitter is a global network that reaches many educated people; the leader of a nation understands the danger of an educated opinion reaching another educated individual. Therefore, another difference between these two is that Twitter is more powerful and influential than Facebook The article “Mobile Apps Take Data Without Permission” informs, “Within the Twitter app, when users choose to “Find Friends”, the company can store their address books for as long as 18 months”(Peulroyh & Bilton). When users look for friends on Twitter using the contacts stored in their phone, Twitter can collect this data and save it into their system without the users permission. Twitter creators are aware of the number of people that use their social media site daily, and use it to their advantage. Overall Twitter is a more influential site, and used my more educated individuals than Facebook. The purposes of logging on may be similar but the people who participate and why is what makes the difference.