The First Amendment defines freedom of speech stating that Congress is not to restrict the freedom of speech, press, or the right to assemble (Ivers, 2013).

The First Amendment defines freedom of speech stating that Congress is not to restrict the freedom of speech, press, or the right to assemble (Ivers, 2013).

This does pertain to virtual freedom of speech as well, to an extent. Virtual freedom and freedom are the same. Though the first Amendment does not specify, it was intended to be left open to interpretation. It is not limited and does not exclude social media (Ivers, 2013). Unfortunately, we are seeing that freedom of speech over social media is being limited. The video TEDTalks shows that there are censorships and limits to what can be put on social media (TED, 2011). Some countries, such as China, even go so far as to ban cites such as Facebook (TED, 2011). They also give awards to companies that do a good job at censoring its internet use (TED, 2011). The United States is not much better as when it feels something is offensive, such as a satire app created by Mark Fiore, it is censored (TED, 2011).

The idea of freedom of speech has changed over the years, where once it used to be a crime to criticize the government (Ivers, 2013). While political speech is one that the most protected within the First Amendment, it is not to say that someone can say whatever they want and get away with it (Ivers, 2013). If you say something that is hateful, or offensive for example, that is seen as something unrelated to the First Amendment and is technically not protected (Ivers, 2013). However, where do we draw the line and how do we determine what is offensive to one, but maybe not to another? That is where the controversy comes in in the present day. Overall, I do believe that freedom of speech through social media is the same as freedom of speech in general but would say the same rules apply to both. Running into a school threatening to detonate a bomb would not be tolerated just the same as if you said it over social media.

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