“Free speech is not an absolute human right, it has to be balanced with other human rights” stated Helle Thorning Schmidt, a member of Facebook’s Oversight Board and former Prime Minister of Denmark.
Facebook’s oversight board was created, as its community grew to more than 2 billion people. At that point it “became increasingly clear to the Facebook company that it shouldn’t be making so many decisions about speech and online safety on its own.”
Additionally, its function is to “help Facebook answer some of the most difficult questions around freedom of expression online: what to take down, what to leave up, and why. The board uses its independent judgment to support people’s right to free expression and ensure those rights are being adequately respected. The board’s decisions to uphold or reverse Facebook’s content decisions will be binding, meaning Facebook will have to implement them, unless doing so could violate the law.”
This means the board in charge of regulating American free speech operates outside of America, and the U.S. Constitution. Facebook, an American company, is relying on a International Oversight Board to set the rules for all users. Other countries, such as Iran, Syria, and China have further censorship, and cannot legally access Facebook, while North Korea restricts almost all internet access.
In America, we are granted the God-given right to Freedom of Speech, something that is not valued in other countries without a Constitution. Americans fought for centuries to gain their freedom and independence, many giving their lives in pursuit of a greater future. The equal freedom now granted to all Women, Men, People of Color, African-Americans, Black-Americans, White Americans, Asian-Americans, who are legal U.S. citizens, defines our country.
Internet suppression has now infected America. Should members of other countries have a say in American rights to conduct free speech on American social networks, such as Facebook? If someone speaks their voice on U.S. soil, should they adhere to an international standard of rules, unbound to our U.S. constitution?