Social media tests limits of speech — Bill Walters | Letters to the Editor

I believe in free speech. But would anyone have thought something like social media could manipulate so many people’s thoughts so readily. Whether this manipulation is intentional or unintentional is not the question. It has happened. Look at past tweets from Donald Trump. And it continues to happen.

A recent tweet from rapper Nicki Minaj to upward of 22 million followers contained unsubstantiated claims about the COVID-19 vaccine, suggesting it caused cases of swollen testicles and impotency, reinforcing anti-vaccine thought. Her tweets have a profound effect. The power of social media is unquestionable.

I believe social media also creates strife in social relationships — and not just a little. Look at all the body-image issues being made worse for up to one in three teen girls with Instagram.

How far can free speech with social media go before it is considered unacceptable. Seems to me that we are now there, even past the cusp of abuse in many cases. There are too many bad actors.

Until someone figures out where to draw the line, I will not be using any social media platforms. I have lived without it for many decades just fine. I don’t need or want it — especially now.

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