Is regulating social media the most effective way to prevent fake news?

According to a Pew Research Center survey, two-thirds of Americans use social media as a source for news. Social media–unlike print, video, or radio news—is not regulated by the federal government. The increase in global awareness of fake news has raised concerns about the practice of utilizing unregulated social media as the main news source. Congress has already mounted several bills since the 2016 presidential election aiming to regulate social media and prevent fake news. The potential for government involvement has led many people to question whether regulation is the most effective way to address the issue of fake news.

Proponents of regulation believe it’s about allowing people to get reliable information from social media. They maintain that social media companies need to be held accountable for allowing fake news to be spread throughout their sites, and regulations could make fake information easier for the public to identify. Regulations could, among other things, require political ads and news articles posted on social media to have a visible sponsor, and thereby make the various platforms more reliable sources of information.

Opponents hold that keeping social media unregulated is a protection of Americans’ free speech rights. If the government is given the power to regulate social media, they argue,  then it could also begin to regulate speech it deems derogatory to government officials. Government watchdogs, whistleblowers, and organizations such as Wikileaks could be restrained as the government begins deciding what is “fake” and what is “real’ news. In short, many in this camp maintain that regulating social media would result in First Amendment violations without any reduction in fake news.

We want to know what you think. Is regulating social media the most effective way to prevent fake news?

Current Standings:
Yes: 28%
No: 72%
  • Reese from Texas

    We, as people of a free nation, need to be kept informed on matters regarding our safety and what our government is promoting. But, being spoon fed unreliable news, we are pushed to become more ignorant of actual social issues. When looking at examples like North Korea, regulating media has been given a derogatory connotation; a violation of our 1st amendment rights. Yet, fake news is constantly inciting panic around the United States. Would it really be that bad to allow our government to stop unnecessary panic before it begins? Keep in mind, I am not supporting a system where government officials can prevent bad news from getting to us through social media, I am promoting a safer environment where less decisions can be changed based on false statements in online news media.
    Look at the “Great Gas Shortage” that took place in central Texas. It all started with a single comment on a news article to start an apocalyptic effect. Next thing you know, people are running to gas station with multiple of the red gas jugs to fill up before prices rise, and supply falls. The reasoning behind announcing the shortage seemed reasonable; it was after hurricane Harvey hit Houston, but the real cause was the resulting panic. When people started rushing to the gas stations more than they needed, gas was running out. The gas station companies took advantage of this increase in foot traffic to raise prices, making the prediction seem real. Then, you look at other cities around the Dallas area, no problems with gas there. Why would gas supplies only target those around Dallas? The answer, they didn’t. The people caused their own problem by allowing the fake news to influence their decisions. While some fake news can be viewed as entertaining, it must be labeled be labeled as such to prevent chaos.
    Regulating fake news sounds daunting, people having to scrounge through thousands of articles published daily, fact checking as they go; it sounds extremely unreasonable. But, look at Germany, a country that successfully prevents the belief in fake news. Truthfully, the solution is not to regulate news media, it’s to encourage research. In Germany, only 26% of citizens browse many online topics; whereas a little over half go straight to a favorite news site. Those of whom go straight to a specific site, are more likely to fact-check the resources, promoting more reliable information. Fact checking is an extremely useful way to make sure you are getting reliable information, there are many sources available for public use for this purpose.
    Regulating the media could prevent valuable information from getting to the public in time, instead articles should be published and reviewed at a later date and marked as unreliable; if need be. Solving two of the reservations about government monitoring of our online news media. All articles would still reach the front page of your online news sources and with all articles still surfacing the same; no rights are infringed upon. People should also be more aware of the information that is provided to them, an article that seems to have a large impact on any area should be fact-checked, before any reactions are made. It’s time to influence a change for news media, creating a safer more knowledgeable environment for all of us.

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    We, as people of a free nation, need to be kept informed on matters regarding our safety and what our government is promoting. But, being spoon fed un…

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    • Benjamin from Pennsylvania

      Reese, let me ask you this question. Does regulating the news, regard the rights of free speech?

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    • Cale from Texas

      The important distinction to make here is the difference between social media and traditional news sources. News outlets such as Fox,CNN, NYT, etc. are regulated because their sole purpose is to provide us with a reliable source of information (which they regularly fail to do, but that’s a different discussion). Social media, on the other hand, is made up of individuals who should be allowed to say whatever they wish, short of inciting violence, without government restriction. In the beginning of your argument, you stated that we should not infringe upon the free speech of people, simply fact check social media, correct? Then you citied the Texas gas shortage as an example of social media driven panic. But my question is this – since it was, as you said, mainly social media posts that drove the hysteria when there was no real shortage, should the government be able to stop those people from posting about the lack of gas? Because based on the parameters you laid out, it seems as though you believe individuals should still be able to say what they wish. So if an individual wrongly believes there is a gas shortage, should the government be able to censor him? Because censoring the speech of individuals is the only way to prevent the scenario you cited. And if that’s the case, why is it only online speech that you want regulated? If we seek to protect people from false information, should we be able to ban people from speaking lies about events and politicians? My point is that this seems like a slippery slope, and we should be very wary of regulating individual speech. Our right to free speech includes the right to tell lies.

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      The important distinction to make here is the difference between social media and traditional news sources. News outlets such as Fox,CNN, NYT, etc. ar…

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    • Reese from Texas

      Nathan, I will concede that the actual gas crisis was started by a comment, but it was originally hypothesised in an article. The theory presented in the original article was harmless, but the CEO of a major gas company released a statement in response that said there would be a gas shortage. This second release, while not technically an article, is still news media; and therefore, is a valid example for the purpose of my response to the question. Second, I recognized the ‘impossibilites’ of regulating all of the internet. But, I do believe that it is still possible to help cut-down on the news that could spark another epidemic. I also proposed a way to promote people to fact-check the article they are reading and to use basic common sense in reading online news sources. You must recognize that the solutions we are presenting are abstract, and are designed purely to address the problem at hand. The logistics of it must be addressed, but all-in-all, it doesn’t have to be perfect. I was simply finding an accurate example to represent my thoughts on the subject.

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      Nathan, I will concede that the actual gas crisis was started by a comment, but it was originally hypothesised in an article. The theory presented in …

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    • Nathan from Washington

      One thing that I would like to point out is that the gass event was started not by an article that was published, but on someone’s comment on that article. To have been able to prevent this, you would have to be regulating the comments as well as the article itself. This would pose a blaintaint violation of our first amentment rights, as the comments are a digital version of a statement made by an individual. we don’t have the ‘Speech Police’ patroling the streets listening for anyone who is saying something that isn’t true. It’s no different online.

      Also, regulating the internet period is much harder than most people realize. The internet, at it’s simplest level, is about as ambigous as things can be. It’s a network of address (IPs) that can sent packets of data to each other. The web, which opperates on the internet, is a protocal by which one adress sends a request/data to another address, and the other address responds with the webpage. This would also be a good time to mention that the connections are almost always encripted, so there is no way for router A to ‘sniff’ the data being send from server B to client C. The problem is that if the data being sent is not 100% public, then it’s impollible to be able to know whas in it. It is simple to set up a server so that you have to log into comment, and anyone who doesn’t have an account doesn’t get let in. Also, If you are in, you have no way of knowing if you are able to see everything unless the server tells you so. regulating the internet is about as effective as regulating what someone can send in the mail. you would have to open every letter to ensure complience. Of course, It gets worse: the internet used to rely on a protocal called IPv4 to keep track of all the different addresses. It could hold a maximum of 2^32 addresses. (almost 4.3 billion). Of course, we ran out of those a few years ago, and we now use IPv6, which is 2^128. That’s 34 with 37 zeros after it. It’s not possible to search trough the information from that many different sources, and find the ones that are social meda, and that are violating whatever regulation stadnard you are using. (And they are encripted, rember?). And I haven’t even gotten into how it is impossible to regulate the darkweb (lets just say that it encrypts everything to the point that you can’t even trace a website back to it’s owner, let alone get them to take their content off the web).

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      One thing that I would like to point out is that the gass event was started not by an article that was published, but on someone’s comment on that art…

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  • Siegen from Texas

    Regulation is needed, the government is not. In fact, the government is the probably the worst candidate for the job.

    Let’s get one thing straight: nowhere in the question presented on this page (“Is regulating social media the most effective way to prevent fake news?”) is the government referenced. Sure, there are governmental implications when discussing “regulation”, but the term is in no way limited to government tampering. Besides, nobody can seriously argue for government regulation of social media in the US, at least not without sounding like a communist. Indeed, those attacking this proposition on First Amendment grounds are taking the easy route when they purposefully ignore real social issues by they raising such concerns.

    Before getting into the specifics of what regulation should be in place, let’s first briefly examine why regulation is needed.

    According to a Pingdom (web monitoring firm) study in 2012, an estimated 8 new users join the world-wide web every second. That’s nearly 500 every minute, and nearly 5 million every week. Many of those new users are joining social sites so they can connect to friends, family, or business associates. With such a high traffic volume of peer-to-peer interactions, rules governing the websites where these interactions take place are a natural consequence, because people naturally gravitate towards structure. ALL rules are regulation. Period. Even the US’s founding document, the Constitution regulates how the US government may function and how it may interact with the citizenry.

    Fake news is a real problem that scales exponentially with the number of users on the web. Fake news can be viciously spun PR, reports of events without key clarifying information, or even flat out lies. Nobody likes untruthful content. We all want to be able to trust the information we find on the internet. Thus, rules to regulate fake news easily follow.

    When it comes to the concept of “fake” news, there’s nothing wrong with rules of engagement that stipulate how to deal with false information. These rules can be informal- such as forum rules enforced by moderators- or they can be legally binding- like Terms of Service agreements on large corporate social media. With these rules in place, Internet users can collectively fight false information across the globe.

    Regulation is not a bad word. All it means is the restraint or harnessing of an entity. And with such a powerful tool as the Internet at our fingertips, it’s in our best interest to regulate the distribution of fake news. The people can take care of this, and the platform operators can too. No need for the government to be involved.

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    Regulation is needed, the government is not. In fact, the government is the probably the worst candidate for the job.

    Let’s get one thing straight:…

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  • Haley from Texas

    People from ages three to one hundred three use the internet. Fake news is a wide spread issue, especially for children. Children do not have to ability to pull the truth out of a lie, they simply take everything they read to heart. This creates an entire generation of people who are commonly misinformed, usually finding out the truth ages later, if they even get the truth. This is leading our country to a generation of half extremely gullible, half extremely distrusting adults. That is no way for a free country to be, so news online should be regulated. Places such as Wikipedia, Buzzfeed, and any other site that is pump out a continuous stream of “news”.

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    People from ages three to one hundred three use the internet. Fake news is a wide spread issue, especially for children. Children do not have to abili…

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  • kenzie from Arizona

    The media is always corrupt with media that is false or fake in some way the best thing to do is to check these news sources regularly to ensure new stations aren’t twisting around words.

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    The media is always corrupt with media that is false or fake in some way the best thing to do is to check these news sources regularly to ensure new s…

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  • James from Michigan

    It would be a step in the right direction to start regulating social media, and it can be done without violating the first amendment by only having the trustworthy news site displayed as news on the front page, and putting the less trustworthy news in the back, away from the main pages.

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    It would be a step in the right direction to start regulating social media, and it can be done without violating the first amendment by only having th…

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  • Ryan from Texas

    The main source of news for most Americans is their social media services, with 62% of Americans getting their news from a social networking site (Pew, “News Use Across Social Media Platforms,” 2016), with 66% of Facebook users saying they get their news from Facebook, and 59% of Twitter users saying they get their news from Twitter. If so many Americans are going to use their social media outlets as their primary news source, it is our responsibility to ensure that the news located on these platforms are unbiased, and fair, to avoid any confusion over one issue, and possibly avoiding completely different understanding on a certain issue. Pew Research also found that 64% of social media news consumers got there news from just one site, which makes it even more our obligation to regulate what is on these sites, attempting to not misinform the public. However, there can be gray-area over what constitutes fake news. For a Republican, fake news could mean something that is demeaning to a candidate or public official they approve of, albeit true. For a Democrat, fake news could mean something is demeaning to a candidate or public official approve of, albeit true. Even for Independent voters, there is still gray-area. This is the one problem with the regulation of fake news on social media websites, and there is no clear way on how to prevent partisanship when determining what fake news is and when it is present, and the definition for every person is different. For me, fake news is a news article that has undeniable evidence to prove it wrong, however for someone else, fake news could be something that just sounds asinine, while still being true. Overall, I believe the benefits of regulation of social media and what appears to the general public outweighs the negatives, as with the statistics stated above, a majority of Americans get there news off of social media outlets. It is our job to protect the people from misinformation, and ensure they are given fair information to base their opinions off of.

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    The main source of news for most Americans is their social media services, with 62% of Americans getting their news from a social networking site (Pew…

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  • Lauren from Michigan

    I do believe we should have freedom but we should be able to post untrue things on our social media. We may have rights to but there should be some regulation to what we are doing. This is the most effective way because most people have a social media and its better for a lot of people to know.

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    I do believe we should have freedom but we should be able to post untrue things on our social media. We may have rights to but there should be some re…

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  • Lucy from Michigan

    I think that fake news should be regulated because fake news can be dangerous if people take it the wrong way. Someone might take it as a joke or just to try to confuse people but the people who see it might think it is real and could threaten the government or revolt against them even though they don’t realize it is fake. I think it would be safer for everyone if fake news is regulated out of our social media. Fake news can be read and seen by almost anyone and we don’t want people getting the wrong idea and thinking that something happened that didn’t.

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    I think that fake news should be regulated because fake news can be dangerous if people take it the wrong way. Someone might take it as a joke or just…

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  • Jacob from Michigan

    We should be able to do what we want to it. and no one can tell us what to put on or not on social media and just let us do what we want to do

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  • Samuel from Kentucky

    Yes I believe they should regulate social media for someone like Donald Trump because some of his tweets that are obviously not from his media team can be out of control and very opinionated things that almost always get the public as a wholes attention.

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    Yes I believe they should regulate social media for someone like Donald Trump because some of his tweets that are obviously not from his media team ca…

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  • Cat from Kentucky

    I believe that regulating social media is the most effective way to prevent fake news because so many people in the world have some form of social media. It is a violation of our First Amendment in our right to press and the speech. However, because so many people have social media and can be influenced with social media posts, they can become aware of this fake news. Not all social media is reliable and appropriate; this fake news applies to this.

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    I believe that regulating social media is the most effective way to prevent fake news because so many people in the world have some form of social med…

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  • Anna from Kentucky

    Yes, regulating social media is clearly the most effective way to prevent fake news. Since social media is the main source for all news, putting restrictions on certain posts would be the most effective way to prevent this. Our right to free speech would not exactly be violated considering what’s being posted are false stories.

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    Yes, regulating social media is clearly the most effective way to prevent fake news. Since social media is the main source for all news, putting restr…

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  • Karli from Kentucky

    Yes regulating social media would decrease fake news. @017 is filled with people who are obsessed with social media, and listen to everything that they say. However, if we limit the amount of fake news that people put on social media, then more people would believe the news. Social media is very biased about their news, so I think we should limit the news that we put on social media.

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    Yes regulating social media would decrease fake news. @017 is filled with people who are obsessed with social media, and listen to everything that th…

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  • Jessica from Kentucky

    Regulating social media would be beneficial to those who rely on the internet for news. If everyone reads and believes fake news, their views could potentially become distorted and altered for the wrong reasons. In order to protect these people, the government should have the correct information available to those who want it.

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    Regulating social media would be beneficial to those who rely on the internet for news. If everyone reads and believes fake news, their views could po…

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  • Hailey from Kentucky

    You never know what’s real or fake, click-bait or not. Maybe larger social media accounts should be regulated just so they won’t be posting any fake news and using click-bait to trick everyone into clicking the picture (instagram or facebook I suppose), and being exposed to fake news. If someone, maybe a child, were to stumble across something that talked about a killer on the loose in their area, that would cause unnecessary panic.

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    You never know what’s real or fake, click-bait or not. Maybe larger social media accounts should be regulated just so they won’t be posting any fake …

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  • Jacob from Kentucky

    Yes, regulating social media is the more effective way to control fake news. Almost everyone in the United States has access to the internet and social media, therefore, almost everyone in the US can post their opinion on social media. Vulnerable minds sometimes believe anything they see on social media.

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    Yes, regulating social media is the more effective way to control fake news. Almost everyone in the United States has access to the internet and socia…

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  • adam from Kentucky

    Despite many people’s transgressions with the concept of social media regulation, it’s ideal for sorting out fake news. The news is the main source of society’s knowledge gathering. Thus, we should keep people informed correctly without stretching or misconstruing the truth.

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    Despite many people’s transgressions with the concept of social media regulation, it’s ideal for sorting out fake news. The news is the main source of…

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  • Jacob from Colorado

    Although I support freedom of speech, It’s to an extent. I agree that we need reliable news sources and overshadow the false news that might give rise to bigger problems to those who read it. If something drastic happened, misinformation and false rumors is the last thing we want going around to mess up the real story. We need more reliable and trustworthy media sources giving us whats important in our daily lives and how it affects us.

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    Although I support freedom of speech, It’s to an extent. I agree that we need reliable news sources and overshadow the false news that might give rise…

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  • Karly from Illinois

    Social media should be our own right. It should be whatever we want to do.

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  • Colton from Michigan

    I believe it’s a way to prevent fake news, because nowadays people go on social media and believe everything they hear. they hear there’s a ten thousand pound great white in a lake people start to believe it. Now it about are president more than half the time now and what he is saying or what he is doing with our rights. well more the half the time it’s not a true statement. People need to look at the sources of articles and need to but where they found the information at least. I believe Social media is a big cause for fake news and causes issues in are government and out of our government.

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    I believe it’s a way to prevent fake news, because nowadays people go on social media and believe everything they hear. they hear there’s a ten thousa…

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  • Amy from Illinois

    I think that it would be a good idea to start regulating fake news on social media because social media these days can be a huge influence on what people believe, and if there is fake news then people could be influenced in the wrong way.

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    I think that it would be a good idea to start regulating fake news on social media because social media these days can be a huge influence on what peo…

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  • Carlie from Kentucky

    Yes I believe regulating social media is the most effective way to prevent fake news. It will never be impossible completely stop fake news and rumors. Someone always has to state their opinion so the public can start a new argument. So, by controlling and looking over social media fake news is most likely to be kept quiet but that is never guaranteed

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    Yes I believe regulating social media is the most effective way to prevent fake news. It will never be impossible completely stop fake news and rumors…

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  • Michael from Kentucky

    Today’s society revolves around the internet and the ways we use the internet. Most US citizens have social media accounts and one of the ways that we receive news is through social media. It is not a reliable source because anyone can post anything about anything on social media. Many of the things that people put on social media that is about serious issues is not true and I believe that it should be regulated.

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    Today’s society revolves around the internet and the ways we use the internet. Most US citizens have social media accounts and one of the ways that we…

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  • Abby from Kentucky

    Yes, because it limits the number of false comments, invalid opinions, or things that individuals put out. People put fake news out all the time that creates controversy; therefore, if we regulate social media we can put a stop to spreading false news.

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    Yes, because it limits the number of false comments, invalid opinions, or things that individuals put out. People put fake news out all the time that …

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  • Deonte from Florida

    I say yes because the regulation of social media to prevent fake news is that why we should be misinformed when we should be well aware of the current problem at hand and can find a way to solve the problem at hand

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    I say yes because the regulation of social media to prevent fake news is that why we should be misinformed when we should be well aware of the current…

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  • Alexis from North Dakota

    By regulating social media we could help prevent a lot of fake news. People would not be on it as often and maybe miss the fake news on social media. They could also learn that not everything on the internet is true.

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    By regulating social media we could help prevent a lot of fake news. People would not be on it as often and maybe miss the fake news on social media. …

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  • Justin from Ohio

    Censoring objectively fake news is something that, I’m my opinion, is a practical step in stopping fake news on social media.

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  • Thomas from Virginia

    Society as a whole needs a regulated news feed that sorts through real/ fake news to prevent miscommunication. Miscommunication leads to outbursts of unintentional problems that only make matters worse.

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    Society as a whole needs a regulated news feed that sorts through real/ fake news to prevent miscommunication. Miscommunication leads to outbursts of …

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  • Rosember from Florida

    I believe the argument in most cases that are for against regulation may be using corporations like fox or ABC news which have been repeatedly shown to have agenda planning and money affiliation. They do not have the public’s interest besides reporting local news. I am using this as an example as the internet is by far more free roam. This means the average person has almost the same equivalency as their peers which isn’t a bad notion at all. The conflict comes from stories and people’s own agenda or previous biases let alone their religious and psychological aspects.
    This allows for any one common person to then put a twist or even select the news they would like to spread on social media. What makes this faulty are studies showing fake news being widely accepted by the mass as many do not wish to go out and do the research themselves. As a society that has leaned towards mobile phones this gives rise to lower class citizens to then have their own uninformed/researched opinions and then flares up towards emotional responses. If we regulate the news it would have to be under the hands of people like Neil Degrasse Tyson intelligence who often gives lecture to debunk common human errors. Now humans should be allowed the freedom of speech so by all means the comment section or reply section allows for anyone’s voice to be heard. I propose the news be given as unbiased and researched thoroughly from sophisticated and educated beings then the average citizen or business agenda’s.

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    I believe the argument in most cases that are for against regulation may be using corporations like fox or ABC news which have been repeatedly shown t…

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  • Jibril from Wisconsin

    Yes i believe if we regulate what goes in social media we can differentiate what is fake news and what is factual news.

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    • cyanni from Alabama

      People talk face to face and tell they friends what they heard and then it goes from there, people run with whatever story is most interesting so regardless if regulate what’s posted on social media or not the story will get out true or false

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      People talk face to face and tell they friends what they heard and then it goes from there, people run with whatever story is most interesting so rega…

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    • Mayia from Kentucky

      Regulating what goes on social media will help majorly in the amount of fake news we see.

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  • Maria from Pennsylvania

    Regulating social media is the most effective way to prevent fake news. However, just because it is the most effective way, does not meat it should be done. This is not Russia, nor Cuba. We have freedom of speech under the 1st Amendment. We should be able to post any news, whether true or false. It is the person receiving the news duty to make sure the news are real.

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    Regulating social media is the most effective way to prevent fake news. However, just because it is the most effective way, does not meat it should be…

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    • Reese from Texas

      While I agree with you that it is the people’s duty to fact check the news they are reading, I believe that a little help is okay. Your evidence is that “this is not Russia, nor Cuba. We have freedom of speech under the 1st Amendment”, but you do not support why this matters; nor do you address how the possible regulation would infringe on our 1st amendment rights. I would also like to address your statement that we are not Russia or Cuba, you left it completely in the air. It makes your argument sound more like a rant, than a well thought out argument. Also, while I agree with you final statement, it is also the duty of the government to protect the safety of our country.

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      While I agree with you that it is the people’s duty to fact check the news they are reading, I believe that a little help is okay. Your evidence is th…

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  • Carissa from Washington

    Fake news is everywhere, however Regulating it on social media is going to be a very effective way to stop it. Most of our population is using social media in today’s society, which means they see everything from news, to events, to what their friend is eating. Fake news is going to be everywhere that is inevitable, however, when we regulate social media it will make our population get informed with accurate information by getting involved with the community and getting involved with our country which is the agenda of our society and our democracy. Even though fake news can still be seen from T.V, newspapers, and even the radio, most of the fake news is seen on social media and believed to be the truth, so if we eliminate that source of fake news, it could be the beginning of eliminating fake news from other sources, but with social media it will be the biggest step in eliminating fake news being seen from the population.

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    Fake news is everywhere, however Regulating it on social media is going to be a very effective way to stop it. Most of our population is using social …

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    • Jacob from Colorado

      Social Media connects everyone from all across the globe. I agree that social media is the key target to hone in on if fake stories are going to be silenced.

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  • Katie from Kansas

    I think it regulates fake news because we are a society that needs real news not fake news.

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  • Andrea from California

    Regulating social media is somewhat the most effective way to prevent fake news because it leads to the society become known of what really is going on around them, but due to the expansion of social media many don’t focus on the news often as before technology came through. However, it is a positive way in regulating social media due to taking cautious measures in leading the society to a news that will not lead to much chaos, by using the words provided that will not alternate the emotions of people negatively. Regulating social media will be a good advancement in expanding our knowledge in what goes around the world.

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    Regulating social media is somewhat the most effective way to prevent fake news because it leads to the society become known of what really is going o…

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  • Benjamin from Pennsylvania

    This is just a ridiculous idea that will only escalate the issues we already have in this country. I agree that the truth is essential in today’s society but trying to regulate the rights of U.S. citizens is number one unconstitutional but won’t work, because there are millions of loopholes that fake news can be fed into the news. By regulating social media, we only commit the same crime the liberal news sources and liberals are committing, which is limiting peoples free speech. The best thing we can do is to strive to promote the truth and point out the lies. The abolition of slavery wasn’t instant. It took time to finally resolve the issue so many Americans died over. In the same way, we can’t instantly abolish fake news, we can only do it by continually striving and fighting for what is right. As Confucius says, “The man who moves a mountain begins by carrying away small stones.”

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    This is just a ridiculous idea that will only escalate the issues we already have in this country. I agree that the truth is essential in today’s soci…

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  • Mariam from Minnesota

    I am not the most educated on this topic, but here are some thoughts from me:
    1. What do we mean by preventing” fake news”? Does it mean that anytime an article or news report is written such that it criticizes the government and/or mainstream media for lying and shedding some light into the truth, then it is automatically “fake news” and that we should eliminate it? The definition of fake news varies by who you ask. Some would include eliminating both original fake news sites (e.g. The Onion) and even alternative media sites (e.g. MintPressNews, which FaceBook has weakened its social media page, and thus, their followers might have been reduced), while some others consider the former not the latter to be a problem. While I do agree with well-known fake news sites like the Onion to be problematic (even thought I have never read what they say), how about alternative media? Leaks that reveal secret information and shed realities? How about anyone that criticizes the government for their actions, or what the mainstream media expose and not expose? From Noam Chomsky to Chris Hedges to Robert Parry — What big difference would regulating social media do?
    2. Because we currently live in the U.S. during the presidency of Donald Trump, what he believes to be “fake news” could be different than my definition, or your definition, so if the government imposes regulations on social media, could that potentially limit freedom of speech for some but not others? Could that give room for white supremacists but little room for Muslims, blacks, Native Americans?
    3. Fake news has existed before twenty-first century, from yellow journalism from the Spanish-American war to medieval times to even ancient times, and we still have fake news today. The U.S. had lied about Iraq, but later we know that it was not true. We have been told about the “evils” of the Libyan leader and that the U.S. should intervene, but now after U.S. intervention, sadly Libya is notorious for its rubbled state, leading to the oxygen for more evils such as ISIS and sex slavery. Therefore, could what we have been told by the media we listen to every day be true?

    I bring about many questions, but not a clear answer. Here’s a clear answer: regulating fake news is not the best solution.

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    I am not the most educated on this topic, but here are some thoughts from me:
    1. What do we mean by preventing” fake news”? Does it mean that anyti…

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  • Hayden from Texas

    There is no regulating social media accounts. The solution is getting rid of all the fake media and the sorry reporters on stations like CNN and NBC. What they do is not right and they know it, so we have to eliminate the source of the problem.

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    There is no regulating social media accounts. The solution is getting rid of all the fake media and the sorry reporters on stations like CNN and NBC. …

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  • Maggie from West Virginia

    If we filter our Social Media to stop the spreading of fake news would it barge on our !st amendment?

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  • Travis from Kansas

    I agree with that we should regulate fake news but we should not go through the government for that regulations. Most social media companies are privately owned and they should be the ones regulating the news and what’s going on their site. It’s their right to regulate or choose what’s happening on their site.

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    I agree with that we should regulate fake news but we should not go through the government for that regulations. Most social media companies are priva…

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  • Orion from Kansas

    The government should not be allowed to decide what can be said on social media. It is against our 1st amendment rights of free speech. Even though it isn’t true doesn’t mean they can’t say it. The people should be smart enough to fact check all information seen on social media anyways. Social media is not a reliable source to hear about your news anyway, it is to let people around the country express their opinion about certain subjects.

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    The government should not be allowed to decide what can be said on social media. It is against our 1st amendment rights of free speech. Even though it…

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    • Haley from Texas

      If you read the prompt, you would see that the government is already regulating print, video, and radio news. Why should online be any different?

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  • Conner from Kansas

    if you regulate social media and not let people post what they want to post then you would be taking away some of our rights as an American. it would also make a lot of people mad and they would just go find a new way to put news out there another new social media and the old ones will crash and burn

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    if you regulate social media and not let people post what they want to post then you would be taking away some of our rights as an American. it would …

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  • Autumn from Michigan

    Regulations on social media honestly would do a thing. Yes a lot of people do go on social media all the time but that doesn’t necessarily mean that we can prevent the fake news. Fake news is everywhere not just social media. If they did start regulating social media would truly be a big waste of time.

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    Regulations on social media honestly would do a thing. Yes a lot of people do go on social media all the time but that doesn’t necessarily mean that w…

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  • Kailyn from Georgia

    Regulating social media restricts the people’s right to free speech. Social media platforms are an outlet for people to voice their opinions to a broader audience, and this leads to biased news reports from sources that aren’t credible. Even so, placing a leash on posts hinders our ability to express frustration or pleasure with today’s news. This “fake news” is to be expected, with terror attacks and protests throwing modern Americans into a whirlwind, but imagine the panic that would be created by barring the voice of the people. Social media is unreliable, but is an important tool for Americans in this electronic age.

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    Regulating social media restricts the people’s right to free speech. Social media platforms are an outlet for people to voice their opinions to a bro…

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  • Brian from Michigan

    It is a slippery slope to say government can regulate content. It is a backdoor way for government to control the story. The best way to guard against “fake news” is to provide an education that teach how to think not what to think. We need critical thinking skills not regulation. We need intellectual curiosity not regulation. We need knowledge fallacies of logic, reason and deduction not regulation. We don’t need government to think for us we need to think for ourselves. Liberty requires personal responsibility and effort and in a free society with a free press and media this principle is even more critical. We need a society of critical thinkers who take responsibility for what they consume and believe not more regulation by government.

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    It is a slippery slope to say government can regulate content. It is a backdoor way for government to control the story. The best way to guard against…

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  • Emiliano from Michigan

    It is against the first amendment to police social media and what people say

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  • Jacob from Michigan

    As Americans, we have the right to freedom of speech and press granted to us in the first amendment of the U.S. Constitution. How do they regulate what is said and determine what is fake or real news? Every news source has a different side or opinion, competing for views and the better story. Even with regulations, people are going to find a way to produce fake news. The news is going to get out there. People will create new media sites and apps to get their fake news out there. Regulating fake news is practically impossible to accomplish.

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    As Americans, we have the right to freedom of speech and press granted to us in the first amendment of the U.S. Constitution. How do they regulate wha…

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  • Ethan from Kansas

    Government putting regulations on social media is wrong. First it takes away from free speech. Because then who decides what is right? The government what if they decide that anything about religion is fake news because of atheism or anything written by cherokee nation is fake news because they are savages. Then the government will gain more control over you. After that they might ban all speech. Once they ban all speech they can put you in communism. It only takes one tweak to turn this republic into communist government. Also every article is not always gonna be completely true. The first amendment gives freedom of speech so if people want to talk like an idiot if they are not threatening people they have that right. Plus if people get persuaded by fake news that’s their choice. And for bad people that commit crimes over it we have places for those people so it won’t happen again prisons, and mental hospitals. No matter what you read it is gonna be more sided with their political views Conservative or Liberal. So should they all be banned? If you want to find the facts you need to read both Democrat and Republican articles of the same thing. And that’s a fact Jack!

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    Government putting regulations on social media is wrong. First it takes away from free speech. Because then who decides what is right? The government …

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  • izy from Kansas

    fake news appears everywhere in the news and there is no way to avoid it.

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  • Brian from Kansas

    The government would be breaking the constitution to regulate social media. We, the American citizens, have freedom of speech and this would be taking away our freedom of speech. Plus, when the government has more important issues to focus on (North Korea, terrorism, hurricane relief, etc.) this would be pointless to force us, as American citizens to stop our freedom of speech.

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    The government would be breaking the constitution to regulate social media. We, the American citizens, have freedom of speech and this would be taking…

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  • Corbyn from Kansas

    If the government was to regulate social media, then the government would control the news. This would allow the government to manipulate what the citizens see and could cause misleading information to be spread. The government could also put out fake news, with no one being able to regulate it. This also violates freedom of press and the citizens right to be informed.

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    If the government was to regulate social media, then the government would control the news. This would allow the government to manipulate what the cit…

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  • jessi from Kansas

    I believe the government does not have the right to regulate what we put on social media. The private websites that we put it on does have the right to do that. It’s their website so they can choose what gets put on it.

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    I believe the government does not have the right to regulate what we put on social media. The private websites that we put it on does have the right t…

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  • John from Kansas

    The first amendment protects free speech, even if it is wrong. Also if the government controls the news, how can we control the government. It should be the job of the social media companies to regulate their sites. If the government takes this part of free speech away, then what stops them from taking other parts of it away?

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    The first amendment protects free speech, even if it is wrong. Also if the government controls the news, how can we control the government. It should …

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  • Bridget from Michigan

    No, the first amendment protects our rights to say what we want on social media. Also the fereral government should not have control over our social media because it would be hard to regulate fake news on there when you can just make a new account or hack and still put fake news out there. Everyone has the right to put their opinions on social media and we should keep it that way.

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    No, the first amendment protects our rights to say what we want on social media. Also the fereral government should not have control over our social m…

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  • marcial from Michigan

    No it is not the most effective way because it will just come up somewhere else like on actual news channels

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  • Gavin from Michigan

    You can’t take away fake news. It will always be there, “regulating” social media won’t do anything. This takes away our first amendment in many ways. This would cause an up roar in society. It’s best the government stays out of regulating our social media.

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    You can’t take away fake news. It will always be there, “regulating” social media won’t do anything. This takes away our first amendment in ma…

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  • Sam from Michigan

    No, i feel as if limiting and regulating social media would be altering our first amendment.

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  • George from Michigan

    No, there is no productive way to prevent it, the only to prevent it is too get rid of the media all together which is cleary unconstitutional. Regardless the governemnt shouldn’t be able to go and attack people about the information on social medias.

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    No, there is no productive way to prevent it, the only to prevent it is too get rid of the media all together which is cleary unconstitutional. Regard…

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  • Gamin from California

    Instead of regulation, people should instead be more informed. There should be more open discourse from both sides to understand perspectives and common grounds to stop polarization and the spread of inaccurate information.

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    Instead of regulation, people should instead be more informed. There should be more open discourse from both sides to understand perspectives and comm…

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  • Olivia from Kentucky

    Fake news appears everywhere in the news, and there is honestly no way to avoid it. As citizens of the United States, we have the right to free speech, and no one can take that away from us. Most of the times, when you read a political article, there is some sort of bias. In today’s society, it is almost impossible to avoid bias, this is because everyone is entitled to their own opinion.
    Social media is a huge public platform that pretty much anyone can get access to. The truth is, is that fake news is everywhere! And often times, it shows up in the form of a rumor, and there is honestly no easy way to stop the spread of a rumor.

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    Fake news appears everywhere in the news, and there is honestly no way to avoid it. As citizens of the United States, we have the right to free speech…

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  • Makenzie from Arkansas

    Regulating social media wouldn’t do ANYTHING to prevent fake news! Regulating fake news means you would have to put individual restrictions on millions of people! You can’t zip up mouths or restrain fingers from typing because these words/lies/opinions will come out anyway they can. Also who would be the judge of what you can and can say? No matter who you are and what you believe you WILL be bias.

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    Regulating social media wouldn’t do ANYTHING to prevent fake news! Regulating fake news means you would have to put individual restrictions on milli…

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    • Reese from Texas

      I agree that everyone has bias and that it would be hard to judge what can and cannot be said, but consider the threat it poses. While some fake news is harmless, some of it can be extremely detrimental and can cause a major repercussions. You say we are regulating social media, but I believe you have interpreted the question differently than the rest of us. The regulation of social media is already happening; the new cyberbullying laws that are being put in place, the ability to block a person/picture/comment from your feed; as well as get people banned from sites. These are not even all government intervention, but it is the owners of companies looking out for the well-being of their users; while also promoting a happier environment for everyone. The regulation of news media would still be restricting, but it would restrict misinformation that has been construed to cause public harm or insight panic. It would strictly be a tool of protection to maintain the sanity of everyone.

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      I agree that everyone has bias and that it would be hard to judge what can and cannot be said, but consider the threat it poses. While some fake news…

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  • Lauren from Kentucky

    No, regulating social media is not the most effective way to prevent fake news because regulatory services involve violating the rights to citizens in the First Amendment. As American citizens, we are promised the freedom of our speech; therefore, the government should not have the ability to take that away from each of us just because the validity of citizen’s social media proves inaccurate. So, instead of trying to control everyone’s individual posts on social media accounts, the government should focus more attention on the ways in which that information is originally relayed.

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    No, regulating social media is not the most effective way to prevent fake news because regulatory services involve violating the rights to citizens in…

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  • Cameron from Kentucky

    No, because regulating social media will not stop the problem of fake news and we have the right to share and post what we want and the government should not have the right to regulate that. Fake news will always be prominent and if we even tried to stop fake news in this way, it wouldn’t really solve the issue to rumors and bias of others.

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    No, because regulating social media will not stop the problem of fake news and we have the right to share and post what we want and the government sho…

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  • andrew from Kentucky

    In order to effectively prevent fake news, the news should be view by multiple people and not just people who view a certain point of bias presented by one particular viewpoint. People must be educated to have non-bias opinions to make rational and educated decisions. These views are what keep america a democracy, to make your view heard. However, we must be aware of what is fake and what is not.

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    In order to effectively prevent fake news, the news should be view by multiple people and not just people who view a certain point of bias presented b…

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  • Nick from Kentucky

    As Americans we have the right to say what we want. Even if we regulate social media, there will still be fake news on it. It is very easy to make an account on any social media and fake news will continue to be put on social media. There are many other sources that spread fake news, not just social media.

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    As Americans we have the right to say what we want. Even if we regulate social media, there will still be fake news on it. It is very easy to make an …

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  • Nick from Kentucky

    Regulating social media will not be the best way to stop fake news because news outlets will continue to push their own agenda. Biased media will continue to spread news that is leaning towards their side of the argument. Regulating social media to prevent fake news would not stop fake news because there are other places than social media for people to push their own agenda. Also it is our right in the 1st amendment to voice our opinions if they are true or not.

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    Regulating social media will not be the best way to stop fake news because news outlets will continue to push their own agenda. Biased media will cont…

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  • Grace from Kentucky

    I think that people should not use social media to collect their information. If you are going to use social media to gather your information, you need to back up the information with reliable and reputable sources. You cannot believe everything you hear. If you can find the information on more than a few reliable news sites, it should be believed. If people truly care whats going on in the world then they should take the time to look on other reliable news sources.

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    I think that people should not use social media to collect their information. If you are going to use social media to gather your information, you nee…

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  • Dominic from Kentucky

    There is so much news that is controversial that social media wouldn’t be able to take it down. Some news should be up for debate as to whether it is legit or not. Regulating and taking down news that the government believes to be fake will not change anything. People need to learn to not believe the first thing they seen.

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    There is so much news that is controversial that social media wouldn’t be able to take it down. Some news should be up for debate as to whether it is …

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  • daisy from Illinois

    regulating social media will not help anything, people will still have their own opinion and will choose to believe what they want.

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  • tyler from Illinois

    there are many other ways

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  • Jonathan from Illinois

    No they shouldnt

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  • Nate from Massachusetts

    While regulating social media could help the problem of fake news, I don’t think it is the most effective way to do so.

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  • Benjamin from Massachusetts

    It goes against freedom of speech

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  • Emma from Wisconsin

    The government shouldn’t be telling us what we should and shouldn’t believe in, and news stories should represent facts not beliefs. Certain things can be influenced by other things. For example; beliefs can be influenced by facts. But if the facts are fake or incorrect, then how can we judge what is real and what is fake? How will we be able to make the correct judgment of what is right or wrong to a situation?

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    The government shouldn’t be telling us what we should and shouldn’t believe in, and news stories should represent facts not beliefs. Certain things ca…

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  • Brooke from Illinois

    With regulations and more restrictions it will make people feel obligated to spread fake news more. Just because social media is regulated doesn’t mean fake news won’t spread, there are other applications online that aren’t social media that can spread fake news. There are certain news sites who’s news aren’t 100% factual, and news in general isn’t 100% factual. Lies are going to be told regardless about people and their lives, and what’s happening in the world. Questioning people and choosing whether to believe people or not will start an epidemic, and who is to judge whether the news is factual or not? WHat process would be given to determine what the facts are and if they’re actual facts? What if a person had no facts and and what they were saying is factual but no one would believe them without their evidence. There is a way to prevent lying and that is to educate people through inventive and creative ways to make people listen as to why this is so important. It may not change the whole false news spreading, but it can help to change a lot one step at a time.

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    With regulations and more restrictions it will make people feel obligated to spread fake news more. Just because social media is regulated doesn’t mea…

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  • Matthew from New York

    This nation was build on the idea of freedoms if we regulate socail media we take people ability to voice their opinions and thoughts no matter how silly or fake it may be.

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    • Jacob from Colorado

      But what’s the cost if we allow our freedom of speech to result in false news articles that may give rise to bigger problems, taking the people’s attention away from what’s real and important?

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      But what’s the cost if we allow our freedom of speech to result in false news articles that may give rise to bigger problems, taking the people’s atte…

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  • Nicholas from Illinois

    If social media is regulated, that opens the door for the government to regulate and dictate very personal aspects of our life. The federal government does not have to hold peoples’ hands through every little thing. People should be educated enough to realize that everything on the internet is not always true. The government has much better things to do.

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    If social media is regulated, that opens the door for the government to regulate and dictate very personal aspects of our life. The federal government…

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  • Callie from Illinois

    It shouldn’t have nothing to do with it, social media all you need to do is delete like they do with other stuff.

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  • Edward from Florida

    Regardless off what a group of people with sense of whats truly right in the world, people will think and believe what they want. They will listen to whatever satisfies them and make them feel the way they want. Although there are people who are in the middle and not sure or have any knowledge of issues such as thee. So in my personal opinion, no matter what we put on social media people who disagree and will alter what we put so others will see what they want them to see. If we seek change on fake news we need to start outside first. Get away from media and go out doing whats right for society and pray others will see the good your doing.

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    Regardless off what a group of people with sense of whats truly right in the world, people will think and believe what they want. They will listen to …

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  • Cora from Illinois

    Regulating social media will not prevent fake news it happens all the time no matter what. Regulating the social media violates our first right: the freedom of speech. It violates this right because it is saying what we can and cannot say in the new we have also the freedom of the press. Fake news will get out no matter what action is taken but regulating social media will not help. The press does fake news and what about magazines they post fake news all the time it won’t matter what someone tries to do the fake news will always get out. But trying to regulate social media will not be a good idea.

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    Regulating social media will not prevent fake news it happens all the time no matter what. Regulating the social media violates our first right: the f…

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  • Grace from Kentucky

    We could regulate social media 24/7 and there would still be fake news. While social media is a big source for fake news, it isn’t the only source. Nowadays we can even find fake news on our television news channels. Granted they may have gotten the information via social media/internet, but they are spreading the “fake news” as well. Also not to mention, even if the news was real, there would still be people who were skeptical that the information is real. All of this “fake news” is subjective to the person.

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    We could regulate social media 24/7 and there would still be fake news. While social media is a big source for fake news, it isn’t the only source. No…

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  • Andrew from Kentucky

    As Americans we are given the right to believe in what we want and say what we want. Our forefathers made these laws to protect the people of this great nation. And if we keep regulating things and restricting things in America we would be taking away the thing that makes our country great, our Freedom.

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    As Americans we are given the right to believe in what we want and say what we want. Our forefathers made these laws to protect the people of this gr…

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  • David from Kentucky

    I believe that regulating social media is not the most effective way to prevent fake news because, no matter when the time is, there will always be someone posting fack facts about something. Whether it be about a bizarre conspiracy theory, or just to cause mayhem, someone will do it. Even if that user gets blocked for a certain social media, it would be easy enough to make a new account and start over and report fake news. There will always be someone to cause mayhem and restricting social media isn’t the most effective way to stop it. WHat would be better is to educate the people that not everything on social media is true, especially if it is not from a credible source.

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    I believe that regulating social media is not the most effective way to prevent fake news because, no matter when the time is, there will always be so…

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  • Domonique from Indiana

    This is a free country and the citizens deserve that privacy. Certain people should use common sense for some things to find if they are true or fake.

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  • Landen from Indiana

    There are many other means of spreading fake news than just by social media; additionally, news on social media is not always fake, it may just have incorrect information. Moreover, on nearly all social media, there is an option to block or ignore certain accounts that may intend to spread false information. The accounts that spread fake news can be easily blocked by someone who does not wish to read it; this offers a much easier alternative than forcing a regulation onto everyone’s personal social media accounts.

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    There are many other means of spreading fake news than just by social media; additionally, news on social media is not always fake, it may just have i…

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  • Adam from Kentucky

    The problem of Fake News is not just on social media. Government needs to regulate all aspects of news stations. A news station should be fined if they knowingly put out false information. I personally don’t think that it is possible to monitor every social media platform. I think it would be a major waste of our governments time. If we want the real news we can just listen to our leaders.

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    The problem of Fake News is not just on social media. Government needs to regulate all aspects of news stations. A news station should be fined if the…

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  • Mitchell from Kentucky

    No, regulating social media will not prevent fake news because people can find many ways to get new accounts on twitter and facebook easily, they can make hundreds of accounts a day if they wanted to. Also taking away social media is against our rights to free speech and our rights of the press. No matter how much you regulate social media it will cause an outrage from people all of the country.

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    No, regulating social media will not prevent fake news because people can find many ways to get new accounts on twitter and facebook easily, they can …

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  • Megan from Kentucky

    I don’t feel that regulating social media will keep people from reading fake news. However, if people are informed of these fake news sites, then it wouldn’t be as big of a problem. Many people believe what they read/hear but they never look to see if it is true. This is a problem for the citizens to fix and it isn’t necessarily social media’s fault.

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    I don’t feel that regulating social media will keep people from reading fake news. However, if people are informed of these fake news sites, then it w…

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  • Ben from Kentucky

    Social media cannot be 100% controlled, and no matter what they do people’s opinion will always show a bias in real life and on social media. For whoever is in office there will be people who support them and there will be people who do not, and this will lead to people commenting on the leader either positively or negatively.

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    Social media cannot be 100% controlled, and no matter what they do people’s opinion will always show a bias in real life and on social media. For whoe…

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  • Oleg from Kentucky

    The social media is very wide and spread out around the world. If the government or the organizations are going to start controlling the social media they are going to take away the free speech from people. But social media should have a built in filters for the bogus accounts and do nothing and clear them out everyone once in awhile and this would help the lessen the spread of fake news.

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    The social media is very wide and spread out around the world. If the government or the organizations are going to start controlling the social media …

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  • Allyson from Nebraska

    Laws are put in place to control people. There are also laws that protect people. Regulating Freedom of Speech would be law that controls people and in the Land of the Free, not many people like the government to control them. This country was founded for the reason for those to be able to speak freely as well as many other things. Controlling this right would be like taking this right away from a lot of people. Also, sometimes it is hard to decide whether or not something is “fake news” because it could be a “he said, she said” situation.

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    Laws are put in place to control people. There are also laws that protect people. Regulating Freedom of Speech would be law that controls people and i…

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  • Jeremy from Pennsylvania

    Regulating social media is violates Freedom of Speech which is against the US Constitution. Freedom of Speech allows citizens say what they want, whenever they want as long as the peace is not disturbed. Fake news does not disturb the peace, it is the consumers of the news that act upon the misinformation. The solution to this problem lies in education, informing the public of validity and source checking will help separate fact from fiction, as long as there is a demand for fake news, it will persist, like cigarettes.

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    Regulating social media is violates Freedom of Speech which is against the US Constitution. Freedom of Speech allows citizens say what they want, when…

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  • Allyson from Nebraska

    Regulating social media to stop “fake news” not only doesn’t stop the problem of fake news, it also would lead to the abuse and the stifling of speech that goes against whatever the regulating body believes in. We see examples of government abuse of powers from the patriot act which led to programs that effectively take away the first amendment, as well as with the laws in prohibition aimed at targeting the mob, which were then used to go after any citizen the government didn’t like. Allowing the government to regulate social media is putting even more power into the hands of a corrupt and broken political system, and that is the last thing that the United States democracy needs at such a pivotal point like this.

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    Regulating social media to stop “fake news” not only doesn’t stop the problem of fake news, it also would lead to the abuse and the stifling of speech…

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  • Natha from Mississippi

    The best way to end fake news is to get rid of the source… Not the platform it is planted on

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  • Colin from Connecticut

    Our democracy was built upon certain freedoms, among them freedom of speech and the press. If we begin to remove fake news, it will give the impression of censorship (which it is). We should, however, put warnings on fake news that states that it may contain falsehoods. Hopefully, this warning will help people realize that it is fake news.

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    Our democracy was built upon certain freedoms, among them freedom of speech and the press. If we begin to remove fake news, it will give the impressio…

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  • Noah from Pennsylvania

    Social media should have nothing to do with the government. They should be focusing on more important things, like poverty and making sure a war does not break out. Fake news nowadays is getting easier and easier to be spotted by the generation that is mostly using which is the millennials. They are very good at spotting it and keeping their eyes open for fake news. If social media is regulated then there is a chance real news will be missed and everyone needs to be aware of problems going on in the country and world. If people believe fake news then it is their fault for not having the knowledge and/or common sense to spot it. Government needs to worry about more important thing and if an important topic comes out and it is fake news about the government, they will be all over it.

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    Social media should have nothing to do with the government. They should be focusing on more important things, like poverty and making sure a war does …

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  • Mason from Texas

    When our founders authored the First Amendment to the Constitution, they determined that “Congress shall make no law abridging the freedom of speech.” Why did our founders include freedom of speech in the Bill of Rights? Benjamin Franklin warned us that “freedom of speech is a principal pillar of a free government: When this support is taken away, the constitution of a free society is dissolved, and tyranny is erected on its ruins.” Without freedom of speech, free society crumbles.

    Many attempts to regulate speech seem harmless, and sometimes beneficial. Many people would support attempts to regulate those who spread fake news and argue for white supremacy. However, it is not so much what is being regulated that matters, but rather the nature of regulation. Once the government has the power to regulate speech, it could move to censor speech that is critical of the government. All of a sudden, it would be like being under British rule again. There would be no way to dissent from Washington.

    Fake news is a problem, however, government regulation is not the solution. It is better to let independent media organizations do the fact checking. Freedom of speech is the cornerstone of a free society, and our founders didn’t write the Constitution so we could violate it. The right of the people to articulate their ideas must be respected, or, as George Washington put it, “dumb and silent we may be led, like sheep, to the slaughter.”

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  • Morgan from Missouri

    Social media is a social platform that presents many good qualities. It provides a playing field for people to find stories on current issues and to express their opinions on hotly debated issues, although there are some sources that publish articles that are entirely false. It is important that people search through these stories to ensure they are not falling victim to fake news. I do not believe that we should regulate these platforms, though. This is because these “stories”, although they may be false, they are still protected by the freedom of speech which is one of our guaranteed rights as a citizen of the United States, thanks to the First Amendment of our Constitution. If a regulation were to be put into place, it would open a gateway for unlawful censorship of people’s opinions by the government. This is overstepping the Constitution which lays the rules and regulations of which the government has always been required to follow. These false news stories are also not only presented on social platforms. There are many other online sources that publish fake stories. If we were to federally monitor social media, such as Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, etc., and not any other online websites, it would only improve some of the issue. There are numerous online fake news sites that compose articles of completely false events. After the regulation of social media was instituted, would we go on to monitor these online blogs and fake news sites? After that, would we need to go even further and regulate even more sources? This goes back to the idea of the freedom of speech. This would be unlawfully infringing on our rights as Americans. Because of this, I do not believe social media platforms should be regulated to prevent false news stories.

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    Social media is a social platform that presents many good qualities. It provides a playing field for people to find stories on current issues and to e…

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  • Catherine from Ohio

    The American Founding Fathers understood that in order for a free country to operate, its citizens must be free. One of the fundamental freedoms the founders expressed was the freedom of speech. In a letter to Roger C. Weightman (June 24, 1826), Thomas Jefferson states that the United States of America will act as the “Signal of arousing men to burst the chains, under which monkish ignorance and superstition had persuaded them to bind themselves, and to assume the blessings and security of self government. That form which we have substituted restores the free right to the unbounded exercise of reason and freedom of opinion.” In this letter, Jefferson explains that our government restores and protects the natural right to freedom of expression. By protecting this right, American citizens can freely exercise their ability to reason and think for themselves upon what is good, true, just, and beautiful without the fear of punishment or retaliation from an censorious and malignant government. While many of the “news” that American readers have access to may not tell the truth or be factually accurate, it is the right and the duty of the American citizen to use reason and judgment to discover what is right. It is also the right of the authors to publish what they will. Protecting the freedom of expression and speech extends not only to those who speak the truth, but also those whose opinions may not be entirely accurate. While the average American may not appreciate having to sort through the news carefully, the same right which protects their thoughts, ideas, and opinions and their right to express them also protects those who wish to express their opposing opinions. If the United States Government attempts to censor the news, in any way, it is a violation of the First Amendment and would be unconstitutional. Additionally, if the government has the power and authority to shut down or censor any news group they wish on the grounds of “fake news” this allows the government to censor anything which may be opposed to current government policy and is therefore tyrannical and wholly against the principles of a free society.

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    The American Founding Fathers understood that in order for a free country to operate, its citizens must be free. One of the fundamental freedoms the f…

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  • Nathan from Washington

    It has been said that a democracy only works as long as it’s citizens make the right choices. If the day comes when America can no longer be trusted to make those deisions, and the government must step in to tell us what we must do, then we are no longer a nation for the people and by the people. We will be a people ruled by an all-powerfull government, and we will have crossed the point of no return in our journy away from the nation our forfathers built. This is not just about whether social media can be regulated. It’s about whether our voices can be regulated, and whether the government can do a better job of telling us what we should believe than we ourselves can.

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    It has been said that a democracy only works as long as it’s citizens make the right choices. If the day comes when America can no longer be trusted t…

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    • Nathan from Washington

      In responce to what Sadie said:
      I aggree that you can’t make an accurate decision if you are comming from innacurate facts. However, regulating social media is problematic because social media is a digital version of someone’s speech. It’s not even a published piece. Regulations mean that there are certain things that you would not be allowed to say. In any other context, that would be seen as a violation of free speech. Even if we are talking about published fake news, It’s important to realize that published materail has never been regulated like this in our nation. If I said that Hillary Clinton’s book should be banned across the nation because it is misleading as to what happened in the election, that would be the same as banning an article for it’s false content. 2 problems: 1. who deciedes what is true? (example: Did Trump collude with the russians? some say it’s true, Some think it is a fabricated lie. [Fusion GPS and the dossier]) and 2. WHERE does the constitution have an exception for false information? It doesn’t. It protects speech in general, not ‘true’ speech.
      Also, the chalanges of actually universally blocking something on the internet are much greater technically than often realized (see my explanation in another comment).

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      In responce to what Sadie said:
      I aggree that you can’t make an accurate decision if you are comming from innacurate facts. However, regulating socia…

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    • Sadie from Utah

      While the government shouldn’t tell us what we should believe, I think that news stories should represent facts. Beliefs can be influenced by facts, but if you’re influenced by an abundance of fake articles can we be trusted to make the right judgment?

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      While the government shouldn’t tell us what we should believe, I think that news stories should represent facts. Beliefs can be influenced by facts, b…

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  • Jaya from Washington

    Regulating social media will not prevent fake news. Fake news is not only spread through social media, but through fake websites like the Onion and YouTube channels constantly posting videos about fake news. Regulating social media would only stop a certain percentage of fake news and not entirely stop it. In social media apps like Instagram and Twitter, your feed is based on things that you constantly view. If you do not follow a certain person or hashtag then you may never see fake news.

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    Regulating social media will not prevent fake news. Fake news is not only spread through social media, but through fake websites like the Onion and Yo…

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    • Sadie from Utah

      While I can see your point by saying ‘regulating social media would only stop a certain percentage of fake news,’ I would like to ask the question how large is that percentage? I see it is a very large chunk. When my friends and family are talking about a news story that turns out to be fake, their source is always social media. By saying that if you don’t consistently view hashtags or accounts that post fake news, is it also safe to say that regulating those accounts and/or hashtags would be an easy way to regulate it? Also, the Onion is a satirical news site, so I’m not sure that’s the best example.

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      While I can see your point by saying ‘regulating social media would only stop a certain percentage of fake news,’ I would like to ask the question how…

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  • Dacey from Texas

    There is no regulation on social media, because of the First Amendment in the Constitution. Freedom of Speech, allows people to write whatever they choose to, whether they are telling the truth or not. Although people decide to stretch the truth or lie wile using social media, it is their right to post whatever they think and feel. The consequences they face are people telling them their opinion or story is wrong. However, people might make up stories for fame because in the end all publicity is good publicity, right?

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    There is no regulation on social media, because of the First Amendment in the Constitution. Freedom of Speech, allows people to write whatever they ch…

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  • Alika from Georgia

    No, social media is the only ways millennials read and hear about whats going on in the world. Regulating social media would be less young people would wan tt o use it. As Americans, we are promised freedom on speech. That involves of freedom of speech in social,edia. Unless it’s harming others which it’s not. We’re in an age where social media is becoming the news. Big news channels are starting to get there on apps for people to get the news quicker.

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    No, social media is the only ways millennials read and hear about whats going on in the world. Regulating social media would be less young people woul…

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  • Piyoungkoor from Florida

    Social media isn’t the source of the issue, even without bringing up the topic of Free Speech. The actual media is the main problem as most of the things that are posted or debated on social media are based off new stories from actual news stations or websites.

    The problem has gone beyond lacking credibility as news outlet start to cover more controversial topics purposely to mislead the audience into thinking in a certain way i.e: racism. A good way to approach the problem is to not give the media such a huge profit by making headlines that are good and informational to the viewer and not just something that sounds good as a headline

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    Social media isn’t the source of the issue, even without bringing up the topic of Free Speech. The actual media is the main problem as most of the thi…

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  • Lucy from New Jersey

    We live in a world that is more connected than ever and the reason for this is the internet. What the majority of the public did not know years ago is now open to the whole public as long as the internet prevails. Social media is not only prevalent but it is dominating the lives of our generation and although fake news does make its way into these social media apps and sites, regulating social media will do nothing but exacerbate the problem of fake news. To take away freedom from social media just to prevent fake news would be futile not only because the users of social media would be enraged over this attempt of regulation but also because fake news will eventually find its way onto social media somehow whether it be by advertisements, messages, or simply by finding a way to hack the social media site/app. Regulating social media to prevent fake news is not only a futile attempt, it will exacerbate the problem of fake news drastically.

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    We live in a world that is more connected than ever and the reason for this is the internet. What the majority of the public did not know years ago is…

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  • Shane from Florida

    Regulating social media to target “fake news” would be a violation of the freedom of speech and considered unconstitutional. Fake news is not as easily identified as what may be thought. If someone posts a harmless joke on social media and it is taken as truth … so be it. This person can say this at their own will, and the person who believes it should’ve known better. It is no secret that for many years, news has come of varying degrees of misunderstanding throughout the internet. If people cannot learn from the mistakes of others, then it is a fair situation. People who get angry over news that is fake should then have access to the internet and the tools included with it. There are hundreds of websites that explain fake posts and the history of them. Essentially, it is the person who cannot seem to stay suspicious of the information provided on the internet’s fault. Regulating social media would be another seemingly invasion of privacy, with many people already feeling its effects and the distrust against their own government for its close listening to their every move on the internet. If this were to go too far, in my mind there is mistaking an uprising in place for this bad choice.

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    Regulating social media to target “fake news” would be a violation of the freedom of speech and considered unconstitutional. Fake news is not as e…

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  • Michael from Michigan

    Our first amendment allows anyone to say what they want, write what they want, and express them selfs. That shouldn’t be limited. I believe that is it important to let people put what they want on their social media.

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    Our first amendment allows anyone to say what they want, write what they want, and express them selfs. That shouldn’t be limited. I believe that is it…

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  • Mabel from Florida

    Regulating wont solve anything because people will do and say what they want as long as what they think they are doing is right. Instead of limiting and regulating what we can and cant do why dont we teach people and educate them. If someone knows what their doing is wrong or that they are hurting someone then most of the times they will listen and try to change or they know better. The more you know the more you do right.

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    Regulating wont solve anything because people will do and say what they want as long as what they think they are doing is right. Instead of limiting …

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  • Brittani from Missouri

    if you spread social media then you can make it very easy for others to edit and revise the news on social media. simple as that

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  • Angela from Texas

    What the news puts out is what social media takes in. It would be a waste of time to regulate something that isn’t the foundation of the problem that is fake news. Regulating what the news is putting out and the way it is being put out is the only way to fix “fake news”. For example, if CNN or Fox stuck to the basic facts on their platform then there would be nothing for social media to spread. Fake news began with the lack of trust between the news station and its audience and because there is lack of trust between the two we have nowhere to turn but to social media.

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    What the news puts out is what social media takes in. It would be a waste of time to regulate something that isn’t the foundation of the problem that …

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    • Justin from Ohio

      The “fake news” spreading is less of an issue from the major news agencies. The issue comes from smaller platforms people and institutions, but in far larger quantities.

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  • Hanna from Iowa

    “Fake news” is a subjective term. You can’t pick and choose what news is fake otherwise you’d be suppressing freedom of speech. Just let people choose whether or not to read credible news. If you really want to be informed, you will.

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    “Fake news” is a subjective term. You can’t pick and choose what news is fake otherwise you’d be suppressing freedom of speech. Just let people choose…

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  • Jonathan from Pennsylvania

    Regulation begins within oneself and household. If we are so concerned about the influence of social media then we need to take control of ourselves and what we allow our own families to view. It should not be the role of the government to step in and regulate a free speech area.

    The definition of fake news varies and when a government entity begins regulating what they believe to be “Truth” then we no longer live in a free society.

    Having said that, social media platforms can regulate their property any way they see fit. The greatest demonstration of democracy and free speech, aside from voting, is a free market system. If the people do not agree with a product they will find another source thus creating a self-regulating system.

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    Regulation begins within oneself and household. If we are so concerned about the influence of social media then we need to take control of ourselves a…

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  • Laura from Florida

    Today we live in an era where technology reigns in most of the world, because we have been in charge of giving such control over us, therefore we have the need to feel informed most of the day, to be aware of the daily boom , this brings us to the fact that millions of people in the world have access to the myriad of networks that technology offers us now, leads us to that there are millions of thoughts and opinions adrift wanting to be listened and evaluated. With the above information it can be concluded that social networks are not the effective way to avoid false news; if there is a possibility that many of the news that appear there are true, there is also the possibility and higher that they are false, since from a news come thousands of opinions, rumors, where people what it does is change the words of the original information, it is there where a general alteration of information begins, a false news.

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    Today we live in an era where technology reigns in most of the world, because we have been in charge of giving such control over us, therefore we have…

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  • Alexander from Illinois

    No, and for a few reasons:
    1. Social media is run by private corporations, and so the government has no right to impose itself on them.
    2. It’s a violation of freedom of expression and the press.
    3. The most effective way to stop fake news is for the readers to verify the stories themselves. Don’t blindly believe what the media tells you.

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    No, and for a few reasons:
    1. Social media is run by private corporations, and so the government has no right to impose itself on them.
    2. It’s a vi…

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  • Madalyn from Missouri

    No, because there is more push on big news channles like CNN for an expample. Social media is just people saying their opppion wether it is right or not, people need to find out if it is fake after reading it if they care.

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    No, because there is more push on big news channles like CNN for an expample. Social media is just people saying their opppion wether it is right or n…

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  • Julia from South Carolina

    Social media — a form of alternative media — has actually had a positive effect in today’s society. Social media remains uninfluenced by political parties and big businesses. Michael Albert tells us that a mainstream media institution (public or private) most often aims to maximize profit or sells an elite audience to advertisers for its main source of revenue. It is virtually always structured in accord with and to help reinforce society’s defining hierarchical social relationships, and is generally controlled by and controlling of other major social institutions, particularly corporations. In contrast, an alternative media institution (to the extent possible given its circumstances) doesn’t try to maximize profits, doesn’t primarily sell audience to advertisers for revenues and so seeks a broad and non-elite audience. It is structured to be different from and as independent of other major social institutions, particularly corporations, as it can be. An alternative media institution sees itself as part of a project to establish new ways of organizing media and social activity and it is committed to furthering these as a whole, and not just its own preservation. Michael Albert finds that virtually everyone who works in an alternative media institution realizes that their main goal is to produce news that does not reflect oppressive gender and racial structures seen in most traditional media sources. There’s a particular sensitivity to issues of class relations and economic structure and a sense of mutual outreach, rather than the ignorance and pushing to the side seen by big-time media sources. Therefore alternative media sources are not influenced by traditional viewpoints. There’s a particular freedom to express less popular or less known beliefs. Alternative media sources counter the corrupting and biasing pressures in society put on traditional or mainstream media sources by corporations and political parties.

    Thus, the government should not be regulating social media as social media remains to be one of the few platforms in the United States which is not being operated by a major corporation or political party. This allows the news to be unfiltered and opinionated. The fact of “fake news” is fairly insignificant considering when a platform provides inaccurate information it is often discredited. Most platforms, in order to stay popular, must stick to the truth as closely as possible. Having social media regulated by the government will accomplish very little when it comes to fact-checking, and will most likely mold social media into a mainstream source that continues to consist of traditional viewpoints.

    Source: http://subsol.c3.hu/subsol_2/contributors3/alberttext.html

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    • Sadie from Utah

      Even as an opposing voter I’m really appreciating the time and effort you put into this. That being said, I’d like to address some questions I have regarding your statements.

      You say, “Social media remains uninfluenced by political parties and big businesses.” However when I think of many social media sites, I think of the prevalence of social justice warriors and strong liberals. The company itself may not be influenced by political parties, but I believe that the users can experience a ‘mob mentality,’ so to speak. Go on Instagram, Tumblr, twitter, or any other social media site. Look to the trending hashtags or conversations. You’ll see arguments ranging from “I can’t believe this happened listen to all these “facts”” to “I don’t really care about this but other people do so it must be important.” Regardless of big businesses’ or political parties’ ownership of these outlets, they still have major influence on those who see news in their timeline.

      If the government steps in to refute fake news, our timelines won’t be polluted by rumors and lies, but with facts and truth. Some may see fact-checking as a personal responsibility, but ask anyone, it’s much easier just to believe what everyone is sharing. I doubt that having regulation on news will mold social media into traditional viewpoints. Social media is, by nature, un-traditional. Having secure facts can’t really change that.

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      Even as an opposing voter I’m really appreciating the time and effort you put into this. That being said, I’d like to address some questions I have re…

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  • Eduardo from Texas

    Social Media cannot be regulated in any way, unless it is through the social media platform imposing certain rules on the users themselves. This is due to the first amendment obviously, and has already been stuck down by the Fairness Doctrine, which was created to allow opposing point of views to be brought into light of a situation rather than solely talk about a subject in a one-sided manner. Sadly, the Equal Time Rule cannot apply either to fake news because of the loopholes and certain biases news sources share for their personal agenda. If fake news is ever going to be solved in a serious manner, it cannot be taken through legislative or congressional means, but rather emphasizing the need to look at multiple mediums in which we look at news to avoid both confirmation bias for our own views, as well as bias for the side an article may portray. People are more inclined to look at sources that side with their beliefs and this creates a vicious cycle where if they’re never challenged, them they’re definitively right in every aspect. Challenging one’s own point of view is the best way, this is how debates and discussions can be answered in a philosophical and courteous way rather than throwing out accusations and condemnations of the other side is to be solely exposed to other view points.

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    Social Media cannot be regulated in any way, unless it is through the social media platform imposing certain rules on the users themselves. This is du…

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  • Noah from Texas

    Free Speech is one of our most valuable rights. One of the first things that tyrants regulate when in power is the social media. Hitler greatly used propaganda to set his own agenda. Limiting free speech in the form of media is what countries such as China and North Korea are known for. For the United States to take yet another step towards such communism would be detrimental to our nation. The concept of slippery slope is key here. By taking away some (even if it is only a small portion) free speech, we are opening up a can of worms that will not be easily shut. Today it is fake news, tomorrow it could be news against the government in the name of “national security.” Additionally, such an effort to curtail free speech would be fruitless. All somebody must do is post something on a Facebook page or on a Twitter account, and it is on the internet, and there is no going back. Once something is on the internet, it will stay on. Unless the government closely regulates every blog, every Facebook post, every tweet, every website, which would mean even more danger for free speech, there is no way that such a policy could be enforced. Not only would it be impossible, but it would also be costly in the effort of execution. Imagine how much money it would take to make sure nobody posts fake news. Surely it would cost more than our government could afford. It is not practical or safe to allow the government to execute such regulations. Finally, fake news is not that pressing of an issue. Any news that spreads that is fake is usually squashed very quickly. While in this media age fake news can spread quickly, so can the right story. If it is fake news about a politician, they can fight against it quickly in a single tweet. The FBI or other government agencies can tell what happened real quickly. Also, fact checking websites are becoming increasingly popular, and they are pretty effective in destroying lies. All this to say, limiting so called “fake news” is dangerous to our democracy, impractical to execute, and a problem that is already solved.

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    • Justin from Ohio

      The First Amendment protects from government regulation, social media censorship would most likely be conducted by Twitter or Facebook, etc, themselves. So it’s the private company doing it, not the government. It would not put any fincancial damper on the government. The regulation would, again, most likely be done by the platforms thensleves. To address your saying that fake news is not that large of an issue; I would argue that your statement is enormously false. Fake news is an issue, on both sides of the argument. Today people search for information that fits their opinions and fake news definitely satisfies that. By continuing to allow fake news on this sort of scale, we put ourselves at risk of moving further towards a “post truth” sort of society. To clarify, the debate isn’t over regulating the entirety of the internet from “fake news”, it is exclusively TGIF social media. Also, you mentioned the FBI and government being able to “tell what happened real quickly,” well, neither really do a lot currently with discrediting these things. Yes fact-checking websites are very useful but most people, once they see a story that fits their opinion, aren’t going to go fact check what they read. To conclude, I will restate that this is not a move to delegitimization the First Amendment. It is simply regulation of objectively fake news on social media platforms that are, again, privately owned. Limiting “fake news” is imperative to the survival of our democracy. As James Madison once said, “A well-instructed people alone can be permanent a free people.” Allowing for Russian entries, and any others, to spread fake news on these privately owned platforms is dangerous and regressive.

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      The First Amendment protects from government regulation, social media censorship would most likely be conducted by Twitter or Facebook, etc, themselv…

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  • Priti from New Jersey

    This is because it will still spread fake news no matter what the rules and people will continue to do this no matter what anyone else does to change this.

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  • Ignigo from Hawaii

    No. As humans, we all have a tendency to conflate our own views and demonize opposing views. The term “Free Speech for Me, but not for thee,” comes to mind. We need to have an open and courteous dialogue between opposing viewpoints to find some semblance of truth. I will advocate because of the polarization of the news that websites promote intellectual honesty and integrity rather than objectivity. Intellectual honesty in the sense that you admit you have a bias.

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    No. As humans, we all have a tendency to conflate our own views and demonize opposing views. The term “Free Speech for Me, but not for thee,” comes to…

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  • Lance from Michigan

    No, I don’t think this is the best way. We Americans have the freedom of speech and some of us will lie or spread rumors. Rumors spread even without social media. Social media is just one way to spread rumors. Some people will still believe these rumors, but keeping people informed though available news sites and news papers is a way to stop fake news. Teach people to check social media news with reputable news site.

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    No, I don’t think this is the best way. We Americans have the freedom of speech and some of us will lie or spread rumors. Rumors spread even without s…

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  • Maria from California

    No because no matter what, there will always be some fake rumors/news going around it doesn’t necessarily have to be on social media.

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  • Varun from California

    It is extremely difficult to define ‘fake news’. Almost nobody can personally verify the news. We must trust others to relay information correctly. The question changes from ‘what is real’ to ‘who do you trust’?
    As J.S. Mills famously explained in his book On Liberty, it is impossible for the government or for any outside force to change a person’s convictions. If an individual chooses to trust an organization or an individual to report the news, there is no way to enter his mind and change his beliefs. In fact, banning or criminalizing that trust will only cause mistrust in the law.
    Even if it were possible to alter an individual’s deepest beliefs, I would not trust the government to administer this power appropriately. President Trump announces that unfavorable polls and CNN are fake news. Consider also the Pentagon Papers, leaked documents which revealed that the Department of Defense was hiding information about the war in Vietnam from the American public and intentionally prolonging an unwinnable war to avoid a humiliating U.S. defeat at the expense of American lives. Do we trust such a government to administer and determine the truth?

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    It is extremely difficult to define ‘fake news’. Almost nobody can personally verify the news. We must trust others to relay information correctly. Th…

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  • Julia from Colorado

    Social media is a good resource for journalists to be able to quickly communicate news to mass amounts of media. Even though social media may bring Fake news, the more efficient way of making sure the reader doesn’t believe fake news is just fact checking. You can’t restrict social media though not only because it’s their first amendment right but, also because it is a very important way of conveying real news to reach millions.

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    Social media is a good resource for journalists to be able to quickly communicate news to mass amounts of media. Even though social media may bring Fa…

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