Because of the controversial (and sometimes defamatory) content posted on social networking sites, such as Facebook and MySpace, there are growing efforts to ban access or restrict content. Internet law professor Michael Geist contends that these efforts are misguided. I agree.
Social networking sites depend upon the free flow of information…the good, the bad, and the ugly. To artificially control the flow of this information undermines the very reason for their existence.
What about defamatory content? I’ve written about this issue previously: Are Fake MySpace Profiles Free Speech?
It is the responsibility of parents (not the government or schools) to control the behavior of their children. Where the parents drop the ball, there are judicial remedies for those who have been harmed because of what the kids have posted online.
Politicians need to keep their hands off of social networking sites in particular and the Internet in general. Nothing good can come of the heavy hand of government restricting speech online.