Is social media free media?
The idea of being free and having free will, automatically starts from everyone’s natural birth right. This free will is given to everyone to make their own decisions and choose their own respective path that they want to follow throughout their lives. On the other hand, freedom is the mental and physical ability to practice one’s free will and is also automatically handed to, with everyone’s birthright. Hence this freedom refers to the external environment one lives in and not only in his mind, where thoughts can only take place, but then can be brought out in the real world through freedom without having to re-think the words which will be coming out of one’s mouth. Many argue that you can be physically free, but not mentally free due to the fact that everyone can suffer from worries, anxiety, stress etc.
On the contrary, although freedom is given to everyone, where one is able to practice it in one’s daily life, there is an extent to this. Being that there are laws and rules always around us, which restrict anyone’s ability to make the true choices that anyone would want to proceed with. A topic which holds a lot of discussion about this issue is on social media and if it is truly free media. Being that government censorship exists, different social media platforms which are private companies have to keep this in mind and so they can do what they please to censor anything on what people post on their websites.
Social media platforms have transformed the public’s ability to connect and reach millions of people through the social, political and geographic divisions we all come across in our lives in an instant. Every social media platform has a free access to the public, hence nowadays social media has become the main platform for everyone to keep up with all the current events, grow a business, keep in touch with people and most importantly where one is able to have freedom on his choice of words or actions done through all the social media platforms etc. Unfortunately, this has caused broadening the impact and harm one can experience through disinformation and hate speech anyone can post publicly. Hence, many platforms are now banning and censoring many choices done from the public, which include posts on; hate speech, obscenity, misinformation and lastly harassment.
Many people of the public will take these regulations as a fact that those who post on social media platforms do not have the right to free speech. Hence, these private companies have to keep in mind that there has to be a perfect balance created for the public about what they would like to post and that social media should be a safe space for anyone to express their views about any topic and not feel threatened. In order for this to be done, of course, these platforms have to monitor the most obscure things such as child pornography, harassment, overall hate speech as well as online bullying, but at the same time, there should be a reasonable compromise in giving the users a platform to safely express their views without the fear of punishment.
From a curator of the art point of view, through their forms of art, these social media platforms should give the public all the freedom upon publishing any type of work, from the literal to the visuals. Even if it includes the nude or foul words. As any form of art should be accepted in order to let the person express their emotions and views about that said topic through the beauty of the arts. Social media has become a very important factor in artists jobs in offering opportunities to get their creativity flowing as well as to share their works or even promote any upcoming events and serve as a medium for a creative project and most importantly, gain a new audience which leads to getting more work. Many still find it difficult due to the fact of being restricted in what they post because of censorship. Leaving them unable to express their views and emotions to the public, as well as constraining the public from even viewing these beautiful works.
About my work
Through my work, I wanted to showcase the importance of the words, ‘freedom’ and ‘free’ through social media. Hence what would happen if one would have all the free will on expressing his/her emotions on this huge platform, whereas if one is to still express his/her feelings but with the import regulations and censorship everyone should keep in mind before posting the first thing that comes to their mind.
As seen in the work, the words freedom and free are split into 2 social media scenarios on what would happen with that same person if he is given the free will or freedom about what he would like to share on social media, as well as read on what other people wrote. Hence, on one hand, curse words are seen to be used, while in the other scenario, emojis are used for the public to showcase and project their emotions and feelings to that specific topic of discussion in a type of censored form. Other than clear and simple visuals being used in this poster which can be seen of a person browsing through social media on his computer through 2 different scenarios, the phrase ‘everyone is born with free will and freedom… but are both being addressed online?’ has also been included. This is for the reason that although in today’s time the public should feel that social media should always be considered free media, where anyone can publicly share his/her own opinion on a certain topic. There is always that sense of censorship going around which has to be followed by anyone, yet this should not be felt as a threat or punishment to anyone.
The spotlight created above the figure within the work is to shed the importance of our own freedom of expressing our feelings and emotions. Being that we, the public, are what creates events, topics and connections around the globe, through just a few clicks on our keyboard. Immediately creating our own free will and freedom of expression. And if some people are able to do so, then everyone is able to do it.
Therefore everyone is able to freely state his own opinion and expression on that certain topic, but still keep in mind the regulations one should follow, in order to prevent any hate, disinformation etc towards other people. Giving us all that sense of second thought before bringing out all our thoughts to the general public, hence the largest platform out there is social media.
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