Should private platforms engage in censorship?


Should private platforms engage in censorship? by Drew Devault.

Businesses depend on two economic factors which are related to this issue: access to a pool of profitable users, and access to a labor pool with which to develop and maintain their profits. Businesses which platform bigots are increasingly finding public opinion turning against them; marginalized people and moderates tend to flee to less toxic spaces and staff members are looking to greener pastures. The free market currently rewards private censorship, therefore in a system wherein the free market reigns supreme we observe private censorship.

I reject the idea that it is appropriate for businesses to sideline morality in favor of profit, and I don’t have much faith in the free market to produce moral outcomes. For example, the market is responding poorly to the threat of climate change. However, in the case of private censorship, the incentives are aligned such that the outcomes we’re observing match the outcomes I would expect.