Cross Country Checkup

What does freedom of expression mean in the age of social media?

Facebook announced Monday it banned Canadian far-right political commentator Faith Goldy and various extremist groups as part of their push to limits the spread of content promoting white nationalism.

Faith Goldy and Soldiers of Odin were banned Monday on Facebook

Can social media companies stop the spread of hateful content while maintaining free expression? (Richard Drew/Associated Press)
Listen to the full episode1:52:30

On Monday, Facebook announced it banned Canadian far-right political commentator Faith Goldy, white nationalist crusader Kevin Goudreau and various extremist groups — including Soldiers of Odin — from its platform.

The move comes after the social media giant prohibited the promotion and support of white nationalism and white separatism last month.

Goldy responded by saying "enemies are weak and terrified", and that "most revolutions were waged before social media." In recent years, the debate on whether free speech has been weaponized by the right has become a contentious issue.

Is a ban like this able to stop online hate? Who should police hateful or discriminatory opinions on social media? Where should we draw the line between hate speech and free expression?

Our question this week: What does freedom of expression mean in the age of social media?

Comments

To encourage thoughtful and respectful conversations, first and last names will appear with each submission to CBC/Radio-Canada's online communities (except in children and youth-oriented communities). Pseudonyms will no longer be permitted.

By submitting a comment, you accept that CBC has the right to reproduce and publish that comment in whole or in part, in any manner CBC chooses. Please note that CBC does not endorse the opinions expressed in comments. Comments on this story are moderated according to our Submission Guidelines. Comments are welcome while open. We reserve the right to close comments at any time.