Once you get beyond the government, the greatest threats to free speech and free thought in America are the social media companies that have been allowed to become monopolies. If there is such a thing as a public square in the modern world, these companies increasingly control it and decide who gets heard, who doesn’t, and what ideas the public is ALLOWED to see. This is much more dangerous to our republic than most people realize. You'll get a better idea of why that is as you read these quotes.
1. “A handful of people, working at a handful of technology companies, through their choices will steer what a billion people are thinking today. I don’t know a more urgent problem than this. It’s changing our democracy, and it’s changing our ability to have the conversations and relationships that we want with each other.” – Former Google employee Tristan Harris
5. "Social networking sites might tap into the basic brain systems for delivering pleasurable experience. However, these experiences are devoid of cohesive narrative and long-term significance. As a consequence, the mid-21st-century mind might almost be infantilised, characterised by short attention spans, sensationalism, inability to empathise and a shaky sense of identity." – Oxford professor Susan Greenfield
6. “Twice as many teenagers now have depression as a generation ago. This high rate of depression has no biological explanation. Instead, it appears to be caused by engagement with social media on smartphones. It’s now clear that there’s a strong association between use of social media and depression in adolescents. The more depressed adolescents are, the more they use social media; the more they use social media, the more depressed they are. Which causes which is unclear, but whatever the cause, it’s a vicious cycle.” -- Dr. Nassir Ghaemi
7. "Just before July fourth, for example, Facebook automatically blocked a post from a Texas newspaper that it claimed contained hate speech. Facebook then asked the paper to 'review the contents of its page and remove anything that does not comply with Facebook’s policies.' The text at issue was the Declaration of Independence." -- Bob Goodlatte (R-Va.)
12. "Facebook and Google assert with merit that they are giving users what they want. The same can be said about tobacco companies and drug dealers. The people who run Facebook and Google are good people, whose well-intentioned strategies have led to horrific unintended consequences. The problem is that there is nothing the companies can do to address the harm unless they abandon their current advertising models.” -- Roger McNamee, a venture capitalist who was an early investor in Google and Facebook
15. “The short-term, dopamine-driven feedback loops that we have created are destroying how society works—no civil discourse, no coöperation, misinformation, mistruth.... I feel tremendous guilt. I think we all knew in the back of our minds, [our children] are not allowed to use this sh*t." -- Chamath Palihapitiya, the former vice president of Facebook user growth