Discussion #2: Computational Technology, Critical Thinking, and the Real World

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Having learned about the importance of math underpinning programming, you may have figured out that technology needs precision to work.  In programming, a statement is True or False based on the outcome of some mathematical formula. 

How easy or hard would it be to identify criteria for removing or restricting content on social media?  Based on your new knowledge, what is your opinion on how different technology companies (Facebook, Twitter, etc) should balance free speech rights with rules used to maintain safer online spaces such as those that fact-check, block, or ban objectionable content of various types?

You may wish to refer to specific examples in your argument.  For example, what about the issue of hyperrealistic altered viral video? For more information, see: https://www.theatlantic.com/technology/archive/2019/05/why-pelosi-video-isnt-fake-facebook/590335/ (Links to an external site.)

Or what about tech companies restricting content for some people and not others, such as blocking content about the history of the Tiannamen Square massacre to users in China at the request of its government (see: https://www.wired.com/story/us-companies-help-censor-internet-china/ (Links to an external site.) )?

Who gets to decide what is and is not okay?  What rights and responsibilities do programmers have in this issue?

This is complicated issue with no right or wrong answer, just demonstrate that you are able to think through the ethical issues as well as the technological challenges associated with flagging content.