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Should the Government regulate social media if its helps prevent the spread of fake news and misinformation?


By PD Tutor#1
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To provide an answer to this question, it is really important to know which government is the subject of your question.  In some countries, the government is absolutely prohibited from imposing the types of regulations on speech that answering yes to the question would require.  These types of absolute prohibitions, such as the First Amendment to the United States Constitution, significantly impact whether a government could regulate social media, even if regulating social media would help prevent the spread of fake news and misinformation.  Therefore, any discussion of whether they should regulate this type of speech has to begin with whether they could regulate this type of speech. That a country has free speech protections does not mean it is impossible to regulate social media to prevent the spread of fake news and misinformation, however, it does mean that the country may have to enact sweeping changes in their laws before they could impose these types of regulations. Of course, if you do not want to delve into a legal argument, you could simply make an acknowledgment that there may be legal barriers to enacting these types of regulations, but that the government either should or should not make changes in order to enact regulations based on the rest of your argument.

An outline for your argumentative essay could be:

I. Introduction

A. What is misinformation? 

B. Social media’s role in spreading misinformation

C. Government rules or laws that impact the decision

D. Thesis statement

II. What is misinformation? 

A. Define different types of misinformation

B. Intentional 

C. Unintentional

III. How social media helps spread misinformation

A. Easy to spread

B. Confirmation bias

C. Lack of fact-checkers

IV. Government

A. Which countries are being discussed?

B. What free speech protections do they have?

C. Do these protections prohibit the regulation of social media? 

V. Conclusion

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