Memphis Principal Placed On Leave After Encouraging Students To Question Censorship Of Free Speech

Principal Barton Thorne released a video across the school system via their Microsoft Teams accounts that can be summed up in this concern: “It’s what’s going on with Twitter and Facebook and Google and Apple, and their decision as private companies to filter and to decide what you hear and know about.”

Tennessee Capitol Building in Nashville

Published January 14, 2021

Memphis, TN – In response to events at the Capitol, many social media platforms have decided to make their ploy for headlines by shutting down profiles belonging to President Trump.

Twitter, Facebook, and Google are listed amongst those who have taken action to block Trump from communicating with his constituents.

These sites have provided statements defending their actions. Even Apple released reasoning for their decision to deplatform particular apps saying despite common knowledge to the opposite effect that, “We have always supported diverse points of view being represented on the App Store, but there is no place on our platform for threats of violence and illegal activity.”

While other political figures and movements have received backlash from such platforms in the past, nothing has quite garnered this much attention.

Social media giants like Twitter and Facebook have a long and very open history of supporting left-leaning or progressive ideals. These companies are run by individuals who do not hesitate to acknowledge their affiliations with a liberal agenda.

Trump’s former press secretary, Sarah Huckabee Sanders wrote in response on her social media that, “This is not China, this is United States of America, and we are a free country.”

Though it may be easy to forget due to the way that these services have become so pervasive in our lives, they are indeed privately owned organizations. It is for this reason that the actions being taken cannot be criticized under the First Amendment.

In fact, the First Amendment provides private companies the right to control what information they disseminate and that includes your speech. Expressing ourselves on these platforms is, for all intents and purposes, a privilege that can be taken away if the proprietor so chooses.

Unfortunately, this context for what’s happening to Trump online only functions to make many folks even more uncomfortable. We would be hard-pressed to deny the power that these conglomerates have over the information available to the public. Fears of creating political echo chambers may continue to be realized.

A liberal opinion piece posted online by Michelle Goldberg summed it up succinctly across the political divide- “Trump’s social media exile represents, in some ways, a libertarian dream of a wholly privatized public sphere, in which corporations, not government, get to define the bounds of permissible speech.”

Few people in our nation are privileged enough to be free from grappling with these events in private and public spheres. This is certainly a matter in which the lines between personal and professional often blur. It is for this reason that Tennessee has once again made questionable headlines.

X-Files Style - The Truth Is Not Out There

A Shelby County Schools principal from Cordova High in Memphis has been placed on paid administrative leave as his comments in a recording released to students are being reviewed.

Principal Barton Thorne released a video across the school system via their Microsoft Teams accounts that can be summed up in this concern: “It’s what’s going on with Twitter and Facebook and Google and Apple, and their decision as private companies to filter and to decide what you hear and know about.”

Thorne raised genuine questions about the flow of information in our nation and encouraged students to think outside of that box, but the political atmosphere currently enveloping our country has turned it into a hostile and controversial statement that could cost the man his livelihood.

This is happening along the same timeline as a Hamilton County teacher has been publicly shamed into apologizing for sharing their opinion on same-sex marriage in private messages with a former student.

Respectable professionals across the state are receiving backlash for maintaining personal opinions in progressive public spaces whether political or otherwise.

We will continue to follow these stories as the outcomes may have unprecedented impact on privileged speech and social media use moving forward.

Proud Tennessee Conservative

One thought on “Memphis Principal Placed On Leave After Encouraging Students To Question Censorship Of Free Speech

  • January 24, 2021 at 5:49 pm
    Permalink

    The school board should be placed on permanent leave.

    Reply

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