We definitely deserve the right to regulate ourselves online without intervention from larger, more powerful parties. However, if the case is in relation to something like these Aboriginal memes that were apparently only created to “provoke” and be humorous, I believe that a website has the right to instill regulations. At the end of the day, this meme is racist. Just because the Aboriginal race is very minimal and nearly nonexistent does not give anyone the right to promote racist thinking, even if it is a joke. Just like the minstrel shows of the last century, racism starts as jokes, grows into stereotypes, and eventually becomes hatred. Kids are dumb and impressionable and if their friends want them to join in on racial humor they will definitely participate.
If Facebook allows this to go unregulated they are setting a precedent that will allow more racist behavior. Minorities already face enough crap in real life, why should they have to deal with it online? No, I don’t think the government should intervene on websites’ policies. However, these sites need administrators that pay special attention to things like this.
It really is facebook’s right to ensure that their users are happy, if a small population is spreading potential hate, snuffing them out will make the majority happy. Since this is FACEBOOK’S site, not the offending users’, they can stifle crass behavior all they want in my opinion.
In other news, google is being paid off to make certain sites more “relevant” in your search results. I say big deal. Others say that there needs to be a government regulation on google. This is not the same thing as internet service providers being regulated a few years ago as we discussed in class. In that case, people who were already paying for a specific product were going to be charged more and differently for the exact same product or even a limited version. In the case with google, google is free and always has been free. If companies are doing this payola-like practice, good for them.