Hmmm. I write tis after reading the early comments, so maybe the overview changes. However, i get the distinct sense that i have failed in this piece. Because a fair few people haven't got what i was getting at and, in the end, it is my job as a writer to communicate my meaning clearly.
This s not having a go at anyone in particular (americans, puritans, anglo-saxons). Nor is it particularly advocating any single moral stance. Rather, this piece was intended to explore the question of whether it might be damaging, culturally, if some of the world's largest social media all tend to be managed or owned by representatives of one cultural strand.
Facebook and Apple are good exemplars of that strand.
Its certainly not about whether theit take on censorship is good or bad. I am informed that my outpourings tend to be regularly blocked in the Middle East. Fair enough: i don't agree with tha view, but if the authorities in Dubai don't wish to permit their populace to access my subversive writings, that is between the people of Dubai and the government of that country.
What would be far more contentious would be if Dubai controlled a major media channel, and censored off the air all mention of a particular debate...or certain sorts of images.
That is compounded in this case by the fact that the world's largest social networking site is US controlled: the world's fastest advancing mobile technology is US-conrolled...and so on.
Its not a particularly US phenomenon: probably, as some have sugested, more of a corporate one. TheUS, culturally, is far more tolerant of speech than many European countries...but far more squeamish about imagery we would probably consider quite acceptable. (I am reminded of comments from another context altogether: UK legal representatives incapable of understanding what particular imagery they have declared extreme and pornographic could be if NOT produced for sexual titilation).
Perhaps a far more mundane example - but maybe even more insidious - is the fact that many spell check programmes are set initially to the US version...creating a generation of UK schoolkids who believe the US spelling of various words is the "correct" one.
Personally, i think nudity is pretty much a non-issue, and find Facebook's obsession with it to be laughable. It worries me a little, though, as it contributes to sexualisation of imagery that is often not meant to be sexual.
Back to Apple and corporatism: the arguments going on are between Apple and news media owners in the US, in Germany and in the UK, because Apple is close o demanding they censor their news in order to be published on Apple. Acceptable? A lot of people thnk not.
To be honest, at the end of the day, i felt that the bigest issue out of all of this is the way in which accounts get banned on a simple complaint: if the corporatesare teaching anything, it is that offense = power. Get offended and you have a right to dictate things to othrs...not a good result.