EditorialsSomerset CountyState of MarylandWicomico CountyWorcester County

Eastern Shore Undercover Editorial: Freedom of Speech on Social Media

Earlier this morning, a comment was posted from an individual on our Eastern Shore Undercover Facebook page that quickly generated many comments towards this individual.

This individual was complaining and had negative comments directed toward the actions of another law enforcement officer, as well as complaining about the page administration’s policy on removing negative comments and things we don’t agree with.

Earlier this week, we posted a video of a local law enforcement officer enjoying the Juneteenth celebration in Pocomoke City.  The officer was enjoying herself and could be seen dancing with citizens in the community. There was an overwhelming amount of community support for this video and after all was said and done, it reached nearly 77K people!

If you have been following the page for any amount of time, you know that we do every single thing we can to show our law enforcement as the wonderful and amazing public servants that they are in our community. We do NOT allow people to talk negatively about our law enforcement in any way. If you do, you get removed. It just isn’t tolerated.

That said, earlier today, an individual, who just so happened to end up being a law enforcement officer, went on the page and made a comment about the video of the officer at the Juneteenth Celebration, and we made the decision to remove it. (See that comment below)

With many of our comments that violate our policies, we remove the comment and then ban the person from making comments in the future, and then just move on.  It is a headache-saving measure to prevent future issues and to prevent us from having to deal with the nonsense over and over again.

That said, later this afternoon, we received an email from the individual that originally posted the comment and they expressed their displeasure with our stance, and attempted to “educate” us on the constitution. (See the email below)

As you can see, it was determined at that point, that this person was in fact a police officer, NOT from our area, but from across the bridge.  Under normal circumstances, we would accept the officer’s opinion and just let it go but this one rubbed me the wrong way so I decided to respond to them, and “educate” them a little on our constitution. (See response below)

Many people often times get confused about what “Freedom of Speech” is and they like to go on the page and say, “I have freedom of speech” or “The constitution protects me” and while they are partially correct, the constitution only protects their freedom of speech from the government, not social media, so in fact, you are wrong!

According to the First Amendment, you have the right to say whatever you wish and the government can not prevent you from saying it, permitting you don’t threaten or endanger others through your speech.  

Freedom of speech however does not have anything to do with social media because social media is owned and operated by private entities, not the government.

The fact is that free speech under the First Amendment is limited to protections against restrictions on speech by the government!

This individual has been removed from our page, and we will not be allowing them back on the page.  To anyone that was offended by this individual’s comments, we apologize for his actions. I can 100% assure you that his opinions and beliefs are not those of other officers, and certainly not of this page.

While we are a pro-police page, we also have a reputation to stand by, and allowing this man to say whatever he wished, even being a law enforcement officer, would have gone against our morals and our policy, and therefore, he is not welcome on Eastern Shore Undercover!

Follow the Eastern Shore Undercover social media pages for all of your Wicomico, Worcester, and Somerset County news, events, and important information!

© 2022 Eastern Shore Undercover LLC TM/SM. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.