By: Amy Jo Underwood
Basketball star Kareem Abdul-Jabbar shared that celebrities sharing “harmful opinions” (conservative values) should be silenced on social media, because of potential damage to millions of people.
Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, former basketball star, published a piece with the Hollywood Reporter, stating that public figures should be “flagged” when sharing opinions deemed harmful. He mentioned J.K. Rowling as an example, referencing her position on transgender issues. Rowling has commented on social issues, sharing her personal stances, and has received criticism and censorship as a result of her exercise of free speech.
Abdul-Jabbar stated that many public figures are not experts in political and social fields, and that sharing their views could cause “immediate harm to the foundation of society,” due to their influence in popular culture. He clarified that he was qualified to speak on the topics since he has been sharing his views for several decades.
“Social media companies have begun slapping warnings on some messages that are false, incite violence or cause harm to society. But this needs to be done with more consistency and vigilance. Studies indicate that when readers see these warnings, they are less likely to read or believe things. However, as another study showed, there can be a backfire effect in which content that isn’t flagged, even when inaccurate, is perceived as true.” - Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, professional basketball player
Amy Jo Underwood writes from Alabama