Open to: All high school students in Northeast Ohio.

Length: 500-1,000 words

Essays should pull from personal experience, current events, history, politics, art, anything really so long as they are backed up with evidence. Essays will be judged on their clarity, content, originality, and significance. .

“Social media platforms are no longer just a way to connect with friends, but are increasingly used as a way to share news and discuss current events. Platforms such as Facebook and Twitter have come under fire for failing to protect users from hate speech, while simultaneously facing backlash for failing to protect free speech. Given these contradictory perspectives and the increased prevalence of social media, should social media platforms weigh the value of ensuring the safety and accountability of users versus ensuring the free speech of users?”

ELIGIBILITY: All high school students (9-12th grade) in public, private, parochial, charter, and home schools in Cuyahoga, Geauga, Portage, Lake, Lorain, Medina and Summit Counties.
ESSAY TOPIC: Social media platforms are no longer just a way to connect with friends, but are increasingly used as a way to share news and discuss current events. Platforms such as Facebook and Twitter have come under fire for failing to protect users from hate speech, while simultaneously facing backlash for failing to protect free speech. Given these contradictory perspectives and the increased prevalence of social media, should social media platforms weigh the value of ensuring the safety and accountability of users versus ensuring the free speech of users?

GUIDELINES: 500-1,000 Words
DEADLINE: March 10, 2017
CRITERIA FOR AWARDS: Clarity of thought, quality of content, originality, and significance of the essay’s ideas, all demonstrating an understanding of the contest’s topic.