GRE Style Quiz – Reading Comprehension Part 4
The decision by the government to shut down social networking sites in the aftermath of a terrorist attack feels like a turning point in our relationship with these platforms. A Gordian knot moment, where instead of agonizing over how to untangle the social media mess, you just pull out a sword and cut. The authorities are essentially saying that the social networks are no longer considered tools that can be abused by bad actors to exacerbate tensions, but are weapons that cause mass destruction, and hence must be removed from terrorists immediately.
In a more innocent era, social networks were considered incredible communications tools—a boon for our increasingly disconnected lives and a retreat for our tired souls. In times of crisis, they would bind us even closer together. Soon enough, we realized our infatuation with it. We saw social networks as addictive and wondered if we should figure out a way to reduce our dependence on it. A vice like casino gambling or tobacco.
Now we recognize that there is an inherent potential for extremism lurking within global social networks that makes them a danger. What we need is social network control—sensible rules about where, when, and what kinds of platforms should be free to operate, much the way nearly all governments in the world impose comprehensive regulations about where, when, and what kinds of guns should be allowed in communities. To fail to rein in social networks because of appeals to “freedom” would be like allowing vague words written 250 years ago to get in the way of controlling guns.

Which of the following best describes the flow of ideas in this passage?

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