With the increasing calls for, and admissions of censorship here in the US and around the world, and given the fact that on Tuesday, July 17, 2018 the House Judiciary Committee will hold a hearing on "The content filtering practices of Social Media" which is a nice way of saying "censorship" I thought I should share my take on Free Speech.
FREE SPEECH ISN'T JUST FOR PEOPLE THAT AGREE WITH YOU!
There are many disturbing editorials that call for ending free speech, one by the NYT, quoting several academic professors:
"When I was younger, I had more of the standard liberal view of civil liberties,” said Louis Michael Seidman, a law professor at Georgetown. “And I’ve gradually changed my mind about it. What I have come to see is that it’s a mistake to think of free speech as an effective means to accomplish a more just society.”"
"To the contrary, free speech reinforces and amplifies injustice, Catharine A. MacKinnon, a law professor at the University of Michigan, wrote in “The Free Speech Century,” a collection of essays to be published this year.“
Once a defense of the powerless, the First Amendment over the last hundred years has mainly become a weapon of the powerful,” she wrote. “Legally, what was, toward the beginning of the 20th century, a shield for radicals, artists and activists, socialists and pacifists, the excluded and the dispossessed, has become a sword for authoritarians, racists and misogynists, Nazis and Klansmen, pornographers and corporations buying elections.”"
If you are wondering what kind of people are quoted in this article saying that people with opposing political viewpoints should not have free speech Catherine A. Mackinnon is also a Feminist Leader who thinks all heterosexual sex is rape:
"In a patriarchal society all heterosexual intercourse is rape because women, as a group, are not strong enough to give meaningful consent." Catherine MacKinnon in Professing Feminism: Cautionary Tales from the Strange World of Women's Studies, p. 129.
That is the kind of people that are endorsing ending free speech.
Saying everyone including certain groups of people have the right to free speech is not the same as endorsing what those people say. Saying communists, nazis, and pro-second amendment groups, or groups calling to end free speech, have the right to free speech just like everyone else does not mean you automatically endorse what they are saying. Just as saying feminist have the right to free speech is in no way endorsing their lies, hatred of men, hatred of free speech, or of heterosexual sex.
On "hate speech" and social media:
Much ado has been made about social media/internet search engines downranking/deplatforming and "shadow banning" people and organizations online. The usual excuse is they are guilty of "hate speech". What is "hate speech"?
HATE SPEECH IS CENSORSHIP:
That's right the notion of hate speech is designed to make people accept censorship. Not only in online platforms, but from governments as well. In Germany, Michael Stürzenberger, a journalist posted an historical picture of the at the time Grand Mufti of Jerusalem shaking hands with a high ranking Nazi, was arrested, tried and convicted for literal hate speech laws. I'm not kidding that is what they are called!
If the government or through them a social media company doesn't like what you say, they call it "hate speech" you are censored and/or arrested. Ironically this is the exact censorship that the Nazis and later the Stasi engaged in.
Dictator-for-life of Venezuela Nicholas Mudaro, also passed "anti-hate" laws to control the Venezuelan media, and jail political opponents of his regime.
All of these laws from Europe to Venezuela to Vietnam to China, are branded as combating "hate speech" what they really are is censorship.
As well the big tech Monopolies/Oligopolies are pushing to block (shadow ban) derank (in the case of search engines and NewsFeeds) and deplatform, or crash the devices of those found guilty of "hate speech". What they mean is anyone who says something they don't like or certain governments don't like!
There are people out there who say the most vile, repulsive, disgusting, hateful things, and they are wrong in doing so. But do not be fooled the call to silence or punish them for "Hate speech" is a call to censor everyone online and off! DO NOT FALL FOR IT!