Free Speech

Let's Stop Talking About Free Speech and Start Defending It

Don't lock down expression along with so much else of American society.

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In New York City, where I live, clothing stores have reopened, but with a hitch: You can't browse the aisles freely or try on anything, but the clerks can bring whatever you ordered online out to you, via "curbside service." Hallelujah.

The last time I encountered something so restrictive, limiting, and stupid was when I lived in Philadelphia in the 1980s and had to shop at the state-owned stores that had a monopoly on alcohol sales. A few of the bigger stores let you walk the aisles, but most had a counter up front and a massive catalog from which you had to choose your preferred poison. The salesperson would then head back to the storeroom and bring your order out to you. This was true even for the $2.99 and $3.99 bottles of Yugoslavian wine I could afford at the time, and I remember wasting everyone's time by sending people back in search of the cheapest plonk imported from the one semi-functioning economy in communist Europe. I'll take a bottle of the merlot, I'd say, counting out my change to make sure I could cover the sales tax. After a few minutes of rummaging around in the back, they'd reappear and say nope, we're out of that. How about the cabernet, then? More time. Nope. The blend? Nope. OK, then maybe any of the whites? On and on it would go.

Something similarly cramped and frustrating is happening to free speech. Acceptable expression is being squeezed into smaller and smaller confines, even as we have the infinite horizons of cyberspace open before us. I guess it's good news that it's not the government per se that's doing the policing (yet, at least). Twitter, YouTube, Facebook, Patreon, and other private services have been bouncing more and more people off their platforms for real and imagined crimes. The legacy media seems to spend more time conducting struggle sessions than reporting these days. The New York Times canned their op-ed page editor for running a stupid column by a well-educated but stupid senator who himself wants to limit important aspects of online expression. The Philadelpia Inquirer pushed out its editor over a headline that offended people ("Buildings Matter, Too").

As a good libertarian, I rush to add that of course these outlets have every right to block whomever they want and to fire every at-will employee in their midst. And demonetizing isn't the same as banning. But you know what? It's a bad sign when people get worried that anything they say (or have ever said) can and will be used against them, either in a court of law or, more likely, the court of public opinion. "Name ONE non-trash aspect about this country," asks professional troll Saira Rao, who makes a good living charging "wealthy white women" $2,500 a pop to eat pasta and confess their privilege. I'll go with a longstanding belief in a robust marketplace of ideas and, at least since the late 1950s, a willingness to beat down legal and social limits on acceptable speech and expression (thank you, Lawrence Ferlinghetti, Allen Ginsberg, Barney Rosset, and so many others). When space for speech was limited and at a premium, we took it more seriously and fought for it to be accessible even or especially to the outliers of the world.

Yesterday's false flap about Google "demonetizing" The Federalist falls into the broad and emerging genre of policing speech through any means necessary, where all it takes to grab headlines and cause a panic is to allege that a website's comments section, moderated or not, is hosting a racist hootenany. So does the characterization of Facebook as a "hate-for-profit" operation whose primary purpose is serving up ads for white supremacists. A wide-ranging association of civil rights groups is calling on advertisers to boycott Facebook to "protest what they say is the company's failure to make its platform a less-hostile place," reports The Wall Street Journal. Perhaps Mark Zuckerberg's real sin is his recent conversion to something approaching free-speech values. Just a couple of years ago, the boy genius arrived in D.C. announcing that he wanted to be regulated by a drool brigade that clearly had no understanding of how Facebook or the internet worked. Last fall, having apparently discovered that Congress doesn't respect the First Amendment, he announced the bold position that Facebook wouldn't ban political speech and ads and wouldn't censor politicians. That's upsetting to people who want to control speech even as Facebook itself has its own limits. Earlier today, for instance, the platform took down a Donald Trump ad, with a Facebook spokesman saying it violated "our policy against organized hate" by including a red triangle in its imagery that some likened to Nazi designations of political dissidents (the president's team avers that the triangle is "a symbol widely used by Antifa").

In a widely discussed recent article for New York, Andrew Sullivan asked, "Is There Still Room for Debate?" Surveying various recent shouting matches, calls for "moral clarity" in journalism, and figurative beatdowns for wrongspeak, Sullivan defends pluralism and free expression as something more than a legal system:

Liberalism is not just a set of rules. There's a spirit to it. A spirit that believes that there are whole spheres of human life that lie beyond ideology—friendship, art, love, sex, scholarship, family. A spirit that seeks not to impose orthodoxy but to open up the possibilities of the human mind and soul. A spirit that seeks moral clarity but understands that this is very hard, that life and history are complex, and it is this complexity that a truly liberal society seeks to understand if it wants to advance. It is a spirit that deals with an argument—and not a person—and that counters that argument with logic, not abuse. It's a spirit that allows for various ideas to clash and evolve, and treats citizens as equal, regardless of their race, rather than insisting on equity for designated racial groups. It's a spirit that delights sometimes in being wrong because it offers an opportunity to figure out what's right. And it's generous, humorous, and graceful in its love of argument and debate. It gives you space to think and reflect and deliberate.

The current online landscape, concludes Sullivan, is "the antithesis of all this—and its mercy-free, moblike qualities when combined with a moral panic are, quite frankly, terrifying."

Yes, only the government can censor speech, if you use the strictest definition of censorship. But that's a narrow, impoverished, and flatly wrong way to think about free expression. Governments have less power than ever to keep us from talking freely among ourselves, and traditional cultural, religious, and media gatekeepers exert less and less control too, thanks be to the internet and other forces. More different voices and perspectives are being heard than at any time in my lifetime, even as (or maybe because) different factions are trying to shut down speech and ideas they don't like. Especially in a moment when Donald Trump, Joe Biden, Elizabeth Warren, and Josh Hawley are all calling for major changes to Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act, we need to be on high alert for attempts by the government to suppress speech. But we also need to battle attempts by online platforms and interest groups and individuals to shut down speech and thought in less-legalistic ways. There is only ever as much room for debate as we insist on.

More than ever, we need to promote what Greg Lukianoff has called a "culture of free speech," in which we all fight like hell for our visions of the good society to carry the day while recognizing the need and even the duty of protecting the expression of those with whom we disagree. With all its strictures and claustrophobia, curbside service is terrible enough when it comes to shopping for clothes and booze. It's far, far worse if we lock down our minds as well.

NEXT: Thoughts on the Supreme Court's Sound, but Very Narrow Ruling on DACA [Updated]

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  1. It seems that the biggest attack on free speech lies in attacking facts…or at least attacking the speaker of those facts. One of the greatest advantages of the totalitarian elites is to turn any statement of fact into a question of motive.

    1. Why do you feel the need to quote crime statistics? Are you racist?

      1. My last pay test was $9500 operating 12 hours per week on line. my sisters buddy has been averaging 15k for months now and she works approximately 20 hours every week.ASd i can not accept as true with how easy it become as soon as i tried it out.

        This is what do,…….► Home Profit System

      2. Exactly. (I mean, you are exactly correct. I am not racist.) But, you pointing out the fact that I might be racist might just be motivated by your need to hide the fact that you are racist. Or it might be motivated by your incessant need to be second on the list of people commenting. Which means you may or may not have narcissistic motivations.

        1. The “free speech” insidiously formed above in Rabbi Weinstein’s name seems to make little sense, and should accordingly be deleted, or even reported to the proper authorities. This use of a man’s good name is almost as bad as illegal “satire,” which we all know is a crime that must not be tolerated. See the documentation of our nation’s leading criminal “parody” case at:

          https://raphaelgolbtrial.wordpress.com/

  2. I’ll take a bottle of the merlot, I’d say, counting out my change to make sure I could cover the sales tax. After a few minutes of rummaging around in the back, they’d reappear and say nope, we’re out of that. How about the cabernet, then? More time. Nope. The blend? Nope. OK, then maybe any of the whites? On and on it would go.

    Hint, Nick. You weren’t wasting their time, they were wasting yours. That’s why the state fill fight to the death to keep that system.

    1. I quit working at shoprite and now I make $65-85 per/h. How? I’m working online! My work didn’t exactly make me happy so I decided to take a chance on something new… after 4 years it was so hard to quit my day job but now I couldn’t be happier.

      Here’s what I do………………Home Profit System

  3. We don’t defend free speech by allowing monopolies to engage in massive censorship.

    1. We don’t defend free speech by allowing Government Almighty to decide who is censoring whom, on venues owned BY THE OWNERS, not owned by Government Almighty! I dread the day (I hope it never comes!) when a jury is assembled by the Ministry of Truth, to decide whether the following is Truth or Lies (Slander, Libel):

      Government Almighty Loves Me! (True or False? Jury, your ruling?)

      Scienfoology Song… GAWD = Government Almighty’s Wrath Delivers

      Government loves me, This I know,
      For the Government tells me so,
      Little ones to GAWD belong,
      We are weak, but GAWD is strong!
      Yes, Guv-Mint loves me!
      Yes, Guv-Mint loves me!
      Yes, Guv-Mint loves me!
      My Nannies tell me so!

      GAWD does love me, yes indeed,
      Keeps me safe, and gives me feed,
      Shelters me from bad drugs and weed,
      And gives me all that I might need!
      Yes, Guv-Mint loves me!
      Yes, Guv-Mint loves me!
      Yes, Guv-Mint loves me!
      My Nannies tell me so!

      DEA, CIA, KGB,
      Our protectors, they will be,
      FBI, TSA, and FDA,
      With us, astride us, in every way!
      Yes, Guv-Mint loves me!
      Yes, Guv-Mint loves me!
      Yes, Guv-Mint loves me!
      My Nannies tell me so!

    2. Exactly, we defend free speech by ensuring EVERYONE engages in massive censorship!

      1. You shouldn’t be allowed to say that!

      2. Agreed! I think I’ll head on over to FB and insist they ban Biden’s commercials because they glorify pedophilia by placing a pedophile in the lead role.

    3. We don’t defend free speech by allowing monopolies to engage in massive censorship.

      While that’s true, we don’t defend property rights by regulating social media platforms either.

      The social media platforms are looking at this and saying that there is more risk to their bottom line to support this “controversial” speech than there is to not host it. If you want to change that behavior you need to flip the equation. You can’t simply do it by force, at least not in any libertarian way.

      1. Do we ignore massive anti capitalist behavior such as buy and kills and collusion?

        1. By doing what? Massive anti-capitalist behavior such as regulating private companies? I don’t understand your endgame here.

          1. How would removing regulation (section 230) be regulating private companies?

            1. It wouldn’t. It would be forcing social media companies to live under the same rules as all other media companies.

              1. Forcing someone to live under rules is…. not regulation?

                1. No, it’s called government. If you want to advocate getting rid of all government, go for it. Don’t think you’ll like the outcome, though.

                  1. It’s funny that the political right is currently advocating for opening up social media (private) platforms to more civil suits for content that they couldn’t possibly control in any reasonable way, while defending qualified immunity for cops.

                    Who is the party of big government again?

            2. How does repealing section 230 ensure free speech on social media? If anything repealing it will ensure that more content is deleted. Do you really think that Twitter is going to host speech it might get sued over?

              You really just want to use it as a cudgel to ensure that you can tell social media platforms what to do. How libertarian of you.

      2. Jesus, “in any Libertarian way.”

        These social media platforms are a new public square: they are where the public goes to express itself and communicate ideas and facts and opinions. *Especially* because the *literal* public square is off-limits to those without the “correct” opinions because of COVID.

        What “the Libertarian way” is objectively supporting here is a state of affairs in which that public square is exclusively the domain of the wealthy, who can’t be fired because they own the companies they use to disseminate their speech, and the destitute who have nothing to lose. If anyone else disagrees with the wealthy, they get silenced and fired. And if they disagree with the mob, they get attacked in the streets while “the authorities” stand by and watch.

        The inevitable outcome of that state of affairs is *less freedom for everybody*. When all your political expression is grounds for silencing and firing you, what’s going to happen is that everyone with something to lose is going to shut the fuck up. They will not dare become politically involved. Hell, look at how these companies were silencing criticism of China just recently. This is what “the Libertarian way” has led to. Well, as the man with the shotgun once asked, “If the rule you followed led you to this, of what use was the rule?”

        Free speech is something that must be defended not just against government encroachment, but against corporate and social pressures as well. Libertarians should be standing up for *the concept of free speech*, not merely First Amendment.

    4. To what monopolies are you referring? Facebook? Twitter? Instagram? Are you forced to use these services, are there no alternatives? Monopolies only exist when government works with one particular industry to keep out competitors. If the government blocked anyone from starting a social media platform on the Internet to compete with Facebook, or made it so difficult through regulation that competition was stifled, then you could argue monopoly.

      1. It is extremely difficult to start a social media website, not least because of regulations. So, no there aren’t any real alternatives, partially because of state enforced monopolies.

        1. And the fact that if you try to, like Gab, the wokescolds will get your ability to process credit card transactions stopped.

          So unless you have a multinational bank in your back pocket, yes there’s an effective monopoly on social media.

    5. Ironic that he would believe Facebook/Google/Apple/Twitter/whatever would have a “monopoly” on free speech while he posts in the comment section of a website affiliated with none of the above.

      1. Ironic that someone posting about monopolies doesnt understand market share.

  4. But no mention of who is being censored on social media. Wonder why.

    1. Bigots, homophobes, transphobes, and white supremacists?
      Google and Twitter are doing an amazing job!

      1. First they came for the bigots…

      2. Who decides who is a bigot, homophobe, transphobe or white supremacist? What are the criteria? That is the problem when you start restricting speech on that basis, someone has to make the call. And we should not be blocking the speech of those people anyway, it should be out there for all to see and condemn.

        1. I humbly put myself forward for the position of “Head determiner of bigotry”. I promise to eliminate all bigotry from all social media platforms within 45 days from assuming the powers of that office.
          I will implement common sense speech control patterned on the clearly effective common sense gun control. A simple license, easily acquired by a full background check, fingerprints, mandatory training classes, and all the other proven regulations; unless of course the local sheriff determines you don’t really need one.
          No screen names, everyone to use their full legal name, and no assault posting; one post per day, one account per license, one license per individual.
          All of this to be funded by a reasonable tax on each post, based on the number of words posted. Again, patterned after the reasonable taxes on guns and ammunition.
          Since all of these methods are already in place for one amendment, there should be no legal issues placing them on another.

          1. Sounds fair to me.

        2. Who decides who is a bigot, homophobe, transphobe or white supremacist?

          How about whoever owns the forum? If you own the space you should be able to moderate it however you like. Feel absolutely free to ban (or permit) any kind of speech you like. It’s your property and fuck the slavers who would tell you what to do with it.

          1. This last instance wasnt a website choice of moderation. It was google demanding their moderation content.

            1. Sounds like an extortion racket.

              1. Well, that’s kinda BLM’s thing

    2. It is interesting. He came so close to truly showing what the problem is but then wimped out and “both sides-ed” it. At least he is better than most Reason contributors in addressing the need for a culture of free expression

  5. And demonetizing isn’t the same as banning.

    It’s more like discrimination. Everyone knows it, but we don’t discuss it in polite company.

  6. Facebook just deleted Trump ads for using Nazi symbols.

    I shit you Peanuts not.

    1. Yet I have to watch Biden’s campaign ad on Youtube where his speech is slurred.

      How many takes did they try before they said “fuck it, this is the best one”?

      1. A blubbering old man is hardly the menace to citizens that actual Nazis are.

        The GOP has the mentality of fascism even if they don’t gas undesirables.

        1. Yeah, just look at all those GOP delegates burning progressive cities down.

          1. entirely more entertaining to watch if it was truly one side v. other side

          2. Yeah, the peasants should ENJOY being gunned down by the Gestapo! What the hell is wrong with them?

            1. A peasant who brawled with cops, stole a taser and fired at the cops (while on parole from a felony conviction)? They’re called criminals, not peasants.

            2. We’re just pissed that they haven’t shot you yet and put you out of our misery.

        2. You could count the number of actual Nazis in the US on the fingers of two hands.

          1. Well, there are actually zero Nazis in the US. There are a handful of neo-Nazis, but as a group they are pretty stupid and have no real clue what Nazism is about. They don’t realize that they too would be exterminated by the real Nazis because of their low IQ.

        3. You are the fascist. You are the one defending censorship of opinions you disagree with, solely because you disagree with them. You are authoritarian advocating for the punishment of anyone who deviates from your orthodoxy. You are the one who has defined anyone who disagrees with him as a Nazi.

    2. Facebook just deleted Trump ads for using Nazi antifa symbols

      FTFY

      1. Mark Bray, a historian at Rutgers and the author of “Antifa: The Anti-Fascist Handbook,” said that “the origin of the symbol is universally agreed to be with the Nazis and the concentration camps.” …

        The fact that the triangle has been reclaimed by some anti-fascists, Mr. Bray said

        1. That has been claimed and used by antifa.

          Try to keep up Chūnibyō

          1. “antifa” is not an organization nor do they have a symbol. There is no precedent for what you say.

            A random picture of someone wearing the symbol is likely a Proud Boy Neo Nazi Republican.

            1. There is no precedent for what you say.

              https://www.nytimes.com/2020/06/18/us/politics/facebook-trump-ads-antifa-red-triangle.html

              Mark Bray, a historian at Rutgers and the author of “Antifa: The Anti-Fascist Handbook,” said that “the origin of the symbol is universally agreed to be with the Nazis and the concentration camps.” …

              The fact that the triangle has been reclaimed by some anti-fascists, Mr. Bray said

              An expert on the iconography says otherwise Chūnibyō

              1. You stupid peanut Trumploes will believe anything read my link for the truth.

            2. ““antifa” is not an organization nor do they have a symbol.”

              Just because you keep saying this doesn’t make it true.

            3. They’ve literally had the red/black flag symbol with “antifascist action” motto border since the 1930s, you imbecile.

          2. Ha! Pedo PB thought he had a gotcha, ends up looking stupid again!

        2. Yield signs, hardest hit. Incidentally, the yield sign seems to be the least fascist of all the signs.

          1. In fact, it’s positively Chivalrous.

    3. Yet it was not a Nazi symbol, it’s one Antifa itself has been using. Nice that you just parrot the new Talking Point.

    4. Please stop calling people peanuts. It’s very creepy coming from a pedophile.

    5. Wrong as always, Buttplug. He used a red triangle that has been adopted by your precious Stalinist holdovers in AntiFa, and the same Facebook that actively endorses their terrorism threw one of their legendary hypocrisy fits, and inadvertently admitted that AntiFa is a hate group.

      So, you shit your pants, and nothing else, Peanut.

  7. Both sides, guys.
    Remember that.
    Both.
    Sides.

  8. “It’s a bad sign when people get worried that anything they say (or have ever said) can and will be used against them, either in a court of law or, more likely, the court of public opinion.”

    Gillespie didn’t mention a big aspect of this. It isn’t just the courts or the court of public opinion we need to worry about. It’s our jobs and our eligibility for management positions.

    Premise 1) I don’t know of any progressives who believe that racists, misogynists, xenophobes, or homophobes should be allowed to serve as managers.

    Premise 2) Progressives consider opposition to affirmative action to be racist, opposition to abortion to be misogynistic, support for a border wall to be xenophobic, and opposition to gay marriage as homophobic–each and every one of which are common opinions among Republicans.

    Conclusion: The progressive war on speech has impacts that go far beyond public shaming. It goes beyond seeking to purge leadership position all over the country of Republicans and their ideas, too. They are actively seeking to create an environment where people are afraid to voice their opinions out of the quite rational fear that doing so will destroy their careers in the future. That’s going beyond public shaming. It’s an attempt to control society with fear. This is worse than the Red Scare was in the 1950s.

    1. Ken, while I don’t disagree with your premises, I’m curious how you would go about resolving the issue.

      In reality, progressives have cornered the market on speech. Companies are responding to the potential loss of business or “cancel culture” when they react to speech that isn’t allowed under progressivism. And it really is a market reaction, it isn’t the use of force. So given that, how to solve this issue?

      1. Looting and arson is working pretty well for BLM.

        1. BLM grammar

        2. The message of the BLM movement isn’t benefiting from looting and arson. It seems to be resonating despite the looting and arson.

            1. Yet Leo feigns confusion when people note he is a dishonest shit.

            2. I agree with that.

              I think average people are disgusted by looting and arson.

              Like I keep saying, the depth of the support for social justice warriors in this country is so shallow that Liz Warren comes in fourth in Massachusetts.

              We imagine their support to be much deeper than it is by any measure I can see. And the dominant media narrative isn’t a good measure of anything.

              1. I think average people are disgusted by looting and arson.

                That’s why it’s effective.

          1. Omg you are stupid.

            The market is reacting to fear. The market issues statements to avoid the mob. The market cuts out ties because their advertisers are bullied into dropping them by harassment campaigns.

            The left uses extortion to control the market of ideas. But it’s just barely legal, so there’s nothing we can do about it.

            It is immoral, but we’re not allowed to legislate morality.

      2. I’m only half joking when I suggest that maybe it’s time to give “anyone speaking their mind outside of work” protected class status in employment, as long as the work in question is not directly slandered by said speaking.

        1. And what protection do you give the companies that must employ the people you choose when their customers cancel them?

          We need fewer regulations, not more.

      3. “I’m curious how you would go about resolving the issue.”

        This isn’t the first time that’s happened. You should have seen what it was like when there were only three television networks covering the news–all three of them liberal–and every city had access to pretty much just one daily newspaper (and it was liberal, too).

        The solution needs to cultural rather than legal or political. The solution to the conformity of the 1950s was the hippies. Generation X turned the hippy and the disco generation on its head. This generation is even more conformist than the Greatest Generation was in the 1950s, but their kids may not turn out that way.

        I think it’s also important to remember that average people aren’t anywhere near as conformist as social media platforms and the media pretend. Look no further than Liz Warren coming in fourth in her home state of Massachusetts in the Democratic primaries. I don’t think there’s much question as to why that happened. She was the most social justice warrior of the primary candidates, and she went full on social justice warrior against both Mike Bloomberg and Bernie Sanders.

        In other words, she lost in Massachusetts because she was a social justice warrior. If social justice warriors aren’t popular enough to come in higher than fourth in their home state, then how popular are they really? The correct answer is, “not anywhere near as popular as they imagine themselves to be”. They don’t enjoy support that’s anywhere near as deep as they imagine, but the people in charge of the media (social and otherwise) make them seem more prominent than they really are. What do we do about that?

        I think we call them out on their bullshit whenever we can. Maybe the worst example of this was when The Tonight Show banned Norm MacDonald, not because of anything he said that was controversial but because he stuck up for free speech, forgiveness, and Rosanne. How pathetic is it when they punish you for being tolerant?

        That being said, I’m not sure anything needs to be done about the media because they’re nowhere near as popular as they project themselves to be either. Take a look at these statistics.

        From 11:30 to midnight, “Tonight” averaged a 0.36 rating in adults 18-49 versus “Kimmel’s” 0.34. In adults 25-54, it was a 0.56 for “Tonight” versus a 0.52 for Kimmel, and in total viewers, it was 2.142 million for “Tonight” and 2.102 million for “Kimmel.

        I think it’s awful that people have three liberals to choose from on late night, but how influential are they really? Between the three of them, they’re getting 6 million households. There are 130 million households in the United States. Between the three of them, they’re reaching less than 5% of the population. The statistics aren’t much better when you factor in major news shows. Fox News typically clobbers the competition, but even they think getting 5 million households is a home run. We imagine that everyone is watching this stuff, and it used to be more like that before the internet. It’s not like that anymore.

        I’m not sure we need to do anything more than what we’re doing now. Be offensive when it’s appropriate. Persuade those who can be persuaded. The Beats in the 1940s and 1950s didn’t know the hippies were coming, and some of them found it alarming when the hippies came. We libertarians might be like the Beats were in the 1950s, Remember the Kinsey Reports of 1948 and 1953. Just because the wider culture pretended that homosexuals, blowjobs, extramarital sex, and sadomasochism didn’t exist doesn’t mean those things were invented at a later time. The stuffy Red Scare era people were doing all the same things we are today. It just wasn’t discussed. I suspect people’s politically incorrect inclinations are like that today.

        They denounce racism and racists, even while they’re moving to the suburbs so their kids won’t have to go to school with minorities–just like their white flight parents and grandparents did. Because a media narrative permeates the culture doesn’t mean the media narrative is true. The Greeks used to preach moderation in all things–and yet they were the most immoderate people in history. I’m looking at a list that shows that of the top six cities in the United States in terms of strip clubs per capita, five of them are in the Bible Belt. I’m old enough to remember when everyone would deny having ever tried cannabis–which was bullshit.

        Just because people are ashamed of their sins against social justice doesn’t mean they don’t have those shameful opinions.

        1. But even if the narrative isn’t true, the reactions to it by companies cancelling employees is very real. I don’t do social media, but if I did I would be afraid to speak freely as a private citizen for fear of losing my job.

          I don’t know that it’s enough to passively wait for a free speech movement. The cultural movements you reference were all pushed by young people. So too is this anti-speech movement.

          I think we need to actively support companies who don’t cater to speech restrictions. Chik-fil-A might be a prime example of a company that stuck to its principles and actually gained market share because of it. Make a few more examples in the market like this, and now you’re on to something. But that was a religious movement. We need people who are as passionate about other freedoms as they are their faith or even guns.

        2. The problem with your market share example is it doesn’t represent the reshares on social media. A single episode of tonight might reach only slightly over 2 million, but the sharing of that one clip where he was super liberal reaches a lot more. This also doesn’t factor in Netflix and Youtube. My teens have likely never watched a full episode of the tonight show but get plenty of anti-free speech rhetoric from clips, memes, and Youtube Channels. I think the real fix

          1. I agree that the real fix is to start actively supporting businesses that don’t cave or don’t support businesses that do. The problem is I just don’t buy enough syrup or oats for my voice to really matter.

    2. You’re spot on, except replace “opposition to” with “not vociferously enough supporting” and you’d be entirely accurate.
      Unless you were assuming everyone would already know that “not vociferously enough supporting” = “opposition to”, in which case my bad

      1. Yep. I used to say that the 21st century definition of a racist was anyone winning an argument with a leftist, but nowadays it’s anyone who fails to sufficiently agree with a leftist.

    3. Funny you say that = It’s our jobs and our eligibility for management positions.

      Guess what BigCorps and MegaCorps are doing now? When they interview job candidates, they want your user name for any social media you use. And your password if your account is private. Could not believe my ears when I heard BigCorp HR asking a job candidate for their social media sites and user names.

      1. Yeah, they don’t want you to be an embarrassment or a liability.

        1. But mostly, they want you to be docile and compliant

      2. That’s interesting because I was recently at a seminar put on by the Texas Workforce Commission. They recommend that you don’t look at social media profiles when hiring so you can’t be accused of not hiring someone when you find something out. That would of course only apply to certain things you find but even knowing a female was pregnant means she could sue you for not hiring her because of that fact.

  9. Let’s Stop Talking About Free Speech and Start Defending It

    Whew! For a split-second there I thought it was “Defunding”.

  10. sure as fuck don’t defend free speech with bandana faces

  11. Bounced? Start your own website. . Google, Facebook, Twitter all started by one or two entrepreneurs. But no,those who have been exiled don’t want to build a better mousetrap: They’d rather scream and yell to be allowed access to what others have built.
    Parawebsites.

    1. Want your own electricity? Start a power company.

      1. You can actually do that in Texas. Sort of. The actual electricity comes from one provider mostly but the service provider you pay is deregulated to cause competition.

    2. just be a billionaire, stop not being a billionaire. Problem solved.

  12. Sullivan defends pluralism and free expression as something more than a legal system:

    Wow. Real galactic brain thinking.

    Weird how companies are no longer morally obligated to silence bad ideas when those bad ideas are coming from people friendly to Reason writers.

  13. “As a good libertarian, I rush to add that of course these outlets have every right to block whomever they want and to fire every at-will employee in their midst.”

    And as a good Kochatarian this, of course, does not apply to pro-life pregnancy centers, nuns who don’t want to buy birth control, cake bakers, and anyone who doesn’t share your cultural views.

    1. Other than Robby all of the writers at Reason applauded expansion of protected class status through legislative fiat. In no way do any of them care about “freedom of association” if it’s going to offend the sensibilities of their white liberal neighbors.

  14. “Yes, only the government can censor speech, if you use the strictest definition of censorship.”
    says an industry that uses “decimate” to mean damn near total destruction.
    To decimate is to reduce by one tenth. The Romans decimated a town when they executed every tenth male of military age.
    But the Romans were mostly white-ish, so – – – – – – – – – –

  15. There’s no surer way to arouse the censor (or worse) in practically anyone (everyone) than to expose any of the six million lies that make up the approved Holocaust narrative today.
    Try it.
    And duck.
    Fast.

    1. A prime example of free speech at work. Even bigots like you, totally ignorant of history, should have a voice if for no other reason than to expose your ignorance and bigotry.

  16. Here’s a probably not exhaustive list of recent cancellations.
    https://www.nationalreview.com/news/the-cancel-counter/
    Not a single Nazi responsible.

  17. Great Article.. I use https://downloaderi.com to download tiktok videos

  18. Philadelphia has to be one of the worst run cities in the entire world — I live here — so I hope I’m free to voice that opinion. Well said Nick. Keep up the good fight!

  19. “…have been bouncing more and more people off their platforms for real and imagined crimes.” They’re all imagined. No actual “crime” has been committed. Words have definitions.

  20. This is the future you faggots wanted, Nick.

  21. As a good libertarian, I rush to add that of course these outlets have every right to block whomever they want and to fire every at-will employee in their midst.

    Google, Twitter, and Facebook are the result of massive government subsidies and regulatory capture, and they are in bed with government. If you think that “these outlets” operate as independent, private companies, you’re an ignorant fool.

  22. Stupid is a decentralized mix of private and public healthcare directions during a pandemic.

    Good libertarians advocate censorship when it advances their personal interests.

    The ONLY way to protect rights on the internet is to first have them. That requires that the internet be legally recognized as a public place.

    Only when our public speech is recognized as such can it be protected commensurately.

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