Free Speech

The Campaign Against 'Extremism' Looks Like an Attack on Speech

Efforts against violence are turning into restrictions on ideas.


Some Facebook users have recently received warnings about "extremism" and offers of help for those with acquaintances attracted to "extremist" ideas. It's part of an international push to discourage and restrict communications considered radical and hateful. While often couched in concern about the potential for violence, this effort looks increasingly like a scheme to narrow the boundaries of acceptable discussion and muzzle speech that makes the powers-that-be uncomfortable.

"Are you concerned that someone you know is becoming an extremist?" asks one of the Facebook messages. "We care about preventing extremism on Facebook. Others in your situation have received confidential support."

Taken by itself, the messages are somewhat creepy indications that the tech giant doesn't approve of a subset of its users' communications, politics, and associates. But the messages—which send those who click through to the company's Redirect Initiative to "combat violent extremism and dangerous organizations by redirecting hate and violence-related search terms towards resources, education, and outreach groups that can help"—is part of a much larger international program involving dozens of governments and tech firms.

"One year ago we committed to the Christchurch Call to Action in response to the March 15, 2019 attack in Christchurch, New Zealand," Facebook noted in May 2020. "Since then, our companies have continued our shared work to prevent terrorists and violent extremists from abusing digital platforms."

Cofounded by the governments of France and New Zealand, the Christchurch Call to Action promotes "collective, voluntary commitments from Governments and online service providers intended to address the issue of terrorist and violent extremist content online and to prevent the abuse of the internet as occurred in and after the Christchurch attacks." It has since been joined by governments from Australia to India to the United Kingdom, and by companies including Amazon, Facebook, Google, and Twitter.

The U.S. joined the Christchurch Call in May, despite earlier concerns about threats to free speech posed by state action against ill-defined "extremism." At almost the same moment, the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) issued a bulletin warning about the potential dangers of messaging from domestic terrorists. "Social media and online forums are increasingly exploited by these actors to influence and spread violent extremist narratives and activity," it cautioned

The RAND Corporation, the well-connected granddaddy of think tanks, recently joined in with an effort "to gather and then analyze first-hand accounts of extremist radicalization and deradicalization." Researchers added that "the interview protocol was designed to engage all participants in talking about radicalization and its prevention at four levels—individual, relational, institutional, and societal."

Like Facebook, but unlike DHS and Christchurch Call, RAND didn't entirely confine its concerns to extremism of the violent variety. It's eyebrow-raising enough when private organizations creep in terms of their concerns from "violent extremism" to "extremism" to "radicalization," but it becomes dangerous when governments, with the power of law backed by police and prisons, do the same—and that's exactly what is happening.

"If your intent is to incite hatred against them, then potentially," New Zealand's Justice Minister Kris Faafoi answered last month when asked if a pending hate speech bill would criminalize criticism of boomers by millennials. "But again, it's up to the police and what you say."

Commentators point out that the proposal would even punish criticism of "political opinion."

New Zealand's government, let's remember, is one of the cofounders of the Christchurch Call which inspired Facebook's extremism warnings. The proposed legislation—including hefty fines and prison terms for speech offenders—is crafted to implement the Call's intent.

America's strong traditions of respect for speech, embodied in the First Amendment, should prevent any similar laws against vigorous, vitriolic, or even overtly hateful speech, so long as they stop short of incitement to violence. But that doesn't mean that powerful people wouldn't very much like to narrow the parameters of acceptable speech far more than the Constitution might allow.

In January, former CIA director John Brennan assured an MSNBC interviewer that the Biden administration is focusing on "what looks very similar to insurgency movements that we've seen overseas," consisting of "an unholy alliance" of "religious extremists, authoritarians, fascists, bigots, racists, Nativists, even libertarians."

"Notably, Brennan did not distinguish between those who use extreme tactics and those with whom he disagrees politically," observed Max Abrahms, a professor of public policy at Northeastern University and expert on political violence. "For Brennan, both are enemies worthy not only of contempt, but action or at least government scrutiny."

Fortunately, Brennan no longer holds a government job. But he remains a high-profile media commentator and security adviser with continuing ties to those who do wield power. It's not difficult to believe that his sentiments are more widely shared at a time when the U.S. government endorses the Christchurch Call's plan for curbs on speech and issues terrorism advisories about extremism.

And private companies aren't constrained by the First Amendment. Facebook and other companies have every right to interpret "extremism" as they wish, purge it from their platforms, and ostracize or refer for reeducation its advocates. Politicians limited in their abilities by constitutional constraints or political opposition may well see their preferences about the acceptable boundaries of speech enforced by private parties that share their prejudices and have signed on to the same mission.

The Christchurch Call and related efforts against extremism have their roots in efforts to battle violence, not speech. Most people would agree that the majority of "extremist" ideas targeted so far are vile even when not explicitly dangerous. But already we're seeing one of the founders of the Christchurch Call suggesting that criticism of political opinion, or of one generation by members of another, might deserve criminal penalties. Concerns about violence are being replaced by warnings against disapproved speech itself.

"Extremism," it turns out, is in the eye of the beholder. And too many campaigners against extremism seem eager to turn their efforts into restrictions not just on what people do with their ideas, but also on the range of ideas they are allowed to voice.

NEXT: Pfizer Vaccine 94 Percent Effective at Stopping Severe Sickness From Delta Variant

Editor's Note: We invite comments and request that they be civil and on-topic. We do not moderate or assume any responsibility for comments, which are owned by the readers who post them. Comments do not represent the views of or Reason Foundation. We reserve the right to delete any comment for any reason at any time. Report abuses.

  1. Wow, very observant of you guys. Next you’ll actually believe the NEA when it tells you that it is indoctrinating elementary schools students with CRT.

    I used to be a libertarian, then I woke up….

    1. amen. same.

      1. Making money online more than 15OOO$ just by doing simple work from home. I have received $18376 last month. Its an easy and simple job to do and its DS earnings are much better than regular office job and even a little child can do this and earns money. Everybody must try this job by just use the info
        on this page…..VISIT HERE

    2. But they removed references to it, so they aren’t, right?

    3. “I used to be a libertarian, then I woke up….”


      1. So now you’re a bespoke woke bloke?
        But no joke; don’t put me under your yoke!

        1. Don’t worry. You’ve never been libertarian sarcasmoc. Youre whatever makes you a victim instead.

    4. I used to be a libertarian, then I woke up….

      Except libertarianism went woke and adopted a bunch of stupid crazy ideas that conflict with the ideas that used to be shared.

      They got woke, I’m still living the dream.

      1. When Jo pushed anti liberalism, the party was lost.

        1. Anti racism*

          Which is anti classical liberalism.

        2. I started noticing a lot of the woke stuff back in 2015 / 2016, first from the LP and then from reason, but it probably took me awhile to catch on. I remember the LP was putting out these just stupid memes on Twitter that were indistinguishable from the typical leftist BS. I’m glad I wasn’t the only one that noticed.

          Perhaps the mises caucus will steer the LP in the right direction.

        3. I took a somewhat different view on JoJo’s acts here. The way I saw it, this is what happened:

          1) JoJo, a pragmatic politician, tried to say something she thought would be popular, but was really stupid.

          2) Michael Malice smacked her down publicly, powerfully, and immediately.

          3) As far as I could tell, she never mentioned it again.

          Didn’t seem nearly as bad as a lot of people were saying. Malice’s smackdown was absolute.

          Plus, the pragmatists dissolved and the Mises Caucus is kicking their squishy asses. It’s been a fun show.

          1. Of she said it put of ignorance as to what it was, it was just as bad.

            1. Yeah, that would make it her Aleppo moment.

  2. of course, the extremism by our elite institutions (e.g. media, law, academia) against the normal, decent American gets a complete pass. it’s acceptable to incite hatred against them, no problem

    1. Well the deserve it, right? I mean look at all those past generations of oppressors and supremacists, they pretty much got off Scott free so someone has to pay.

      1. Scott free?? Didn’t they build the modern world we are now trying to destroy??

    2. Oh I’m sure that’s completely real and not something made up in your mind. 100%.

      1. I’m sure you’re a lefty shit stupid enough not to recognize a bit of hyperbole when it suits your bullshit.

  3. TOP MEN.

    1. Let help you with your problem

  4. Given that Progressive morality is based entirely on feelings, and that their highest ideal is protection of feelings, we have to get over oppressive concepts like free speech.

  5. “Looks like”.

    1. Reason is pouncing?

      1. I’m starting to think reasom writers are autistic 5 year olds. They are always about a decade behind the problem.

        1. Autistic five year olds notice details and are obsessed with facts, truth, and technical accuracy. That’s not Reason. They’re the 80-IQ, five year olds that will believe and regurgitate even the dumbest of falsehoods until either their Mom sets them straight or the next opportunistic bully bends them around their next prank/lie. It would be funny to watch them continue to test if the yellow snow really tastes like lemonade if it weren’t so pitiful.

        2. they are definitely autistic

          1. If The Anti-Defamation League is calling you autistic, you’re in trouble.

      2. Mostly peaceful

  6. Brennan is a fool, it’s why he got that sad gig on PMSNBC. Nobody takes that pathetic man seriously today. Do others in government share his ludicrous opinions? Well let’s see there are people right now being held without bail for walking around the capitol taking selfies. Reason koch is awfully quiet about it.

    1. Brennan is a communist, which tells you all you need to know.

      1. Rico really needs to get his head around the concept that in this case, the only definition that matters comes from here: 18 U.S. Code. Specifically § 2383 – Rebellion or insurrection, not whatever pos online dictionary he may use that will change based on outrage or grievance. Words have meanings, as we’ve been told.

    2. Kinda odd that JD researched this article and didn’t notice that the federal government is currently holding political prisoners without bond in solitary confinement.

      1. By odd you mean completely predictable?

    3. Hey now. Daily beast just found out one of the insurrectionists had a fully formed white house made of legos.

  7. One man’s commentator is another man’s terrorist.

    Show me the comment, I’ll show you the crime.

    1. Berea would feel vindicated.

  8. One problem with the word “extremism” is that it is never really defined. Governments and mainstream [social and other] media talk frequently about “violent extremism”, but if the label “extremism” was limited to the violent, that would be a redundancy. If it simply means having views which are outside the so-called Overton window, then suppressing views because they are “extremist” in that sense is completely illegitimate. It violates the First Amendment if a government agency does it, and at least its spirit even if done by influential private actors.

    Ayn Rand once wrote about the word “extreme” or “extremist”, pointing out that it made little sense as a descriptor by itself. Extreme what was the question.

    1. Thomas Paine, Sam Adams, Paul Revere, Davey Crockett, French Resistance, Karl Marx, Fidel, etc. Extremists one and all.

  9. The Campaign Against ‘Extremism’ Looks Like an Attack on Speech

    Hi, Reason! Welcome to the conversation!

    1. If there is a silver lining to this it will be because TooSilly is too ineffectual and irrelevant a voice to make them get defensive.

    2. This entire article is silly. I have read somewhere that this is a Both Sides issue, and these private companies have every right to do away with content “they” don’t agree with. In fact the real problem are those calling for them to host radical ideas

  10. I haven’t gotten one yet, but last week my facebook feed had a LOT of friends remark that they got “extremist” warning messages from Facebook. Several posted screenshots of the message. Paraphrased, they said the user had visited a violent extremist site, and that help was available for them. Key parts were “violent extremist” “help is available”.

    Who where these friends? All were libertarian. All were nice guys and not the least bit violent in any way. One was a member of CATO. One was a Reason contributor. So what was the “violent extremist” site they visited? No one knows. Facebook won’t say. But I suspect it was just some ordinary libertarian site, perhaps one advocating a stateless society or anarcho-capitalism. To the average person who thinks government exists to do good, those would indeed seem extremist. But not violent. So my guess is Facebook is painting with a very large brush, in an effort to curry favor with Congress that routinely calls it to task for not stamping out violent extremism.

    I’m waiting for my own notice. But I suspect Facebook has already nixed that trial balloon due to the backlash.

    No need to call them before Congress once again. That’s the reason this happened to begin with. Maybe, just maybe, continual Congressional hearings isn’t the answer to all your grievances. Maybe Hawley needs to grow a backbone.

    1. You repeat too many democrat narratives to receive a warning. A friendly useful idiot if you will.

      1. Achtung! Beware! Anyone who disagrees with Der JesseBahnFuhrer on one or more minor points is a Democrat! Anyone who disagrees with Der JesseBahnFuhrer on THREE or more minor points is a Marxist! Der JesseBahnFuhrer agrees with Trump, that many of Hitler’s ideas were good ones, even GREAT ones!

        Trump told chief of staff Hitler ‘did a lot of good things’, book says
        Remark shocked John Kelly, author Michael Bender reports
        Book details former president’s ‘stunning disregard for history’

        Donald Trump just accidentally told the truth about his disinformation strategy

        Out-take, Trump quote starts it:

        “If you say it enough and keep saying it, they’ll start to believe you.”
        Trump was talking about alleged disinformation directed at him and other Republicans. But WOW does that quote explain everything you need to know about his approach to the presidency and life.
        (Sidebar: One can only hope that Trump was unaware that his quote was a near-replication of this infamous line from Nazi Joseph Goebbels: “If you tell a lie big enough and keep repeating it, people will eventually come to believe it.”)

          1. Sarcasmic really enjoys my comments.

            1. You resent the hell out of the fact that many other people are flat-out, better, more honest people than you are, right? More “live and let live”, and WAAAY less authoritarian?
              From the conclusion to the above…
              These findings suggest that we don’t need to downplay personal triumphs to avoid negative social consequences, as long as we make it clear that we don’t look down on others as a result.

              SQRLSY back here now… So, I do NOT want you to feel BAD about YOU being an authoritarian asshole, and me NOT being one! PLEASE feel GOOD about you being an authoritarian asshole! You do NOT need to push me (or other REAL lovers of personal liberty) down, so that you can feel better about being an asshole! EVERYONE ADORES you for being that authoritarian asshole that you are, because, well, because you are YOU! FEEL that self-esteem, now!

              1. But you do seem like a self absorbed jerk , judging from your comments

                1. Wait to you read the comments directly from the guy who’s sock this is!

                2. Read this (if you dare!) to acquaint yourself with the FACTS about how unethical people instinctively tear down people who are more ethical than they are!


    2. It’s not surprising that when government (and their cronies) can define allowable speech, dissent always falls outside the boundaries.

      This is exactly why it’s so important to smack the hand of government at every attempt to censor.

  11. Efforts against violence are turning into restrictions on ideas.

    Words are violence. So is silence. That tells you all you need to know about their ethics and goals.

    1. That the only option they consider acceptable is to parrot the party line? (Whatever it happens to be, today.) Fuck, 1984 wasn’t supposed to be an instruction manual.

      Big Xister is double-plus good.

    2. ethics – none
      goals – unlimited power (for its own sake)

  12. Man, I’m really glad I never pulled the trigger (hah!) on my idea to move to New Zealand.

      1. Funny thing that they banned guns in a place where almost anything that slithers, swims, runs, or crawls can kill you. Guns are a drop in the bucket.

      2. Saw that Australia was getting nervous about China which is looking at them like a pork chop.

        One of the things that made Australian fighters so effective in the past was pretty much everyone grew up around guns and knew how to shoot.

        1. One of the things that made Australian fighters so effective in the past was pretty much everyone grew up around guns and knew how to shoot.

          I’d gotten the opposite impression. Less like the Swedes or Swiss, more like the soldiers at Normandy, the ANZACs at Gallipoli were renowned for their ability/resolve to (e.g.) take a machine gun nest with bayonets rather than their ability to outshoot their opposition. Now that they’re generally regarded as Britain’s most attractive and exotic cousin, they don’t exactly carry the same reputation for edgy grit.

      3. Australia wasn’t on the list of possible options.

    1. I was looking into doing some gig work like a two year contract in New Zealand. They were recruiting heavily for people in my field at the time. I was already married and my wife nixed it. Oh well.

  13. So, I think the majority of us knew this quite a while ago. But I guess it’s better late than never for Reason.

  14. Soooooo, maybe we can talk now about doing away with special protections afforded these jackbooted thugs, e.g., modifying or doing away with Sec 230…..

    1. This certainly would not be an issue if alternative services were not being driven out, deplatformed, demonetized, or bought up by these very same Oligarchic Tech Lords.

      Reason lying in the bed they made.

    2. Yes it makes perfect sense to do exactly what the hard left wants and give website hosts even stronger incentive to censor anything controversial. You really are the useful idiots here.

  15. “Efforts against violence are turning into restrictions on ideas.”

    Don’t be stupidly gullible. They didn’t “turn into” restrictions on ideas, they started out as restrictions on ideas. That they were “efforts against violence” was never anything but a pretext for censorship.

    1. They were also only “efforts” against some violence.

      Privileged violence (e.g. BLM, Antifa) instead being protected.

      Not merely stupid gullibility, but willful as well.

      1. Yeah, at this point, I don’t think Reason can be given the benefit of the doubt on this issue. They’ve been supporting the left on this issue to completely, for to long.

        1. Too. What a weird spellcheck.

          1. Did you select the “fuckwit” spellcheck?

            1. I didn’t select any spellcheck. It came already on my phone.

              1. Yeah I’ve noticed that spellchecks have become increasingly pathetic.

                It makes me wonder how they’re programmed if not for the English language.

                1. I think they’re programmed for basic English.

      2. Can you cite an article where they defended violence?

  16. I don’t do any social media. It opens you up to too much risk. This is the riskiest thing I do and you can bet the spooks have an eye on this website.

    As it is look at all of the things tech has made us vulnerable to.

    Oh I just saw that Trump is filing a suit against Facebook et. al. That should be interesting.

    1. Class action. It should be interesting. IANAL, but I’d imagine the ruling that Trump couldn’t block people because his Twitter feed was deemed government could play a role.

      1. Yes, that ruling was supreme stupidity. Freedom of the press means I get to print his letter to the editor if I want to, but it does NOT compel me to print it if I don’t want to.

      2. I believe he had two accounts one personal and one @POTUS which now goes to Biden. I don’t know if they blocked them both.

    2. Yes, it is so dangerous you being here. Any one of us could turn you in at any time.

      1. Don’t laugh! Would you trust the likes of Nadless Nardless the Nasty NAZI (Nardz), with YOUR real ID? Some of these hateful slimewads, I wouldn’t put it past them to firebomb your (or my) house in the middle of the night!

        Ethically deficient people resent the Hell out of decent people, who make them look bad! History and sociobiology show this to be true!

        For documented details, see

        1. Oh thanks for that link on the article about scientists in Nazi germany. A piece of history I did not know about.

          1. Sure! I like my history and history of science. The NAZIs called relativity “Jewish pseudoscience” or some such, and did their best to erase news (and books etc.) references to Einstein, and turn him into a non-person.

            1. I knew they did that with art, literature, and music. The article said they included Einstein in their book burnings.

      2. Not you guys I am worried about. Although I have been on forums where someone was doxxed by another poster. The government did try and get personal info here on one occasion because of posts as I recall.

    3. “…and you can bet the spooks have an eye on this website.”

      I recall something about a judge and a woodchipper. And a federal attorney.


        “How the Feds Asked Me to Rat Out Commenters”—And Why We Pushed Back
        This sort of thing is one more reason why confidence in government is at all-time lows



          How Government Stifled Reason’s Free Speech
          Yes, the feds can compel magazines and websites to cough up user information about obviously non-threatening trolls, while barring them from even acknowledging it.

      2. Libertarians are dangerous radicals you know.

  17. BLM and Antifa organizers utilized and relied upon Facebook to mobilize and publicize their riots throughout last summer in virtually every Democrat controlled city.

    I don’t recall Facebook removing content or closing down accounts of those racist anti police riot organizers or participants.

    1. I don’t know about BLM but they took down a bunch of Antifa groups and pages.

      1. They took down a few. Many like rose city antifa still exist.

      2. They did a half-assed removal of some but only after months of their embarrassing double standard being shoved in their face. Basically the bare minimum they thought they could get away with to present an argument that they banned both sides, that they are still far more punitive to one side for far less is conveniently ignored by useful odiots.

        1. So now we know there is bias there. So is everything else in one direction or another.

    2. Conflating BLM and isolated looting.

      I bet you’re also the same guy who says Jan 6 was tourists out for a stroll.

      1. I’ll bet you’re the lefty shit who can’t spell “protesters”.

      2. Define “isolated”.

        Estimate from almost a year ago:

        Do you honestly think the looting and destruction would have happened in the absence of BLM protests? It’s called causation.

      3. It was isolated to the areas around the BLM protests . . .

    3. Facebook doesn’t police common street crime, but it probably has a liability concern when it comes to violent attempts to overthrow the United States.

      1. Good point, we should probably sue Facebook for their participation (or at least negligence) in the creation of the autonomous zones that stated that they were outside of America.

        1. I believe people should be able to sue for whatever grievance they want. Republican-appointed judges seem to think they get to decide for us what grievances we are permitted to claim before the controversy is even presented.

          1. Republican-appointed judges seem to think they get to decide for us what grievances we are permitted to claim before the controversy is even presented.

            Read closely idiot: All judges do this on motions to dismiss or section 230 or rule 13 (I think that’s the rule allowing judges to dismiss frivolous lawsuits), etc, etc, etc…

            I repeat for Tony and other idiots: This is not just about Republican-appointed judges, but all judges.


  18. The attack on free speech is made to appear like an attack on violence.

    Sticks and stones fuckwits.

    1. “fuckwits”

      Doing the new word of the day exercise?

      1. “fuckwits”

        2 syllables. That’s tough work for a stormfag like Misek.

        1. Yeah, he has trouble with anything beyond “jew”.

          1. He has trouble with that, too.

  19. “Welcome to the party, Pal!”
    – John McClaine

  20. Just for the record of all the spookbots out there, with exception of the occasional wedding or funeral for family members or friends, I never brighten the door of any house of worship,

    Also, the only government office I ever visit is the DMV once a year, and the service is lightning-fast compared to previous years. So even though I think the DMV should be abolished, it is very sufferable for now.

    That’s my alibi for Christchurch Call to Action and anyone else looking for “violent extremists.” Now get off my lawn!

    1. During the elections I got a fundraising call from the Jewish republicans. How did they know I was Jewish? Is there a master list of Jews somewhere? With our phone numbers? Kinda spooky. I asked the caller but didn’t get an answer.

      1. Is there a master list of Jews somewhere?

        I would be very surprised if there isn’t.

      2. Just throwing out ideas here: Could your local Rabbi or Jewish community center be selling Synagogue rosters as mailing and calling lists for marketers? Could it be subscriber lists for Jewish publications or mail-order catalogs you’ve subscribed to in the past or present?

        Exclusive mailing lists are a fairly recent phenomenon. It could be from a lot of sources.

        1. Yeah, there are a zillion sources for whatever target audience you want. Pre internet I used to purposefully misspell my name and then look for it in the bulk mailings.

          The other day I got a call on my cell phone from a guy who said he was with a roofing company and they would be in my neighborhood the next day assessing damage from a recent storm, and asking if I would be available then. My phone is the secondary number of an account that does not even have the same mailing address.

          Still trying to figure that one out.

  21. The woke crowd and it’s proponents are the real extremists because they are striving to force everyone to capitulate and live according to their views and opinions.

    I prefer individuals to retain the freedom to decide for themselves and in their ability to hold differing opinions. The woke movement is violent down to it’s core. The woke movement is frustrated due to it’s failure to persuade enough people in the arena of ideas, so has resorted to intimidation.

    Facebook and the alerts are simply the next step in a progression of intimidation tactics. They woke crowd often calls others fascists, but in reality they use similar tactics and methods of intimidation.

    1. Your ideas getting criticized isn’t the same as having violence done to you, snowflake.

      1. Until the violence happens, Glacier.

        1. Violence, to which the silencing is often a precursor. But why would you want to make a point that stems from history when talking to a marxist?

      2. “Words are violence” is a battlecry of the progressive.

        From National Review:

        Some academics and journalists need this reminder. In the pages of the New York Times, Amanda Hess claims that “America is struggling to sort out where violence begins and ends.” She dignifies the theory that “violence is embedded in everything from our social structures to our speech — that speech itself can be a form of violence, one every bit as meaningful as the physical kind.”

        This concept is already dominant on college campuses, thanks to its propagation within feminist-studies programs influenced by Judith Butler. Social psychologist Jonathan Haidt, remarking on a recent Berkeley student-newspaper article defending rioters who burnt their campus to stop Milo Yiannopoulos from speaking, observes that students use the word “violence” to denote “words that have a negative effect on members of the sacred victim groups. And so it even follows that silence can be violence.”

        Lisa Feldman Barrett tries to clothe the emperor’s nakedness with a veil of respectability in her own Times op-ed, “When is speech violence?” The result is comical. She argues, without a whiff of irony, that because offensive words can cause stress, and “prolonged stress can cause physical harm, then it seems that speech — at least certain types of speech — can be a form of violence.” By that logic, of course, being evicted is also a form of violence, since eviction causes prolonged stress.

        1. I like where their head is at. Stress is violence. It kills. However, we traditionally police insults with etiquette rather than law, which, in a country with a first amendment, will likely remain the case. One shouldn’t be hurling racial slurs at people, I’m sure we agree.

          1. One shouldn’t be hurling racial slurs at people, I’m sure we agree.

            I agree that anyone who does this is a low life piece of shit, but doing that is not now and never will be violence.

  22. Propaganda is the principal tool of the fascist. Authoritarians with designs on global prestige use the internet to spread right-wing propaganda on the internet to not only win people over to the concept but to attack the stability of democratic states.

    The internet was always going to be a problem with respect to widespread dissemination of misinformation. What possible mechanism would prevent that? People’s inherent ability to discern fact from fiction?

    Yes it’s certainly an interesting and challenging question when you get into which authorities decide what counts as dangerous misinformation. But it’s hard to argue that there’s no such thing as dangerous misinformation. The only reason speech is made free is because speech is powerful. And you don’t get genocides without it.

    1. And propaganda is a principle tool in politics. The internet is a perfect way to spread it. There is no real way to stop it and we should not. I have never seen any platform or media to not be biased one way or the other.

      1. Of course there isn’t even a libertarian objection to private media companies making their own decisions about which viewpoints to publish on their own platforms.

        1. Correct, if they act like private entities that focus on profit. These here don’t. They are government adjacent.

          1. Fine, then so is FOX New. What do I get to regulate?

            1. Well, if we did this consequently, I think you wouldnt like the outcome. Conservatives trade in Fox News for:

              -All main stream media
              -All main stream social media
              -The worlds largest streaming plattform
              -The education system of the US

              I guess thats what you are complaining about though. Im that scenario you just wouldn’t have enough to regulate, huh?

        2. Tony is right. There isn’t a liberatrian position on that. OTOH, there is nothing wrong with loudly pointing out the double standards applied. But as for the right for private businesses to refuse to promote ideas they disagree with on their platforms, let me know when the baker doesn’t have to bake the cake. Until then, we can just keep pointing out *that* double standard.

          1. Also show me a baker that gets massive bailouts or favorable legislation for politically approved actions on their part.

          2. There isn’t a liberatrian position on that.

            That is incorrect.

    2. It isnt the government’s job to prevent misinformation.

      1. Correct and Tony is also right.

        1. No, he’s left. Very far.

      2. It’s the government’s job to protect human life, and misinformation gets people killed, so I think the point is debatable.

        1. As long as Omniscience is logically impossible, (Omniscience is a claim to perfect knowledge without acquisition and verification and thus is self-contradictory,) then any human is subject to misinformation, including the very ones who want to police Cyberspace for misinformation.

          The best thing anyone can do to combat misinformation is to find and spread accurate information…something for which government surveillance and censorship is the biggest barrier.

          1. It’s not so simple, because prior to the value of accurate information being necessary for a free society is the value of democracy being necessary for a free society, and facts shouldn’t necessarily be subject to democratic whims.

            I think you need a pre-existing culture of reason and a large-scale project of education, and some amount of that will reject certain ideas, like totalitarianism and the utility of gross propaganda. But what happens if 50%+1 decides that stuff is useful for them?

            1. In a democrat-dominated US, what happens is that the democrats think this situation gives them a perfect mandate to do anything radically sweeping, even if it is very strongly opposed by 50% – 1. So their laws will reflect exactly that and only that.

            2. Because “muh majority”. Have fun while it lasts.

        2. It’s the government’s job to protect human life, and misinformation gets people killed, so I think the point is debatable.

          There are already laws against things like fraudulent medicinal claims and whatnot (misinformation that could injure).

          There’s no need for new laws, for government censorship, or Google censorship to deal with this problem.

  23. The fact that left wingers are never referred to in the media as ‘extremists’ and right wingers are should be a clue as to what the game is here.

    1. The irony being that it’s usually you people who insist on an objective narrative of history and claim to be deathly afraid of postmodern relativism.

      All this “what’s so extremist about Naziism?” stuff is pretty avant-garde.

      1. Post modernism is subjective, not objective.

        And why do you retarded fucks think only history is involved in the discussion?

        1. No, the right has a sort of sophisticated approach to truth claims. The problem is they employ quasi-postmodern ideas in the service of their own rigid ideology, which is racist and genocidal. But that’s fascism for you. Having no real ideology but power frees you up to adopt and discard methods and theories with relative ease. You can even change which vulnerable minority you are blaming for all of society’s problems at the drop of a hat. The Jew thing is being downplayed right now in favor of the grave threat of trans teens, for example. Blacks are a rather perennial scapegoat in American culture for fairly obvious reasons, and don’t leave out Latinos. I remember when a president got elected by calling gay people a threat to families everywhere.

          You can practically taste all the personal responsibility.

          1. Re: fascism and power, I do not believe that the majority of the Capitol Hill rioters were gullible enough to have actually believed Donald Trump was cheated out of an election win. It is possible most of the rioters maintain(ed) that line as an excuse for their attempt to overturn Joe Biden’s (apparently quite) legitimate electoral win — or at least make it as unpleasant as possible, as witnessed on Jan. 6. Long before the last election day, Trump was saying he may not respect a Biden win, as though preparing his voter base for his inevitable refusal to leave office, whatever the vote-count results may be.

            The rioters (and Trump) may simply have been enraged enough at his defeat by the supposedly ‘socialist’ Biden (which he definitely is not) they were now going to raise hell. They may have consciously or subconsciously believed he has to remain in office for some perceived greater good (e.g., to ‘save the nation’, etcetera), regardless of Trump’s democratically decided election loss.

            It may be a case of that potentially very dangerous philosophy: ‘the end justifies the means’. The most frightful example of that philosophical justification is/was the pogrom, the primary implementers of which know they’re committing mass murder yet still genuinely perceive it all as part of an ultimately greater good.

            1. Yes. I have an aunt who was a perfectly rational, fairly apolitical, wealthy and healthy with no addictions or frustrations with social status or anything. Then she stared getting her news from Facebook. Her text the evening of the election, “I’m so frightened.”

              I think many or all of them actually thought the election was stolen per the propaganda they were reading. It’s an interesting question, which is more dangerous, the masses believing lies or the masses knowingly using lies in service of power.

              I think genuine sociopaths are a small fraction of the population, and to really get people to act horribly out of abject fear, they have to believe what you’re selling them to their core, and believe they’re acting not only in service of power but in service of all that is good and holy, and that the motivation is not craven power hunger but in destroying the enemy that existentially threatens your culture.

              1. Nancy Pelosi
                May 16, 2017
                Our election was hijacked. There is no question. Congress has a duty to #ProtectOurDemocracy & #FollowTheFacts.

                2016 Senate validation of EC results

                1:09 P.M. ET: Rep. Jim McGovern of Massachusetts rose to object to the certificate from Alabama.

                “The electors were not lawfully certified, especially given the confirmed and illegal activities engaged by the government of Russia,” McGovern said.

                1:14 P.M.: Rep. Jamie Raskin of Maryland rose to object to 10 of Florida’s 29 electoral votes.

                “They violated Florida’s prohibition against dual office holders,” Raskin said.

                1:15 P.M.: No sooner had the Florida question been settled than its neighbor to the north was the subject of another objection, when Washington’s Rep. Pramila Jayapal objected to Georgia’s vote certificate.

                1:21 P.M.: Rep. Barbara Lee of California brought up voting machines and Russian hacking when she objected following the counting of Michigan’s votes.

                “People are horrified by the overwhelming evidence of Russian interference in our election,” Lee said.


                1:23 P.M.: After New York’s tally was read, Rep. Sheila Jackson Lee of Texas stood up to object.

                “I object on the massive voter suppression that included –” Jackson Lee began.


                1:28 P.M.: Arizona’s Rep. Raul Grijalva rose to object after North Carolina’s tally. He tried to object on violations of the Voting Rights Act, but Biden shut him down.

                1:31 PM: Jackson Lee made another appearance minutes later after South Carolina’s certification.

                1:36 PM: Biden must have thought, after five minutes of peace and getting through the state of West Virginia, that the House members might observe the rules. Lee wasn’t even able to make it through her objection before Biden said, “There is no debate.”


                1:37 PM: Wisconsin’s votes had been read. With just Wyoming to go, the finish line was in reach.

                Jackson Lee once again tried to make an objection on the grounds of Russian interference in the election.

                1:38 PM: The final state’s votes had been read. Then entered California Rep. Maxine Waters.

                Taking a play from her own book – she objected to the certification of George W. Bush’s 2000 election – Waters admitted that she didn’t have a senator’s signature on her objection.

                “I wish to ask: Is there one United States senator who will join me in this letter of objection?” Waters asked. Through House Speaker Paul Ryan’s chuckle and boos from the rest of the chamber, it was clear that there was not.

                1:40 PM: The states were counted, but three protestors started yelling from the visitors’ gallery of the chamber. At least one of them was reciting the Constitution as he was taken away by security.


                1. At 1:40 there was a micro-insurrection…

            2. The big lie.

              It works and always has.

              53% of republicans believe Trump won the election.

            3. How to identify an actual, bona fide, no-fooling Nazi, a continuing series:

              #7: Six months later, they’re still repeating the lie about how the Reichstag Fire was a coordinated effort directed by their political opponents to overthrow the state.

              1. I saw this one happen live on CNN. I realize that Antifa double agents are capable of putting on a flannel shirt and carry a confederate flag, but you can’t fake the obesity.

      2. Tony,
        The Nazis were left-wing socialists, and it’s the left that demands parts of Israel be purged of Jews. You distracted from a valid point by trying to connect your opponent to Nazis, but it’s true that no one calls left-wingers extremists. That label is reserved for right-wingers.

        Consider this, many Muslim terrorist attacks happened in the West this century without a call to combat extremism online, but one mass shooting of Muslims in New Zealand lead to calls to stop extremism on social media.

        1. Of course there are left-wing extremists. Some of them are even on college campuses, though this country has so thoroughly purged leftwing extremists that they’re thin on the ground. Remember when you people were purging Hollywood of communists who didn’t even exist? I bet you think you love the first amendment too.

          And dude, you show me the Muslim radicalization network that’s as big as Facebook or FOX News. Muslim extremists are very well policed in this country.

          Right-wing extremists are given expansive second-amendment rights, even after they proved they can’t remotely handle the responsibility.

          Also Nazis are the ne plus ultra of rightwingers. Read a book.

  24. I feel that Reason is a few months/years behind the proverbial 8-ball. I’m guessing one of the writers/editors must have been targeted as an “extremist”, and are thusly now concerned.

    1. Targeted, schmargeted.

      If the crocodile even glances in their direction they will all knuckle under like the pansies and poseurs they really are.

  25. Regarding social media, I, like so many other people, have grown weary of general social media’s physical (and often identity) disconnect, through which the ugliest of comments can be and too often are made without consequence for the aggressor. However, what I find indispensable about social media in general is that it has enabled far greater information freedom than that allowed by what had been a rigidly gatekept news and information virtual monopoly held by the pre-2000 electronic and print mainstream news-media.

    Besides the Black Lives Matter and George Floyd protests, I seriously doubt that Greta Thunberg’s pre-pandemic formidable climate change movement, for example, would’ve been able to regularly form on such a congruently colossal scale if not in large part for the widely accessible posting and messaging systems of Facebook.

    While I don’t know his opinion of social media, in an interview with the online National Observer (posted Feb.12, 2019) Noam Chomsky noted that while the mainstream news-media does publish stories about man-made global warming, “It’s as if … there’s a kind of a tunnel vision — the science reporters are occasionally saying ‘look, this is a catastrophe,’ but then the regular [non-environmental pro-fossil fuel] coverage simply disregards it.”

  26. I don’t think I will call myself a libertarian anymore for a while. It’s embarassing how slowly this “news” website is waking up to perfectly obvious and terrifying realities.

    Down with ’em I say. Does that make me extreme now? Should I be muted?

    1. And by ’em, I am referrinf to the censors. The enemies of free speech who, through their actions on ‘private’ property, show us every day what they WOULD do, had they the power to do it federally. Nobody ever asks if they maybe have the wrong intentions. Its all just met with “muh private property”. Sleeping with congress every day, they are obviously trying to become much more than muh private property.

    2. Reason isn’t libertarian.

      1. You can say that, but then, ‘liberal’ doesn’t mean what it meant a few decades ago. Or leftist. That’s why I said I wouldn’t “call” myself a libertarian anymore. At least in 2021.

  27. Funny how a discussion about free speech becomes about the need for propaganda and the media’s right to censor.

    The coercive misinformation of propaganda only exists in an environment where the fact and reality of truth is censored.

    Just as satanic societies and organized crime only grow in secrecy.

  28. No Surprise… The Obama Administration did EXACTLY the same thing. Turned every Non-Nazi into a “Domestic Terrorist” including every USA Patriot, U.S. Constitutionalist even Journalists who supported the USA like Pete Santilli (Yes; busted with armed cops for being on the ‘terrorist’ watch list) and hundreds more.

    Nazi’s are all about conquering the USA and using their Gov-Gun *POWER* to turn all it’s citizens into slaves. It’s written on the wall of every multi $T BIG NAZI PLAN they pitch. Where do leftards think the labor for the lefts BIG NAZI PLAN is going to come from? YOU and ME getting pimped out like hookers at the end of a Gov-Gun. Do they honestly have any delusion otherwise.

    1. Freemasons are the secret satanic society. Presidents from both parties put their secret agendas above the presidency.

      Satanists believe that there is no difference between good and evil, that might makes right and you are expendable.

      In the Freemason agenda, there are no inalienable rights, like free speech or free press. They are a SECRET society. They are based on censorship.

      The fight is between good and evil. The greatest trick Satan ever played on humanity is to convince us, the rest of us anyways, that he doesn’t exist.

      If your fight is left or right, masons control both, and you’ve already lost.

      1. “Freemasons are the secret satanic society. Presidents from both parties put their secret agendas above the presidency.”

        Nazi assholes make up all sorts of bullshit.

  29. “Extremism’ is a word deliberately chosen for its vagueness and used by intellectual slobs who are too desperate, sneaky or lazy to say exactly what they mean. Its only purpose is to deliberately try to confuse the difference between people who are extremely good (usually because of devotion to their principles) with people who are extremely bad. The sleazeballs who use this supposedly scary, yet undefined word are not only trying to smear people of conviction and integrity, but they’re also trying to divert attention away from the fact that they are obviously not people of principle themselves.” ~ Rick Gaber

  30. “There is no better evidence that big tech is out of control than the fact that they banned the sitting president of the United States earlier this year,” Trump added. “If they can do it to me they can do it to anyone.”

    Let’s break that down.

    “Big tech is out of control”

    Whose control?

    “They banned the sitting president of the United States”

    Ahah so your control. Got it.

    “If they did it to me they can do it to anyone”

    They can and they did.

    1. Just because you can be killed, should you be?

    2. Yup. Because one person made an argument that can be seen as self-centered, the entire point is invalid. Good job. Is there a name for that kinda fallacy? Like, I think I would call it strawman by proxy or something.

      1. The point being that all of a sudden you’ve discovered the joys of socialism the moment a corporation did something that offended you.

        1. Something that offended me, like… skewing the outcomes of elections through manipulation of visibility of ideas? I think they discovered the joys of socialism (or was it fascism?) long before I did.

    3. Ironically; They aren’t “out of control” at all.
      They’re completely controlled by Democratic Politicians.

      Worthy news that doesn’t seem to see the light of day.

      5-Democratic Politicians ORDERED Big Tech to ban the sitting President. ‘Nazi’s’ as in National Socialists fits them well. They should be in PRISON for violating the people’s law over them and blatantly defrauding their oath of office.

      Yet; the dumbsh*t lefties in this nation refuses to elect anyone who is a USA Patriot and keeps supporting TRAITORS instead. Nothing was as clear as day as Barret’s Inauguration.

      USA Traitor, “Will you violate (i.e. living) the U.S. Constitution for the [WE] mob?”

      USA Traitor, Refuses to show up yet instead leaves ‘sympathy’ pictures of “poor” people requesting Barret’s approval of MORE Gov-Guns to go STEAL…

      Then again; I’d place bets 70% of the lefties in this country get their “wealth” from Gov-Gun theft instead of *earning* it. The left pays traitors and traitors is what we get. Nothing is more apparent then overwhelming Commie-Education lefties, the subsidized Green-Energy lefties, the Welfare Queen lefties, the Trespassing lefties, the self-entitled lefties.

      They’re all cut from the same mold. Sold off their individual souls to join a [WE] mob of gang banging thieving criminals.

      1. If you want government to dictate terms for media companies, you are a socialist. If you want to force them to give a platform to your dear leader, you are a national socialist.

        1. You speak the honest truth there Tony; I’m impressed! +10000.

          But I wasn’t speaking of Nazifying media. I was speaking of having politicians held accountable for such blatantly clear violations of the peoples rights and their utter disregard to their oath of office.

        2. Isn’t it funny how you actually have a brain when it comes to ditching on anything the right is pushing for??? Gangster Affiliation Syndrome?

  31. “…to discourage communications that are considered radical and hateful.”? Isn’t that “radical and hateful.”, if by “discourage” you mean using force? You may believe force is justified, reasonable, if you are sure the speech you want stopped (hate?) is too extreme (radical?), but you are agreeing with the means of the speaker if force is being advocated. If not, what is the problem?
    Shouldn’t you be glad to have a chance to refute, to delegitimize? You lose that if the speaker is silenced. Everybody loses.

    1. Bigots can’t refute what they deny and they hope you don’t notice.

      Their only hope to push their propaganda and agendas forward is to censor the fact and reality of truth.

      As you say, those of us who are actually interested in sharing the truth of fact and reality welcome different perspectives and evidence.

      Noticing this exposes and defeats evil.

      1. “Bigots can’t refute what they deny and they hope you don’t notice.”

        Nazi asshole claiming no one can refute his non-evidence.
        Stick your head in a gas oven shitbag.

  32. The mainstream media will see extremism on the right but not on the left. It’s like how their articles divide Israeli politicians into four camps: Left, Center, Right, and Ultra-Right.

    1. The Jews OWN and CONTROL Freemasonry today and have from the beginning. Its beginnings were entirely Jewish and it is controlled by the Jews to this day.

      Here’s what the JEWS have to say about THEIR ownership of Freemasonry!

      THE JEWISH TRIBUNE, New York, Oct. 28, 1927, Cheshvan 2, 5688, Vol. 91, No. 18: “Masonry is based on Judaism. Eliminate the teachings of Judaism from the Masonic ritual and what is left?”

      LA VERITE ISRAELITE, Jewish paper 1861, IV, page 74: “The spirit of Freemasonry is the spirit of Judaism in its most fundamental beliefs; it is its ideas, its language, it is mostly its organization, the hopes which enlighten and support Israel. It’s crowning will be that wonderful prayer house of which Jerusalem will be the triumphal centre and symbol.”

      LE SYMBOLISM, July, 1928: “The most important duty of the Freemason must be to glorify the Jewish Race, which has preserved the unchanged divine standard of wisdom. You must rely upon the Jewish race to dissolve all frontiers.”

      AN ENCYCLOPEDIA OF FREEMASONRY,Philadelphia, 1906: “Each Lodge is and must be a symbol of the Jewish temple; each Master in the Chair, a representative of the Jewish King; and every Mason a personification of the Jewish workman.”

      MANUAL OF FREEMASONRY, by Richard Carlile: “The Grand Lodge Masonry of the present day is wholly Jewish.”

      THE FREEMASON, April 2, 1930, quoting Br. Rev. S. McGowan: “Freemasonry is founded on the ancient law of Israel. Israel has given birth to the moral beauty which forms the basis of Freemasonry.”

      Rabbi Br. Isaac Wise, in The Israelite of America, March 8, 1866: “Masonry is a Jewish institution whose history, degrees, charges, passwords and explanations are Jewish from beginning to end.”

      Benjamin Disraeli, Jew, Prime Minister of England, in The Life of Lord George Bentick: “At the head of all those secret societies, which form provisional governments, men of the Jewish race are to be found.”

      LATOMIA, a German Masonic journal, Vol. 12, July 1849, Page 237: “We cannot help but greet socialism (Marxism – Communism) as an excellent comrade of Freemasonry for ennobling mankind, for helping to further human welfare. Socialism and Freemasonry, together with Communism are sprung from the same source.”

      BERNARD STILLMAN, Jew, in Hebraic influences on Masonic Symbolism, 1929, quoted The Masonic News, London: “I think I have proved sufficiently that Freemasonry, as what concurs symbolism, lays entirely on a formation which is essentially Jewish.”

      O.B. Good, M.A. in The Hidden Hand of Judah, 1936: “The influence of the Jewish Sanhedrin is today more powerful than ever in Freemasonry.”

      JEWISH ENCYCLOPEDIA, 1903, Vol, 5, page 503: “The technical language, symbolism and rites of Freemasonry are full of Jewish ideas and terms … In the Scottish Rite, the dates on official documents are given according to the era and months of the Jewish calendar, and use is made of the Hebraic alphabet.”

      B’NAI B’RITH MAGAZINE, Vol. 13, page 8, quoting rabbi and mason Magnin: “The B’nai B’rith are but a makeshift. Everywhere that Freemasonry can admit that it is Jewish in its nature as well as in its aims, the ordinary lodges are sufficient for the task.

      The ADL (Anti-Defamation League) of B’nai B’rith is a totally Jewish controlled organization with its main goal to destroy Christianity. (Also, the B’nai B’rith form a super-Masonic lodge where no “Gentiles” are admitted.)

      TRANSACTIONS OF THE JEWISH HISTORICAL SOCIETY Vol. 2, p 156: “The Coat of Arms used by the Grand Lodge of England is entirely composed of Jewish symbols. FREEMASONS WORSHIP LUCIFER!

      1. How do you like me now?

        1. About as much as before; Nazi scumbag not worth shit.

      2. Creating and maintaining a global satanic secret society which acts counter to all we value in civilization will result in your persecution.

        Are the Jews that brag about doing so anti Semitic liars or is that reserved for those of us who throw their own words and actions back in their faces?

        There are many more non-members than members of freemasonry.

  33. Where is Captain Obvious when you need him? Liberals using the power of the government to silence those they disagree with? Say it ain’t so! Government ever expanding the definition of bad (but not illegal) behavior so it can expand its power? Wow, like that never happened before. Welcome to consciousness.

  34. “Looks” like an attack on free speech? You’ve got to be fucking kidding me.

    1. Nuh, looks fine to me. I think reason is just PMSing. They’ll be over it.

  35. Grateful for this info but where has all this entanglement between big tech and government(s) been the whole time Reason has been discussing the issue and Congress’ reactions? The topic was the centerpiece of the July print issue, Soave just did another “the market will settle it, butt out” piece but if the government is at all tied to the censorship of ideas and speech, then it needs to get the hell out of that to actually let the market prevail.

    1. The government cannot “get out of it” because too many members of government are also members of a secret society which absolutely depends on censorship to maintain secrecy of their methods and agendas, their reason for existence.

      Freemason membership predates the USA. We know that one third of the founders were masons whose secret agenda supersedes their commitment to the country. It is a secret. If it wasn’t, we’d have the ability to do something about it.

      We know they worship Satan, believing they are superior to everyone else they must deny the concept that we all have inalienable rights guaranteed by our constitution.

      We have learned this only because the internet is not completely censored yet. Former members like Altiyan Childs have shared the secrets no mainstream media ever would have allowed.

      Freemasons in positions of influence are finally exposed and must now deny the constitution to censor and maintain their power over us. When we know the truth of their secrets nobody would be foolish enough to allow them to remain in those positions.

      That’s it. There’s a Satanic secret society growing while hiding in plain sight. They are your government, celebrities and business leaders. Secrecy requires censorship and free speech in the internet is the biggest threat they have faced in hundreds of years.

      Here, watch this video created by an ex Freemason celebrity at his own peril to tell you the Freemason secrets and threat to civilization.

      1. So, how do the Nephalim and the reptile people from Zeta Reticuli fit into all this?

        1. Ask the joooos who admit it above.

      2. You gonna foil an ancient and powerful secret society that created America? Good luck with that.

        Your dollars are watching you. Would you like me to take them off your hands? You seem gullible.

        1. Evil is vanquished when it’s lies and secret agendas are exposed and there are people with the courage and wisdom to stand up for their inalienable rights and those of others.

          Does anyone here think that we should allow a secret satanic society to operate within our borders that coerces people to join if they want to attain positions of influence in our civilization? That is what Freemasons do.

          What have you been told your cheap soul and our freedom is worth, a few dollars? Who’s gullible?

          1. Yeah, I thought so.

Please to post comments