Free Speech

Andrew Doyle: Free Speech and Why It Matters

The creator of Titania McGrath on cancel culture, government overreach, and younger generations' willingness to censor


Andrew Doyle is an Irish journalist and writer best known as the creator of the Twitter personality Titania McGrath, a parody of an ultra-woke, 24-year-old, militant vegan who thinks she is a better poet than William Shakespeare. Though the 43-year-old Doyle describes himself as a left-winger, he is a fierce critic of cancel culture and a proponent of Brexit. He holds a doctorate from Oxford in early Renaissance poetry, is the host of the new nightly show GB News, and is a columnist for Spiked Online. (He's a previous guest on The Reason Interview with Nick Gillespie.)

Doyle is also the author of the new book Free Speech and Why It Matters, a comprehensive, learned, and compelling argument in favor of unfettered debate and open expression. Nick Gillespie talks with him about why cancel culture is on the rise, how to combat it, and what Titania McGrath is up to as she approaches her quarter-life crisis.

NEXT: Big Government Is Back, Baby!

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  1. To hell with cancel culture,I want to see much, much, much more self-cancel culture. If you believe that you're a racist complicit in institutional racism and the beneficiary of white privilege and white supremacy, quit your fucking job and give it to a minority who deserves your job more than you do, you fucking piece of shit.

    1. Put the quit in equity, you subconscious white supremacists!

      1. He's subconsciously white?

  2. I still see some right wingers post Titania McGrath tweets on Facebook so they can mock the Left for being outrageously Leftist. I've given up trying to tell them that Titania is a parody account. They don't seem to be able to comprehend that. I mean, it's sort of like Leftists posting OMG Fake Noos posts from Babylon Bee.

    "Look what the Left/Right is trying to do to us now!"

    Clowns beclowning.

    The further Right you go the more it looks like the Left, and vice versa.

    1. It's like some people around here who lash out at OBL.

      1. I am sorry, man, but I just don't believe their claim about their ginormous adam's apple.

    2. You realize Titania has whole threads of collected posts that later came to be actual positions taken by the left...

      1. That's the real comedy. The fact that there are people who haven't caught on to her being fake isn't the news story. It's the people who aren't fake who share her opinions that's the news story.

      2. Andrew Doyle has a great interview where he talks about Titania's positions and tweets being picked up by mainstream sources as sage wisdom.

        1. Never attempt to parody the left. They take it as an instruction manual.

      3. And the Babylon Bee has an even longer list of Fake Stories that became real.

        I feel sorry for the satirists. Subtlety and restraint are no longer acceptable, or even useful

        1. A great satirist just sees that as a greater opportunity. Proof that they're doing vital works.

          But I think Titania McGrath is brilliant. It's about the only thing good on the twitters. Largely because it makes fun of both the medium and the message, and is SO on point.

        2. I noticed that trend about four years ago, in the midst of the Clinton/Trump kerfuffling. There was no satire one could devise that couldn't be taken at face value of members of either extreme. And with both extremes expanding to fill the once sensible centers, it just make snide remarks in forums to be pointless.

          Hell, it's why we are obligated to use smileyface emojis in our snarks in many subreddits, one can get taken seriously, and then permabanned, for a bit of obvious satire.

    3. Then the left proceeds to do the very thing that was just satirized. It's a wonder people in that line of work actually have a line of work.

    4. Ever stop to think they know it is a parody account and they are making fun of you?

    5. The SWPL website regularly had people writing thumbs up comments as if it
      was a style guide.

    6. I don't think that Brandybuck realizes that Titania is a prophetess. What she pronounces today is invariably woke vogue tomorrow.

  3. Nick, you're great, but you interrupt too much in interviews sometimes.

    1. What do you think the interview is about?

      1. Emo Fonzie is far more important than some twitter parody.

  4. Though the 43-year-old Doyle describes himself as a left-winger, he is a fierce critic of cancel culture and a proponent of Brexit.

    Perhaps because being a fierce critic of the former and proponent of the latter are not inherently "right wing"?

    1. so he's that rare breed of political species - the old school liberal.

      1. I would gladly trade in the entirely of modern Wokesphere for a single old school liberal.

        I miss Billy. Hell, I miss Jimmy.

        1. I miss Carlisle.

  5. Spiked-Online writers are ALWAYS welcome here. Even if we disagree, I feel like it's an honest debate.

  6. When Fauci (government employee) is emailing FB about what to say, when Pelosi (elected official) is issuing threats if 'disinformation' isn't controlled, then free speech is in danger.

    Sorry, Reason, but "private companies" isn't gonna cut it.

    1. How do you feel about the governor of Florida suing Twitter and FB? Good and dandy?

      1. suing because he believes in free speech, even speech he does not agree with? I kinda like it. Unlike those shit stains on the left who are quite happy to outsource to Big Tech the stuff they cannot legally do on their own.

      2. Is he cancelling speech, or trying to allow it?

        1. You mean by taking away the first amendment rights of people who work in tech companies who say that right-wing dickbag’s post about how drinking Drano is good for you should be taken down? Fuck that slaver! That is a 1st amendment violation.

          1. That's it, AmSoc has got to be a parody bot.

            1. Employees at Twitter don’t have free speech rights?!? Since when? Fuck off, slaver.

              1. Who exactly told people to drink Drano?

    2. Outsourcing shit govt cannot do doesn't make it okay. Free speech is a legal principle but it's also a societal value. No one trying to silence debate has ever been the good guy, as far as I can recall.

      1. Ridiculous. Plenty of people wanted to silence debate during the civil rights era or the campaign for human rights for LGBT groups. They weren’t the good guys and most of them used “societal values” as a culture war cudgel.

        1. So you agree with Wareagle.

    3. When Fauci (government employee) is emailing FB about what to say

      Why is this at all problematic? Fauci, or any other government employee, shouldn't be allowed to ask for advice from anyone in the private sector? They don't have to take the advice you know.

      when Pelosi (elected official) is issuing threats if ‘disinformation’ isn’t controlled

      Good Lord, some of you must think that Big Tech CEOs are the most fragile creatures on the planet. Politicians bloviate all the time. The issue isn't the bloviating per se, the issue is who has the locus of decision-making. Did Pelosi or anyone else in government pass a law, or a rule, taking control of the company's decisions away from the company? No? Then who cares what politicians say about Facebook or anyone else. What matters is the actual law or regulation, if there is one.

      BESIDES, I thought Big Tech was run by left-wing radicals anyway. That is what I'm constantly being told here anyway. If they are being run by left-wing radicals, why would Pelosi or any Democrat need to twist any arms? Wouldn't those Radical Leftist Big Tech CEOs be inclined to do Radical Leftist Things anyway, without any perceived threats?

      1. jeff setting up straw men and knocking them down all day.

    4. And, let's not forget this little gem from not too long ago:

      If it is beyond the pale for Nancy Pelosi to issue threats if 'disinformation' isn't controlled, that it is stifling free speech and undermining the Republic, what do you call that? Ted Cruz actually introduced a bill that would punish movie studios if they edited movies in a way that Ted Cruz didn't like. This is even worse than whatever Pelosi did, since Cruz actually went through the trouble of drafting an actual bill, not just bloviate in front of a camera. Is this Ted Cruz trying to nationalize movie studios? Is this creeping, impending fascism? Huh?

      1. "If it is beyond the pale for Nancy Pelosi to issue threats if ‘disinformation’ isn’t controlled"

        Is that beyond the pale to you, though?

        1. In my view it falls into the "mean tweet" category. It is boorish and dumb, but politicians do boorish and dumb things all the time. Moreover it is not equivalent to an official government order to take control of a company's decisions. When Trump tweeted things like "CNN IS THE ENEMY OF THE PEOPLE" he was not literally declaring war on CNN nor literally silencing CNN. He was just being an idiot.

    5. As a libertarian, I support the right of social media companies to control what their users post. On the other hand, I support the right of users to sue social media companies for violating their promises to the user (they've admitted they got it wrong, are they going to pay damages?), or for conspiring to restrict competition.

      I'd personally like to see the Section 230 liability protections for these social media companies, to apply when the posts they remove are only the ones government tells them to remove.

  7. Wait a sec... this guy is gay and he doesn’t like lesbians?!? What a shocker!

  8. I do not think the mute button is anti free speech; shitstains like American Socialist can post all they want, we just do not have to see them and their lies any more.

  9. Andrew Doyle on Twitter:

    I have been blocked by hundreds of people on Twitter. This has in no way threatened my free speech.

    If you think being blocked has anything to do with free speech, you don’t understand free speech.

    Yeah, and being banned from Twitter and FB because you are a complete fucking Douche isn’t a free speech issue either. If you think that getting kicked off of Twitter is a free speech issue then it’s you that doesn’t understand what free speech is.

    God, there’s just a part of me that would like to subject these right-wing snowflakes to the whims of a totalitarian government. It’d help their notions about what constitutes free speech by having a North Korean kick them in the balls to straighten them out.

    1. Doyle didn't say banned; he said blocked. Those are not the same things. But, please; carry on defending digital forums that ban mention of HCQ, that ban mention of Ivermectin, that ban mention of China's possible complicity, that are acting as outsourcing arms in doing what govt legally cannot. YouTube took down a video from a Senate committee hearing and worse, the media at large said nothing about it. When you're silencing govt officials for failing to toe your dogmatic line - which has never appeared in Terms of Service - you are not walking on the high ground.

      Besides all that, people like you spend four years clutching your pearls about the totalitarian govt Orange McBadman was going to usher in. Now you have Dems actively calling for a site like Parler to be shut down, and President Potato ready to have private actors filter people's posts and tweets in search of those subversive domestic terrorists we hear so much about but never actually see.

      1. Nobody ever accused commie kid of having anything like brains.

    2. We'll just ignore the court decision that ruled Donald Trump couldn't block a twitter user from his personal twitter account on accouint of saving the very fabric of democracy because we're all friends here. Oh, and a decision that Reason writers that was "reasonable". Right wing snowflakes indeed.

      1. That’s germane to the issue? How so?

        1. You brought up Twitter. The Supreme Court ruled that Twitter was a public forum and Trump couldn't ban trolls, and you all felicitated yourselves with glee. Then Twitter banned Trump because muh pRivAtE cumPaNy, and you all felicitated yourselves with glee.

          Authoritarian fetishists like you probably don't notice the hypocrisy and the problem, because you are hypocrisy incarnate and part of the problem.

    3. there’s just a part of me that would like to subject these right-wing snowflakes to the whims of a totalitarian government.

      Yes. The biggest part.
      Now tell us how you feel about the Hollywood blacklist?

    4. You're right about some right wing folks' ideas about free speech, and frankly unless one has actually lived around in different places with different levels of freedom, one is unlikely to fully appreciate freedom. Most US citizens have only lived in the US.

      Nevertheless, please quash that part of you, and instead seek to understand what those folks are upset about, and offer some libertarian policy solutions or perspective. They usually get neither from the MSM, GOP, or Democrats. It makes better policy.

  10. Satanism hates truth.

    The ONLY way to defeat truth is to censor it.

  11. Which is more important, the ethos of free speech, or private property rights?

    If I want to kick people off my property who are saying things that I disagree with, should that be lauded or condemned? Or maybe neither one, just a recognition of me exercising my rights along with everyone else?

    1. We'd have to pretend you actually own property there, fatty.

    2. "If I want to kick people off my property who are saying things that I disagree with"

      Here's Jeff's Big Lie, the Democrats aren't ordering these companies to censor their political opponents. It's just magically happening organically. Somehow silencing Twitter's biggest draw was good for their bottom line.

      1. Yea he is bait and switching.

        FB and Twitter are allegedly platforms not publishers. Publishers can censor anything they wish but also are liable for what they publish.

        Platforms are immune from liability but agree to not censor.

        FB and Twitter like the immunity of being a platform but are not holding up their end on censorship.

        In the public square which FB and Twitter have agreed to be free speech is pretty absolute. If you stick with that problems go away.

        PS: Hate speech is free speech

        1. The platform/publisher false dichotomy is stupid. FB and Twitter are neither. They share characteristics of both but do not wholly fall into either category. They are more like a library.

          In the public square which FB and Twitter have agreed to be

          No they haven't. They have never said that they were bound by First Amendment rules of free speech.

    3. You don't have the right to say anything you want on private property.

      1. That's correct. Same goes for Twitter and Facebook. You don't have the right to say anything you want on their property either.

    4. If you agreed to not stop people from talking on your property (with terms and conditions), then kicked off one guy for saying something that you’ve decided violates those terms but didn’t kick off another guy for saying something similar or worse, you would rightly be called a hypocrite and the first person should absolutely have the ability to sue you, especially if they didn’t actually violate your terms.

      Oh, and kicking off one person and not the other is a tacit endorsement of the speech/views you allow to stay.

  12. OT here's some free speech, why in the holy fuck are commercials populated with extremely fat and ugly people these days. Yeah yeah I know they are trying to get all kinds in there, I don't care if they are brown or black or yeller or red, but get some attractive ones who aren't morbidly obese with tats and bad hair.

    1. Even fattys don't want to see fattys.

  13. Well, chemjeff's and AmSoc's tyranny and/or pedophile friends beat up a gay Asian reporter, again, for the crime of reporting on them.

    Statement on May 28, 2021 Antifa assault:

    No journalist in America should ever face violence for doing his or her job.

    Yet on Friday, May 28, Antifa tried to kill me again while I was reporting on the ongoing protests and riots in Portland, Ore. for a new chapter of my...

  14. Titania McGrath is a hoot

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