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Gender: Do not display
Current location: Seattle, WA
Member since: Tue Nov 23, 2004, 11:22 PM
Number of posts: 9,292

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Freedom of Speech is not Freedom of Reach

The "violating free speech" bullshit really angers me.

No one is silencing the speech, only limiting the avenues for spreading in an attempt to limit the damage it can do. (If you haven't seen it, check out the speech from Sasha Baron Cohen below)

To those concerned about the bans from certain social media platforms, publishers, or media outlets, I ask, would you have the NY Times forced to publish militant white supremacist or other loathsome speech because those people "have a right to be heard"? Obviously not. Does an outlet that has rules limiting content run the risk of being accused of being "unfair"? Sure. Outlets that limit content in ways that demonstrate what most would consider objectionable bias will get to be known for what they are. (Like Fox is known for what it is.) Calling rules governing unacceptable content "a violation of rights" is completely and utterly absurd.

Sure, within limits ("advocacy of the use of force" is unprotected when it is "directed to inciting or producing imminent lawless action" ) everyone has a right to speak their minds, but no organization has an obligation to give them a megaphone. Simon and Shuster can't be forced to publish Hawley's claptrap any more than Regnery could be forced to publish a book by Bernie Sanders.

Any militant white supremacist or crazy conspiracy theorist can get a megaphone and shout their shit from a soapbox in the public square. Or raise funds to set up an internet host willing to host "anything goes" social media platforms.

Conservative social media sites are welcome to ban liberal voices as far as I'm concerned. The people occupying them have their minds closed anyway. Might as well make it explicit with rules that basically amount to "see no evil (social justice ideas), hear no evil (social justice ideas), speak no evil (social justice ideas)"

I am perfectly happy with outlets making their values clear in their rules. I am proud to participate in platforms that utterly reject right-wingnut insanity and hate speech. And if right-wingnut outlets want to make their rejection of sanity clear in their rules, fine. It would be up to us to find other avenues to try to reach those people (if we think we have a message that could possibly get through).

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