08 July 2020

Speech Or Silence: Free Speech Is A Moral Imperative

I have said it before and I will say it again: Free Speech is a moral imperative.

I will keep saying it, because it needs to be said. It needs to be heard. So long as the Big Tech social media platforms believe they can silence and suppress dissenting voices with impunity, it needs to be heard.

Because YouTube banned Stefan Molyneux, accusing him of "hate speech", while the legacy media absurdly characterized him as "far right" (proving that they have not studied any of his content), it needs to be heard.

Free Speech Is A Moral Imperative

I have said it before, and I will say it again: Free Speech is a moral imperative.

Free Speech was a moral imperative when Big Tech tried to deplatform Candace Owen.

Free Speech was a moral imperative when Google deleted Project Veritas' video documenting Google's intentions and efforts to interfere in the 2020 elections.

Free Speech was a moral imperative when Twitter banned ZeroHedge for reporting facts about the CCPVirus, and FaceBook declared itself the arbiter of what was "true" about the virus.

Free Speech is a moral imperative today.

Not The First. Not The Last.

The most telling commentary about Stefan Molyneux's abrupt deplatforming has been the rather blase reaction both of the legacy media and much of the online world. Deplatforming is no longer radical, nor even controversial. Suppression of dissenting voices has become, in the eyes of many, a "new normal".

As my commentaries over the past year amply demonstrate, Stefan Molyneux is not the first alternative commentator to be deplatformed. We may be certain that he will not be the last.

Indeed, Stefan Molyneux has not been the last. On July 27, Facebook and Google colluded to suppress the video content of an extensive press conference held in Washington, DC, by several doctors who have been successfully treating CCPVirus patients with hydroxychloroquine.
Facebook has removed a video posted by Breitbart News earlier today, which was the top-performing Facebook post in the world Monday afternoon, of a press conference in D.C. held by the group America’s Frontline Doctors and organized and sponsored by the Tea Party Patriots. The press conference featured Rep. Ralph Norman (R-SC) and frontline doctors sharing their views and opinions on coronavirus and the medical response to the pandemic. YouTube (which is owned by Google) and Twitter subsequently removed footage of the press conference as well.
Twitter went on to purge the video from its platform, and to temporarily lock the account of Donald Trump, Jr., as penalty for sharing the video.
The video, which received over 14 million views before it was blacklisted and scrubbed by Facebook, Twitter and YouTube following a complaint by a New York Times employee, featured members of America's Frontline Doctors - a recently formed advocacy group which claims that "American life has fallen casualty to a massive disinformation campaign" against Hydroxychloroquine (HCQ) - a decades-old malaria drug used by India and several other countries as part of their front-line treatment of the novel coronavirus, yet which has shown mixed efficacy in studies.
Regardless of how one assesses the available data on hydroxychloroquine as a treatment for CCPVirus, for Twitter, Facebook, and Google to arbitrarily arrogate to themselves the power to judge whether particular doctors' information is true or false is simply absurd. It is also dangerous. Discussions about effective medical treatments are literally matters of life and death, and while people should always be on guard against false and misleading data, none of the Big Tech Social Media giants is in a position to adjudicate the quality of any medical presentation.

Yet here we are, caught up in a purge of "wrongthink" on the most pressing health issue of the day.

Nor will the purge be confined merely to alternative, conservative, and dissident voices. J. K. Rowling, of Harry Potter fame, and a former progressive darling, became a victim of the howling mob's demand for exacting ideological conformity when she dared suggest that biological sex really did exist.

Fearful that she was about to be caught up in the radical progressive left's "Cancel Culture", she joined with author Noam Chomsky and other academic and liberal notables to pen an open letter which was published in Harper's Magazine calling for an end to efforts to silence and suppress dissident voices.

The irony in the plea was palpable, for many of those who signed the letter had themselves been advocates for cancelling others. Only when the howling mob came for them did they realize the danger.

The pursuit of cultural and intellectual orthodoxy can tolerate no deviation from the declared ideology.

There Are Alternatives. That Is Not The Point.

We must pause to acknowledge one important fact: Stefan Molyneux has not been completely silenced. While he has been banned from Twitter and YouTube, he remains popular on Parler and BitChute. There are yet platforms from which his message can still be heard.

There are, as I have pointed out previously, a number of alternative platforms to Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube. In addition to Parler and BitChute, one can freely post on Gab and Minds as well. Thankfully, there is some competition among social media platforms.

However, the presence of alternative platforms misses the mark completely. Free Speech is a moral imperative--it is the essential element of a free society and a free people. If we cannot speak freely, if we care not at liberty to form our own thoughts, and express our own ideas, then we are not free.

If we can be silenced for our thoughts and ideas, then we are not free. If we tolerate multiple tiers of justice and treatment under the law, then we are not free.

Make no mistake about it: Twitter--and all of the Big Tech social media platforms--have a clear double standard. It was apparent in 2017 when FCC Chairman Ajit Pai called them out over their treatment (and mistreatment) of conservative commenators and users. It is so painfully apparent today that even the liberal commentators at the Washington Post are unable to deny its reality.

If we accept the double standard, if we tolerate and excuse one rule for conservative voices and another rule for progressive voices, then our speech is no longer free, and we are no longer free.

At its core, all censorship rests on the hypocrisy of the double standard. The proposition that some ideas should be silenced and others not is the very essence of what a double standard is. That hypocrisy is why censorship can never be the right thing to do, why it is always the wrong thing to do. Avoiding that hypocrisy is why the alternative, free speech, is always the moral imperative.

It is wrong to silence anyone. It was wrong to silence Louis Farrakhan. It was wrong to silence Laura Loomer. It is wrong to silence Stefan Molyneux. It would be wrong to silence you, it would be wrong to silence me.

I have said it before, and I will keep on saying it: Free Speech is a moral imperative.

28 July 2020: Added news about Donald Trump, Jr's Twitter suspension for sharing a pro-hydroxychloroquine video.

No comments :

Post a Comment

Share your thoughts -- let me know if you agree or disagree!