Let's Back Up A Sec And Ask Why Free Speech Actually Matters

Johnstone, Caitlin
Date Written:  2022-01-31
Year Published:  2022
Resource Type:  Article
Cx Number:  CX24482

To really answer the question of whether the increasingly widespread practice of Silicon Valley censorship via algorithm and deplatforming is a major problem and whether an increase in speech restriction is desirable, we need to take a step back and ask ourselves why free speech even matters in the first place.



In short, free speech matters because it’s how the status quo gets changed. It’s how society collectively figures out that racism is undesirable, that women are equal to men, that science is superior to superstition, and that the world perhaps does not work the way we once thought it did. It’s also how society figures out that a government has become inundated with “excess and corruption,” that status quo systems aren’t working, and that new systems are required.

Now here’s the kicker: if free speech matters because it’s what allows the collective to change the status quo, then it is exactly those voices who oppose the status quo whose speech must be adamantly protected. The speech of those who support the mainstream orthodoxies of the political/media class is vastly less important than those who dissent from those orthodoxies, because only the latter is pushing for change.

What we have now is just the opposite: if you adhere to the mainstream orthodoxies of America’s Dempublican uniparty there is an approximately zero percent chance that you will ever be subjected to online censorship, but if you oppose any of those orthodoxies you will see yourself algorithmically de-boosted, suspended, and shoved further and further away from any position of possible influence.

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