It's time we jump on these subjects, and it's long overdue. Political, economic, and scientific landscapes are extremely complex, and people are extremely stupid.
We figured we'd jump on this following Babylon Bee's run-in with the New York Times. Babylon Bee, a right-leaning satirical site similar to The Onion, was flagged in a New York Times article by journalist Mike Isaac as a trafficker of "misinformation under the guise of satire." To which Babylon Bee's CEO Seth Dillon stated, "the New York Times is trafficking in misinformation, and they're doing it under the guise of journalism." This is good, ironic, and hilarious stuff.
It's unfortunate that our "news" has become so divisive and biased that not even the corporate media outlets can differentiate news from satirical articles such as, "Wife Screams as Car 5 Miles In Front Of You Slows Down Slightly," and "In Blow To Biden Transition, Trump Reveals He Has Obtained The Darksaber."
People nowadays don't want to listen to the opposition, but rather silence and censor those they don't agree with. How original, as if this has never been done before, and what a revolution! If these revolutionary "revolutions" interest you, please refer to 2020: A "Revolutionary Year In Review and 2021: "Revolutions" Part 2.
The culprits of divisiveness, the cults of cancel culture, and the leaders of censorship are not virtuous, unless you think authoritarian ultranationalism is virtuous. Forcible suppression of the opposition is a dangerous game, with a well-travelled path that leads to social regimentation, or the restriction of freedoms to a particular group, which, historically speaking, has always ended with butterflies and rainbows. Sprinkle in a little dictatorial power and you've got yourself a delicious dish of modern-day fascism.
This is why it is imperative as citizens of the United States that we protect our fellow citizen's fundamental freedoms as our own. That being said, it is worth mentioning that we have a right to speak our own mind, but we do not always have a right to conduct mayhem.
Now, big tech censorship is unlike anything we've dealt with before however, and being of the private sector they can do what they want, just like all the private businesses that were forced to shut down and face restrictions over the past year, right? Oh, wait. If you want to read more about draconian restrictions on small business head over to last year's Holiday blog: Life, Liberty, and the Happiness of Pursuit.
So, what are Facebook and Twitter? One could argue they are private publishers, protected by their 1st Amendment right to pick and choose what they publish. One could also argue that they are a public utility, similar to your phone company supplying the platform to communicate worldwide from your handheld super computer. I haven't seen Verizon shutting down any conversations lately, have you?
But, you know what's not like a private publisher or public utility? Big tech. They are a completely different animal. Should a platform with this kind of audience also be the gatekeeper of information? If you value your own Freedom of Speech, then your answer should probably be no. Unless, of course, you hate bald eagles, shining seas, opportunity, and freedom.
Here's a good idea, let's get the government involved! They can create the criteria for censoring and the standards for hate speech, SAID NO ONE WITH HALF OF A BRAIN EVER. History has been pretty clear where that road leads. Regardless of party affiliation, one can never trust those in power with civil liberties. Does the left want someone like Trump determining the criteria for censorship? Does the right want someone like Biden determining the criteria for censorship? This brings us to the fundamental issue of censorship, WHAT are the standards and WHO decides? Definitely not the government, not now, not ever.
Here's a kicker! When an individual is silenced for bad speech their voice does not disappear, their voice is moved. The removal of a particular brand of voice from one platform to another, creating an echo chamber on both sides, couldn't possibly lead to political polarization and extremist views, could it?
You can't ban hate speech because no one deserves to or can be trusted with the power to make those decisions. Banning ugly speech gives government the power to decide, allowing ugly speech ensures freedom. The consequence of censorship is government control. Like beer, wine, or some nasty tasting health beverage; ugly speech is an acquired taste, consumed because of the freedom that comes with it.
The best way to combat bad speech, is with better speech. Clear arguments in an unbiased manner would seem to be the best way to move forward effectively. Unfortunately, most want the quick-fix and/or instant gratification; a pill to lose weight, an award regardless of performance, and of course, de-platforming to silence the opposition.
A lie doesn't need to be censored, by virtue, it censors itself. But a truth you dislike, that you must censor.
Quit falling for the distractions and tribalist traps of the elite, because they could care less about you. You have much more in common with your fellow citizens than you think, and to limit their freedoms is to limit your own.
A few words for a future session:
"A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed." (Amendment 2, Bill of Rights)