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On Trump's Censorship

    It is mind boggling how people actively engaged in "fighting for freedom" can fail to grasp something as basic as freedom of speech. This really shows in this Trump vs Twitter situation.

    Yes, social media companies like Facebook and Twitter were once a free forum for discussion, yet now have become increasingly hostile to certain discourse - specially what they consider to be "right wing". Yes, the very idea of "fact checking" content is ridiculous, and these companies show nothing but hubris and ignorance by trying to dictate what the truth is.

    As bad as this is, however, it isn't censorship.

    Censorship is the suppression of discourse by the threat of physical violence. It is evil because it initiates violence against peaceful individuals, in response to thought or speech. Private companies do not have that power - only the government does.

    Every single one of us is free to leave any platform that adopts these bad policies and, in the absence of alternatives, to start our own. Content creators like myself are constantly trying to establish ourselves in alternative platforms, only to find that many who complain about "censorship" from the likes of Facebook, are too accommodated to look for an alternative.

    "But this is not about censorship. It is about changing the legal status of these companies, so that they either refrain from selecting speech, or become liable for what they publish."

    So. Bloody. What.

    Speech is speech. No matter what is being said, it should never be met with physical violence, or government actions that are backed by its threat. No one should be legally liable for any speech, as appalling as that speech is. Bad ideas should only - and can only - be fought by good ideas, and the owners of private platforms have the right to deny service to anyone they please, for whatever whimsical reason they choose, just like any other business. This is at the very core of the right to property.
If you think Twitter's restrictions are bad, stop whining and do something about it - something other than giving a politician the right to practice actual censorship.

  -  May 30th, 2020

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