Here we go again! From Alex Jones to Diamond & Silk to Telesur, suddenly social media is penalizing certain voices rather dramatically.
The majority of the people I talk to think that the whole thing’s ridiculous, and I tend to agree.
Most people are even afraid to say anything, or if they do, they excuse themselves by also declaring that they don’t necessarily agree with everything the censored person is saying.
But that’s totally messed up!
You either have free speech, or you don’t. Whether or not we agree is irrelevant.
Why is it so difficult to accept that just because we don’t like what a person is saying, that doesn’t give us the right to shut them up?
Why can’t people ever agree to disagree? It’s absurd.
Throughout history, the “right” has done it, the “left” has done it… Everybody‘s doin’ it!
And if you think, “Well, but these are private companies and they can do what they want,” think again! It’s a bit more complicated than that…
And that’s all I have to say about that. For now… 😉
I agree that free speech is one of America’s most fundamental rights. I would choose freedom of speech over freedom to carry assault rifles.
But neither of these are absolute; they both have limits.
The most often quoted example is something like this: If I broadcast that “Scotty eats babies” (I do not know you and I am not really saying that) that is considered libel and you could properly sue me to stop saying it.
I agree that disagreeing about opinions is good and normal. But there is only one set of facts. We are not entitled to our own set of facts, and denying verifiable facts (or claiming that falsehoods are true) only does damage. Let’s imagine two matched armies which are fighting. One is led by commanders who often lie about the facts on the ground. The other is led by commanders who are honest. Which army is likely to win?
You and I could fairly disagree about what USA should do about health insurance or the war in Afghanistan. But to relate this to recent history; the “Pizzagate” story indicated that Hillary Clinton and others were involved in a child sex ring. Alex Jones indicated that the Sandy Hook massacre did not happen. Both of these are demonstrably false and do only damage.
Part of the problem is that (for some reason) many people do not know whom to believe. I am not saying that New York Times, Washington Post, CBS, NBC, Wall Street Journal, or even Fox News always get their facts straight. But who would you choose to believe on an ongoing basis; those established news organizations or Alex Jones? It seems that many people cannot tell which is fact and which is fiction; and that is a problem.
Yeah, it gets pretty hairy. If libel is illegal, then no, that’s not covered under free speech. And then of course we get into a long discussion about what rules we should and should not have in society…
And no, it seems that truth is not relative… But tell that to a few billion humans who are all totally, 100% convinced that they know better than anybody else. It’s difficult to have any kind of conversation with either a scientific materialist or a radical religious type – or a Dem or a Repub. They each have their own set of facts, which aren’t necessarily facts.
Plus, some facts can and do change with time. Sometimes what was true yesterday is not necessarily still true today. Of course we crazy humans don’t like that, because “change is bad”. We like constancy, so we often force the world to fit our old views internally without even realizing it.
So, at the end of the day, we all need to learn how to listen. We don’t have to agree, but we need to at least listen.
If some dude wants to say what I think is crazy, well then he can do that. Next time it might be me saying it. Maybe I’m right, maybe I’m wrong… As long as I learn something along the way and don’t harm others unnecessarily, I’ll take it.