The Eastern New Mexico News - Serving Clovis, Portales and the Surrounding Communities

It's time to free all speech again

 

August 15, 2018



Last week, some of the biggest social media corporations colluded to silence a voice they didn’t like.

No matter how you feel about Alex Jones and his Infowars media brand, this wasn’t good for free speech. It was the escalation of a war that has been building for some time, where voices running counter to the political biases of the dominant social media empires are being silenced.

If your argument is so weak you feel the need to silence the other side rather than respond with your own well-thought-out points, then your opinions are probably wrong. Censorship is a loser’s move.

It’s not just voices from the political right that have been silenced. Libertarian activists are being targeted as well.

Private companies have the right to kick anyone off their platform for any reason. However, is a corporation, which has sought and received special privileges from government, still a “private company?” Corporations, through this special relationship with government called “crony capitalism,” have become, in all but name, a branch of government. They use this relationship to encourage legislation that makes entering their field too expensive for most newcomers, thus stifling competition. In exchange, they sell your data to government.

Considering this special relationship, they should be held to the same standards the rest of government is supposed to be held to, which includes the responsibility to abide by the Bill of Rights even when they don’t agree with it.

If they don’t like the deal, they can remain private and stay out of government’s bed.

Even if you still believe they have the right to censor those they don’t like, in spite of this special relationship with government, it wasn’t smart. If it becomes acceptable to silence voices you don’t like while you are in power, you make it seem OK for others to do the same to you once the tables are turned.

What if they use liability as their justification? It’s a valid concern, due to tyrannical government overreach. Government has already prosecuted a website owner for things others published on the platform, in the case of the Silk Road site, and has threatened to do the same to others.

It’s a dangerous, speech-stifling situation.

I’m never in favor of government regulating companies, even when they do things I don’t agree with. Nor am I afraid of hearing dissenting voices. In fact, they often help me put my own thoughts in order. It’s time to free all speech again.

Farwell’s Kent McManigal champions liberty. Contact him at: [email protected]

 

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