I've seen bad commentary and bullying tactics drive good and thoughtful people away from blogs (who needs that shit?). Same thing happening on Twitter, where Trump is given carte blanche because he's a public official (many expect that to end on January 21, 2021). The argument at reason.com is basically this:
Private companies exercise rights to speech and association in human manner, market consequences ensue, competition flourishes.— WeakAndTiredHat (@Popehat) December 29, 2020
Sounds libertarian to me.https://t.co/Gukz75fjQs
If it sounds like censorship is once again proving itself to be a losing proposition that threatens the free exchange of ideas without making the world a better place, you're certainly right. Instead of the impossible-to-achieve identification and suppression of awful thoughts, what we're seeing is moderators targeting ever-more mainstream speakers in their search for forbidden speech. In the process, they're also driving conspiracy theorists and flat-out loons to take refuge in ideological hot houses where their ravings go relatively unchallenged."Removing radical actors from mainstream platforms can, on the one hand, significantly reduce their audiences, but it can also contribute to increased feelings of resentment and victimhood, forming a breeding ground for even stronger discontent," warns Klein.
Importantly, and unmentioned by Klein, the spread of such muzzling beyond "radical" targets is not always an unintended consequence. Authoritarian regimes have eagerly adopted "hate speech" restrictions as weapons against political dissidents. "In a review of more than 40 recent hate-law arrests, Reuters found that in each case, authorities intervened against Venezuelans who had criticized Maduro, other ruling party officials or their allies," the news service reported last week.If tolerating a range of ideas—good, bad, nutty, and indifferent—on diverse new platforms is the price we must pay to deny authoritarians easy means for suppressing their critics, then so be it. People always find ways to speak their minds in defiance of those who would control the conversation, and that's a good thing.
The argument seems to go off the rails here, trying to eat its cake and have it, too. I have nothing against "diverse new platforms" like Parler (I even know it's supposed to be pronounced "par-lay," au francais, you know, which amuses me because I still remember "freedom fries"). I'm happy for them to exist, so long as they don't put Twitter and Blogger out of business. I regulate comments here just to keep the porn bots away, but happily delete offensive comments when they occur. It's my blog, and it's my arbitrary and capricious rules that...rule. I'm even happy for people to speak their minds, but sometimes those "who would control the conversation" are the rest of us in the conversation. If I went on Parler and started posting my considered progressive and even Christian social justice ideas, I have no doubt I'd be hounded by everyone else there, who would be aggrieved by my "trolling" (is "trolling" still a thing?). They would probably do everything they could to drive me away. Is that a good thing, or a bad thing?
All I know is, it ain't a suppression of free speech.