Perfectly timed to accommodate the new regime, several large entities, Twitter, Google, Facebook et al have announced measures to abridge free speech on their platforms. Google may no longer permit news sites to call it as they see it and make a profit, Facebook is fed up, it doesn’t like being called a media company and Twitter has written algorithms that purse out filthy words, like unit, casaba and protuberant.
Granted, the issue of freedom of speech is a prickly one, the line an editor must walk is narrow, almost untenable but not really necessary. The Yellow Press advocates freedom of speech in all its manifestations, unbridled, unleashed and unhinged.
Things will be said, vile, vulgar things, cruel, unkind things, things that are better off left unsaid. That’s the point. The first crack in the dam was the law prohibiting yelling “fire” in a theater. Textbook. Makes perfect sense, as most things usually do when seen through the eyes of our individual or collective personal point of view. It’s crazy to yell “fire” in a crowded theater, you might be the one trampled and maimed, during or after. But no law is needed, just the occasional trampling and maiming will curb the practice.
Argue all you want about what the founding fathers meant when they added that clause, you weren’t there, you don’t know. It says freedom of speech, set it free, let fly.
Neither governments nor corporations should muzzle us. Make yourself a nuisance, but in a quiet impressive, to be respected and emulated manner. People are still saying intelligent things. It’s just harder to hear them. Heed your mad poets.
Air pushes past some soft tissue we modify to utter sounds that we feel express our thoughts, it’s only noise. Let’s keep it that way.