- First Name
- Jan 24, 2020
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- Skagit Valley
Thank you so much for speaking up. I am glad to hear you say these things.Everyone knows that, that's basic. What is concerning to many, is the removal of the ability to speak. It is one thing to say using freedom of speech to commit crimes should be punished. It's also one thing to say using freedom of speech to say mean or awful things makes me dislike you, or not want to do business with you. It's another to say I don't like what you say, so you will no longer be able to say it. This is new territory, and it's exceedingly dangerous.
Mark Zuckerberg is on record of saying that he envisioned FB as evolving into more of a utility, like the phone company. Increasingly, we use it as a communications platform, perhaps even our primary communications platform. If it is to be such a platform, like our phone line or our mail service or our internet access, it needs to be unbiased. If I use my phone to hire a hitman to kill someone, I should be charged. If I use it to discuss things that are not illegal - no matter how unpleasant - I'm still allowed to use my phone. My speech is not regulated.
The big example of this topic is, of course, the recent banning of Trump from Twitter, FB, Insta, Youtube, App and Google stores, etc. By all accounts he hasn't done anything illegal - though that's up for debate - but he's been silenced. These are private companies, they're allowed to do that. But should they be able to? Perhaps it's time for communications laws to be updated with the time, and FB, etc, should not be allowed to regulate such content much like ATT can't listen in on your calls and turn off your phone if it doesn't like what you say. As Elon recently tweeted, "A lot of people are going to be super unhappy with West Coast high tech being the de facto arbiter of free speech."
What's weird to me is that the idea of free speech has become a "right" value in recent years. I've always thought of freedom from the norm as being a "left" trait, whether it was freedom to be gay, freedom to use profane language, freedom to dance... whatever it may be, it was traditionally "right" people that wanted conformity. Now, in the last 10 years I've observed a startling shift where "left" people are increasingly looking to shut up dissenting opinions, "cancel" them, etc. As a moderate, it increasingly weighs in my opinions. I think you're seeing it in a lot of similar thinkers, Elon being one of them. They may not agree with "right" ideals, but agree with the right to have them.