I've been thinking about freedom of speech lately. Not in the context of the US or anything, but more as a right that we seem to be taking away from ourselves and each other without a hint of government involvement.
I'll use Twitter as an example. If you say something that goes against popular opinion there, there's a chance you'll be canceled. Canceled, however, is just a fancy word for deplatforming - taking away a platform from someone, or sometimes several, until they're left with no way to communicate or say anything to anyone except the tiny audience that's left.
Luckily, this doesn't usually succeed. I say luckily because while the people who are canceled sometimes do awful, terrible, things, most of them just had an opinion that was slightly out of bounds, or had something of theirs from 5 years ago taken out of context.
I've always been a firm believer in true free speech. By true, I mean that people should have the right to say anything. I really truly do mean anything. The idea of deplatforming or removing things that people disagree with disgusts me. How do you know that won't be popular opinion within two years? What if they're right, and we simply haven't caught on yet? What if your completely normal opinion is next?
When we advocate for censoring others, we're advocating for removing anything that isn't currently acceptable. When we do that, we'll end up censoring ourselves. There is a difference between disagreeing with someone, and attempting to take away their right to talk.
"I disapprove of what you say, but I will defend to the death your right to say it."
Evelyn Beatrice Hall