Topic of free speech and interconnected free thought is something that elicits very strong emotions in me. Before we go into why it is essential I would like to share what’s happening today in this regard.
Let’s take a look on YouTube – it’s no secret that many content creators there are being punished for wrong content. These punishments have many forms, algorithm might hide you, you might have to fight harassment in form of weird red tape (contesting nonsense copyright claims on every video, …), you might get demonetized even though there will be ads before your video anyway.
Sometimes it goes even further. Let’s use Thunderf00t for example – Google deleted him from digital existence. In you searched for “Thunderf00t youtube channel” on google you wouldn’t find him despite having very specific search request.
What you would see instead was bunch of videos criticizing him – those were heavily promoted. Since this specific case got strong backlash YouTube backpedaled a bit and now you can find him if you are specific enough. Exact title of video will actually show that video now, but use just a bit generic search and he is still hidden. Doing same search on another search engine will get you normal results.
What was his sin? Maybe criticizing radical feminism, maybe debunking Hyperloop or maybe just trying to popularize science because it can make people use brain.
Cherry on top is that Google want to be champion of free speech and not censor anyone. Hypocrites.
Why is this happening? I have two points of view and it is probably some combination of both.
First is that you are simply being groomed to be perfect consumer. There is a saying in poker that if you don’t see a fish you are the fish. I will paraphrase it a bit: If you don’t see a product you are the product. And advertisers are customers. Simple enough explanation – just following money trail.
Second, more sinister point of view is that mainstream social media are starting to act like cult. This is bold statement so let me back it up. If we look at BITE model, which is used to determine how cult-like something is, we start seeing more and more things to check in.
Distorting and withholding information? Yup. Using propaganda and encouraging people to report others’ misconducts? You can bet on this. Encouraging us vs them mentality? Discouraging complex and critical thinking? Yes and yes. Questioning served truth? Only garbage human beings do that.
This is scary and I wish I am wrong.
Why is free speech so important?
Free Speech allows ideas to compete. This also means your ideas might get rejected or ridiculed, but it is a good thing because it pushes you to formulate better ideas and you will grow. Not only you, but entire world since progress, both technological and humanitarian, is born from great ideas.
Some people would argue that free speech also allows really stupid ideas (that’s true) so shouldn’t we restrict people from saying X?
NO!!! Freedom of speech should be absolute. With free speech stupid ideas gets rejected quickly because people also hear better alternatives. When speech is restricted stupid ideas can root in and even gain some following just because they are oppressed.
Free Speech also allows trust and cooperation to flourish. On both business and personal level. Free Speech make it much easier to know opinions of others, which in necessary to create deeper interpersonal bonds. That also means happier and richer people.
What’s the alternative to free speech? Censorship, which might make some things easier because you don’t need to think about them. Well you even can’t. And it comes with price tag everyone must pay – just one mind. People will either rebel or become sheeple obediently following orders and staying in echo chamber of one idea told over and over again.
It isn’t difficult choice at all, at least for me.
I choose freedom.
And this freedom will be used to ensure that others have a choice too.
How can you help free speech?
Think. Explore new ideas. Be curious.
Find and use place(s) where censorship is not possible (done, you are reading this on Hive)
Demonetize those who censor. If they do it for profit don’t give them any. You can install adblock or use brave browser, you can start using search engine that does not filter results (DuckDuckGo or many more), you can tell people about better alternatives to commonly used services (3Speak will not punish you for speaking your mind in a video)
Ideas, both yours and others’ are valuable – share them, support them, oppose them.
Take action when you have good opportunity to help or even create that opportunity.
Remember that fight for free speech is marathon not sprint.
Thanks for reading
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