💬 TLDR #161 on Free Speech

Replied to Too Long; Didn’t Read #161 (W. Ian O’Byrne)

This raises broader questions about hate speech, freedom of speech, and rights online. I hinted at some of the questions I’ve been having about this topic several months ago in TL;DR. Should there be a “terms of service” for freedom of speech? Also, should we require that tech companies be the ones to dictate and enforce these freedoms. I’m still not sure.

Ian, this is such a challenging situation. People like Quinn Norton argue for engagement, while others argue that bigotry should be banned. I think that my initial response is to ban the liars and bigots, but the conundrum that was pointed out to me recently is that if you deny the voice of a particular few they will most likely find their own space somewhere else.

I found this podcast on ‘free speech’ intriguing:

It is always more complicated than we want it to be I guess.

2 responses on “💬 TLDR #161 on Free Speech”

  1. Hey Aaron, Thanks for the response.
    I agree that it’s a challenging proposition. I’m a big believer in “free speech.” I’m also aware that freedom of speech is a (for the most part) concept from American culture. In online spaces, we’re moving to global audiences. Even though many of these digital spaces are spawned/maintained by American companies, not sure if those freedoms carry over.
    I also think that freedom of speech means freedom of speech for all, not some. Even those most abhorrent should have their voice heard. We need to decide, as a digital commons how we’ll address these voices.
    And, to close out this comment…I’ll contradict myself a third time to show how challenging this is…I don’t think you should be able to say “anything.” I cannot run into a crowded theater and start shouting “FIRE!!!” I think vitriol, hatred, bullying, and threatening discourse should be banned, or moved elsewhere.

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