Monday, 10 April 2017

Hate Speech Is Free Speech

To-day on the radio there were a few intellectuals discussing the topic of fake news, and it was as disappointing as one would expect.

Several openly espoused the view that it was perfectly acceptable to stamp out "incitement to violence and hate" – the expression was repeated this way several times, with no distinction between violence and hate. The term "neonazism" was also thrown around liberally.

One of them mentioned that there were now filtering algorithms applicable to online content, and that we were very close to a point where they would be capable of accurately targeting "hateful" content. She was quite cheerful with regards to the prospect of seeing such algorithms put in place.

They made the distinction between nameless online outlets and the more prestigious, "trustworthy" press.

This told me what I already suspected but had not yet confirmed: the Portuguese intelligentsia know and say no more than what they are spoon-fed; they are blissfully unaware of the degree to which the mainstream media are biased and controlled by corporate interests.

They believe the great lie: that Trump won the American election due to fake news. They heard of the various unsubstantiated stories circulating through facebook before the election (they mentioned the case of the town in Macedonia numerous times), and genuinely believe that Trump won because of lies, rather than despite them.

They believe the Syrian intervention is an expression of the true Trump, rather than his manipulation at the hands of globalists.

They speak cheerfully of the "verification" efforts undertaken in America with regards to statements produced by politicians and the media, unaware that the institutions conducting these efforts are hopelessly biased toward the globalist left.

They mean well, but are hopelessly misinformed.

The algorithms they mentioned exist already, and are used to suppress dissent. It amazes me that, in a country that lived under a dictatorship until 1974, it didn't even occur to them that this might happen.

They live in the illusion that great corporations are politically impartial.

One of them did quote the platitude that one man's insurgent is another man's liberator, so that was a hopeful sign, but I was left hoping for more.

My country is blissfully unaware of the culture war, and I really hope they'll wake up soon.

All must understand that the solution to bad speech is more and better speech. Ideas that are suppressed fester in the dark.

And if ideas are to be suppressed, someone must decide which ones, and that, to me, is not a worthy gamble. I would much rather live in a world where people are free to say things that I dislike, and where I am free to speak my truth back at them, than in an Orwellian hellscape where an authority can see fit to supress me legally, making certain that my opinions are not heard.