Fashionable Ostracism

Purging people from popular social media platforms seems to be the fashion today. If you want to be part of the “in” crowd, you should definitely be contributing to the new trend of producing “out” crowds. The latest round of purges even scooped up a number of apolitical and non-partisan activist sites, including the facebook pages …

Minorities, Hate Speech, and Moral Knowledge – Jonathan Rauch

Is there any social benefit to be had from allowing the publication of the Protocols of the Elders of Zion? And we must not overlook the specific effects on minorities: it doesn’t seem fair to sacrifice their interests on the altar of free speech. Do gays, and Jews benefit from toleration of homophobic or anti-Semitic claptrap? I believe the answers are yes, yes, and yes. Society benefits from the toleration of hate speech, and so do targeted minorities.

The “Good Censor”

Google is now openly admitting to its penchant for censorship, but claiming to be a “good censor”. Here is the Breitbart article summarizing the leaked memo, and here is my archived copy of the memo. There will be much more to say about this in the coming weeks, but for now, let me just point …

Why Should Speech Be Free? – Timothy Garton Ash

[W]hy should speech be free? As soon as we start trying to hold governments to their word, or debate the proper limits of free speech, we find ourselves reaching for arguments that either underpin or call into question the terms of such treaties, laws and policies. Even if your instinct, like mine, is to say, ‘but of course speech must be free!’ it is still important to spell out why.

On the Public Use of Reason – Emmanuel Kant

For this enlightenment, however, nothing is required but freedom, and indeed the most harmless among all the things to which this term can properly be applied. It is the freedom to make public use of one’s reason at every point.

Of The Liberty of Thought and Discussion – John Stuart Mill

THE TIME, IT IS TO BE HOPED, IS GONE BY WHEN ANY DEFENCE WOULD be necessary of the “liberty of the press” as one of the securities against corrupt or tyrannical government. No argument, we may suppose, can now be needed, against permitting a legislature or an executive, not identified in interest with the people, …