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Why We Don't have Enough Free Speech on the Internet

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2022-06-22 11:30:02

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I hesitated to publish this article, because I doubted it would be read by more than a handful of the people who need to read it. But, I realized that supporting free speech is important, even if my words have little or no effect.

Those of us who live in democracies don't have enough free speech on the Internet, because most of us do not want to have it. We don't want other people to speak unless they agree with us. Whether we are conservative or liberal, men or women, black or white, we don't want to hear other people's opinions. Politicians take advantage of this sentiment to pass laws curtailing free speech, because they know most of us will support them. In so doing, they are using our ignorance and psychological shortcomings against us, just as they always have.

I found some comments by an individual on Hacker News that illustrate the problem well. Although this person is a left-leaning woman, I could just as easily have found comments by a right-leaning man to illustrate my point. I do not mention the shortcomings in this person's thinking to ridicule her but to highlight our lack of understanding as a society.

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