It seems to me, the election of Donald Trump has triggered a backlash by the new class, further limiting free speech for political ends. In a move that has no hint of coordination, Google, Twitter and Facebook, on the same day, announced they are going to cut off ad feeds to fake news sites and make it easier to report “hate” speech. While these sound good on the surface they have the potential to be abused. Especially since the definition of satire and fake news is subject to interpretation as is hate speech. The new York Times has been caught many times fabricating stories from whole cloth, since it has reported fake news, does that make the NYT a fake news site? Progressives have a long and colored history of calling any speech they disagree with, hate speech, so does that mean all content now has to go through a progressive filter, else the person posting it will be banned from expressing his or her views? The policy is a slippery slope who’s bottom is total censorship of individual speech by a cabal of political zealots. Is that really a place where we want to go?
I have written about the rise of fake and satire “news” sites on the Internet. They have the pernicious effect of both discrediting those who fall victim and of muddying the waters of political debate with falsehoods. They are usually created by progressives, intended to fool conservatives into posting true sounding but fake news articles, with the intent to discredit conservatism as hysterical. While that was the intention the election of Trump has rattled the progressive new class into thinking these fake news sites might have backfired on them. One thing progressives loathe is their dirty tricks biting them in the derriere. While I would love to drive fake news sites from the Internet, a better way would be through disseminating information of who are fake news sites, so the people themselves can avoid them. That would accomplish the stated goal without encroaching on free speech.
The term hate speech is as liquid as water. The problem of online harassment is real and pernicious. It diminishes people’s willingness to share their political views for fear of harassment and attacks. Sadly, what the new class calls hate speech however, is any speech that disagrees with their world view. I have been banned from Facebook on several occasions because a progressive disliked my opinion. Although I never personally attacked anyone nor engaged in harassment, I was subjected to constant harassment, not knowing what I would say that would get me banned fro several days from Facebook. Once I was even banned three days for saying, “God bless you,” to a progressive! Until I figured out who was using Facebook to alienate me from my freedom of speech the harassment was unending. Once I discovered where the attacks were coming from, I unfriended everyone who was a friend to him, and the harassment immediately stopped.
My experience is not unique. Progressives have since Teddy Roosevelt engaged in censorship. Gramski, Marcuse, Alinsky and the lot of progressive philosophers argued that the only thing put before the people must be progressive propaganda. All other information has to be hidden from the people, and those with a different opinion destroyed personally, lest we discover the truth. That is one of the tenets of cultural Marxism. These new rules will make it far easier for them to shut up conservatives and libertarians under the flag of stopping hate speech. How many conservative news outlets will be considered by the new class to be fake news sites and what will be the criteria? Certainly publishing fake news stories cannot be the sole criteria, else the NYT will come under that moniker, and that cannot be allowed by the new class, so will sites be banned from receiving ad revenue because they are alternative media, like The Blaze, Drudge Report, Breitbart, etc… even though they don’t post fake news? I bet they will and the censorship will only grow over time, sliding down that slippery slope further, and the further we slide down that slope the faster the slide will become.
The road to Hell is paved with good intentions and the car that travels that road is fueled by good sounding rhetoric. While I agree that fake news sites should be eliminated the means must not grind away our freedoms. No one should have the power to stop another from expressing their opinion, especially using such terms as hate speech, vilification of the speaker or personal destruction for their opinion. I disagree with everything progressives stand for, but I would fight to the death to defend their right to say it, sadly progressive’s first goal is to separate me from my freedom of speech. These new rules will be used to quiet conservatives and libertarians, they will not, nor are they intended to stop personal harassment but to give progressives another tool to harass anyone they want to shut up. Stepping on that slippery slope can only lead to a loss of more freedom.