Elon Musk: “Freedom of Speech, Not Freedom of Reach.”
Frederick Douglass: “Liberty is meaningless where the right to utter one's thoughts and opinions has ceased to exist. That, of all rights, is the dread of tyrants. It is the right which they first of all strike down. They know its power. Thrones, dominions, principalities, and powers, founded in injustice and wrong, are sure to tremble, if men are allowed to reason.… Equally clear is the right to hear. To suppress free speech is a double wrong. It violates the rights of the hearer as well as those of the speaker.”
George Washington: “For if Men are to be precluded from offering their Sentiments on a matter, which may involve the most serious and alarming consequences, that can invite the consideration of Mankind, reason is of no use to us; the freedom of Speech may be taken away, and dumb and silent we may be led, like sheep, to the Slaughter.”
John Stuart Mill: “The peculiar evil of silencing the expression of an opinion is, that it is robbing the human race; posterity as well as the existing generation; those who dissent from the opinion, still more than those who hold it. If the opinion is right, they are deprived of the opportunity of exchanging error for truth: if wrong, they lose, what is almost as great a benefit, the clearer perception and livelier impression of truth, produced by its collision with error.”
William O. Douglas: “Effective self-government cannot succeed unless the people are immersed in a steady, robust, unimpeded, and uncensored flow of opinion and reporting which are continuously subjected to critique, rebuttal, and reexamination.”
Also William O. Douglas: “A function of free speech under our system of government is to invite dispute. It may indeed best serve its high purpose when it invites a condition of unrest, creates dissatisfaction with conditions as they are, or even stirs people to anger. Speech is often provocative and challenging. It may strike at prejudices and preconceptions and have profound unsettling effects as it passes for acceptance of an idea.”
Musk and his Brand X colleagues obviously do not understand the concept of free speech nor the principles embodied in the First Amendment. If no one is permitted to listen to or hear what you say, then freedom of speech is meaningless! Duh!!
Imagine saying to Thomas Paine: Yes, write your pamphlets but no one may see or read them.
Yes, James Madison, Alexander Hamilton and John Jay, write as many Federalist Papers as you want, but they cannot be distributed or circulated.
And yes, Thomas Jefferson, write your Declaration of Independence. But it is unsafe, so it cannot be circulated. No one can see it. No one can read it. It contains hate speech directed at the British Monarch.
That is Brand X. And apparently what Elon Musk meant by “free speech absolutism”. On this view, we are to believe that the founders thought it incredibly important to protect speech that people like to listen to. Because it's that speech, the speech we all find non-awful, that is under attack. That every day, people object to listening to things they like, agree with and/or are complimentary to the listener.
But the founders certainly could not have meant that free speech applied only to speech everyone liked; that it was consistent with the First Amendment to prevent people from listening to speech because some do not like what is said--or because it was not “commercially viable.” That sounds like tyranny, which is what I thought the founders hoped to prevent. One group depriving another group of its inalienable rights.
Really. “Freedom of Speech, not Freedom of Reach,” is like a bumper sticker slogan written by an idiot. Truly. Sincerely. To think that freedom of speech and freedom or reach are not inextricably linked, two sides of one coin, yes, I think the writer of that slogan is either a moron, an idiot--or is insincere and knows better.
And anyone who actually believes that the First Amendment can be reinterpreted to mean Freedom of Speech, not Freedom of Reach and that nothing crucial will be lost, also that person is an idiot or a moron.
So Brand X, the “free speech" platform is now hiring a team of disinformation/misinformation experts and hate speech professionals to help it label content, judge it, limit its circulation, and then put the burden on the author of the content to defend why the content is both lawful and not awful.
Of course those chosen to work for Brand X know awful content when they see it. But apparently the Brand X community are too stupid to recognize it themselves. So the experts at Brand X will act as benevolent curators of the feeds delivered to its community, so that no member of the Brand X community will have be exposed to lawful but awful content, as such content might damage their mental health and make the world less safe.
I heard that Joseph Goebbels and Heinrich Himmler are interested in joining the Safety Team at Brand X. Tourqemada too. And those who condemned to death the witches of Salem, I heard, have also submitted their applications.
They all opposed lawful but awful speech. They seem to fit ideally into the job description of what Brand X is looking for to help keep Brand X safe. And they have the track record to prove it!
Elon Musk, try this exercise: you have the freedom to inhale, but not the freedom to exhale. Now try to breathe and see how that works out. To breathe requires the ability to both inhale and exhale. Freedom of speech requires freedom of reach.
*Jeffrey is a Strategic Investor in BitChute