Monday, August 17, 2015

Freedom of Speech

Okay, you guys. We have to talk about freedom of speech. I've written about censorship twice before, both in the context of comedy and games. You can read those posts here and here, but I don't think the points I made there have really sunk in yet. So here is my rant about the broader concept of freedom of speech. Put another way, you dumb fuckers don't know what freedom of speech actually means, and so I'm going to beat the real answer into your skull right now. Buckle the fuck up, assholes.

Freedom of speech does not mean freedom of consequence. Nor does it mean that you have the right to an audience. I'll explain what those statements mean in a moment, after I tell you what the idea of freedom of speech is really about. Freedom of speech only applies to the government. Your freedom of speech only guarantees that the government cannot literally put you behind bars for saying something that the regime disagrees with. That is it. Freedom of speech says nothing about criticism leveled against you by private citizens. If someone has a legitimate criticism of your ideas, or they ask you not to say something, they are not infringing upon your freedom of speech. Like, if you call me a faggot, and I tell you to stop doing that, I am not censoring you. Only the government can censor you. That's what the word censorship fucking means.

And, as I said on twitter some time ago, "Freedom of speech means you can say whatever the fuck you want, it doesn't mean I have to listen." That goes back to the bit about right to an audience I talked about earlier. You can say anything you like, but you are not entitled to an audience. If you are sending somebody death threats, they can report you to the police. Like I said, that does not curtail your freedom of speech. If that person decides not to listen to you, if they block you or whatever, that's also okay. Freedom of speech only says you are guaranteed a platform to express your ideas. Nobody has to listen to those ideas. That's not part of the first amendment, all right? Good.

This is not just something to think about. This is not just my opinion, and it isn't up for debate. This is fact. I hope I made you realize that today.

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