It is quite ironic that many of those that are always telling us that we need “diversity” in our society are also some of the strongest voices against a “diversity of viewpoints” on social media. The founders of this nation wanted to make sure that nobody would ever take the right to freedom of speech away from us, and that is why it was enshrined in the Bill of Rights. Unfortunately, courts have greatly eroded that right over the last several decades, and now we are facing an all-out assault on freedom of speech that is unlike anything that we have ever seen before. And once freedom of speech is completely gone, all of our other rights will soon follow, because there will no longer be any way to defend them.
When the United States was established, government was really the only major threat to free speech. In early America, corporations were severely limited in size and scope, and that is because our founders were determined not to let them get too big or too powerful.
Our founders knew that enormous concentrations of money and power would be great threats to freedom, and that has definitely turned out to be the case.
In the old days, if you wanted to express yourself you could grab a soapbox and head down to a local street corner. The reason why we use the term “marketplace of ideas” today is because people literally used to gather in marketplaces and town squares and exchange ideas with one another.
In our time, the Internet has become the place where we all gather to exchange ideas, but unfortunately control of all of the most important gathering spaces is in the hands of a very small group of colossal tech corporations.
When Facebook, Twitter and others were first growing, they generally allowed people to say pretty much what they wanted to say, and information flowed pretty freely.
But censorship has escalated dramatically over the past four years, and it reached a crescendo the other day when Twitter announced that it would be permanently suspending President Trump’s account.
How would our founders feel about that?
Tech giants such as Facebook and Twitter now have more money than many entire countries do, and in many ways they also have the same level of power that many national governments possess.