In the UK, leading far-right figure Tommy Robinson Yaxley Lennon has had his Paypal closed down, his Twitter account banned and, most recently, his Instagram and Facebook accounts removed. Very much like in the US last year when probable white supremacist Alex Jones had his Twitter, Facebook and YouTube shut down, or when Facebook did a cull of almost 600 US political pages before the 2018 midterm elections.
As usual, the tinfoil hat-wearing alt-right Nazis are crying out that free speech is under threat. This ridiculous overreaction always makes me laugh. These people have no idea what free speech is. They assume that freedom of speech means you are free to say whatever you want without severe consequences! Imagine that?! What kind of fascistic society would allow unfettered, non-regulated speech?
The companies listed above are all private companies. They are entitled to ban whomever they wish if they feel that their views or behavior are unpleasant. In fact, I would like to see this approach taken a step further. I cannot wait for the day utility companies start banning people from having access to vital services such as electricity, gas and running water. Nextra, Enel and Duke Energy are all perfectly within their rights to deny power to the homes of people whose views they deem problematic. I welcome the idea of delivery companies refusing to transport goods to the addresses of deplorable Trump voters. In the UK, I would like to see the NHS denying Brexit voters medical treatment on the grounds of their rampant xenophobia. In this way, society would gradually become kinder and more tolerant. A modern spin on Darwin’s survival of the fittest if you will – apart from this time, only the wokest would survive.
When it comes to the latest social media bans, I’ve seen cries of ‘Urr, they are trying to silence us!’ What utter rot! Anyone who has almost every aspect of their online life taken away from them is not ‘silenced’. They are still perfectly free to send letters and postcards to people (for now). There is absolutely nothing stopping them from using CB radio, or sending a telegraph. Nothing prevents them from tapping out messages in Morse code to their followers on an intricate system of underground pipes they could easily have built if they obtain the appropriate planning permission. With a little creativity, Alex Jones could communicate his vile thoughts via the medium of interpretive dance on any street corner he chooses. Tommy Robinson could scribble his racist views on scraps of paper, fold them up, insert them into bottles (not plastic) and hurl them into the sea for his fellow Islamophobes to discover while walking their pitbull terriers on the beach.
The very idea that ‘freedom of speech’ is somehow ‘under threat’ purely because a handful of people in Silicon Valley who all hold similar views have the power to delete the internet presence of any person on the planet is laughable! I mean, if you really have a problem with it, then why not stop whining and make your own internet? It can’t be that difficult. I remember making my own telephone as a child using two paper cups and a length of string. If these people cannot be bothered to put in a bit of effort, then I have no sympathy for their flimsy arguments.
Or they could of course do something which would ensure their precious free speech isn’t infringed upon; they could stop saying problematic things. Simple as that.
I would continue to explore this subject in more detail with my followers on Twitter, but unfortunately, Jack has accidentally suspended my account. Again.