I don't think free speech can be so nuanced and not become a mess of power abuse. I am a free speech absolutist. "Hate speech" as a concept was always flawed and dangerous. It was THE mistake. Hate is an emotion. Speech is an action. Nobody can read the emotions of others, and there should never be a justification for prosecution of people based on the assumption or projection of an emotion. All that should matter are actions, and if those actions cause MATERIAL harm. Psychological discomfort is NOT material harm.

Material harm should be the one and only benchmark. My words might sting. And that sting might be justified, or not... but it is never a right of someone to silence or persecute me because my words sting them. Now, if I glue myself to the road in protest over a climate change hoax, and that action prevents people from traveling to their school, place of business, doctor appointment, etc... well then THAT is speech that causes material harm and should be persecuted for the harm it causes.

Persecute for the material harm, not the speech.

"Material" is a legal and business term. It is subjective in that two people can have a different opinion about the line. However, there is a line... and that is the key. Today there is no line... everything can be claimed to be "hate speech".

What has happened is that by allowing in this concept of "hate speech" we have empowered Karens, crybullies and political charlatans to exploit it for their own power and greed pursuits. And within that cabal of terrible actors are the teachers unions... a radical 3rd wave feminist Marxist hive having been executing a plan for decades to brainwash every K-12 student with the toxic Critical Theory fake scholarship so that these little bots of destruction would go out into the world and create the social chaos needed to secure a cultural revolution to transform America into yet another failed collectivist hell hole.

Canceling conservative voices was always going to be a necessary step for that plan to succeed. Idiot virtue signaling Republicans (Mitt Romney types) failed to fight back when the left began pushing this concept of hate speech... when it was Republicans that freed slaves and passed Civil Rights legislation. What the dolts on the right failed to recognize is that the left was basically laying the groundwork for a form of neoracism. Woke is their manifestation of that. Racism as practiced is simply defined as attempts at tribal dominance by denigrating and discriminating against other tribes that pose a competitive threat. Today the left has adopted the woke ideology because it empowers them to be biased against an entire class of people that they compete with for social and economic dominance. This was always the plan of the radical left... and we all fell into it.

The remedy is civil rights 2.0... a new day where people are judged 100% on demonstrated character, behavior and ability and not anything else... and that free speech is absolute.

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What pre-Musk Twitter was doing in the Twitter Files is worse than described here. They were engaging in Calvinball censorship. It's not simply that the rules were flawed or inconsistently enforced across political lines (though both are also true). It's that Twitter execs were simply making up the rules as they went along.

In the case of the Hunter Biden laptop story, first they censored it, and then when the PR team asked the content moderation team what the rationale was, they openly didn't have that part figured out yet. They were hoping to hang their hat on "hacked materials" even though the knew full well that wouldn't pass muster as there was no evidence of hacking being involved. With the World Cup going on, an easy analogy is a ref giving a player a red card, kicking them out of the game, and only then trying to determine if any rules were actually broken in order to justify a decision that's already been made. Or in the words of Alice in Wonderland "Sentence First. Verdict Afterwards"

In the case of Libs of TikTok, when Twitter execs couldn't find any rules being broken (which makes sense since LoTT just recirculates content already posted by others), they had to make up brand new bullshit on the spot like "indirect rule violations". If a rule isn't being directly violated, then it's not being violated at all. They also couldn't even say which specific rule was allegedly being "indirectly" violated.

Straight up Calvinball.

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I agree in principle.

But this specifically I find disheartening hilarious:

"Universities—even private universities—eventually learned an important lesson in free speech. The latest speech code survey by the Foundation for Individual Rights and Expression (FIRE) indicates that only 18.5 percent of surveyed universities have a “red light” (clearly speech-restrictive) speech policy. That’s down more than 50 points from 2009, a year I filed multiple free speech lawsuits against public universities."

Maybe most universities do not have a "red light" speech policy anymore -- but most of them seem to be very good at preventing discussion of taboo dogmas related to race, sex, gender, disability, etc. Good to the point that people are fired for expressing dissent, after the woke mobs complain about them, and until-recently-serious and respected scientific publications like Nature and Perspective in Psychological Science toe the line of allowed and not allowed speech according to the gospel of Critical Whatever Theory.

Let the private media learn from the academic world, indeed. Done and done. And here we are.

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While the narrative of center and center-left "objective" journalists is that Twittergate is just an aberration of the radical left and thus a nothing burger and that moderate liberals are just as disgusted with it, Musk is booed for 5 minutes at a Dave Chappelle show in San Francisco.

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David French's recommendations are reasonable and in harmony with our First Amendment rights However, in order to adopt those recommendations, an organization must have a well defined past, a realized present, and an imagined future in addition to ethical leadership. Online media platforms like Twitter seem to me to live only in and for the present.

Once again university life is a source of wonder and amusement. The statement "Acts of intolerance will not be tolerated" is a classic!

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