The Escalation of the Progressive Attack on Speech

The progressive assault on speech is entering a new and more sinister phase, advancing beyond censorship by social media companies and crossing the line into government censorship. This new phase is aptly characterized in a January article found in Defense One, entitled “Regulate Social Media Companies.” The article commingles many different errant ideas, but its most disturbing attribute is the reckless way in which various sorts of speech formerly considered to be free are suddenly judged to be subject to progressive discipline. Take the very first sentence, for example:

“The events of January 6 showed existing approaches to quell disinformation and incitements to violence on social media platforms have failed, badly.”


The first thing to be noted in this sentence is the mischaracterization of the origins of the January 6th Capitol protests and the dismissal of the legitimate concerns with election fraud held by much of the U. S. electorate. But beyond that bit of chicanery, of greater concern is the underlying mindset displayed here, which conflates both disinformation and incitements to violence as examples of prohibited speech. While incitement to violence is clearly prohibited in the U. S., disinformation is nothing of the sort. Terms like disinformation suffer from a critical malady, which is that someone must define them for any given issue. And since every issue has at least two sides, then one side’s definition is not by itself sufficient. All sides must be represented in the free and public exchange of views.

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