Yesterday Rick Falkvinge posted a piece advocating free speech. Mostly, he talked the usual stuff, importance of free speech, dangers for it, chilling effects and such.
But one statement turned me on.
“the public may be just as harsh a judge (…). In such circumstances, it is the role of government to suppress those people and activities who would make people feel threatened by stating opinions that are out of line with commonly held beliefs.“
In other words, “Government should censor speech that makes people afraid of speaking”.
Actually I think that he meant something weaker like “Government should censor speech that makes people reasonably afraid of speaking”, but it’s not my main point.
It’s the “We need to protect our society from harmful forms of speech” argumentation that’s common for all forms of censorship, from China and Pakistan all the way to EU. In this regard, censorship is the same everywhere.
And it’s a funny thing to see in a post advocating for freedom.
To clarify one thing, I’m not against censorship in general. But I think it should be recognised as such and spoken clearly about. It’s the most healthy way.