(NaturalNews) Here we go again: Another Left-wing Marxist who wants to quash all political speech he and those of his ilk disagree with – because quashing speech is much easier than debating ideas and convincing others you are right.
In a recent op-ed for The New York Times, Google CEO Eric Schmidt argued that so-called “hate speech” should be heavily censored online, conveniently just days after leading Democratic presidential contender Hillary Clinton called on Silicon Valley to help in the fight against the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL, also known as ISIS – the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria).
Clinton argued that it is important to “disrupt” the terrorist organization’s communications network by depriving “jihadists of virtual territory.”
For his part Schmidt made similar claims and for similar reasons: Terrorism. Except that he narrowed in on a specific problem – “hate” speech related to terrorism or used by violent organizations to foment more chaos and to recruit those who would help spread it.
Hiding tyranny in what some claim is only reasonable
This paragraph in particular is troubling:
The Internet is showing us the raw reality of the lives of oppressed people and their real needs, and it is also allowing some of our worst traits — in the form of envy, oppression and hate — to come into full view as well. We need strong leaders worldwide who will fight broadly for human progress and tolerance, and focus on bettering everyone’s lives. We need leaders to use the new power of technology to allow us to broaden our horizons as individuals, and in the process broaden the horizons of our society. [Emphasis added]
Schmidt goes on to give lip service to “free speech,” but claims that governments and technology companies like Google should really play the role of speech police:
We should build tools to help de-escalate tensions on social media — sort of like spell-checkers, but for hate and harassment. We should target social accounts for terrorist groups like the Islamic State, and remove videos before they spread, or help those countering terrorist messages to find their voice. Without this type of leadership from government, from citizens, from tech companies, the Internet could become a vehicle for further disaggregation of poorly built societies, and the empowerment of the wrong people, and the wrong voices.
Did you catch that? The “wrong people” and “the wrong voices.” Who decides such things? And based on what parameters or defining qualities?
Sure, it sounds all well and good that Google – and, presumably, Yahoo, Microsoft and the other major tech and media companies – want to ban “terrorist speech,” but such power will eventually morph into a much broader effort aimed at banning “hate speech” or, at least, speech that gatekeepers like Schmidt eventually deem as “hateful.”
Enemies of speech
And what would such speech look like? We already know because we’ve already seen it.
In recent months when Americans expressed disapproval for gay marriage, they were shouted down, vilified and taken to court, all in an effort to shut them up and quash their point of view (their speech, if you will). And the reasons behind the opposition didn’t matter at all – whether it was due to religious objections or on constitutional grounds. The same goes for virtually all matters of race; the Left is the only arbiter of what does and does not constitute “hate speech,” and frankly that’s been the problem with “hate speech” laws from the outset – they are arbitrary, broadly (or too narrowly) applied, and subjective.
Here is a good primer on the constitutional implications of “hate speech.” Read it and see if you agree.
In the meantime, understand that the enemies of speech are always those who seek to control what can and cannot be said in the “marketplace of ideas.” Enemies of speech are those who seek to define its parameters and scope. They are the ones who will use what seems like a reasonable basis (e.g. helping to stop the spread of terrorism), in order to more broadly apply their power to speech they determine to be “hateful.”
That’s tyranny, not freedom, and that makes people like Schmidt the enemies of freedom.
Written by J. D. Heyes
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