This past week has seen more and more attacks on free speech and civil rights than any time I can remember. I don’t see where anyone is actually tabulating the frequency or even the number of attacks. So, I can’t provide hard data to prove an increase. But, there is no doubt there are attacks and they are legion.
We expect attacks on or systematic elimination of citizen speech in Communist countries. But, I find it amazing Socialists are gaining support as they attack rights and Progressives are joining in…
— The Rebel (@TheRebelTV) July 11, 2016
As our report shows, curbs on free speech have grown tighter. Without the contest of ideas, the world is timid and ignorant.
In all areas of life, free debate sorts good ideas from bad ones. Science cannot develop unless old certainties are queried. Taboos are the enemy of understanding. When China’s government orders economists to offer optimistic forecasts, it guarantees that its own policymaking will be ill-informed. When American social-science faculties hire only left-wing professors, their research deserves to be taken less seriously.
During an interview with the FOX Business Network’s Stuart Varney, Emily Jashinsky of Young America’s Foundation discussed the importance of freedom of speech on college campuses after students at Bowdoin College in Brunswick, Maine were impeached for wearing sombreros at a tequila party.
Three faculty members confronted Tai. One of them, Melissa Click, who teaches at the journalism school, is shown on a video calling out, “Hey, who wants to help me get this reporter out of here. I need some muscle over here.” She and her colleagues seem to have forgotten that the quad of a public university is public space, and a journalist has the same free-speech rights as do the protestors.
Regulators in Washington are showing increasing interest in tightening rules on political speech on the web, arguing that the dissonant voices enabled by “new media” have become too influential.
“I think that poses a special danger to a country that cherishes First Amendment speech, freedom of expression, even freedom of association,” FCC Commissioner Ajit Pai told the Washington Examiner. “I think it’s dangerous, frankly, that we don’t see more often people espousing the First Amendment view that we should have a robust marketplace of ideas where everybody should be willing and able to participate.
Twitter on Tuesday announced the formation of a new “Trust and Safety Council,” which will work to develop policies censoring speech on the site. The group will be comprised of more than 40 organizations from 13 regions around the world.
This coordinated campaign has been underway for years. Its creation can be traced to the Supreme Court’s 2010 decision inCitizens United v. Federal Election Commission, when the court refused to accept the Obama administration’s argument that it could ban books, mailers, advertisements or anything else that contained a political message during an election campaign. This simple ruling ensured that Americans retained the fundamental right to use free speech to praise or criticize a candidate running for office.