My View of Internet Censorship
How do you guys feel about censorship online? I’m a free-speech kind of guy! I don’t want anyone to be allowed to approve, or disapprove, of what I’m saying in my blog posts, on my show, or in anything that I write, or present. That’s just me! To me the right of free speech is a key to our personal freedoms in our representative Republic form of government.
And yes, you may note, that I said representative Republic, not Democracy! That is because, while we do have a democratic form of government in one sense, that is not the official form of government we have according to the Constitution of the United States. I’m just being technically correct here. The problem with a pure democracy, in which everyone gets a single vote, is that it can become, simply, mob rule. If you look around you, you will find, that there are a lot of people that have opinions, that do not have the brain cells to back up those opinions!
This is merely an observation! You may think what you will, and you may say what you will. That’s the beauty of free speech! But, this is a tech blog, not a political blog. So, it is not my intent to get into politics at all! What I want to talk about is: “What are we to think of the censorship that is being done on the Internet to all kinds of sources, whether they are politically left, or politically right?” Do you want to be the arbiter of what others see and are allowed to read? There are many that want to be just that for all of us! And therein lies the problem.
How are we to know, and trust, the self-appointed censors? The bottom line is, I don’t! I don’t want you censoring what I read, or what I watch, no matter who you are, and no matter what your credentials are! This is a really slippery slope. And, once we surrender this right to read, and to see, anything that we want to read or see, then we are in danger of entering into a totalitarian society.
You may not like what I like to watch. And, that’s your right! You may not like to read what I like to read. And, that is your right! Just don’t tell me what I am allowed to read, or to watch, on the Internet! That’s NOT your job! In fact, that’s not anyone’s job!
But, “Dr. Bill,” you might say, “what about hate speech?” Well, the problem is one person’s hate speech, is another person set of facts! The viewer, or the reader, should be the one to decide which category what they are viewing, or reading, is falling into. That’s the way it’s been with newspapers, books, magazines, and other sources for a long time, and it has worked out well up to now.
Remember those folks with only a few brain cells to rub together, that I mentioned earlier? What if those are the people that decide what you can read, and what you can see? You see the problem! The pursuit of knowledge and your personal intellectual, and social, development, should be up to you! It should not be the purview of anyone else to direct your attention to any form of information, whether it be political, social, or personal. And, this applies to technologies as well.
I don’t want anybody telling me to avoid Linux simply because it’s Linux, and not Windows! You know, that I like to spout off about Windows, and how it’s “evil,” even though I still use it! That’s just me. But I’m not telling you that you can’t use Windows. I’m just telling you that in my opinion, Microsoft is trying to have too much control over the operating system and their users. I know that, and I accept that it is true, and I still use Windows. And yes, I know that that’s a surprise to a lot of folks! But, I can use Windows and I can use Linux and I don’t see the problem with that! That’s my choice! If I want to point out how heavy-handed Microsoft is to my viewers, and listeners, and readers, then I should be able to do that freely! And, you should be able to absolutely disagree with my stand as a viewer, or a listener, or reader! I have the right to my opinion. You have the right to your opinion. But no one has the right to determine my opinion, or your opinion!
That’s really the point! So, am I a ardent supporter of “Infowars,” the website? That website, by the way, is the one that everyone seems to be “banning” these days. No, as matter of fact, I’m not! I don’t go to the website, I don’t read anything on that website, but does that website have the right to exist? Absolutely! That is really my point. Heavy-handed organizations, and companies, that censor the Internet are very troubling to me! I am not pro-hate speech. I am pro-free-speech. The decision of what is hateful should be left to the eye of the beholder.
There is an old saying, “Don’t tread on me!” That is pretty much my stand, don’t tread on me when it comes to what I read, view, or watch! I want everyone to simply leave me alone and allow me to make my own decisions, thank you very much!