Here’s What Freedom Of Speech Really Means

Freedom of speech is guaranteed to Americans by the First Amendment in the Bill of Rights. The First Amendment prohibits the government from either establishing an official religion or prohibiting the “free exercise” of speech.

Freedom of speech is the core of many political debates today, especially when it comes to online censorship at the hands of Big Tech media companies working to suppress content that is disagreeable to leftist ideologies. A recent example is Twitter’s suppression of the Hunter Biden laptop scandal that was first covered by The New York Post.

Twitter did take recommendations from both sides of the political aisle about content that should be removed or censored, but employees largely contributed to Democrats by about 99%, leaving more leverage for Democrats to make requests.

When Elon Musk initially offered to buy Twitter, his goal as a so-called “free speech absolutist” was to ensure that people could say what they want openly and freely without fear of censorship. But, as we have seen, that does not mean that accounts can post anything, otherwise, Kanye West would not have been suspended for posting antisemitic comments and symbols.

The suspension should be proof that no one is really a free speech absolutist.

What Free Speech is Not

Free speech is having the ability to say whatever one wants but, as the left likes to remind everyone, saying whatever one wants does not come without consequences. What has changed is not the idea that people should be allowed to speak freely, but the standard by which we judge what is and is not acceptable.

Up for debate today is what that standard is. The woke left likes to draw that line at anything that is politically disagreeable to their ideology, be it regarding gender, critical race theory, or opposition to children drag shows. Those on the right are more tolerant of differing political opinions but will draw the line at the promotion of child drag shows or critical race theory indoctrination.

The role of government

The role of government on citizens enjoying their First Amendment right is to simply stand aside. That has long since been forgotten as the government has been working to stifle free speech if it means they will be the subject of its dissent, like when the Department of Homeland Security created its “Disinformation Governance Board.”

Or when the Biden administration recently decided that it was going to investigate Musk over his acquisition of Twitter.