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Georgepublished in Hawker Tips


Why free speech and anti censorship is important

Over the past few years, we have seen constant censorship and banning across major social media platforms, these activities have gotten mixed sentiments from several high-profile and powerful figures. Some advocates believe that everyone has the right to say whatever they want, regardless of how much it offends someone else, so long as it isn’t explicit hate speech or otherwise illegal.

What is censorship?

Censorship can have different meanings in different situations, but at its core, it’s about control. If someone or something is being censored, it means that someone else—whether a person or an idea—is controlling what information or views are allowed to be seen by others. Censors use a variety of methods to create acceptable speech and silence those who don’t fall in line with their beliefs. The effect censorship has on discourse and culture depends largely on which group controls which ideas. When anti-censorship advocates fight against one form of censorship they are also fighting to protect themselves from other forms of censorship that may arise in future cases.

Why free speech and anti censorship is important

Many people may not realize how important an open, unrestricted flow of information is to a successful society. A democracy cannot function without its citizens knowing what’s going on around them. One recent trend that has alarmed many Americans is growing calls for censorship. Instead of silencing speech through brute force, opponents of expression prefer to do it through legislation. The first amendment was instituted in part to prevent lawmakers from passing any such laws against freedom of expression – but some legislators are still trying anyway. This is why it’s so crucial that we never lose sight of why we have these rights in the first place and continue to fight for their protection. Free Speech or self-censorship?

A brief history of censorship

Censorship has always been a topic of discussion for civil rights activists, people fighting for minority rights, and groups like PEN America. But censorship isn’t just something that happens in third world countries or by authoritarian governments; censorship in America still exists. According to Rolling Stone magazine, it was only earlier last year that New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg attempted to create a registry for all sex offenders living in his city. The registry would have been available on an app downloadable through Google Maps and other popular GPS systems used by Americans.

How to defend against censorship

Governments, corporations, and communities have always tried to control what people are saying. Today censorship can mean more than fines or imprisonment—it can mean financial ruin. In some countries and under certain circumstances, whistle blowers who leak information about powerful parties face jail time—and even death threats.

By building truly open and free platforms, only then can we defend and rise against censorship once and for all. Join Hawker today

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