Are You Free To Talk

Don’t take my voice away.
That’s all, I’m asking for.
I want to hear you say:
“You’ve touched me some way”.

What I write or what I say,
May not enlighten you today.
There are many others,
Who’ve passed me up, along the way.

Why would I ever imagine,
What I express—would sway,
Your polarized heart’s way?
When not even, the patriots obey.

You’re free to believe what you may,
But I’m hoping you and I,
In the end—will still be okay;
That’s why, I want to stay.

By: ElRoyPoet © 2020

The real debate here is not about the principle of free speech, but the much grayer question of how we draw its boundaries. What kinds of speech should be morally out of bounds? What sorts of speakers should be excluded from major platforms? When can giving a platform to one kind of person actually makes it harder for other people to speak their minds freely? Once we see that these are the issues we’re actually discussing, it becomes clear that “cancel culture” is not the existential threat to free expression it’s made out to be.Drawing the lines of socially acceptable expression and determining appropriate responses to transgressing those norms.’ That’s not a conflict over the principles of a free society but the rules that govern its operation in practice.Excerpts from: The “free speech debate” isn’t really about free speech

“Virtually every American politician professes to love the First Amendment. Many of them profess to hate another law: Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act. But the more they say about 230, the clearer it becomes that they actually hate the First Amendment and think Section 230 is just fine.
The heart of Section 230 is famously just 26 words: ‘No provider or user of an interactive computer service shall be treated as the publisher or speaker of any information provided by another information content provider.’
The law was passed in 1996, and courts have interpreted it expansively since then. It effectively means that web services—as well as newspapers, gossip blogs, listserv operators, and other parties—can’t be sued for hosting or reposting somebody else’s illegal speech. In addition, it means courts can dismiss most lawsuits over web platform moderation, particularly since there’s a second clause protecting the removal of “objectionable” content.
Threatening to repeal 230 is a shakedown racket, a way for lawmakers to quietly put their thumb on the scale—a back door to imposing government speech regulations.
When lawmakers do take up serious issues around platform regulation, it’s often with the blatant ulterior motive of punishing “Big Tech” for perceived political misdeeds.
Removing Section 230 protections is a sneaky way for politicians to get around the First Amendment
Platform moderation has become one of the few enforcement mechanisms to punish bad behavior. When bad behavior goes unpunished, unaddressed, and spirals out into something worse and worse, people look for something to blame. And the reality is that no politician can blame the First Amendment, so they blame 230 instead. That’s the lesson, the takeaway: whenever politicians talk about regulating Big Tech or changing 230, they are almost always talking about imperiling the First Amendment.
The bigger issue, though not the only one, is that the internet allows people to speak to each other at a scale unprecedented in human history. The shortcomings and tradeoffs of the laws governing that speech have never been so evident, and their troublesome edge cases never so numerous. And instead of trying to reckon with a new world, the people who make and enforce those laws have abdicated their principles and responsibilities in favor of wielding raw power—and, often, abdicating a lot of their common sense as well.
The First Amendment is over 200 years old. It might remain the law on paper for a long time to come, but for the average American, the era of government speech regulations is already here, and things are about to get darker than ever.”
Excerpt from How America turned against the First Amendment

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