Free speech is a fine value to uphold, even if it is a vastly overrated one. For example the United states of American has robust free speech protections, but has the worst child support enforcement system of any western nation. It has also waged an anti freedom war on drugs, that is has incarcerated millions of men, since Richard Nixon kicked it off. Having free speech doesn’t mean that the society you live in is going to be great.
Free Speech is fine and all, but some people seem to be believe it is a magical cure for all of societies problems. Some people seem to be under the impression, that once you have freedom of speech, the market place of open ideas will win out and improve society. Sadly this is not true, simply because many people are stupid, and simplistic false ideas appeal to lots of people.
Also many people are “pro free speech” to virtue signal to others about how righteous they are. The right love to pretend that free speech is a right wing value, and the left is anti free speech. From a historical perspective this is complete bunk and nonsense. Also I have encountered too many right wing “pro free speech” channels that ban people who disagree with them.
Right wingers want to be free to say whatever they want, even if it is defamation. They want to convince you to let them say what they want, so they can drown out your competing narrative, and then censor and ban you when they get a chance to.
A lot of the time free speech is seen as good because of “reasons”. Free speech it is a value that is seen as good thing in of itself. I judge ideas by outcomes, many people see principles as good thing to have for the sake of it, a lot of people see value in being consistent in their principles, even if being consistent in those principles is unworkable in the real world.
To me principles are a tool used to lead to good outcomes. If a certain principle doesn’t work in a certain situation that one must be flexible in their principles. Reality is not black and white, there is a lot of nuance and ambiguity in the real world. I am a advocate of utilitarianism, over dogmatic principles.
For example free market fanatics have one simplistic axiom that their world view is based around, less regulation of business is good. In the real world this is not always so. Sometimes less regulation for business is good, sometimes you need to regulate business for the best outcomes for society. It totally depends on context. When deregulation fails, and is proven to fail, free market fanatics will just double down and go, “that failure is due to not enough deregulation. The markets are still not free enough.” Computers would of never been developed in a purely free market society for example.
Lets take the example of YouTube, I have spoken to numerous free speech absolutists that believe no speech should be restricted on YouTube. When I bring up the problem of defamation, for example people false accusing others of crimes, (like rape and child abuse.) the free speech absolutists say that people being defamed can use the legal system to get their problem addressed, the problem is not everyone can afford to get a lawyer, and YouTube is an international platform, victims could be getting defamed by someone outside the legal jurisdiction they live in, so that means there is no means of them getting justice or protection from false accusations. When I point this out to some free speech fundamentalists, they do not seem to care at all, and state they value free speech over anything else.
These people are clearly psychopathic on some level, their lack of empathy is very telling, they would of course soon change their tune if the false accusation happened to them.
False accusations online is a men’s issues, as it will be mostly men who are the targets of false accusations online. YouTube would be a chaotic hell hole if false accusations, harassment and doxing was allowed to stand there. In fact I believe YouTube doesn’t do enough to take videos like that down fast enough. It is an unreasonable unrealistic expectation that free speech absolutists to have about YouTube. They have either not thought their position through, or they do not care about the results of their free speech fundamentalism .
I am all for ideas being protected speech, but defamation and false accusations have no value or use in society, so there is no need to protect that type of speech. I honestly do not trust the motives of people who want that sort of behavior enabled. .