Who exactly should decide what can or cannot be posted on internet sites such as Facebook and YouTube?
Do you go to college to become a censor? Do you take courses in how to determine what people should or should not see? Can you major in censorship? Exactly what qualifications are needed to be a censor, who then makes decisions for the rest of us?
When I read that a non-violent, non-pornographic, non-racist video dealing with a “political” issue has been removed from an internet site, I’m frustrated that I can’t see for myself what certain “experts” were saying about a particular topic (such as the debate about whether or not kids should wear masks during the Covid-19 pandemic). Whether I agree or disagree with these experts is not the point. My objection is I can’t even see the video because a “superior being” has decided that I should not have the right to make the decision myself.
In mid-April I read a Wall Street Journal piece by Roger Kimball (“Censorship Competition Heats Up”). He said the book “When Harry Became Sally: Responding to the Transgender Moment,” had been delisted from Amazon.com, as had Heather Mac Donald’s “The War on Cops.”
“At least one of my own books, ‘Tenured Radicals,’ is missing in action here,” he wrote. “Apparently there were no ‘complaints and concerns’ about Adolf Hitler’s ‘Mein Kampf,’ however. That book is available in a variety of editions, as are the anti-Semitic lucubration’s of Louis Farrakhan and many other similarly unedifying effusions.”
Kimball wrote that Amazon and Bookshop are private companies, and they can choose to sell what they want.
But “What we are witnessing are not the prerogatives of the free market but the clashing of a culture war. These clashings may adopt, as camouflage, the rhetoric of free enterprise, but their end is control and obliteration of opposing points of view.”
In August 1950, President Harry S. Truman spoke to Congress about the Internal Security of the United States. “Once a government is committed to the principle of silencing the voice of opposition, it has only one way to go, and that is down the path of increasingly repressive measures, until it becomes a source of terror to all its citizens and creates a country where everyone lives in fear.”
We don’t all have to agree on everything, but we should agree that different thoughts and the ability to express them is one of the fundamentals of this country’s foundation.