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08/16/2018 / By Tracey Watson
There was a time when the cheerful singing of a canary was the only way for coal miners to know that their air supply was safe. Since these birds are extremely sensitive to the effects of carbon monoxide and methane, if one became ill or died it would serve as an early warning of danger to the vulnerable miners trapped deep underground. The practice of using canaries in this way was phased out long ago, but the analogy of the dying canary serving as a warning of a bigger problem has become entrenched in the English language, and is used to refer to an isolated event which on its own may not mean much but which serves as a tangible warning of a much bigger problem busy brewing.
The censorship and attack on Alex Jones of InfoWars is the canary in the coalmine of censorship. True, many do not agree with his beliefs, and some of his theories are outrageous, but that’s not the point. The point is that free speech is protected in the United States, and what social media platforms have done by turning on him as one, deciding for themselves that what he says constitutes “hate speech,” is nothing more than cyber bullying taken to a new level. (Related: Confirmed – Google is actively censoring natural health websites to protect Big Pharma and destroy knowledge of natural medicine.)
We all like talking and we like to think that others are listening. Perhaps they really aren’t, but that’s okay. None of us want our right to express our feelings and beliefs stripped from us. Of course, there is speech that foments hatred and violence which should not be given a voice, but when the biggest communication platforms of our time – social media – take it upon themselves to decide what is and isn’t good or bad, right or wrong, hateful or good, a dangerous door is opened which will be very difficult to shove closed again. Whoever is at the helm of these organizations has opinions influenced by their own personal beliefs and convictions, and those convictions will inform their judgment of what is hateful. That is precisely why free speech has to be uncensored, because who gets to decide what is and isn’t hate speech? (Related: University apologizes for censoring First Amendment rights of students who oppose abortion.)
Think, for example, of the issue of abortion. To a Christian who is pro-life, any website favorable to abortion would be viewed as hate speech. To such a person abortion is murder, and what could be more hateful than inciting others to murder the innocent? Of course, someone who is pro-abortion has exactly the opposite view of the matter. What if the person censoring content at Facebook or Twitter is either pro- or anti-abortion? Now what? And the same could be said for virtually any divisive issue of our time. There are people firmly in one camp or the other on every issue from global warming to religion. So, who gets to decide what is and isn’t hate speech?
And, while westerners are more than likely in control of the content allowed on social media platforms, Facebook, Twitter and the like are used by billions of people around the world, many of whom have a totally different value system and set of beliefs. Who will decide which of these beliefs are right and wrong?
That’s why what’s going on with InfoWars is the canary in the coalmine. Alex Jones may just be one relatively small entity, but what his destruction means has far-reaching ramifications for everybody who wants the right to be heard.
Bookmark Censored.news to stay up-to-date on the latest developments affecting free speech.
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