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Free Speech

Is there such a thing as “free speech” anymore?

Is it going by the wayside in our country and others?

Is “free speech” considered an essential liberty?

Can we trust our leaders, corporate and governmental to protect our rights?

Consider some of the kinds of speech being targeted for censorship or outright elimination.

Offensive, politically incorrect and “unsafe” speech: Disguised as tolerance, civility and love, political correctness has resulted in the chilling of free speech and the demonizing of viewpoints that run counter to the cultural elite. Consequently, college campuses have become hotbeds of student-led censorship, trigger warnings, microaggressions and “red light” speech policies targeting anything that might cause someone to feel uncomfortable, unsafe or offended.

» Bullying, intimidating speech: Warning that “school bullies become tomorrow’s hate crimes defendants,” the Justice Department has led the way in urging schools to curtail bullying, going so far as to classify “teasing” as a form of “bullying” and “rude” or “hurtful” “text messages” as “cyberbullying.”

Hateful speech: Hate speech — speech that attacks a person or group on the basis of attributes such as gender, ethnic origin, religion, race, disability, or sexual orientation — is the primary candidate for online censorship. Corporate internet giants Google, Twitter and Facebook are in the process of determining what kinds of speech will be permitted online and what will be deleted.

Dangerous, anti-government speech: As part of its newly unveiled war on “extremism,” the Obama administration is partnering with the tech industry to establish a task force to counter online “propaganda” by terrorists hoping to recruit support or plan attacks. In this way, anyone who criticizes the government online is considered an extremist and will have his content reported to government agencies for further investigation or deleted.

Source: Opinion/Commentary: Free speech in an age of government bullies, corporate censors and compliant – The Daily Progress: Opinion

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