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Friday, May 5, 2017
12 Threats To Free Speech In America
I don’t like to have
to write the same blog post over and over but it seems that I often find myself
writing about free speech. In what
should be a straight forward concept, especially for the nation that made free speech
a priority in its founding in 1776, there’s obviously a part of the country
that simply doesn’t understand or value the concept, jeopardizing it for
Free speech in our
country in the year 2017 is under fire.
Look at all of the major threats:
This is a huge threat
not only to our democracy, but to journalism.
There’s an alternate reality building up online.
He defames libels,
and harasses legitimate media, distorts the truth, and threatens institutions like
the arts, which stand up for free speech. His mislabeling of establishment media as fake news confuses citizens and undermines a free press.
environment used to promote free speech; now it trounces it, resorting to
violent protests to kick invited speakers off campus, such as Ann Coulter at UC Berkeley.
4.Threats Of Lawsuits
can squash free speech just with political and financial pressure or threat
of a lawsuit. This creates two worlds
– one for what the wealthy, and powerful permit and one for the rest of us.
5.Threats Of Violence
or war threaten free speech in many countries.
Wherever there’s unrest and violence, there is less of a chance that the
truth is spoken freely in public.
media is shrinking – in size, influence, and reach – free speech is
threatened. Television, radio,
newspapers, and magazines help spread, discuss, explain, and promote free
speech. A smaller media diminishes its ability
to protect and advance free speech.
Google dictates how things
are searched for or pushed to us. This
includes the media that’s fed to us.
Googgle single-handedly could pose the greatest danger to free speech.
Google, can dictate what we see or don’t see.
This access to information and ideas is key to a thriving
democracy. Who made FB the arbiter of
truth? Do they have a legitimate method
of filtering information?
Twitter has kicked
off many users if it believes they are terrorists, spammers, bullies, etc. It sounds like a noble pursuit but it’s often
done inconsistently and inaccurately, leaving people in the dark when voices get
10.The Black Web
There’s a whole other
Internet out there where people communicate with each other, out of the sight of the
public. A lot of these exchanges involve
criminal enterprises, but never the less, there’s a segment of the population
that has a conversation that the masses are not invited to.
11.Too Much Information
Too many voices from
too many sources are out there, confusing, burdening and conflicting
people. Which person do you trust? Who is verifying what is said? Who has the time to consume all of this
information? Free speech is a victim of
too much speech without some kind of neutral librarian to help us digest it
12.Lack Of Education
Aside from there
being 30 million illiterate Americans, the majority of the nation lacks a
degree beyond high school. Think about
that. That leaves well over a hundred
million adults with little education. If
they don’t read often -- or at all -- how can they really function at a high
level? How can free speech thrive when
people lack the ability to understand what’s being written or said to them?
So how can we stand
up to these threats to free speech?
aware of them and take steps to fight back.
up for everyone’s rights to free speech.
events with speakers, read books, and consume traditional media.
who and what threatens free speech – and step up to make sure the erosion of your
most precious right doesn’t lead us to a collapse of civilization.
up. Don’t let others dictate the
conversation on free speech.
people you disagree with and support their right to speak freely. You can criticize their ideas, but don’t
shout them down from the podium.
about free speech by joining organizations that staunchly defend it, such as
Lastly, stand tall
with your friends, family, colleagues, neighbors, and acquaintances – and
always speak out against free speech suppression. Use your mouth now -- or be forever silenced!
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