Another week past and another question popping up from @eco-train that always makes us wonder what is our position in world pertinent subjects, some more in some places more than others.
This week question is freedom of speech, do we still have it ?
I would like to say: "Yes ! Of course we do" or i could do an exercise as a "No, we most certainly don't !" but there are many sides to it at this point in time.
Over time, countries, whole areas of the world, with books, television and now the internet, may have got the sense that freedom of speech has been earned as a right, or regained in case of some countries were dictatorship or some opressive regime was in place and then freed.
In reality what really always (at least since thousands of years) has been going on is a slow but steady control of humanity as a work force, and to do that you must control the speech / tought of humanity.
Maybe it depends on where you live or what type of life you lead.
The answer seems to lie somewhere in between.
You, as a random person born in this world have "some" freedom of speech which might then become limited or fully censored by society or by your peers.
The reality is that there is always some grudge, backlash, censorship or consequences if you speak the wrong words in the wrong context, there should be a respect in these regards separating work performance and professionalism or the hability of parenting, from political or apolitical position, but in reality in ends up affecting work decisions and alot of times family and friendship relationships.
I say a political or apolitical because it's one range of areas where there isn't necessarely a more correct side and may be several solutions to the same problem, the same might be true with philosophical or religious beliefs / discussions.
You tend to get pushed and shoved to the corners of society if you practice too much free speech. Go figure that one out..
Having said that, i believe that we as humanity have been in general walking toward a more open, transparent society with the sharing of information that the internet has brought us and continues to do so with increased speed.
That doesn't mean that the mindset of politicians and the laws they continually put out or already in place are up to date with these new ways information travels.
In fact i believe that the rulers of this world hate the internet, for being the most reachable way to practice free speech after book publishing in our days, and they will try and control it in every level.
Speech control, thought control, must be (continually) done to keep the human work force in a position of a submissive mindset, to never question the overlords, and to obey any new policies or laws, or to conform with your low paycheck.
This is done today through the media, newspapers, radio, tv and the internet with their algorithms, tendencies and programs replicated by people.
Not only people start censoring themselves to avoid conflit or getting "flagged" they start censoring and labelling other people, "why would you say that ? You must be X or Y".
The internet brings to the doctors, journalists, lawyers, etc, that are trough out history persecuted, a voice to the public to be heard and a way that their work, story or opinion gets to the public. This speech might be neutral as part of their work, an experience in liberty, information or an experience in a laboratoy, also not necessarily their opinion or prefered theme, but a subject of research.
I think that freedom is important in the internet and i don't think a text or a video incites violence or terrorism...
If there are services broadcasting opinions and discourses shaping society there should be a free alternative of opinions to be heard and shared, like that we can stimulate critical thinking and analise situations, problems and discuss solutions, instead of blindly trusting what comes out of controled media channels and government issued press releases.
How to best exercise free speech in the internet ?
I think that writing is the most effective, having a personal website or blog, a podcast, altough video is now coming strong also with vlogs, etc.
Through platforms that are not censored like Hive, Lbry, Bitchute, 3speak or even on alternative networks like Tor or I2P, the layers go deep in the internet as alternatives are created in order to keep creating text or speech that is not censored.
Alot of people are going to these platforms because they want to remain anonymous so that they don't get any backlash for sharing an opinion or promoting a certain discussion and Facebook and other monopoly social media doesn't allow that.
Eric Schmidt, the CEO of Google at the time, said "If you have something that you don't want anyone to know, maybe you shouldn't be doing it in the first place, but if you really need that kind of privacy, the reality is that search engines including Google do retain this information for some time, and it's important, for example that we are all subject in the United States to the Patriot Act. It is possible that that information could be made available to the authorities."
Like Snowden put it when comparing loosing the right to privacy online with free speech:
"Arguing that you don't care about the right to privacy because you have nothing to hide is no different than saying you don't care about free speech because you have nothing to say."
"When you say, ‘I have nothing to hide,’ you’re saying, ‘I don’t care about this right.’ You’re saying, ‘I don’t have this right, because I’ve got to the point where I have to justify it.’ The way rights work is, the government has to justify its intrusion into your rights."
I never trusted in democracy that much as a political system, but in general i think that we still have free speech, it all depends if you want to keep it or not.
(Photos are my own)
Thanks again for the always tought provoking Question of the Week from @eco-train: