Should Libertarians Care About Facebook Bans?
What has been the worst reaction to Facebook’s decision last week to permanently ban Alex Jones, Paul Joseph Watson, Milo Yiannopoulis, Louis Farrakhan, and others for their “dangerous” speech? Hard to say, though the president of the United States, per usual, is in the running.
I am continuing to monitor the censorship of AMERICAN CITIZENS on social media platforms. This is the United States of America — and we have what’s known as FREEDOM OF SPEECH! We are monitoring and watching, closely!!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) May 3, 2019
Intersecting as it does the diverging cultural and legal parameters of free speech, while also portending of a more serious regulatory clampdown–capture exercise to come, the move sparks some vigorous debate in this week’s Editors’ Roundtable edition of the Reason Podcast. Katherine Mangu-Ward, Nick Gillespie, Peter Suderman and Matt Welch differ on whether the ban is bad or fine, whether speech is expanding or contracting, and whether ’90s Net Triumphalists are doomed to become old men shaking their fists at clouds.
Audio production by Ian Keyser.
Relevant links from the show:
“Libertarian Banned from Facebook for Tide Pod Joke That Mocked Liberals,” by Robby Soave
“Mark Zuckerberg, Crony Capitalist,” by John Stossel
“Trump Doesn’t Like What People See When They Search ‘Trump News,’” by Peter Suderman
“Partisans United Against Free Speech,” by Matt Welch
“Making the Fairness Doctrine Great Again,” by Thomas Hazlett
“The End of Free Speech,” by Katherine Mangu-Ward
“Trump Is No Match for the First Amendment,” by Jacob Sullum
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