Friendly Public Squares
Friendly Public Squares

Friendly Public Squares

Without freedom of thought, there can be no such thing as wisdom – and no such thing as public liberty without freedom of speech.

Benjamin Franklin

Precisely. You cannot be in favor of free speech and then shame people into silence when they speak their views. Writer J.K. Rowling, creator of the Harry Potter series, comes to mind.

The likes of Twitter and Reddit and Facebook are being called the new public squares. What kind of square is that where some visitors are harassed on the platform, visitors like J.K. Rowling and countless others, and shamed for stating their opinions?

The question then becomes, what kind of opinions are these?

In Rowling’s case, she expressed her opinion, steeped in 3rd wave feminist principles, regarding transgenderism. Then, Yahoo News came along and compiled a timeline of her multiple “controversies” (compiled from her own tweets). Then, other news outlets piled on, like NBC News calling her controversy a “backlash”—giving more airtime to the trending topic.

Speaker’s Corner these online platforms are not. Perhaps it’s time to start calling them the new public snares.

Which brings me to hate speech, but that’s a post for another day.

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