Free Speech, Social Media, and Intellectual Silos

Source: EconLog
by Kevin Corcoran

“In a recent article for CNN, Kara Alaimo voices some concerns about speech and social media. Though she makes frequent use of the term ‘free speech,’ what she’s really worried about is unmoderated speech — that is, speech which isn’t restrained by the platform hosting the speaker. … Alaimo is worried that social media platforms like Twitter, Parler, and Truth Social are insufficiently aggressive about moderating what she considers to be “conservative” speech. But in her article she also explains, without realizing it, why attempts to shut down certain viewpoints in these platforms will backfire in ways she would find regrettable. If you take people who hold a certain worldview (conservatism, say) and systematically shut them out of a public forum, those people don’t simply disappear. Nor do they lose interest in discussing their ideas. Instead they will simply form a new platform designed for themselves and for like minded people.” (11/21/22)