There is a subtle assumption we make about censorship: that you have been censored it means you are right and the powers-that-be don't want to hear it. While we think there are good historical reasons for this, those are themselves based on winners writing the history. We were despised, ignored, shouted down, but eventually we were proved right by the force of our truth. Er, maybe. But sometimes censorship occurs not just because there is one set of facts that the powers don't want to get out, but because they are just irritable, lazy, and controlling, and are sick of stupid ideas coming across their desk. In censoring the stupid and getting away with it, they find it's just convenient to censor anything that bothers them.
When I was younger it seemed that popular opinion was always on the side of the censored, straining to get a hearing for a suppressed truth. We liked it so much that the ACLU defended the rights of Nazis to march and to speak. But being censored did not make the Nazis right - nor in the romanticised retrospective of the left did it make the communists right (well, at least mostly right and stating truths other Americans didn't want to hear, they claimed).
This was brought on speaking to a man at church today who thought it a terrible thing that YouTube and Twitter had censored some people who had controversial views - as do I - but there was an undercurrent that considered this a mark that those ideas were therefore worth paying attention to. I realised I had heard this before but never quite put words to it.
Being censored can make you hopping mad and more determined than ever to get your ideas out, and that's fine. It probably means you won't be reconsidering your ideas anytime soon because you are seeing red, but that it at least understandable - for you. For the rest of us it should be a neutral. It's worth being suspicious why this particular set of ideas is being shut down, but it doesn't add to their veracity.
There you go, adding a whole palette of colours, to what is supposed to be black and white. ;)
Sometimes an asshole is right, but he’s always an asshole.
For the rest of us it should be a neutral. It's worth being suspicious why this particular set of ideas is being shut down, but it doesn't add to their veracity.
It decreases trust for the censors. It is a sign that honest conversation is neither wanted nor possible.
Enforcing Goodthink is a form of censorship.
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