Free speech rebels are having a moment. They are daring to tell the world that they will not capitulate to the leftist mob that wants to stifle the voices of those they disagree with or those with views that make them uncomfortable.
Mainstream media has focused on the latest efforts made by the harbinger of free speech mischief Elon Musk, causing liberal journos to hyperventilate into their paper sacks while feverishly typing up hit piece after hit piece on the eccentric billionaire.
However, like most assaults on our constitutional rights, the less covered attempts will prove to be successful at chipping away at the freedoms we have learned to take for granted. A recent move by the state of New York has raised the ire of another giant of free speech protection.
Rumble is litigating against Google to break their monopoly power, and now Rumble is litigating against Letitia James, the New York State AG in defense of the First Amendment.
We will be relentless and fearless in our mission, and we will lead with real action, not talk.
— Rumble – 🏴☠️ $RUM (@rumblevideo) December 1, 2022
Rumble has joined in a lawsuit to fight against a New York law sold to protect people from hate speech by forcing social media sites and bloggers to do their censorship bidding.
But this move by the Empire State is just one minor symptom of a growing cancer in our country, the push to reshape one of our most beloved God-given rights.
I first encountered this story while reading an opinion piece in The Wall Street Journal by Eugene Volokh. Mr. Volokh is the author of Volokh Conspiracy legal column, and highlights how the new online hate speech law attempts to use writers like himself to censor free speech.
Eugene Volokh started The Volokh Conspiracy (@VolokhC) legal blog to share interesting and important legal stories, not to police readers’ speech at the government’s behest.
That’s why he is joining FIRE to sue New York and defend our right to speak freely online. pic.twitter.com/Mn4mslKn1S
— FIRE (@TheFIREorg) December 1, 2022
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He explains that the law requires social media networks and any site that allows comments to publish a plan for responding to alleged ‘hate speech’ by users. Bloggers and social media sites must publicly post policies to respond to comments that:
“vilify, humiliate, or incite violence against a group based on race, color, religion, ethnicity, national origin, disability, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity or gender expression.”
But what does it mean to vilify or humiliate a group? Could it be calling large swathes of the population fascists because of their political party? Could it be labeling large swathes of the population racists based solely on the color of their skin color?
Doubtful. Laws like this one are simply meant to stifle the speech that one side disapproves of, which becomes a dangerous slippery slope.
But the state of New York doesn’t want to do the dirty work they espouse to believe in; they want creators and writers to do it for them, which is not just unconstitutional but cowardly.
Are You Ready To Rumble?
Mr. Volokh is part of a lawsuit with the Foundation for Individual Rights and Expression (FIRE) against the state of New York. An addition to this lawsuit is the Canada-based free speech YouTube alternative, Rumble.
The lawsuit claims, among other things:
“There can be no reasonable doubt New York will enforce the Online Hate Speech Law to strong-arm online services into censoring protected speech.”
What on Earth could make the likes of Rumble and the FIRE team think that could happen? It’s not as if a social media site was used as a sort of tool of the state to cherry-pick content to allow on their site based on political biases…
It's amazing how long form video coverage on the Twitter Files is only found on Rumble. Corporate media (with the exception of Fox) is completely silent on what @elonmusk is exposing.
We are finally learning why platforms like Rumble earned the trust of the people back in 2020.
— Chris Pavlovski (@chrispavlovski) December 4, 2022
Rumble CEO Chris Pavlovksi is not vibing with this New York law, pointing out the apparent effect this law will have:
“New York’s law would open the door for the suppression of protected speech based on the complaints of activists and bullies.”
Given that the law also requires platforms to create a complaint system for viewers that would need to be answered for directly, this structure is ripe for misuse by delicate personalities that feel wounded when others are critical of their views.
Refusal to comply with this law could lead to an investigation by the Attorney General’s office and hefty fines.
But It’s Hate Speech!
Nobody likes hate speech; in fact, we hate hate speech. It’s, well, hateful, and when spoken out loud, it is met with overwhelming condemnation. Which is a testament to how well free speech works in this country.
Laws like this one in New York meant to curb ‘hate speech’ will only force it to recede into the darkness, where it grows like mold in the dark corner of a public bathroom. It’s annoying that this concept seems lost on Americans now.
It is an example of how good we’ve all had it in the last century that we’ve forgotten the point of free speech.
Some scholars argue we should be relooking at what defines free speech, that our definition is too broad and should be more restrictive to account for ‘hate speech.’
In 1919 Justice Oliver Wendell Holmes penned a poignant dissent in the case Abrams v. United States. As a refresher, this case concerned individuals passing out pamphlets voicing opposition to the United States intervening in the Russian civil war.
Justice Holmes wrote:
“The ultimate good desired is better reached by free trade in ideas – that the best test of truth is the power of the thought itself to get itself accepted in the competition of the market.”
This is the famous argument for the ‘marketplace of ideas.’ However, UCLA legal scholar Richard Hasen argues this marketplace can no longer exist:
“The ‘marketplace of ideas’ approach does not match up well with our current world, where we know that the truth doesn’t rise to the top. Otherwise, there wouldn’t be 65% of Republicans believing that the last election was stolen.”
How well will that argument age in light of the recent #Twitterfiles drop this weekend?
And, what about lies? Hasen conveniently fails to mention that, nearly to a man, all top Democrats are election deniers – of the 2000, 2004, and 2016 elections.
There are people out there who are addicted to COVID.https://t.co/1GSZcNc3tb
— Wayne DuPree (Shadow-Banned) 🇺🇸 (@WayneDupreeShow) December 1, 2022
A Light In The Darkness
Pay attention to how the left and mainstream media abuse our collective distaste for hate speech. Hate speech is the motive du jour for mass shootings and other reprehensible violent crimes.
Yet another example of how we as a society are too quick to abdicate personal responsibility for our actions and instead place the blame on intangible things such as hate speech. In this lawsuit against New York, the claim is made that:
“New York cannot regulate disfavored online speech by compelling online service to ‘mouth support for views they find objectionable’ in hopes of deterring or eliminating hate speech.”
Not only can they not do it because of the Constitution, but they literally can’t do it. You can’t legislate away hate speech.
Hate speech will never not exist, because we are humans, and we have the unique capacity to hate. Therefore, the only way to fight hate is not to avoid it but to counter it with truth and well-crafted and researched arguments.
Rumble rarely gets the coverage it should, and when it does, it’s almost always labeled ‘right-wing’s go-to video site’ thanks to branding from the New York Times. Rumble’s rules state the creators have “the freedom to hold and express unpopular beliefs”; this is not a controversial concept, at least it shouldn’t be.
Let’s hope the likes of Elon Musk over at Twitter and Chris Pavlovski of Rumble continues to fight the good fight and continue to keep the light on free speech because only the light can cleanse the darkness. Once we lose that light, we lose everything.
I'm going to fight so fucking hard. I'm not the best tweeter, but I will fight for Rumble's mission till no end.
Today, Rumble's legal team is taking on the NY AG, in defense of the First Amendment.
— Chris Pavlovski (@chrispavlovski) December 1, 2022
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