Tuesday , October 15 2019
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Censorship powers will be used to censor, obviously enough

Summary:
As the folk wisdom has it, be careful what you wish for because you might get it.A common enough refrain these days is that people really shouldn’t be allowed to say that. The “that” changes with the person doing the insisting but transphobia by misgendering, climate denial, absolutely anything at all that can be twisted into a definition of racism and so on. Those who use their Twitter, or Facebook, other social media accounts, to do so must be purged from that town square.To the point that some are insisting that the platforms must be out under strict responsibility to make sure that such things cannot be said on them. Be careful: Singapore’s new law to combat “fake news” has come into effect despite criticism from tech giants and activists, who labelled the tough rules a “chilling”

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As the folk wisdom has it, be careful what you wish for because you might get it.

A common enough refrain these days is that people really shouldn’t be allowed to say that. The “that” changes with the person doing the insisting but transphobia by misgendering, climate denial, absolutely anything at all that can be twisted into a definition of racism and so on. Those who use their Twitter, or Facebook, other social media accounts, to do so must be purged from that town square.

To the point that some are insisting that the platforms must be out under strict responsibility to make sure that such things cannot be said on them. Be careful:

Singapore’s new law to combat “fake news” has come into effect despite criticism from tech giants and activists, who labelled the tough rules a “chilling” attempt to stifle dissent.

The law gives government ministers powers to order social media sites to put warnings next to posts authorities deem to be false, and in extreme cases get them taken down.

Once such powers exist then of course government is going to use them. Why do you think people go into government if it’s not to have power over people and society?

And there’s absolutely no certainty whatsoever that those exercising power are going to do so in ways that you like.

Which brings us back to the standard warning about how to maintain a liberal and plural society. Never allow anyone - certainly not government - a power over society that you wouldn’t want your enemy exercising.

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Tim Worstall
Tim Worstall is a British-born writer and Senior Fellow of the Adam Smith Institute. Worstall is a regular contributor to Forbes and the Register. He has also written for the Guardian, the New York Times, PandoDaily, the Daily Telegraph blogs, the Times, and The Wall Street Journal. In 2010 his blog was listed as one of the top 100 UK political blogs by Total Politics.

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