Free Speech : Now More Free!

Feel like groaning out loud? Then check out this NYTimes article about the rising call for blogger civility. Evidently, it's time for bloggers to edit the comments left on their site and to engage in civil discussions only. Even worse, we need to place a logo on the site indicated whether anonymous writing is allowed or if the author seeks confirmation for breaking news. The article ends with this sweet quote:
Mr. O’Reilly said the guidelines were not about censorship. “That is one of the mistakes a lot of people make — believing that uncensored speech is the most free, when in fact, managed civil dialogue is actually the freer speech,” he said. “Free speech is enhanced by civility.”

(It should be obvious that this is not coming from Bill O'Reilly from Fox News.)

Is free speech enhanced by civility? No. A pleasant conversation is enhanced by civility. Free speech can't really be enhanced by anything. It's either free, or it is censored. Occasionally you have to set restrictions to free speech in order to create the perception of safety and civility. That's why we don't have completely free speech at work or at a baseball game or on the radio. But, Thank God!, it is more civil...

I promise my loyal reader(s) that I won't be censoring comments or fact-checking or confirming stories. This blog will remain completely uncivil and irrelevant.


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