The right to free speech exists in the First Amendment for a reason. This freedom is not just vital to the Bill of Rights, but also to the United States of America as a nation of liberty.
Part of liberty is the ability for people to be able to express their thoughts, opinions, and ideas without persecution from the government. Unfortunately, there’s been a new rise on the political left to censor and shut down various speech.
Speech that leftists disagree with is often dismissed as “misinformation” that has no room on any platform. Americans saw this earlier in the year when the political left worked to get Spotify podcaster Joe Rogan removed from the platform.
Now, the Associated Press is taking some heat for its statements on Elon Musk and free speech in general.
A Troubling Take from the Associated Press
In an article on Wednesday, the Associated Press slammed Elon Musk’s reasoning for purchasing Twitter. The paper claimed that Musk is buying Twitter to defend free speech rights while simultaneously “attacking” people who criticize him.
The direct inference that free speech support and pushing back against critics are mutually exclusive was heavily slammed. Multiple conservatives on Twitter noted that free speech doesn’t bar an individual from criticizing the speech of other people.
On a similar note, right-wing users on Twitter accused the Associated Press of lacking an understanding of what free speech truly entails. This is not just the ability for one to speak openly, but also for one’s thoughts, views, and opinions, to be disagreed with by other people.
Ironically, the ability to openly disagree with others and verbalize this disagreement goes hand in hand with free speech. People who dislike Musk have every right to criticize him accordingly, just as he has every right to return with criticism or thoughts of his own.
Similar Talking Points
Unfortunately, pushback against people’s rights to speak freely is not only linked to the Associated Press.
Just weeks ago, former President Obama stood before a crowd at Stanford University and claimed that First Amendment rights don’t apply to social media usage. This comes at the same time the Biden White House openly expressed an interest in higher levels of regulation on social media.
Days after Obama made these comments at Stanford University, Americans learned of a Disinformation Governance Board being prepared by the federal government.
Republicans have called this board unconstitutional and demanded for it to be dismantled at once.