Let's Talk About Free Speech - Stuart Bedasso Radio

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Sunday, December 18, 2022

Let's Talk About Free Speech

 Let’s Talk About Free Speech

As you may or may not have heard, one of our folks here at the Stuart Bedasso media “empire” recently lost their job, pretty much because of what they said on the podcast that we put out.  You can hear the specific podcast on our Patreon if you’re curious, &/or here’s the podcast that explains why they were

That, along with the ridiculousness over what’s happening with Twitter spurred this post.  So let’s talk about “free speech”

For people in the United States:  Our Bill of Rights grants us freedom from government interference when it comes to speech.  From the government – not private companies or individuals*.  So Twitter, Facebook, or any other privately-owned social media platform can, and does, censor whatever the hell it wants.

And you, as a private individual are allowed to tell them to fuck off, to not use their platform and therefore giving them your data.  And that’s a decision people have to make, especially those who rely on these platforms for economic survival.  Is it worth getting off of Twitter or Instagram if those platforms drive people to the platform where you make money?  This is huge for sex workers as well as independent journalists like Lee Camp, Rania Khalek, et al.  And why it is up to those of us who do not rely on the big platforms to support the folks who do in other ways.  

So when we decide to leave a platform, we have the luxury of not relying on The Stuart Bedasso Show or Stuart Bedasso Radio as revenue streams we need to survive.  It’s a much easier decision for us.  

But you, as individuals, also have the power to leave these platforms; to find other places online to exchange ideas, meet others, explore others’ art.  Building up those platforms is a (slight) form of activism.  We agree that we’re not going to consumer our way to Revolution, but this is a step.  

And as much as we like watching cat videos, getting recipes, or seeing boobies on a platform, if that platform allows hate speech, allows Nazi’s to roam free, etc., by continuing to use that platform we’re implicitly approving of that behavior – as well as approving of boobies, which if you’re reading this, you probably are down with them as well.  

*Of course there is individual behavior that IS illegal in places.  Stalking, threatening, etc.  And the big platforms are very inconsistent in how they deal with people who do these things.  And this is another reason to not use those outlets.  

The idea that your rights cannot infringe on someone else’s rights has been around since the idea of free speech began.  And hate speech infringes on other people's right to be safe.  Dave Chappelle’s shitty “jokes” about transgender people do that.  Elon Musk silencing people who criticize him does that.  By the way, the (US) government insisting on having a “permit” to assemble is also muzzling speech.  

So what’s the point here?  

Well, our brains have been trained to gravitate toward not having to do much thinking; black or white; yes or no; this or that, etc.  But very little in life is like that, including this concept of free speech.  There's almost always a lot of gray.  So we’re going to be leaving Twitter come January 1st and we’ve already started exploring other platforms.  And some of them are problematic, too.  We’re still on Facebook & Instagram…for now.  We’ve started posting our podcast on YouTube…for now.  But we’ve also looked to some lower-key places as well.  Pillowfort, Bandcamp, Minds, Patreon, & Plurk.  Yeah… Plurk.  And we’re checking out more.  

We also hope you’ll use our website as a place to exchange ideas as well.  I guess in the comments; but even if you do that, we’ll be moderating those.  For things we agree with?  No.  Just for hateful stuff.  Is that against free speech?  Not if you agree that hateful speech infringes on other people’s rights, which we do.  

So if you’re really into the idea of free speech, don’t be lazy about it.  Put ideas online that you would only say to people face-to-face.  Give your ideas time to get thought about before posting.  Maybe make sure most of your time is in listening and thinking as opposed to speaking.

Just a thought.

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