Some thoughts on “free speech” that’ve been rolling around my brain

Premise: You are not a free speech absolutist.

I’m going to send you an email, and you’re going to publish the contents of that email on your Gemini capsule. What? No you aren’t? How dare you censor me. And you better not report me for harassment when I continue to use my FREE SPEECH to email you.

That’s stupid, yeah? But it’s exactly the same thing as publishing a tweet or a Facebook status, just a little less streamlined. If you inherently have the right to tweet, I inherently have the right to space on your capsule.

Tangent: “But Twitter is huge! It has a bigger audience!”

So? You’re not entitled to an audience. All you’re entitled to is the right to speak publicly. And if you’re reading this gemlog, you almost certainly have a gemlog and/or capsule of your own. A place where you can speak and be heard.

The smol net is, well, smoller. You have to actually write something worth reading if you want an audience, unlike Twitter where any dumbass with a Sunglasses Selfie In A Car pfp can get noticed simply by posting inane, factually incorrect whinges about whatever strawman they’ve willingly mistaken for critical race theory. This is a feature, not a bug, in my view.

It doesn’t matter how big Twitter is; it’s still someone else’s website — which is the whole reason so many of us are here; using decentralized social media like Mastodon, making our own websites and Gemini capsules and Gopherholes, and using social media alternatives like Station and Smol Pub!

Another tangent: Twitter actually just sucks

There’s this view that censorship by Twitter is just as bad as censorship by a government, and I just can’t wrap my head around it. You don’t need Twitter. Twitter isn’t even a good website. If Twitter bans you for misinformation or whatever, you have in fact been REWARDED for your bad behavior.

I’ve never been able to understand how such a huge number of people can recognize that something is bad, and yet we as a society just... keep doing it. Why are cigarettes still a thing? Why do so many neighborhoods lack sidewalks? Why did humanity move from long-form blogging to tiny statuses where you can’t even use markup of any sort? (Now THAT’S censorship.) I just don’t get why we do stupid things. I don’t think I ever will.



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