We will always view censorship as a last resort, because we believe open discourse is better for writers and better for society.
in an age where "platform risk" is a major issue for content creators, this message is reassuring.
I discovered this wonderful platform through Alex Berenson. I have found his reporting on COVID to be incredibly accurate as it pertains to the data and science (not Scientisim). Thank you for allowing journalists like Alex and others to express their viewpoints and expose the truth.
It's generous of you to offer the diagnosis that we have "a trust problem." I believe, however, that most of your readers would argue that we have "a censorship problem." There is no reason to trust news sources that simply would not allow open discussion of Hunter Biden's laptop, Covid's origins in the Wuhan lab, election fraud, suppression of HCQ and IVM, or any other relevant topic that strayed from an enforced narrative. What we desperately need are platforms that support open conversation where critical information can be presented and discussed. Trust is downstream from freedom of speech which must always come first.
We have a trust problem because our institutions have become increasingly corrupted. They have earned the mistrust with their lies and propaganda.
" In a pernicious cycle, these dynamics in turn give each group license to point to the excesses of the other as further justification for mistrust and misbehavior. It’s always the other side who is deranged and dishonest and dangerous. It’s the other side who shuts down criticism because they know they can’t win the argument. It’s they who have no concern for the truth. Them, them, them; not us, us, us. Through this pattern, each group becomes ever more incensed by the misdeeds of the other and blind to their own. The center does not hold. "
I can understand why you'd say that, but the truth of the matter is the censorship, mistrust, and hatred even, is largely coming from one side, and I'm pretty sure you know that already or we wouldn't be here talking about it.
As insoluble equations go, this one's actually very simple to describe. The world is divided into two major groups. Those that want to be left alone to live their lives peacefully in the manner they see fit, and the "world changers" (for want of a better term) who think it's OK to impose their will on others because they know better than we do what's good for us.
You see constant evidence of this in the manner and form with which group B tries to impose its will on group A. This happens because while group A is always larger, it is also less organized, that being an inherent feature of wanting to be left alone. Group B, OTOH, is highly organized because that's what "world changers" do. They organize to bring about change that THEY think is necessary, usually without consulting anyone but themselves.
This is completely independent of ideology, and is more correctly described in psychological terms. The "world changers" you see marching in German newsreels of the 30's have the same underlying mentality as today's Antfa, BLM, and other "woke" or "progressive" entities. It's best summed up by "the means justify the ends" since their inherent superior wisdom is to them, self evident.
Riding atop all this are the elites, who understand how this works, and who maintain control by appealing to the mentality of Group-B, usually to the detriment of both groups.
There really is no centre. That's just an illusion created by the temporary stability brought about by economic abundance. Take that away, and it immediately disappears.
The scientific method starts with a question that needs to be answered. We are here to explore those questions and find what is right and wrong about our conclusions. I'm tired of other platforms that tell people we can't question, not even the experts, but the bought and paid for factcheckers. Especially when they trudge on my area of expertise.
Let people decide for themselves. Getting lots of contrary information is difficult and complicated. Sorting through the morass can be challenging. But this process keeps us sharp and aware of different facets of every story.
This is important, and people in the years to come will remember who protected a culture of free speech and open discourse.
I so appreciate that Substack is taking this tact and upholding free speech rights.
I'll leave Christopher Hitchens to the rest...
"To whom do you award the right to decide which speech is harmful, or who is the harmful speaker? Or to determine in advance what are the harmful consequences going to be, that we know enough about in advance to prevent? To whom would you give this job? To whom are you going to award the task of being the censor?
Isn't it a famous old story that the man who has to read all the pornography, in order to decide what's fit to be passed and what isn't, is the man most likely to become debauched? Did you hear any speaker of the opposition to this motion – eloquent as one of them was – to whom you would delegate the task of deciding for you what you could read?
To whom you would give the job of deciding for you? Relieve you from the responsibility of hearing what you might have to hear? Do you know anyone? Hands up, do you know anyone to whom you'd give this job? Does anyone have a nominee?"
- Christopher Hitchens, Be It Resolved: Freedom of Speech Includes the Freedom to Hate - 15 November 2006
Excellent. Of course, if Substack does start censoring "misinformation" and "canceling" any of the people I follow, I will expect a refund on all of my subscriptions.
This strategy makes Substack a clear leader in the new social media. People are intelligent.
Two days ago I joined Substack and published my first article, comparing Neil Young's message about junkies dying from needles in their arms to today's situation. The next thing that happens is Neil Young protesting against all those who express their concern about seeing loved ones dying from having needles stuck in their arms!
At the time he wrote his song, there was almost unlimited freedom of expression. Sadly, that is no longer the case. We are fortunate, I think, to have this podium and I sincerely hope the owners will continue defending our right to express our opinions.
This was an excellent, clearly articulated statement on the value of free speech. Those who argue against it will miss it when it’s gone, which is hopefully never. Viva Substack and thank you for standing firm on this principle which is essential to literature, art, science and any form of critical inquiry. And besides: who watches the watchmen?
Thank you for posting this, I am new to Substack and find your approach so refreshing in the face of the decline of legacy media due to the crap practices that abound on social media channels. We are social creatures and yearn to connect but we're all pretty much fed up with being the fodder for social media advertising.
Thank you for this. I'll leave a little Ricky Gervais quote here that seems relevant, "Please stop saying 'you can't joke about anything anymore'. You can. You can joke about whatever the fuck you like. And some people won't like it and they will tell you they don't like it. And then it's up to you whether you give a fuck or not. And so on. It's a good system."
#FreeSpeech 🤗 That’s why I’m here.
“I disapprove of what you say, but I will defend to the death your right to say it.”
― Evelyn Beatrice Hall (paraphrasing Voltaire)