New essay by Glenn Greenwald on the threat to free speech:
He seems to think the ACLU is in danger of becoming just another group campaigning for liberal causes.
But for numerous reasons, the ACLU — still with some noble and steadfast dissenters — is fast transforming into a standard liberal activist group at the expense of the free speech and due process principles it once existed to defend. Those reasons include changing cultural mores, an abandonment by millennials and Gen Z activists of the long-standing leftist belief in free speech and replaced by demands that views they dislike be silenced (which in turn causes Gen X and Boomer managers and editors fearful of losing their jobs or being vilified to succumb to this authoritarianism); and a massive influx of #Resistance cash donated to the ACLU not in the name of civil liberties but stopping Trump and the Republicans, much of which was used for political rather than legal staff-building.
And he brings up the straw man so beloved of posters here:
Note that what is being discussed here are not efforts to criticize or protest Shrier and her book. Nobody disputes such criticisms would be appropriate. It is much more extreme than that: an effort to prevent others from hearing her views in her book — i.e. , censorship: not state censorship, but corporate censorship.
And what I’ve been trying to say, that government censorship is not the only kind of censorship:
Those who doubt the existence of private-sector censorship should imagine a scenario in which Facebook, Google and Twitter all unite tomorrow to announce:
Henceforth, no criticisms of the Republican Party or GOP politicians shall be permitted on our platforms; criticisms of Democrats will still be permitted and spread through heightened algorithms, no matter how harsh or angry .
Few would doubt that free speech values would be severely implicated by such a united policy change from tech giants — regardless of whether one agrees with the recent report from the Democratic-led House Subcommittee concluding that Facebook and Google are classic monopolies.
That censorship occurs not only by state action but also cultural and societal coercion has often been explicitly stated by the ACLU itself. That’s why the civil liberties group has referred to Facebook’s banning of offensive speech as “censorship” (“If Facebook gives itself broader censorship powers , it will inevitably take down important speech and silence already marginalized voices,” the ACLU warned). That censorship includes private-actor suppression is also prominently emphasized on its page aptly entitled “What is Censorship”?