Daily Archives: April 5th, 2016

QotD: my concern is that free speech is increasingly defined as “letting someone you broadly agree with speak, until you feel like interrupting, because you’re special too”

A lot has been said and written about no-platforming, in particular regarding the more infamous (or bewildering) incidents (involving the likes of Germaine Greer and Julie Bindel). Some might claim these were not about freedom of speech, but about hate speech and oppression of minorities. Not my view, but my concern is that free speech is increasingly defined as “letting someone you broadly agree with speak, until you feel like interrupting, because you’re special too”. Clearly, this isn’t free speech. Even away from the notorious cases, no-platforming continues to give itself airs and graces as a form of liberal, civilised non-confrontational protest. In truth, however well intentioned it may be, it’s wrong headed and dangerous. Outside of legally defined hate speech, even if you find someone’s views offensive, they should still be allowed to speak.

Barbara Ellen