A Cost-Benefit Analysis
The subject of the "freedom of expression", despite its status as the cornerstone of democracy itself, seems lately to be up for debate within multiple facets of the public dialogue.
Be it the deplatforming of Alex Jones, inflammatory words aimed at minorities, or the indictments of Julian Assange, one issue rests at the heart of each; A subsequent reason for celebrating the fact that the aforementioned "issue" is specifically broken down in the first words of the bill of rights, with each facet of the issue specifically named and protected. A few of us seem to have forgotten that fact, so just to remind everyone:
"Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances."
What the First Amendment accomplished is cement in stone the concept of unbridled public discourse, our human rights to communicate with each other, and the right to challenge those in positions of power. Whether it be a journalist such as Julian Assange being charged in an 18-count superseding indictment on charges of "espionage", or having a Youtube channel removed because a minority group was insulted, consent is being actively manufactured by the mainstream press for censorship, challenging the very document that enshrines their right to author such profound ignorance. Oftentimes, the debate surrounding the issue is that of a "platform", and specifically, that oftentimes, such as would be the case with Twitter or YouTube, justification is made to wipe out certain forms of expression on the basis of the mode of communication being privately owned (here we go again with that), the corporation is empowered to remove anyone that it wants to. The flaw with this logic is that YouTube is essentially, for all intents and purposes, a monopoly (and here we go again with that). After John Doe is removed from YouTube, there is not another comparable platform to provide an avenue for his expression. Each time you cheer for someone (whether they be good, bad, or ugly) being deplatformed, ask yourself if that individual has the right to express themselves. Once you decide that certain concepts, ideas, or words are unallowed, you have empowered the corporation to decide which things can be said, and which things cannot. It is not until your freedom of expression is at odds with another's right to life, liberty, or property that such nuance be reasonably added to the conversation. For example, many make the valid argument that "you cannot yell fire in a public building". The reason that you cannot, and should not, be allowed to yell "fire" in a public building is that doing so endangers the rights of everyone else in that building. It is for this cause that calling for an assassination should not be permitted, while joking about one, though "distasteful" and inappropriate, is legal. Calling someone a name does not endanger their life, liberty, or property; Rather therefore than cheer for censorship, celebrate your right to combat a bad idea with a good one. The reason that freedom of expression is such a pillar of democracy itself, is that public discourse, in a representative government, has power. This is why Julian Assange is considered a "threat"; He used his rights to challenge the powerful, and expose wrongdoing by those who govern us. Nominal "liberals" would wish to censor Crowder for being a despicable fuck, and the established church would wish to censor me for saying "despicable fuck", but both are just as protected as my right to publish an unpopular opinion; A right I happen to be thankful for.