The UK-based Guardian newspaper explains this week that silencing unpopular opinions is not a violation of free speech because “some debates should be shut down.”
While insisting that censorship of ideas is greatly exaggerated by free speech advocates, writer Martha Gill goes on to make the very argument that defenders of free speech criticize: that the wardens of groupthink have the right to silence opinions that they disagree with.
Coming to the defense of “those who might want to shut down a debate,” Ms. Gill insists that such a measure is not a “mark of intolerance” because “some debates should be shut down.”
“For public dialogue to make any progress, it is important to recognise when a particular debate has been won and leave it there,” she declares in her article, suggestively titled: “Free speech isn’t under threat. It just suits bigots and boors to suggest so.”
Reading between the lines, the lesson becomes: “We are the judges. We will tell you when the debate is over and then you are no longer permitted to express your dissenting opinion.”
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