“I think of the First Amendment as defending crucial aspects of intellectual freedom,” said ARI’s Onkar Ghate during a recent appearance on The Yaron Brook Show. “But it’s the freedom for an individual to be able to think for himself, to talk to whoever he wants, debate, listen . . . . He’s in charge.” Starting from a basic understanding of the individual rights at stake, Ghate explained how to analyze current controversies over social media activities such as de-platforming.
During the wide-ranging, two-hour interview, Ghate discussed such topics as:
- Whether social media platforms can engage in censorship;
- Why not every violation of free speech rights is censorship;
- What’s involved in censorship by proxy;
- Whether free speech is an individual right or a social privilege;
- John Stuart Mill’s utilitarian defense of free speech, and its connection to Christianity;
- The phenomenon of self-censorship;
- The difference between de-platforming and censorship;
- Section 230 and why government should think carefully about how to determine liability for posted content;
- The laxity of laws against copyright infringement and physical intimidation on the internet;
- The difference between the rational and irrational forms of ostracism lumped together as “cancel culture.”
A general question-and-answer session on Objectivism follows the main presentation.
This interview was livestreamed on February 4, 2021. Watch the whole thing here or use the player below: