My definition of this term shifts a bit, but today I say…
Shutuppery is the use of social media, civil and criminal lawsuits or threats of harm to steal someone’s free speech rights.
Our Founding Fathers could not have imagined the level of social media, the swiftness of online discussion, or the sheer evil shared by anonymous trolls.
They did however know first-hand the oppression of a government which had lost the support of the people, but tried to enforce loyalty.
“Freedom of speech is a principal pillar of a free government: When this support is taken away, the constitution of a free society is dissolved,” Benjamin Franklin, The Pennsylvania Gazette. [Link to more quotes.]
Lately freedom of speech is under attack on many fronts. On college campuses some speakers are “dis-invited” after pressure from students who disagree with the speaker’s message, and other speakers are prevented from appearing over “security concerns.” This is what’s known as the “heckler’s veto,” where the specter of unruly protests prevent any open debate.
We’re peaceful unless Milo or Coulter are on the way:
“Our liberty depends on the freedom of the press, and that cannot be limited without being lost.” — Thomas Jefferson, the Third President of the United States, and the author of the Declaration of Independence
Some threats come from Twitter and Facebook, who unlike your local bakery, have a right to choose who they can do business with. I actually support Twitter’s right to shut down accounts, but since they’re so bad at being fair about it, the whole process is tainted. [The German government, and prosecutors hasve recently pushed Facebook into a corner over ‘hate speech.’]
This blog also has noted that hate speech is becoming a huge problem. No, I don’t mean that hateful speech is a problem. Folks are accusing political and social opponents of “hate speech” and as a result, hoping to shut off the offender’s access to media. In some cases there are civil action, and in some cases there are actual criminal charges for hate speech. This is a worldwide phenomena.
“If there is any principle of the Constitution that more imperatively calls for attachment than any other it is the principle of free thought — not free thought for those who agree with us but freedom for the thought that we hate.” — Oliver Wendell Holmes Jr., U.S. Supreme Court justice.
Obvious Disclaimer: I hate hate. I love love. If you threaten somebody, or make up lies about them, you free speech deserves to be challenged in criminal or civil court. — Dave
Please join me in opposing the erosion of free speech. I don’t want cash donation, I just ask for eyes and ears. Be on the lookout for examples of shutuppery, and send them to me. My gmail account starts with dgalexander 1963….you know the rest.
All comments here show up in my mail, which I check regularly for my Nigerian millionaire friend’s updates. If this blog disappears, it will be because I’m loaded. No the other kind of loaded. Once I can buy an island, I might stop writing. Till then, enjoy and comment.