Free Speech and the Perceived Right to a Platform

Not to state the obvious, but a country in which your free speech is under attack or has been outright denied will not let you say things like:

Our guests and speakers come from countries where the importance of free speech ranges from non-existent to a fundamental right, yet their speech and expression are consistently and constantly denied or attacked by their own governments, educational institutions, and even social pressures so strong that a minor infraction of social norms no (sic) codified in law are still punished by the use of force.

The obvious reason why none of this actually happens is that you’re free, here on the Internet, to say these things. You’re so free, in fact, that you’re allowed to organize a two-day event in which you can talk about how not-free you are. So what’s really under attack if it’s not your right to free speech? Turns out it’s your perceived right to a platform. It’s your perceived right to be heard. These things happen to be very different.Read More »