Should Libertarians Care About Facebook Bans?


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What has been the worst reaction to Facebook's decision last week to permanently ban Alex Jones, Paul Joseph Watson, Milo Yiannopoulis, Louis Farrakhan, and others for their "dangerous" speech? Hard to say, though the president of the United States, per usual, is in the running.

I am continuing to monitor the censorship of AMERICAN CITIZENS on social media platforms. This is the United States of America — and we have what's known as FREEDOM OF SPEECH! We are monitoring and watching, closely!!

— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) May 3, 2019

Intersecting as it does the diverging cultural and legal parameters of free speech, while also portending of a more serious regulatory clampdowncapture exercise to come, the move sparks some vigorous debate in this week's Editors' Roundtable edition of the Reason Podcast. Katherine Mangu-Ward, Nick Gillespie, Peter Suderman and Matt Welch differ on whether the ban is bad or fine, whether speech is expanding or contracting, and whether '90s Net Triumphalists are doomed to become old men shaking their fists at clouds.

Other podcast topics include: Trump's latest trade threats, three new entrants in the 2020 Democratic presidential race (no peeking!), and that costume drama with the diphthongs.

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Audio production by Ian Keyser.

'Boulevard St Germain' by Jahzzar is licensed under CC BY-SA 3.0

Relevant links from the show:

"Facebook Has Every Right To Ban Louis Farrakhan and Alex Jones. But It's Still a Bad Idea," by Nick Gillespie

"Banning Alex Jones Isn't About Free Speech—It's About the Incoherence of 'Hate Speech,'" by Robby Soave

"Libertarian Banned from Facebook for Tide Pod Joke That Mocked Liberals," by Robby Soave

"Mark Zuckerberg, Crony Capitalist," by John Stossel

"Internet Freedom Swirling Around Drain as Dems, Reps Threaten Antitrust Action on Google, et al," by Nick Gillespie

"Trump Doesn't Like What People See When They Search 'Trump News,'" by Peter Suderman

"Partisans United Against Free Speech," by Matt Welch

"Making the Fairness Doctrine Great Again," by Thomas Hazlett

"The End of Free Speech," by Katherine Mangu-Ward

"Trump Is No Match for the First Amendment," by Jacob Sullum

"Market Crashes as Trump Threatens More Tariffs After China Trade Deal Flops," by Eric Boehm

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