There’s been a lot of talk recently about free speech—specifically, news stories about a somewhat infamous media figure who was banned from several major social media sites. It got me to thinking about the limits of free speech, which is all about boundaries. In this episode I’ll talk about why boundaries have a lot to do with free speech, as well as how freedom of speech operates in both physical and virtual space.
Biggest Takeaways From Episode #28:
- Although each of us is free to say or do whatever we want, freedom to do what we want also comes with certain consequences—positive, neutral, or negative.
- Boundaries create limits, but they also create space. The amount of space a boundary creates has a lot to do with the limit that is created. For example, if you put a fence around your property, you’re creating a clear limit, but you’re also creating more private space that can only be accessed by you.
- Free speech is determined by who controls the space where speech occurs. Whoever owns or controls a space gets to decide what the limits are. This is true whether it’s a physical space (such as your house or a business’ office) or a virtual space (such as a social media site, website, or blog).
- It’s not anyone’s responsibility to provide a platform or vehicle for another person to get information they want. For example, if you’re following someone on Twitter and they get banned because of Twitter’s boundaries, Twitter is not responsible for providing you a platform to connect with the person they banned. Today, just about anyone with a small amount of resources and money can create their own virtual space, which makes giving and getting information freely far more accessible than at any other time in human history.
Highlights from Episode #28:
- We hear about the topic of today’s episode, as well as the inspiration for it. [00:48]
- Vicki reads the first amendment of the U.S. Constitution for listeners who may need a refresher. She then digs into the topic of consequences. [03:11]
- Boundaries not only create limits; they also create space. Vicki explores this concept, then links it to the concept of free speech. [07:32]
- Vicki gives examples of what it means for people who own a particular physical or virtual space to make decisions about who and how others are permitted to express themselves in those spaces. [12:04]
- We learn how the concepts Vicki has been exploring relate to virtual space. [16:51]
- Vicki points out that just about anyone with some resources can create their own virtual space to say whatever they want to say. [22:03]
- There are some environments that are truly oppressive in terms of what they allow people to say or express, and when you encounter one of those, it’s probably best to find another community or environment that allow you greater freedom of expression. [24:40]
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