Censorship’s a topic that is always on my mind as I’ve been subjected to corporate and social censure over writing and design involving sex and politics.
Over the past 5-10 years the source of censorship has been coming from what you might call the ‘regressive left’, people who are also called ‘Social Justice Warriors’ (The ‘W’ indicating extremism, the ‘W’ makes the difference between the Labour Party and Mao’s Red Guard).
The backlash against that has been good in some ways, socially, if not politically or economically, but we now seem to be entering an even more dangerous era. Even as the SocJus puritans double down in protest against the rise of the right wing (ironically, further aiding the right wing into ascendancy) that right wing itself now seems to think it’s their turn to crack the whip and to dictate to people what they can say or do.
Newspapers here just doxxed an – admittedly nasty – far right Vlogger, putting him in physical danger. The government is beefing up our already ludicrous libel laws and putting the screws on local newspapers as well as censoring and controlling internet access via scaremongering about pornography and human trafficking.
Discrimination threatens to become protected by law in the USA (and that’s a complex knot of ethics to untangle) and there are rumblings from the old evangelical right about ‘moral degeneracy’ and ‘think of the children’.
Now, I think, it’s more important than ever that both creators and consumers reassert their belief in free expression and resist the siren call of ‘I’m offended’. When we don’t like something, we can just not buy/rent/read/consume it. That’s not so hard.