BIG TECH’s muzzling of a US President is a worrying development for all who care about free speech.
It’s another indication of a growing move to silence opinion, which can be seen all too regularly these days unfortunately, even here in Wales.
Silicon Valley giants Twitter and Facebook have banned Donald J Trump (despite his 88 million followers) altogether from their platforms for what they claim to be ‘incitement of violence’.
But when you have other Presidents such as Emmanuel Macron of France and even Angela Merkel of Germany worried about this development, there is now a mounting sense that these big tech overlords who exercise so much power over our lives have gone too far, and need to be reined in.
The harsh truth is that if these self-proclaimed and unelected arbiters of today’s public square can delete a US President, they can also delete you.
Back home in Wales, a Plaid Cymru Councillor in Gwynedd has been thrown out of the party on a free speech issue, this time concerning the coronavirus.
Councillor Gruffydd Williams of Nefyn had encouraged his constituents to undertake their own research into the situation rather then just swallowing all the media propaganda.
But, this was deemed to be ‘too dangerous’ by the Plaid politburo in Cardiff, and Councillor Williams was thrown out almost overnight.
A spokesman for Gwlad said the haste to remove Councillor Williams without due consideration of his comments and the context of the situation reflected badly on Plaid.
‘It’s as if they are saying, we are fine with the 24/7 fear mongering of the mass media, but if anyone dares express a counter opinion to all this, they have got to be purged immediately’ he said.
‘It’s also a very patronising attitude towards electors – virtually telling them that they can’t be trusted to look at alternative opinions and come to their own judgement on things. ‘
‘Whatever happened to that old and wonderful Welsh sentiment:’ Rhydd i bawb ei farn, ac i bob barn ei llafar’?
Perhaps we have to turn to the words of a modern comedian to understand the importance of free speech for society. Konstantin Kisin summed up it up perfectly when he said:
‘There are two kinds of people in the world right now: those who celebrate when their political opponents are purged, and those who study history.’