Free speech can be abused [letter]

Free speech can be abused [letter]

Tesla CEO Elon Musk sees Twitter as “essential to the functioning of democracy.” He’s all in for free speech. But what people like him don’t get is that Josef Stalin, Mao Zedong, Adolf Hitler and Vladimir Putin all used free speech to spread their lies and filth in order to eventually gain the power necessary to deny everyone else their freedom of speech (and thought). And Musk has already hinted that he wants to loosen content moderation efforts on Twitter. He might allow former President Donald Trump to run his lying mouth again if his attempt to purchase Twitter is successful. Nowadays you don’t have to conduct Nuremberg rallies to spread lies and hate to the masses; you might be able to do it through Twitter when Musk owns it. I believe that, just like the Second Amendment’s gun rights, the First Amendment’s speech rights need limits. Still, Republicans probably won’t be happy until they can yell “Fire!” in a crowded theater where no fire exists and legally get away with it. Ben Thompson Jr. Lebanon

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