Freedom of $peech On The Digital Stage? Only if it sells the story they want it to, perhaps...
Freedom of speech, press, and assembly: The legal right to express one's opinions freely, orally or in writing, and the right to gather with others in groups of one's choice without arbitrary or unreasonable restrictions
Freedom of speech is something so utterly important to the health of a Free Nation, something that forms one of the core tenants of our Democratic Republic that it was put into the United States of America's Constitution and the Bill of Rights as The First Amendment, adopted December 15, 1791. We may be hundreds of years from the drafting and adoption of this beautiful piece of Humanity's and America's history but if we forget it now or choose to not embody it because of our own individual biases we devolve into a lesser civilization. The lively debate and sharing of differing political, religious, artistic, and life viewpoints is part of what makes a nation stronger. For in the sharing we are made aware of different ways of seeing things, ways we in our collective groups may not be conscious of. Each viewpoint lends its own unique perspective that allows all to be counted and considered. We can't always see everything from where we are, we need each other to highlight or point out all the various things to consider and the different challenges and strengths that we as a collective may encounter, including where we may be misinformed or operating with faulty or incomplete presumptions. Applying these different viewpoints and perspectives and taking the collective perception-perspectives into consideration allows us to come up with solutions that serve the greater good. We may not believe all of these viewpoints but if we can't listen to them with an open mind then we weaken ourselves instantly, for our rigidity blocks the free flow of energy within us. We have to be able to hold the space for a wide variety of views and beliefs while remaining connected to our Hearts and what feels right to us without judging or attacking others if we desire to create a working harmonious productive nation built on free thought and the vital and potent energy this fosters.
The First Amendment in The United State Bill of Rights permits information, ideas, and opinions without interference, constraint or prosecution by the government; it guarantees an individual's right to express and to be exposed to a wide range of opinions and views, with the intention to ensure a free exchange of ideas, even those that are unpopular.
While it applies to the government of our Nation, it should also apply to all companies and organizations operating within our country, particularly those presenting themselves as communication platforms. In the Digital Age we have companies that set themselves up in America to serve the nation and the world, which means creating an online space where many divergent viewpoints may be shared. They may be private companies started by private citizens but they function in service to the masses and as such should uphold the very same ideals that govern this great nation.
Censorship as a practice is the suppression or prohibition of any parts of books, films, news, etc. that are considered obscene, politically unacceptable, or a threat to security.
One may argue that Twitter, Facebook, Youtube, and the like are private companies and as such should have the right to censor what kind of content they allow or distribute on their sites, and in fact, a federal court in California has ruled that tech platforms like YouTube aren't bound by the First Amendment when they're deciding whether to remove offensive content, but this goes against the nature of the World Wide Web that exists and belongs to us all as a space for the people and their voices. It doesn't seem fair to have one set of rules for the government of our nation and another set for the businesses operating within the borders and boundaries of that government. This recent tilt towards censorship by these companies also goes against these companies' very own mission statements.
*Twitter's Mission Statement:
The mission we serve as Twitter, Inc. is to give everyone the power to create and share ideas and information instantly without barriers. Our business and revenue will always follow that mission in ways that improve – and do not detract from – a free and global conversation.
*Facebook's mission statement:
Founded in 2004, Facebook's mission is to give people the power to build community and bring the world closer together. People use Facebook to stay connected with friends and family, to discover what's going on in the world, and to share and express what matters to them.
*YouTube’s mission statement is “to give everyone a voice and show them the world.” YouTube concentrates on video content. The company makes access and sharing of this information easy and convenient through its online sharing platform. YouTube core values comprise “freedom of expression, freedom of information, freedom of opportunity, freedom to belong.” YouTube calls these values its essential freedoms in line with the purpose for which the company was founded – giving a voice.
With its four values, YouTube creates an environment where people get an opportunity to share ideas, access any information they are looking for, grab chances for new discoveries, and belong to a community. Such an environment reflects everything that YouTube stands for.
When a company sets up within America and becomes an online digital platform for the people of America and the world, these democratic tenets naturally come in, and I would argue, a moral obligation arises to host a variety of viewpoints, not just those the company agrees with. What kind of civilization agrees upon everything? Conformity breeds boredom and stifles imagination, giving rise to a dull and eventually lifeless group. Monotony is a bane for creativity, and progress usually occurs in the friction of energies meeting, and the sharing of divergent and diverse views and ideas that expand the vision of all involved. Humanity is made up of positive and negative qualities, and while we may love to get rid of the lesser aspects, we must acknowledge they exist. Ignorance is not bliss where energy is concerned. Awareness and acknowledgement is the key to change. Ignorance operates when one is not exposed to alternative perspectives, limited to ones held by those in their vicinity or environment. Points may polarize, but through the interaction of the group dynamic education, understanding, change, and growth becomes possible. While a mediating force is sometimes necessary to maintain a sense of peace and order, healing only occurs when all sides have their chance to be heard, are listened to, acknowledged and understood compassionately. Not all sides are well-informed, or peaceful and harmonious, but all sides have value in and of themselves, generating experiences from the nature of their frequency and being. People have the freedom to act and be responsible for the consequences of those actions. They have the right to think, speak, or act foolishly or brilliantly.
Within the sphere of potential viewpoints, not all are of high-frequencies, or embody viewpoints of love and respect; some may be vile, hateful, and reprehensible, morally lax, and not every viewpoint is accurate, nor tolerant, or sane, but aside from things that are grossly illegal, as a free market and country when we begin the journey into Censorship we are boarding a ship headed for disaster. The rocky terrain of judgment and restricting the free flow of ideas amongst a group of people become cracks in the Vessel of Democracy and threatens to shipwreck us. Having the ability to share our eclectic views gives greater diversity to our country as a whole, helping us to see where we are both proficient and deficient as a species, expanding information and inspiration both positively and negatively; allowing people access to a myriad of viewpoints so that they may choose for themselves what resonates with their worldview and be exposed to other viewpoints at the same time. It helps people to develop their ability to discern for themselves what resonates as truth for them and what feels false.
Not everything in books, magazines, or on television or the internet is true. Unfortunately, we have been led by the media to trust everything they bring to us, when this very same media has manipulated and mislead the world for years with the information they choose to present or withhold. Propaganda going both ways is real, and a tactic that has been used since civilization's dawn, meant to sway others or the masses in one direction or another and bolster support for one agenda or another. It is the salesman's job to sell the stories and it's our job to read between the lines and do our own research. It is our choice to decide what threads we give our attention to and which ones we pass by. Social Media is a powerful medium and there are those individuals that will use it for both positive or negative purposes, and those that will believe anything they hear or see on it, and some may be inspired to take action both positively or negatively. But given these potential downsides, censoring what is presented seems counter to what the United States of America is at its heart, a Land of Liberty, Justice, and Freedom for all.
Liberty: The state of being free within society from oppressive restrictions imposed by authority on one's way of life, behavior, or political views.
Justice: a concept on ethics and law that means people behave in a way that is fair, equal, and balanced for everyone.
Freedom: the power to act, speak, or think as one wants without hindrance or restraint.
Online platforms are utilized by people to express themselves and communicate about all the things that life entails. Like it or not, much of that communication tends to be politically and medically centered as of late, as such these platforms have a duty to foster the free exchange of ideas and viewpoints. Will there be inaccuracies or people who get out of hand and abuse the space? Sure, and perhaps pointing these out or reminding people to play nice with each other is necessary at times. But outright censoring things based on personal biases is heading into un-American territory. Some perspectives may be uninformed or ill-conceived, but all perspectives deserve to have their chance to be shared respectfully.
When we can see the different perspectives and apply our own discernment to them, integrating and incorporating them in our world understanding of whatever challenges or situations we are addressing or facing it makes us a stronger, better informed populace--because we know what we're working with, or rather, what the collective is working through. I may not believe or support everything that people say, but I support their right to say it. I know people hold a great deal of pain, anger, and fear inside them, and many are so attached to their ego's perspectives that when these are threatened they lash out. I know when we judge, ridicule, or demean others we place them on the offensive and create an energetic battle, drawing these same energetic responses back to us. I know the power of the media and news channels to channel their viewers into the whole-hearted buying of whatever they are trying to present as truth, and I value people's right to research and inform themselves, as well as the accountability that having these public forums offers to us citizens. I know we are a vast and diverse group of people with equally vast interests, and viewpoints, but I believe the world is a big enough place to give people the space to figure themselves and each other out through the free exchange of ideas and information. Would I like if everyone could get along? Yes, I prefer peace over war, but above all I choose freedom, and LOVE, and integrity, and I give others the freedom to be and express themselves authentically.
Any “side” that needs to censor the “other side” is a weak side indeed, for they don’t realize all points in the circle of perspectives make up the whole, and they carry inside their bodies every single point in that circle, not only the ones they subscribe to or associate themselves with, but all the other ones too. To try and stifle one point is to dim their own energy field and diminish their positive power to create or generate complete and magnificent returns. With the Earth’s energy rising, now more than ever the energy of the planet is demanding better from people, and magnifying and returning their energy back to them. Let any try to squash the voices and the voices shall grow louder. Let any try to control and fight the masses and the masses will rise up and flood them with the force of their presence. We are here together, not as people meant to remain divided, but to realize each perspective offers its own unique viewpoint, and all viewpoints form the 360 degree view, a fully immersed experience for Consciousness, of which we are all held within, connected and together.
Our minds may think differently, but our Hearts all pump the same way, different rhythms and paces but all pumping blood through our body so that we may live our lives.
If we were all meant to be exactly the same, there would be ONLY ONE flavor of ice cream. Let’s not be afraid of the differences but seek to understand the other’s viewpoints, putting ourselves in their shoes and see what it feels like to us. The more we fight each other the more we fight—and while it’s good to take a stand and stand up for what you feel is right, destroying the other only leaves you destroyed, for whatever comes from you WILL return to you. To change things we must change the way we are being and change the energy inside of us, only then will what we are seeing begin to change. There is a great deal of anger and hate from both sides on the internet, perhaps we can all accept responsibility for that divisive energy and seek to build bridges of understanding instead of a wall of wounds. Let's not forget our manners and our kindness. The truly Powerful don't seek to damage the other, because the other is damaged already and more damage just spreads the pain both in the damaged and the damager. LOVE is the Healing Force, the SOURCE Force, The LIFE Force, The LIGHT Force, and in this Golden Age we are all heading towards LOVE is the Energy we must all choose to embody and vibrate. LOVE is GOD and GOD is GOLD and LOVE will lead us into Our GOLDEN Age. The other you see is another one of thee, see it, own it, understand and LOVE it and then you free it and free yourself to be the best Selves we can be! This is the way of Energy and the Christ-Consciousness, what Yeshua (Jesus) spoke of when He said He was the Way... the Way to Ascend the lower into the Higher, to make the dead, shadow energy back into the ascended Living LIGHT Energy. Embody the energy of the Heart Consciousness, the Christ-Consciousness, acceptance, forgiveness, gratitude, compassion and unconditional LOVE and shine the LIGHT of Your Being out upon Earth. Next time you are interacting with others make sure you are grounded into the Earth and listen to them with and from your Heart, feeling into it and them; connect your heart to your head and throat, and speak from the LOVE in you, which respects the other as much as the Self, and can help you say what you need to say in a way the other can receive and hear. hear...heart... hear~t... t, truth... heart truth... LOVE'S Voice.
All my love, Jamie Ferry