Like other deadly strikes in our institutions in the past, this has led many to demand that those who incite, organize or condone such violence be denied a platform from which to spread their message in the interests of public safety .

Twitter has banned President Trump; Amazon and Apple have denied Parler Internet services, the right-wing Twitter alternative on which many ultra-right and white-supremacist groups unleash their verbal poison.

This impulse is not only understandable but healthy in that it shows disgust when attacked. It may also have been inevitable: emergencies always force societies to consider compromises between freedom and security.

The only problem – and it’s a big one – is that the attempt by tech companies to clear the public space of hate speech and incitement to violence could be futile, if not counterproductive.

A distinction is made between building barriers for the private sector and government censorship. What the hell …



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