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The Future of Free Speech in 2023

While censorship and suppression of political speech have been recurring issues throughout history, the implications of these issues have become especially clear in recent years.

In 2022, the Democrats' collusion with Twitter, Facebook, and Google was revealed when leaked documents showed these Big Tech giants had been actively working together with the FBI and other government actors to suppress conservative content. Donald Trump and other America-First Republicans were removed from many of these platforms, which raised serious concerns about the power of Big Tech companies over the principles of free speech.

Many Republicans called out Silicon Valley as an oligopoly that unfairly suppresses certain voices. In response to these issues, Elon Musk purchased Twitter. While his purchase initially seemed like good news for freedom of speech advocates, it soon became clear that Musk had complex views on the matter. Shortly after buying Twitter, he banned Kanye West from the platform for making taboo references to Nazi leaders and the Holocaust, even though his views are protected by Freedom of Speech laws.

The banishment of Kanye from Twitter highlighted the complexities surrounding freedom of speech moving forward into 2023. Many prominent voices in the fight for free speech, including Elon Musk, see no issue with silencing unpopular views, which is precisely the fight we spent much of 2020 and 2021 combatting.

When Twitter permanently banned Donald Trump from their platform, it was a stark reminder of social media's power over our lives. It highlighted how technology can shape and influence our public discourse in ways never seen before, and how that influence can be used to undermine democracy.

The ban on Donald Trump represented an erosion of free speech rights and an abuse of power by the platform. Trump was denied a voice when he had millions of followers and used his account to advance the America-First agenda. This set a dangerous precedent for other social media companies who could decide to censor their users without any due process or oversight.

While the future President’s account has since been restored by Musk, it is becoming increasingly difficult for us to protect and promote genuine political discourse without major reforms to Big Tech's practices and policies related to censoring content. Musk's decision also highlighted why we must be careful when looking for heroes in this fight as not all wealthy billionaires are necessarily free-speech absolutists who want an open and unrestricted internet where all ideas can be fairly heard.

Moving forward in 2023, we must remain proactive in fighting against Big Tech’s increasing control over our online conversations and continue advocating for what has frequently been referred to as 'The Human Right To Speak.' Our collective understanding of digital rights must evolve rapidly if we want a future where free expression can exist peacefully on our increasingly interconnected digital platforms.

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