The Daily Objective: Big Tech and Free Speech

Mark Pellegrino and Rucka talk about “Big Tech” and Free Speech with guest Steve Simpson.

  • Do social media companies have too much power? There are two types of power: economic and political. Social media companies only have economic power (the power to convince people to buy their products). Governments have political power (the power to force you to do stuff).
  • Censoring and free speech. Only governments can censor — but it shouldn’t. Private individuals should discriminate against content.
  • People want to force preferences on others — and some want to use the government to do that.
  • If social media platforms become players in the Biden transition team, this blurs the distinction between economic and political power.
  • If government influences you, you’re going to want to influence government back.
  • Cancel culture is intellectual tribalism — people are refusing to think, are afraid of being asked questions because they can’t defend their ideas, and casting out anyone who disagrees.
  • Ayn Rand wrote an essay ‘The Establishing of an Establishment’ about government funding of science and the arts — this is an area that needs to be examined. Once a government is involved in private behaviour, it’s hard to work out all the consequences. E.g. public schools. Intellectual freedom and material freedom are linked.
  • Examine the causes of the mixed economy rather than just blame social media.
  • Social media has democratised the world — in Hollywood, talented people can get started via YouTube.
  • Steve has a book ‘Defending Free Speech’