“Twitter has suspended an account that tracked the location of Elon Musk’s private jet. The suspension comes despite Musk last month tweeting, ‘My commitment to free speech extends even to not banning the account following my plane, even though that is a direct personal safety risk.’”— CNN, 12/14/2022
I believe that our freedom of speech must be protected at all costs, and that it must be universal, and that it must be nonpartisan, and that it must also get to mean whatever I want it to mean at any given time, depending on how I feel that day.
Free speech is the backbone of our country and its democracy. Without it, we plunge into autocracy. And so it must be more than simply allowed—it must be held up as a beacon for the rest of the world to witness. We must always put free speech first. Just as long as I personally get to decide at the very last minute what constitutes free speech.
Let me give you an example. Live location data is readily available for all legally registered aircraft in the sky at any moment. Freedom of speech lets you track and report this data in real time. However, I just decided that it actually doesn’t allow that, because I just remembered that I have a plane. See? I just changed the meaning of free speech. It’s so easily manipulated—and that’s why I love it.
You might say, “That’s not free speech anymore. You can’t just change the definition of a core tenet of our democracy based on how you, personally, feel affected by it.”
And to that, I would say: “You are no longer allowed to speak, according to the latest update I just made to the meaning of free speech.”
You see, freedom of speech is something I never fully understood, so I decided that instead of learning more about it, I would understand it by just making it up as I go along. To me, freedom of speech is more cooking than baking—it’s forgiving, and you don’t really have to follow the directions. They’re more like guidelines! After all, that’s what our constitution is full of: guidelines. The Bill of Guidelines. The Eighteenth Guideline. Guideline vs. Guideline.
So enjoy the unfettered access to freedom of speech that I so generously offer you. But make sure you stay up-to-date on my latest definition of free speech, which I may change at any time. And rest assured: it could truly change at any moment, to anything. Who knows! Maybe one day I’ll simply decide free speech means you can only speak if you’re paying me eight dollars a month.
Has anyone done that already?