Next Up On The Rapidly Expanding List Of Speech Progressives Want To Censor: “Fear Speech”

New York Times reporter and opinion writer Julia Angwin has been given a prominent space in the latest Sunday Times to expound on why another kind of speech needs to be suppressed, controlled and if possible, censored: “fear speech.”

Already the relentlessly radicalizing progressive hoard has embraced the anti-American concept of censoring other kinds of speech according to their very subjective definitions: “misinformation,” meaning opinions or analysis they disagree with, or distortions of truth that emanate from someplace or some one not devoted to advancing the Left’s goals and agendas, and “hate speech,” which they want to have excluded from First Amendment protections as they define it on a case by case basis. Now the Times is starting the metaphorical ball rolling to target more speech that these two categories might miss. Its designated messenger declares,

This year, Facebook and Twitter allowed a video of a talk to be distributed on their platforms in which Michael J. Knowles, a right-wing pundit, called for “transgenderism” to be “eradicated.” The Conservative Political Action Coalition, which hosted the talk, said in its social media posts promoting the video that the talk was “all about the left’s attempt to erase biological women from modern society.”

None of this was censored by the tech platforms because neither Mr. Knowles nor CPAC violated the platforms’ hate speech rules that prohibit direct attacks against people based on who they are. But by allowing such speech to be disseminated on their platforms, the social media companies were doing something that should perhaps concern us even more: They were stoking fear of a marginalized group.

Note the carefully crafted rhetoric: stoking fear of a marginalized group. Stoking fear of a group to marginalize it as much as possible for political gain is apparently hunky-dory, as in…

She continues,

Understanding the distinction between fear-inducing and hateful speech is crucial as we collectively grapple with how to govern global internet platforms. Most tech platforms do not shut down false fear-inciting claims such as “Antifa is coming to invade your town” and “Your political enemies are pedophiles coming for your children.” But by allowing lies like these to spread, the platforms are allowing the most perilous types of speech to permeate our society.

Susan Benesch, the executive director of the Dangerous Speech Project, said that genocidal leaders often use fear of a looming threat to prod groups into pre-emptive violence. Those who commit the violence do not need to hate the people they are attacking. They just need to be afraid of the consequences of not attacking.

Aha! A thinly veiled Hitler reference, once again cynically using fear of fascism to further a fascist policy. The audacious hypocrisy of pundits like Angwin and propagandists like the Times is amazing. “Fear speech is a threat to us all! BE AFRAID OF FEAR SPEECH!” But then, what would you expect from the director of an organization called the Dangerous Speech Project?

More fearmongering:

So how do we vaccinate ourselves against fear-based speech on social media that may incite violence? The first steps are to identify it and to recognize it as the cynical tactic that it is. Tech platforms should invest in more humans who can fact-check and add context and counterpoints to false fear-inducing posts.

And those humans will be completely objective and without bias, of course, like the humans who censored Twitter pre-Musk, and Facebook’s “factcheckers” like PolitiFact and Snopes.

She also wants social media algorithms to bury “fear speech” on social media and search engines, in other words, “shadow-banning.”

“Fighting fear will not be easy,” this paean to knee-capping the First Amendment concludes. “But it is possibly the most important work we can do to prevent online outrage from begetting real-life violence.”

Translation: It is the most important work we can do to ensure that the Good, Wise and Virtuous–us— can deceive and manipulate the slower-witted, most apathetic and ignorant members of the public without interference from the Dark Side, allowing progressive principles and goals to prevail, as we gain impenetrable power to advance them.

Oh no…did I just engage in “fear speech”?


This call to censorship, remember, has been published by the newspaper that plastered charts of pandemic deaths (defined conveniently broadly) on its front page, with soaring red lines extending through the masthead to the margins. It provided a regular feature showing individual casualties of the virus, again broadly defined, of all ages and ethnicities to ensure that readers knew that no one was safe. The fear deliberately weaponized by the Times and others was used to justify unprecedented restrictions on American life and individual liberty and to cripple the economy while wrecking whole industries, while also enabling inherently insecure election procedures calculated to maximize the prospects of progressive candidates.

That, however, wasn’t “fear speech.” That was just an example of telling the public what it needed to know.

Somebody better tell Geena…

…who she’s allowed to speak for.

16 thoughts on “Next Up On The Rapidly Expanding List Of Speech Progressives Want To Censor: “Fear Speech”

  1. The same media that endorses fear of gun owners, parents who want to know what their kids are being taught, so-called Christian Nationalists, pit bulls and breeds that look like them…

  2. On a brighter note, the comments associated with the article (particularly the “Reader Picks” – those upvoted by readers) are overwhelmingly opposed what is being proposed by Angwin. Here’s the top comments, so far:

    You know what I fear? Terminology like “fear speech.” Once this phrase makes it into the common lexicon it will empower more censorship, less free expression and more reactionaries like Trump.

    Liberals, we need to stop trying to protect “the vulnerable” from every idea that might cause them distress. Engage the enemy – don’t muzzle him.

    • Well, at least the commenter placed his bona fides on display while going against the lefty blob by putting in a “Trump’s Bad” hosanna.

  3. Transgender individuals are not marginalized. When major corporations, the media, celebrities and the government is all on your side, you are not the group being marginalized.

    • NP
      You touched on an issue that I was going to address. The issue of who is marginalized is something that should be evaluated.
      I have asked the question regarding “protected classes” repeatedly. If we have unconstitutionally privileged “protected classes” then it stands to reason that those who are protected cannot be considered marginalized.
      Women now are earning more advanced degrees than their male counterparts, minorities in general can claim discrimination if not given preference over others who are claimed to have invisible privilege simply because right now there are more of that race than others. We here progressives say demographics are destiny yet if the declining % even utter the proposition it is deemed racist to point out what progressives are relying upon for power.
      I don’t really understand what it means to be marginalized. Not every opinion or decision I have had or made has been routinely accepted by others. I cannot state as fact that something that did not go my way was predicated on institutional racism. No one declares that my inability to achieve was because someone else held me back. So what makes someone marginalized?

      • Privilege is being able to get away with things that other people cannot.

        Marginalization is having your rights curtailed by the privilege of others.

        The groups that are actually privileged are the ones the left claims are marginalized. In reality, the marginalized groups are the ones the left claims have privilege.

        All of this is accomplished through government oppression.

  4. Speech of those who say and argue that heat speech (whatever that maybe) should be silenced triggers me and makes me feel unsafe because I fear what will happen if they get what they want, so they should be silenced and prevented from disseminating their views.

  5. Projecting much?

    It would be funny if it wasn’t so obvious.

    What will they label next…

    I have some ideas but…

  6. How dare any leftist Democrat, progressive, or social justice woke warrior hypocritically tar Republicans or Conservatives for using “fear speech”!!!

    I’ve heard it said that if a Democrat, progressive, or social justice woke warrior is accusing a Republican or Conservative of something then they are trying to hypocritically white wash their own behavior which is exactly the same or worse.

    Fear is one of, if not, THE main tactical tools that the political left uses against the political right. Democrats have perfected their fearmongering propaganda since the August 2008 Democratic National Convention nomination of Barack Obama for President, at which point any opposition to Obama was tarred as racist and their fear-mongering propaganda has been rapidly sliding down that slippery slope ever since that day. The political left’s tactic of fear-mongering has infected our entire society, it’s working to their advantage and they know it.

    Fear Is A Hammer & We’re Nails

      • Nicely done.


        PS: I saw “1984” last night (the one with John Hurt and Richard Burton). As my wife and I watched it, she wondered why they were showing 2020 George Floyd riots and images from the Biden Administration. Oh boy.

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