Anglin's forced silencing is shocking, the moreso because it came via corporate power, not government, and therefore showed at once how totally our first amendment rights have been nullified. In blatant contravention of Marsh v. Alabama, which concerned the right to speech on privately owned sidewalks in a company town, the corporations that control key segments of the Internet--domain registration and hosting--have determined what cannot be said in public. Google et al own the sidewalks, and have decided this gives them the right to suppress speech at will--which puts them in direct violation of the United States Constitution.
Among other things we can do is to educate the public--our friends, family, community--of the very strong arguments against these anti-speech moves. Here, for example, is what I posted to Face***k:
The hackneyed phrase in circulation among anti-speech liberals is "freedom of speech does not mean freedom from consequences", which like most hackneyed phrases is a lie in service to an injustice. As a matter of fact, freedom of speech means nothing if it does not come with freedom from consequences. The only acceptable response to argument is counter-argument. It is never violence, it is never expulsion from society, it is never imprisonment or fines, it is never economic punishment--for if any of these things is allowed, then open debate is infringed. And if open debate is infringed, then our democracy itself is controlled by those with the power to sanction speech. Because men benefit from sanctioning criticism of their misdeeds, this inevitably means the ruin of democracy itself.
As a reminder of a point made in a previous discussion, right of speech and assembly are essential to maintaining social equality within a community--without it, concentrated power is free to enslave those beneath it. In the past, objection to speech (counter-argument or social influence) occurred within a tangible network of balanced and direct social relationships. Today the difference is that community social life is diluted and community boundaries have dissolved, and as they have dissolved we are brought into larger, more intangible networks where there is frequently no coherence to the connections, and a severe imbalance in power relationships.
For example, someone a thousand miles away, whom you have never met, and to whom you have no meaningful social relationship, can attack you for your speech. Here I am drawing a distinction between arguing against you, which is permissible, and attacking your speech rights themselves, either by direct or indirect suppression. In this we have a one-way exercise of power and its only point is to prevent your speech rights from being exercised. This is as much in violation of the right to free speech as is a government agent fining or jailing you for criticism.
Important in this distinction is the element of balance. If two people wish to disassociate from each other over a difference of views, that is permissible and natural. If a group hears the speech of one person and chooses to ignore him, that is permissible and natural. But when groups of people choose to punish a speaker, or large corporations choose to take away his voice in public venues, then there is an imbalance that is plainly evil. The right not to hear speech is easily exercised, but it cannot extend to the right to force others not to hear it, or it becomes tyrannical.
Such soft tyranny has grown as public life has shrunk and weakened, in part because this change to public life removes crucial emotional supports and thus generates hostility and insecurity between groups and individuals. Previously, such insecurity was evident at the height of the Red Scare, and predictably accompanying it were egregious attacks on speech--via McCarthyism, blacklists, investigation of associates, etc. Ironically, it is those who once preached against the blacklists who are now full-heartedly promoting this new assault on speech, and it is the organizations most indebted to free speech rights--the press--who are encouraging or defending the assault. Such is the way ideologies have become ugly mutations of themselves in our society.
The final element to note is that this assault on speech is not merely the product of suspicion and corporate power, it is in every respect a moral panic--an intense, irrational fear of some evil which threatens all of society. This is easy to demonstrate by numbers alone--the numbers of people who purportedly antagonize the mob's moral sensibilities are small, and more significantly they are powerless against the mob, let alone the corporations collectively worth trillions of dollars, or the politicians who control nearly every important office. Here the imbalance of power reaches ridiculous proportions and gives the lie to the moral panic.
All of which is to say, that when speech is under irrational, overbearing, and evil assault, it must be irrationally and tenaciously defended. Defend it as though it is your last right to defend. Speak and assemble--defend your right with your right.
Love of freedom is irresistible.