Video: Does Twitter owe its users free speech or safety?

posted at 7:01 pm on March 7, 2016 by Ed Morrissey

The #FreeStacy controversy found its way into Conservative Political Action Conference, thanks to an innovative new effort by the Heritage Foundation called CPAC Fight Club. Heritage’s Daily Signal paired up commentators on the Right to debate a number of hot topics, including Twitter’s efforts to restrain speech through its “Trust and Safety Council.” Kelsey Harkness paired me off against my friend Lachlan Markay of the Washington Free Beacon to debate whether Twitter owes its users a forum for free speech, or safe speech, and I argue for the former:

Lachlan and I aren’t polar opposites on this question. Lachlan’s skeptical of the Trust and Safety Council mainly because of its composition. I’m skeptical of the whole idea, but especially because of its composition. The problem with filtering social interactions at all is that even an ideologically balanced panel will fail to grasp the entire context of the conversations taking place, and their interventions will become more and more arbitrary and capricious. That’s true with individuals using block and mute functions too, but those don’t remove people from the platform entirely, as happened to Stacy McCain. The option that leaves social networking in the hands of the participants offers the best efficiency and the least intrusive or censorious approach, as I have argued in the past.

Be sure to visit the CPAC Fight Club page and vote on who made the better argument, and check out some of the other topics and participants as well. Should the military draft women? Should ideology be a factor in the next Supreme Court nomination? Watch the “fights,” and then vote for your winner.

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