Back around that time, I came up with what I call Gresham’s Law of the Internet. Named after Gresham’s Law in economics, it states that bad postings drive out good. The more a forum is dominated by postings of poor quality, and particularly by postings that are rude, aggressive, insulting, and threatening, the less likely it is that decent and reasonable people will be motivated to post there. A totally unmoderated Internet forum will tend to be taken over by trolls and racists and crazy people transcribing the voices in their heads—and become useless for everybody else.

Beneath this is what I call the Inverse Square Law of the Internet, which holds that the number of a person’s postings tends to be inversely proportionate to their quality. In other words, the craziest people always have more time and energy to post than you do. (If they don’t, you should be worried that you are becoming one of them.) The more irrational an idea, the more obsessive its adherents become, and the less willing they are to let anyone else have the last word. Meanwhile, genuine experts and thoughtful people tend to have a lot of other, more productive things to do with their time.

If you’ve ever posted a comment on the Internet that is critical of the Universal Basic Income, Ron Paul, or Elon Musk, you know what I’m talking about. Or, for the matter, if you’ve published something critical of President Trump.

That’s why social media platforms have to moderate their content, as well as supplying tools for people to moderate their own feeds and block users who offend them. And that’s why it’s so stupid to brand this kind of moderation, the kind of minimal maintenance a host does to allow a forum to function, as “censorship.”