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How free is being free?
Lately, loads of controversial topics have pumped out, and the way the media forces us either implicitly or explicitly to interact with these topics is somehow irritating and limiting our freedom of speech. Nowadays, Coronavirus (Covid-19) is the latest hot topic. People are getting infected everywhere and some of them die and the economy is being fiercely harmed. However, most countries decided to enforce lockdown and shut down most of the small businesses. Accordingly, people who disagree with the lockdown decision went out in some countries to react to what's happening, regardless of being right or wrong, they get lashed by the media and labeled as nobodies but bunch of ignorants. These people are human being just like the rest of us, and their concerns should be taken seriously and respectfully. There's no need to divide the societies into more and more chunks. There's no need to instigate hate and contempt among people. If those people are wrong, the media should just go and prove them wrong with solid proofs. It doesn't make any sense to take down videos put by well-recognized doctors on YouTube just because they've a different opinion than the world health organization's (WHO).
May 28, 2020 7:02 AM
Comments · 21
So you want freedom of speech to be able to express your own beliefs, but don’t think others should be able to express their disagreements with your beliefs? People have a right to call you a conspiracy theorist. They have a right to demonize your views. It’s part of freedom of speech. If you want to extend social responsibility to limit freedom of speech for the sake of social cohesion (“There's no need to divide the societies into more and more chunks”), you have to also extend social responsibility to limit individualism in the face of a pandemic. You can’t have your cake and eat it too. You can argue against being called a conspiracy theorist, you can argue with people who hold opposing views, but to claim that you value freedom of speech then say “You can’t call me a conspiracy theorist” is inconsistent. If you believe in freedom of speech, of course people can call you a conspiracy theorist.

I also find it ironic that you claim that “you'll be categorized right away once you speak your mind”. You’re being reductionist by grouping all of your opponents as people with reductionist opinions. It’s like people can’t see your views for what they really are and reject them.

I am fully aware of many opposing viewpoints. I don’t think they’re all conspiracy theories, nor that they’re all based on misinformation. Some people are educated, but I still wholeheartedly disagree with them, and still think their views lead to criminal negligence. A person can argue against my claim that their views are criminally negligent, but they can’t tell me that I can’t say they’re criminally negligent. And the fact that some scientists agree with them is irrelevant. There are also many scientists who agree with me. Not every scientist in the world has to have the same opinion on a topic for me to have a strong opinion on said topic. I can have strong conviction and at the same time be willing to engage in rational discourse and change my opinion—the two are not mutually exclusive.
May 28, 2020
Actually I wasn't quoting from the BBC. Let's look at the vaccination debate shall we? It correlates very closely with the controversy about Covid-19. So-called "doctors" have peddled misinformation for years, accepted as fact by many people, that certain vaccinations cause autism. Long term research has proved this false yet people still believe the anti-vax doctors. The fact is, I feel, less about your concern about freedom of speech, but more your own opinion which you feel is not being listened to. You are right, we don't know, we only have the statistics, but right now the statistics point to containment being more effective. South Korea and Senegal, for instance, took early and swift extreme measures and they worked. No-one likes it. Some people are voicing their dislike. But saying there is no virus, or it's all a plot by some shady government etc. doesn't help anyone. And that is what is contained within the videos you are talking about. Youtube and Facebook are private companies and can decide what information is disseminated on them. And freedom is not absolute. As I said, what we perceive as freedom as an individual will always infringe upon another's opinion. We try and find a balance that is for the good of society.
May 28, 2020
On Tuesday Sweden published the highest Corona virus death rate per capita in the world. No, their approach didn't work. And certified doctor does not necessarily mean right. Doctors are humans with their own agendas, beliefs etc. like everyone else. And no-one is taking your rights away. The videos you want to watch are still there, but have been taken down from sites where they breach their terms of service.

Freedom of speech is a contentious subject. Where do one person's rights begin and another's end?
May 28, 2020
@Abdulmajid I don't think free of speech has been limited during the pandemia. When you make comment on a controversial issue or unknown area as covid 19 you have to expect a natural reaction and fights back on your comments. This is part of the deal, if I say let's touch each other nothing is going to happen and if it does drink a bit of bleach and you will be fine, I'll be out of my mind if think it won't be consecuences.

We all embrace free of speech but also responsability.
May 28, 2020

We just can't go out and label whatever type of news that doesn't serve our interests as "fake news". Four years ago, the term "fake news" was used by the Trump supporters to slander the liberal media. Nowadays, the exact term is being used by the liberal media against the right wing supporters or the republican media. It's not a smart and honest move by both parties to use this term as it seems like the last option they have to to delude their audience that the other ones are wrong instead of laying out solid FACTS.

There's no clear stats about the effectiveness of shutting down. Countries like Sweden and Ethiopia were among the rare countries who didn't apply the strict lockdown and yet they had the same or even less cases than those who decided to fully shut down. I'm not against the full shut down nor I'm a fan of the Swedish-Ethiopian approach. All I'm saying is that we need to respect others' opinions. Also, the video I was talking about was for CERTIFIED doctors not random protestors. Exploiting the Covid-19 pandemic politically in some countries, mainly the US, says a lot about the conflict of interests between the heads of the game. Again, I'm not a fan of conspiracies, and all I wanted is showing respect and giving INDEPENDENT sources the right to speak out. I don't remember that I ever voted for the WHO to be the ONLY source of information.
I have the right to listen to all diverse sources, and my right shouldn't be taken away.
May 28, 2020
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