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08/15/2017 / By Jayson Veley
In November of 1737, decades before America officially declared its independence from the king of England, a young Benjamin Franklin published an essay in The Pennsylvania Gazette entitled, “On Freedom of Speech and the Press.” In it, Franklin wrote, “Freedom of speech is a principal pillar of a free government; when this support is taken away, the Constitution of a free society is dissolved, and tyranny is erected on its ruins.” Franklin went on to write, “An evil magistrate entrusted with power to punish for words, would be armed with a weapon the most destructive and terrible.”
Although this was written in an article published more than two and a half centuries ago, Franklin’s words are quite possibly more relevant today than they ever have been. Indeed, there is an ongoing effort by the progressive left and extremists such as George Soros to silence speech that doesn’t align with the liberal agenda. This effort to effectively gut the First Amendment is taking place virtually everywhere you look, from the mainstream media, to Hollywood, to college campuses, and perhaps most frequently, across the Internet.
Recently, the popular Internet web browser Mozilla Firefox announced that it plans on joining the fight against what it considers to be “fake news,” a term that to leftists means nothing more than news that is written by conservatives. Mozilla said that it was “investing in people, programs and projects” in an effort to “disrupt misinformation online.”
The first question that every constitutionalist and liberty-loving American should be asking is as follows: How does Mozilla define “fake news?” Are they only talking about suppressing radical websites such as sites run by white supremacists, or are they talking about any news that comes from conservatives? At the very least, it should worry you that companies like Mozilla are often reluctant to thoroughly define “fake news” – it is highly unlikely that this is unintentional.
Furthermore, what exactly gives Mozilla the right or the authority to determine what is misinformation and what is not? The United States Constitution is the law of the land, and the freedom of speech is an inalienable right from God. The fact that Mozilla thinks it has sweeping authority to select which speech is censored and which speech is not runs contrary to everything that America was founded upon.
With the assault on independent media getting increasingly aggressive, many Internet bloggers and website owners are desperately looking for ways they can continue voicing their opinions without being harassed, suppressed or silenced. If you are one of these people, you may want to consider using “Brave,” a relatively new web browser founded by former Mozilla CEO Brendan Eich.
On its website, Brave states that its goal is “to transform the online ad ecosystem with micropayments and a new revenue-sharing solution to give users and publishers a better deal, where fast, safe browsing is the path to a brighter future for the open web.”
If we are truly committed to one day restoring America to its constitutional roots, then we need to embrace initiatives like Brave and reject the political censorship that seems to now be running rampant across the country. Failure to do so will result in exactly what Benjamin Franklin warned about back in 1737 – the erosion of the Constitution and the establishment of tyranny.
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