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The Rise of Artificial Freedom

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Charmaine Yoest

May 16 2019

In multiple settings, we are seeing a trend toward narrowing the scope of opinions allowed in the public arena. Heading into high school and college commencement season, a rising tide of ideological censorship is drowning out diversity of opinion. And academia leads the way in defining acceptable thought. 

This means that as the number of “disinvitations” for conservative speakers piles up, the idea that speech equates to violence is gaining purchase. Silencing different viewpoints is not only growing on campuses, it’s also spreading to the tech world and the corporate arena. 

This week Google censored the Claremont Institute, a highly regarded conservative think tank with a 40-year track record of defending American founding principles such as freedom of speech and religion. Claremont recently launched a campaign to raise awareness of illiberal speech codes and their threat to freedom; at the same time, the institute started online advertising for its upcoming anniversary dinner. 

Apparently not recognizing the absurdity of censoring an organization for writing about censorship, Google shut down the ads and told Claremont there would be “no appeal.” Claremont’s offense? The discussion of multiculturalism and speech codes on its website. 

Eventually, Google relented. But only after Claremont went public did Google back down and acknowledge a “mistake.” 


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