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Blacklists: The left targets the right online

EDITORIAL
August 22. 2017 10:06PM


When it comes to protecting free speech, the First Amendment is necessary, but not sufficient.

The Constitution prevents government from silencing unpopular speech, but it does not require the public to respect dissenting views.

In almost all ways, this is good. Bad speech is countered by more and better speech. Alt-Right groups have canceled planned rallies around the nation after being shown up in Boston last weekend.

This anti-American fringe wallows in its own victimhood, and dares us to betray our principles in order to shut them up.

It’s hard to have much sympathy when GoDaddy or Google cancels the domain of a neo-Nazi website for violating their terms of service. Apple and PayPal will no longer process payments for “White Pride” apparel.

But that doesn’t go far enough for some. Google is working with the liberal journalists at ProPublica to map what they claim are hate groups. Such lists are in the eye of the beholder.

The Southern Poverty Law Center designates some groups as hate groups for opposing same sex marriage. Other groups get tarred for favoring tighter immigration standards. The Electronic Frontier Foundation urges caution in compiling these online blacklists.

We should not force tech companies to do business with those they find objectionable. Nor should we bully them into refusing to serve groups with views we dislike.


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