The Unz Review • An Alternative Media Selection$
A Collection of Interesting, Important, and Controversial Perspectives Largely Excluded from the American Mainstream Media
 PodcastsKevin Barrett Archive
What Are the Limits to Free Speech?
Email This Page to Someone

 Remember My Information


Bookmark Toggle AllToCAdd to LibraryRemove from Library • B
Show CommentNext New CommentNext New ReplyRead More
ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter This Thread Hide Thread Display All Comments
These buttons register your public Agreement, Disagreement, Thanks, LOL, or Troll with the selected comment. They are ONLY available to recent, frequent commenters who have saved their Name+Email using the 'Remember My Information' checkbox, and may also ONLY be used three times during any eight hour period.
Ignore Commenter Follow Commenter
Search Text Case Sensitive  Exact Words  Include Comments
List of Bookmarks

Video Link

Elon Musk restores Donald Trump’s Twitter account, but refuses to unban Alex Jones. Mainstream media crucify Kanye West and Kyrie Irving, but merely grumble at Dave Chappelle. These and other discrepancies raise the question: Who, exactly, is allowed to say what?

Elon Musk claims to be a “free speech absolutist.” He says he wants to return Twitter to its pre-2016 identity as “the free speech wing of the free speech party.” And he says he wants to run Twitter in accordance with the First Amendment of the US Constitution—for US users—and to only restrict speech that violates the law of whatever country the speaker happens to be living in. That’s a sensible, fully workable policy. And that is the only policy that would be allowed by law if Twitter were a public utility rather than a billionaire’s toy.

To his credit, Musk has reinstated Donald Trump’s account. But he only did so after holding a Twitter plebiscite, which Trump won by a 52-48 percent margin. The poll provided cover for Musk to defy the mainstream media and restore Trump’s right to free speech. But that poll should not have been necessary. The First Amendment does not say you need majority approval before you are allowed to say what’s on your mind. On the contrary, its whole rationale is to protect unpopular speech. The strongest possible argument for restoring Trump’s account would have been 100% of users voting against Trump.

So Musk isn’t following the Constitution. He made that clear by refusing to unban Alex Jones. Pressed for an explanation, Musk tweeted: “My firstborn child died in my arms. I felt his last heartbeat. I have no mercy for anyone who would use the deaths of children for gain politics or fame.”

Musk was referring to Jones’ conviction in a series of libel lawsuits filed by Sandy Hook parents, who say Jones defamed them by airing claims that the school shooting was a false flag in which “nobody died.” Whether or not those convictions and damage awards were correct—personally I think Jones was set up to play the scapegoat in what can only be called Stalinist-style show trials—the Infowars founder now stands convicted of defamation. Does that negate his First Amendment rights? Not at all. The whole point of convicting someone of defamation is to correct the record concerning their specific false and harmful statements—not to deprive them of the right to speak out on other issues in the future.

So was Musk lying when he said he wanted to restore free speech on Twitter? Probably not. He is acting under duress. The Zionist mainstream media mafia has a gun to his head. They are whipping up a witch-hunting mob and threatening to destroy Twitter if it returns to free speech. The value of the company is already cratering, and Musk is trying to stop the bleeding.

Rapper Kanye West, like Elon Musk, has lost more than a billion dollars by upsetting the self-appointed censors. Nobody has suggested that anything West said was untrue. It’s just that this particular truth hurts people’s feelings. Specifically, it offends the feelings of the Zionist billionaires who dominate mainstream media, and who feel terribly hurt when it is pointed out that they exist. It also hurt the feelings of West’s Zionist handler, Harvey Pasternak, who threatened to have West drugged and institutionalized if he didn’t stop saying true things.

Basketball star Kyrie Irving also lost a lot of money by hurting the same people’s feelings. Apparently Irving had the audacity to tweet a link to an Afrocentric documentary that portrayed the black-Jewish relationship in less than idyllic terms. That was enough to get Irving almost run out of the NBA.

Then on Saturday Night Live, comedian Dave Chappelle deviated from the prepared script and hilariously exposed the people holding guns to the heads of Elon Musk, Kanye West, Kyrie Irving, and (last but not least) Chappelle himself. Though the ADL and the other usual suspects responded by crying out as they struck at him, Chappelle doesn’t seem to have taken much of a hit. Maybe the comedy insulates him. As the saying goes, “If you tell the truth, make it funny, or they’ll kill you.”

In any case, Elon Musk and the ADL seem to agree that free speech ends where hurting billionaires’ feelings begins. But that’s not what the Constitution says. To restore the First Amendment to the new public square—social media—we are going to have to elect a Congress that will pass legislation, or elect a president who will take emergency action, to seize the social media companies and run them as public utilities in accordance with the Constitution of the United States of America.

(Republished from Substack by permission of author or representative)
Hide 32 CommentsLeave a Comment
Commenters to FollowEndorsed Only
Trim Comments?
  1. DanFromCT says:

    Elon Musk and the ADL seem to agree that free speech ends where hurting billionaires’ feelings begins.

    I hope others don’t miss your wry humor in calling out “billionaires” without having to resort to triple parenthesis. It’s like saying the ADL is obsessed with anti-Billionaireism or that Ye and Irving were forced to apologize to billionaires for offending the wealthy.

  2. “So was Musk lying when he said he wanted to restore free speech on Twitter?”

    Yes, he was lying. Twitter isn’t just a newfangled town square. It is and always has been a data collection & speech monitoring/suppression operation of the Deep State. The platforms potential to be profitable has always been a mirage because it’s backend data operation is ridiculously expensive compared to the revenue potential. That means that some shadowy government agency is backfilling it with lots of technical assistance and or secret funding. That kind of help comes with lots of strings attached.

    Musk is a typical subsidy grubbing, billionaire rent seeker so this kind of arrangement is something he is very familiar with and not at all opposed to. His secretive Deep State partners have an innate hostility to free speech and will not allow it on any platform they control.

    • Agree: BuelahMan
    • Replies: @Oscar Goldman
  3. Legba says:

    First, they came for the Jews. I said nothing.
    Then, they came for the blacks. I said, ‘Wait. Are you sure you got all the Jews?

    • Replies: @Shitposter_in Chief
  4. Kim says:

    The only useful test of free speech is whether it supports or contradicts the declared goals of The Fourteen Words.

  5. Of course ‘free’ speech is limited. As with ‘freedom’ is is restricted by the freedoms of others. You cannot shout ‘Fire’ falsely in a crowded theatre, or, more to the point with the climate denialist lunatics, shout ‘There is no fire!’ as the building is being consumed, while you block all the fire exits. Once your ‘free’ speech becomes hate-mongering, or outright lying, as in the Kingdom of Lies, Ukrainia, it is no longer acceptable.
    The big problem is how to police it-that is the true conundrum. As speech in the West is dependent on ‘reach’ which is dependent on money power, a monster like Murdoch can have his Evil minions lie, hate-monger and fear-monger every day, and there is nothing that humanity can do about it.

  6. Screaming ‘fire’ in a theater is often mentioned.

    But if there really is a fire, one is justified in screaming ‘fire’.

    The Power doesn’t want us to scream ‘fire’ that it has set all over the world.

  7. meamjojo says:

    MSNBC Guest Calls Musk Man-Child, Says Existence Of Billionaires ‘Inconsistent With Democracy’
    Wednesday, Nov 23, 2022 – 01:40 AM

    An MSNBC contributor says that the existence of billionaires is a “policy choice” that is “antithetical” to democracy, and called Elon Musk a man-child.

    In a Monday appearance on “Morning Joe,” author, political analyst and Hunger Games host cosplayer Anand Giridharadas suggested that people simply shouldn’t be allowed to accumulate that much money.

    “I think something we often forget as Americans is that billionaires exist as a class of people who have that much money at our collective pleasure, right?” he said, adding “It is a policy choice to allow some people to accumulate that much money, hundreds of billions of dollars, in the case of people in the United States before everybody has the chance to live with dignity, right?”

    • Troll: Lurker
  8. @mulga mumblebrain

    the climate denialist lunatics

    …I wonder if anyone can deny there is – and always was – a climate that never did anything else than to continually change. The “Magdalenenhochwasser” 1342 saw the inhabitants of Köln row in boats over the fortification walls, and the great drought of 1540 saw the inhabitants of that same Köln walk through the dried-up Rhine onto the other side. More than 200 years back, the great philosopher Lichtenberg (1742-1799) spoke “(…) an dieser Stelle von dem Problem möglicher periodischer Schwankungen der Sonnenstrahlung und der Abhängigkeit von Klimaveränderungen von diesen // at that place, of the problem of possible periodic variations of the insolation and the dependence of climate variations from these”, Hans Blumenberg, Wirklichkeiten in denen wir leben, Verlag Phil. Reclam jr., Stuttgart, Buch Nr. 7715, p. 159. Lichtenberg died 80 years before
    Milutin Milanković was born, after whom are named the “Quasiperiodic variations in insolation, known as Milankovitch cycles which serve as a primary control on climate change” ( Hence: “Since the last Ice Age there were 8 (eight) periods during which the Alpine glaciers were shorter than nowadays”, Natuurwetenschap en techniek (NWT) 4/2010. And “Landfall” of hurricanes cat. 1 or greater in USA from 1870 to 1899: 65; from 1970 to 1999: 42; “Landfall” of heavy hurricanes (cat. 3 or greater) from 1870 to 1899: 19; from 1970 to 1999: 15; source: National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. And also “research by the KNMI shows that the number of storms in Netherland has diminished during the last decennia. The average wind speed also has diminished during the last 30 years by 5 to 10 per cent” (New Scientist/NL 1/2014). The heaviest storm on record in Western Europe dates from 1703, back then the royal family sat in the basements of St. James palace because it raine chimneys; besides, a great many ships were swept a great many miles land inwards ( ).

    It speaks to reason that those who deem themselves “not lunatics” must be fully able to fully explain how, in the absence of any cars, planes and industry, our climate was so wildly playing havoc back then.

    Meanwhile, one can see on a daily basis “how fear of an allegedly imminent climate disaster has been whipped up to such an extent that we are currently seeing a panic-driven mass phenomenon. Ordinary people are now prepared to abandon any respect for democracy and the rule of law if the rest of society is not willing to align with their views. In other words, a rising fascism masked by the friendly faces of neighbors and sport club mates. Meanwhile, even some Catholic priests are joining these glue-ins”, , emphasis mine (as a churchgoing Catholic, I am fully aware that the mindset of that criminal idiot Bergoglio is pervading the clergy, but this cannot be helped).

    • Replies: @mulga mumblebrain
  9. @superfluous man

    That sounds correct. His “electronic” (coal burning) car is the same.

  10. Mac_ says:

    On supposed constitution it could have been something if people didn’t let cons get a bunch of weapons. When they scribbled their constitutions, why did people let them, then, sat as they scribbled ‘sedition’ spew, which proves the paper con doesn’t ‘protect’ anyone’s phony paper ‘rights’. The ‘sedition’ con is of course opposite of supposed ‘first amendment’, and proof the meme ‘gubermunt by the peopul’ is nonsense.

    Supposed ‘first amendment’ pretends to ‘give’ a right -we already have by nature, natural law, -to then, claim what you ‘can’t say. Its a dictator con. Note how they then used to ‘legalize’ smut, then, scribbled ‘law’ to limit protest, and now push other anti speech scheming.

    The main tactic, fake femy accusatory inversion, projection, same as the ‘hate speech’ anti speech con, so ‘hate speech’ accusing spewers gain power for their sick schemes. Suggest make note, paper pen better than copy paste. In same category, many supposed ‘courts’ last several years schemed to strip the right to record audio in ‘hearings’, so your audio proof of wrongdoing isn’t ‘allowed’ by supposed judges who claim only ‘their’ court ‘transcript’ is the ‘record’. Many schemes out of control. At base, no equal speech, no ability to make gangs to shove back against the con gangs.

    To that, imo jones/defamation is also accusatory inversion/projection. The ‘defamation’ con is a scheme so people can be attacked by false claims by whoever and lawyer cons also dictate what’s ‘defamation’ or not, which is a con. The defamation was done -to Jones, also Fetzer, by false actors and lawyers and judges, not the other way around. Many destroyed by courts, because people don’t care until it’s on them. Failure to see scheming, and gang to make effort, before the schemes hit us. The covid vax con another example of gang scheming. Smiley cons. Many injured, many also latent affected.

    It’s from those positions imo answer article question, what are the limits to speech, there should be no limits, none. Anything else is a con.

    Natural law, effort/force makes rule, speaking is part of it. People should share info at phony ‘thanksgiving’, instead of dumb talk. Appreciate the subject Kevin.

  11. anon[240] • Disclaimer says:

    The Kanye situation and the handler guy, I think Kanye is still affected by the drugs, his eyes don’t look right. Would agree zionists have control on media, of every type. Tv is propaganda.

    Those with media exposure, Musk, Gates, Bezos, anyone with a billion or more is also on a string, O think, meaning more propaganda. In 2012 they reversed the ban on goverment propaganda. So, many media are actually paid a lot by goverment. Here’s an older link,

    How people watch tv is beyond my understanding.

  12. @mulga mumblebrain

    For US Americans, the history of 1st Amendment jurisprudence is the place to start the conversation about what speech is protected and what isn’t. Non-protected speech includes incitement and “fighting words,” defamation, true threats, obscenity, perjury, and solicitations to commit crime. Before he caved, Elon Musk had suggested using 1st Amendment jurisprudence as the basic rule book for Twitter’s US users, which makes perfect sense.

    Courts have repeatedly ruled that the most important 1st Amendment protection is for unpopular political speech, like so much of the stuff published here or broadcast by Alex Jones.

    • Agree: Legba
  13. @Kim

    Coming from an Evil troll like you-thank-you!

  14. @René Fries

    Well, you see, ‘panic-driven’ citizens who understand the science see denialists like you doing everything in your pernicious power to ensure that humanity WILL be destroyed, like quoting ancient, non-scientific, descriptions of previous weather extremes, and implying that nothing now occurring is comparable, which is bull-shit. Naturally that displeases them, and as the climate disasters and death-toll grow, they will become more agitated, and, some, vengeful.
    Whether your denialism is psychopathic/ ideological, pecuniary or some other type, I doubt that it will serve as mitigation once justice is demanded from those who realise that their fate is sealed.

    • Replies: @René Fries
  15. Saba says:

    The 1st Amendment is fraud. You don’t have the freedom to express the truth, because it is against the zionist propaganda. Christian Amanpour, a zionist propagandist brainwashes the western population to prepare them for the next zionist war. She is part of the zionist mafia network. The Canadian thugs, including its PM, making a lot of lies against Iran yet are protected, but if you open your mouth to tell the truth, using ‘1st Amendment, you will be either arrested or silenced. The Rules-based order is the rule of the thugs, terrorists and thrives over you. You have NO freedom. please watch the following video to see how bunch of thugs are supporting an apartheid entity’s terrorism against Palestinians whose land has been stolen, screaming about ‘terrorism’ where brought to the region by the zionists and is practiced by the zionists everyday against others, yet these thugs either are silent or say “Israel has a right to defend herself.”
    Loud-mouth Zionist & neocon-artist Melissa Lantsman represents “feminist” imperialism.

    • Replies: @mulga mumblebrain
  16. fnn says:
    @Priss Factor

    Wow, a memory-holed White Supremacy film ironically directed by HUAC blacklist victim Carol Reed.
    Very good, thanks.

  17. @mulga mumblebrain

    — Japan Meteorological Agency (JMA) is a denialist, lucky to learn it.

    — European Geosciences Union [“Over the last 60 kyr, the SST development in the western and eastern study areas differ substantially. In the western area south of Cape Pasley (core 2614), the MIS 3 (∼57–29 ka BP; Lisiecki and Raymo, 2005) is characterized by long-term sea surface warming by ∼4 ∘C on average from ∼17 to 21 ∘C until ∼37 ka BP (Fig. 4c). This warming trend is underlain by large-amplitude variations in SST of up to 4–5 ∘C, ranging between ∼15 and 22 ∘C. The sea surface warming pulses are commonly accompanied by changes to more saline conditions (high δ18Osw-ivc-values; Fig. 4d). Most of the short-term changes to warm and saline sea surface conditions appear at the Antarctic Warming Events 3 and Antarctic Isotope Maxima (AIM) 12 and 8 and during Northern Hemisphere cool periods. These glacial MIS 3 warming pulses compare to and even exceed the modern SST conditions”] is a denialist, lucky to learn it

    — Journal of Quaternary Science (“The reconstructed TJuly [8.9-5.2 cal ka BP] are the highest recorded, reaching up to 4.8 °C higher than today’s air temperature. … Present day TJuly have persisted since 0.5 cal ka BP”) is a denialist, lucky to learn it

    You still have to come up with a satisfactory explanation of all the (sometimes gigantic) climate variations that occurred whilst there were no cars, no planes and no industry.

    • Agree: HdC
    • Thanks: Legba
    • Replies: @mulga mumblebrain
  18. @Legba

    Then they kicked out all the Mexicans and all of a sudden everything was pretty good

  19. Excellent essay, Kevin Barrett. It gets right to the point. There can be no compromise between top-down censorship and the First Amendment.

  20. Elon Musk’s Twitter And The Future Of Free Speech.

  21. TG says:

    I hope that the ‘libertarians’ out there are finally starting to realize that letting the rich do whatever they want does not maximize freedom. Rather, it will return us to the feudal dark ages, where a handful of lords own everything and can tell the rest of us what to do. I mean, work like a dog for subsistence level wages, or you and your family starve, is surely the freest sort of market transaction, no meddling government rules about minimum wages or breaking up monopolies or common carriers etc.etc. You libertarians still sure that’s really what you want?

    As pointed out here, letting a handful of billionaires dictate what we can and cannot say is not very free.

    “Eat the rich?” No, I want to stop the rich from eating me.

    • Agree: anarchyst, Kevin Barrett
  22. Sari says:

    Lies spread by the Jewish mafia on the net.
    Israel, the apartheid state has gone too far, it is the time to bomb Israel.
    ISRAEL MUST BE BOMBED NOW to save humanity

    Sharmine Narwani Retweeted
    @firasshoufi 10h

    Isn’t Colin Powell dead?

  23. anarchyst says:

    In every other country, “rights” are actually “permissions” which can be revoked by those in power (governments) at any time either by oral declaration or at the “stroke of a pen”. You see, in every other country, citizens are “subjects”, not free men.
    Look at Canada, which ran roughshod over its citizens’ charter of rights with the “truckers’ protest” by seizing bank accounts, trucks and even children over the truckers’ refusal to disperse from their legal protest just because they could.
    The Constitution of the united States of America is a “charter of negative rights”, something that the O’bama and Ruthie Ginsburg complained about. O’bama complained about the Constitution limiting government while Ruthie Ginsburg stated that the Constitution of South Africa was a better document.
    It starts out stating: “Congress shall make NO LAW…”
    The Constitution is (supposed to be) a limiting document on government power but has been so bastardized, set upon, and basically ignored by all three branches of the federal government that its true meaning has been pretty much obliterated.
    Add to that, the “dumbing down” of the citizenry, (public schools) stating that the Constitution “grants rights” It does no such thing–“rights” are (supposed to be) inherent in us being born and are (supposed to be) our irrevocable “birthright”.

    • Replies: @mulga mumblebrain
  24. @Saba

    What an evil and repellent monster it is. Murders of Palestinians by the Zionazis are rapidly mounting, yet this vile thing viciously exploits the tragic death of a Jew, to FURTHER incite hatred and rage, thereby becoming complicit, before and after the fact, in yet further murders of Palestinians. But at least it does, once again, illustrate the Judaic belief that goyim are lesser creatures than Jews. These people, the Zionazis, are a cancer on societies where they dwell, as are hatemongers and bigots of all types.

  25. @anarchyst

    Of course. The US Constitution was written by the richest men in the thirteen colonies, in order to protect their wealth and power from the rabble, which it does to today.

  26. @René Fries

    Sorry, rene, but if you quote a really dumb denialist sewer like ‘notrickszone’ then you are rendered ludicrous IMMEDIATELY. A useful site called Climate Denier Roundup at RedGreen and Blue, exposes the bulldust of ‘400 papers’ rebutting climate science in 2020, a year when 80,000 papers supporting the scientific consensus were published.
    This is poor stuff, rene. You parade ourself as if you are some sort on intellectual, then you resort to the lowest grade denialist swill. How pathetic, and, one hopes it will be made so some day, criminal.

  27. camus10 says:

    with jones, musk, jawanka, hunter bidet turned over, exposed

    how many want to keep waiting for the next (dstate) managed satanic coverup. discuss the next selection, lurk as the next false flag stirs with bloodless staged actors. fence sitting a bit too much ?

    hold on to your mil pension, submit to the crt, vax mandates, digitalcurrency and beg for mercy from the Soros prosecutors embedded directly or indirectly in every employment or legal dispute. how many vlogs here focused on the tribe, what about the other peril. where is Anglin Barrett Unz Fetzer PCRoberts TobLangdon JFreud on the woke fem metrosexual goyim with a liberal arts diploma selling out our homes pimping the youth to their satanic handlers. exactly how many partners will it take to unravel your fake- calligula bubble -universe. Don’t cry for my maternal instincts madonna, latex pants are kool-er

    the Ukr opposition caves with daily lies. but the taliban humbled the empire of sheeple in flimsy sandals & dirt bikes. The Home of the Brave, seduced by CBD, cannabis dispensary and hollywood fantasy. GeorgeW has taken up painting canvas, Zelensky is a phallic pianist….the rest are boring old fashioned. you will riseup after Novak Djokovich returns from the Aust Open unplayed. I don’t think so

  28. Kevin Barrett,

    I’ve posed this question to Jews:

    “What is the harshest criticism of Jews/Israel/Zionism that you would accept without calling it ‘anti-Semitic’?” (Comically little, it turns out.)

    Now I’m asking you:

    What is the harshest criticism of Muslims/Islam/Mohammad that you would accept — if you had the power to suppress it?

Current Commenter

Leave a Reply -

 Remember My InformationWhy?
 Email Replies to my Comment
Submitted comments have been licensed to The Unz Review and may be republished elsewhere at the sole discretion of the latter
Commenting Disabled While in Translation Mode
Subscribe to This Comment Thread via RSS Subscribe to All Kevin Barrett Comments via RSS
From the Leo Frank Case to the Present Day
The Surprising Elements of Talmudic Judaism
Analyzing the History of a Controversial Movement