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Speech suppression is habit-forming

Speech suppression is a habit that the Biden administration and its liberal supporters can’t seem to break. Many staffers may have picked up the habit in their student years: Colleges and universities have been routinely censoring “politically incorrect” speech for the last 30 years. As Thomas Sowell noted, “There are no institutions in America where free speech is more severely restricted than in our politically correct colleges and universities, dominated by liberals.”

Now, the Biden administration seems to be giving the colleges and universities some serious competition. Like many Democrats during the Trump presidency, they have come to see suppression of “fake news” as the ordinary course of business and indeed a prime responsibility of social media platforms.

For decades, print and broadcast media have been dominated by liberals, but Facebook, Google and Twitter have developed a stranglehold over the delivery of news which exceeds anything that the three major broadcast networks and a few national newspapers every enjoyed. If they suppress a story or a line of argument, it largely disappears from public view. And to the extent that it lingers, it can be stigmatized by these multibillion-dollar companies as “misinformation” or “fake news.”

Speech suppression was exactly what White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki had in mind last week when she called on Facebook to suppress 12 accounts that she said were spreading “misinformation” about COVID-19 vaccines. These accounts, she said July 15, were “producing 65% of vaccine misinformation on social media platforms.”

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