A Note about Censorship

We need a nuanced understanding of censorship. For censorship to be truly effective in our digital age we must begin with the idea that no American can (yet) be completely silenced. But censorship does not require denial of access in order to be effective. It requires instead a deflection of attentions, a dulling of focus, and a questioning of credibility. This, you will notice, is the stock in trade of the ethno-nationalists and Trump. Look over here! “Alternative facts…” Our critics are dangerous liars. Etc. They mean to infect the discourse of truth by repeating blatant lies inserted into the everyday as if these were just the facts.  Censorship is allowing falsehood to be normalized.  Call out every single one or delete them, but don’t let the lies become memes or be portrayed as facts.  In short, Republican censors turn the subject to something else and, in the meantime, fatigue becomes another form of censorship. Our task is to remain clear, focused, questioning, and resilient. Don’t let them turn you away, blur your focus, or turn us on each other. That too is censorship.

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