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Why Trump was kicked out of 'pub'

Cal Thomas' column complains about what he sees as the stifling of online speech, “Free speech — this time Trump’s — is being tested again,” (Jan. 11). Some perspective is in order.

Facebook and Twitter have essentially become the corner pub of the entire world, where you can hang out to converse with friends, and perhaps total strangers. Being served by the owner and bartenders is neither a right nor a given, and subject to their discretion. Continually obnoxious misbehavior towards other patrons, or the neighborhood, can get you permanently banned from the pub. Parler, being the online version of a disreputable "dive bar" in a sketchy part of town, has lower standards for behavior, but if the patrons' lack of self-control incites violence that requires police intervention, its supply line gets cut, and its license or charter gets revoked.

America is on the verge of becoming a failed state, in no small part because the constant "free speech!" drumbeat has led to the near complete abdication from applying any kind of editorial standards for fear of being accused of censorship, or bias. What we need is not merely “more speech," we need better speech, evidence-based speech, speech that counteracts confirmation bias, disciplined speech that raises the bar for public discourse.

Charles J. Poulos

Columbia

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