How Free Speech Dies

3 minute read Published

On the suppression of free speech in today’s increasingly digital world.

I’m back in Bali after a trip to Anarchapulco and Chicago to pick up my cats. It was my first time back in the United States in over a year. Instead of a warm welcome back to my birth country I was promptly detained by a CBP officer and put in holding room while they ran a background check and attempted to obtain personal information.

After declining to give CBP my address in Bali and questioning them as to whether or not I was under arrest they were kind enough to inform me I was free to go at any time but that my passport belonged to the U.S. government and wasn’t my property.

It would appear surveillance states like post-9/11 USA don’t appreciate having their own citizens outside their visibility. That certainly wouldn’t suit the “Deep State” if such a thing existed now would it? The experience was very disheartening to say the least.

After returning back to Bali it wasn’t long before I received yet another #shadowban on Twitter, which I’ve been using on-and-off under a pseudonym since leaving Facebook. When I publicly issued my distain for the ongoing bans Twitter has been giving me they locked me out of my account, restricted access and, upon attempting to restore, informed me my very legitimate phone number was “unsupported”:

account restricted screenshot
Visitors greeted by ominous account restriction warning.
unsupported phone number screenshot
Account restoration not possible due to rejection of valid Indonesian telephone number.

I find it pretty incredible this type of behavior continues after the Logan Paul scandal and, more recently, the YouTube shooting which Gab used as an opportunity to promote free speech with the #censorshipkills hashtag.

Censorship kills meme featuring YouTube shooter Nasim Aghdam.
Censorship kills meme featuring YouTube shooter Nasim Aghdam.

All of this is happening just as individuals are starting to understand the dangers of centralized communication platforms and reminds me of this quote from a man I saw speak in Acapulco during my trip back to the States:

So this is how free speech dies…with thunderous applause.

Roger Ver

And while Gab and Peepeth may suggest they’re censorship-resistant, any human involvement in their operations can and will eventually lead to censorship. Freedom of expression has to occur entirely unattended at the protocol level before any app, site or governing body can properly support it.

Thankfully organizations like are working to liberate speech using the blockchain. New tech like will take time, especially without your help. Meanwhile, tools like streisand and Mastodon have been designed to help you outside the Sneakernet at least for now.

Do the right thing. Let’s work together to silence censorship.

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