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Jamie Barton
Jamie Barton
Jamie Barton (she/her) resides in Boston with her cat. Jamie graduated college with an English major journalism minor. As journalists, we are never afraid of exposing the truth. We research, write, and report – that’s our job. Your job is to listen and agree.

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Speech reform: no words without consequences

Hate speech is not free speech and must be regulated.

Misinformation is Murder:

Misinformation corrodes society by undermining trust in public officials and between citizens who care wholeheartedly for the prosperity of their beloved democratic nation. Communities and families are torn apart every day by not having a grounding in a basic sense of reality. Without someone to steer the ship, there is a serious risk of society running aground.

Without a clear arbiter of what constitutes factual information, misinformation will continue to be produced by antagonistic interests, foreign and especially domestic. Misinformation will run amok until the very foundation of our democracy is eroded from existence.

The COVID-19 pandemic demonstrated beyond a reasonable doubt that misinformation kills on a genocidal scale. Meanwhile, fake news has proliferated constantly on behalf of far-right interests – it elected Donald Trump to the sacred office of the Presidency, inspired Nazi rallies in Charlottesville, and continues to embolden hate groups and violent individuals across the nation and world daring to spread disinformation, only making matters worse.

Facebook's new, detailed notifications users see when a post they likes was removed for sharing misinformation.

Hateful words and actions are both violence:

Hate speech has long been known to be the Achilles’ Heel of “free speech”. Think for a moment – just how “free” can a nation truly call itself when hundreds of millions of its own citizens feel under daily attack by oppression and hate, instigated and perpetuated through systematic racism, sexism, homophobia, transphobia, ableism?

Think of the young Black teenager, indoctrinated through years of oppression that his/her/their/its life does not matter. He/she/they/it is on the receiving end of slurs and hate speech every day. And worst yet, he/she/they/it could get shot on the street just by looking at a racist “peace” officer the wrong way.

This only happens because we enable hate to perpetuate itself through free speech. It is everybody’s fault. It is everybody’s social responsibility to fix the problem by regulating hate speech out of existence. No words without consequences.

Additionally, hate can be shown non-verbally. Such as “laugh reacting” on Facebook. Cinch News has advocated for the removal of the Facebook “laugh react” feature since its inception. Most commonly, the feature is used to mock minorities, usually the JLGBT+ community by far-right extremists.

Hateful silence is violence

There is a “workaround” you should be aware of that both hate advocates and free speech advocates try to cite to wriggle themselves out of their social responsibility – that workaround is silence. Silence has many forms, but it can be described more generally as passive resistance.

Freedom of Speech and of the Press Quotes – Free Speech Week

When George Floyd was murdered in 2020, how many of your neighbors put out yard signs, bought bumper stickers, or raised their fists in solidarity with Black Lives Matter? Think about it.

Now, think about who didn’t do any of those things. That is not mere inaction – that is Violent Silence. That is the manifestation of resistance to progress.

That is how you know they don’t believe Black Lives Matter, even if they will never say it out loud. Such people must be made to recognize their social responsibility and voluntarily support change. Otherwise, they must face consequences for their deliberate, willful, and hateful inaction.

Our call to action

The time has come to regulate speech to defeat misinformation, silence hate, and enforce responsibility upon those who passively resist progress. All of this must be done in the name of protecting our cherished freedoms and democracy.

The most qualified group to fight misinformation is, naturally, an army of trained, educated, credentialed, and approved Journalists and Fact-Checkers.

Ever since the election of Donald Trump in 2016, a coalition of approved Journalists and fact-checkers have assembled across the world on social media to fight tyranny. Journalists have battled Trump’s fake news barrage, spoken on behalf of minorities and oppressed groups who have no voice of their own, and promoted public safety in droves after deadly COVID disinformation, which continues to this day.

Our brave Journalists’ efforts have not been in vain. Fake news gets fact-checked and shut down every day; hate groups and individuals have been identified and subdued; passive resisters to progress are given daily lectures in articles to re-educate them. However, it is a constant, daily struggle. The fight is hampered by the persistence of speech crimes: misinformation, hate speech, and hateful silence.

Tiny Changes Let False Claims About COVID-19, Voting Evade Facebook Fact  Checks - capradio.org

The time to advocate for speech crime is now.

The Journalist coalition stands ready to fight for and enforce regulations on speech. All we need now is you – your vote, your voice, and your help to abolish and reform speech laws. Get the word out. Call your representatives. Talk to your neighbors. Start a movement. Protest. Disrupt and dismantle misinformation.


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