Veteran Advisor
Posts: 1,559
Registered: ‎10-18-2016

Free Speech - Will It Stifle Ag?

We're learning as Facebook, Google and even internet providers shut down people that free speech isn't free.  Oh, it's somewhat free at the government level, but not at the private level.  We've all seen the confusion over what can be said in schools.  The kids all think they have free speech but the teachers are worried about the Nazi sympathizer starting a riot - rightfully so.


We in agriculture have seen the misinformation and disinformation around BSE (oh, let's call it something non-controversial, like mad cow disease), ALAR (we don't need no proof), Pink Slime (whats a few million dollars - think of how much our readership improved) GMO  (if it's the same but I don't understand it, it must be wrong).


What happens when enough people in say the state of Maine decide that some pesticide which they've decided to ban can't even be discussed?  What about when PETA starts trying to limit ads that some packing plant will take your old horse?


This may seem far-fetched, but social media and idiocy is causing knee jerk reactions which end up being the precedent to limiting speech just because one person doesn't agree with it.