When I was a young writer, my mother gave me good advice: “Never put in writing what you don’t want people to read.” Now that I am employed in a law office, that advice is reinforced on a daily basis. Every word must be scrutinized with the matters of law and interpretation firmly in mind.
This is a hundred times more critical on the Internet.
However, the freedom of speech is too important to be undermined by the actions of those who disagree with any given personal opinion. As Voltaire declared, “I may disagree with what you have to say, but I will defend to the death your right to say it.”
The recent vilification of Brendan Eich for expressing his personal opinion in the form of a political donation is only the latest example of the infringement of freedom of speech by those who disagree with him. In my opinion, this can only be seen as another form of fascist bullying.
No matter how much our opinions may differ, none of us have the right to silence anyone. Neither do we have the right to hound another person into submission. Those who do this are guilty of the same behavior of which they accuse others.
The more we attempt to silence one voice, the easier it becomes to be silenced ourselves. And if we allow others to be silenced, we have no right to claim the freedoms granted by the Bill of Rights for ourselves.