I came up with a powerful reframe in the course of arguing the merits of decentralized dissidence. The upstart social media platform Gab, the free speech alternative to Totalitarian Twatter*, remains one of a rare few internet outposts willing to allow offending speech. This means the pressure on it to bend to Globohomo demands will be enormous. A lone target attracts more firepower. But multiple Gabs across media niches will scatter Globohomo’s fire and help each individual dissident node survive the fusillade.
Which leads to my reframe.
It’s not offensive speech, or offensive speakers, or an offensive ideology.
It’s offending speech, offending speakers, or an offending ideology.
The small semantic adjustment makes all the difference.
offensive: the moral onus is on the accused.
offending: the moral onus is on the accuser.
Offensive speech, speakers, or ideology targets everyone.
Offending speech, speakers, or iedology targets the person claiming to be offended.
Shitlibs prefer the former, because they are indicted by the latter. Offensive speech must be roundly criticized, but offending speech connotes a breaking of taboos held dear by sanctimonious guardians of acceptable discourse. The latter draws attention to the motivations of the accuser rather than to the accused.
*my first twatter account lasted about two years.
my second: six months
my third: two months
my fourth: three days
a revealing look at the increasing intolerance of Shitlib Media.