I keep seeing people claim “free speech” when they say or post dumb or hateful shit and are then called out on it.
It seems to me that people fundamentally misunderstand the concept of “freedom of speech”.
The right to speak your mind is only the right to do so without GOVERNMENT censorship.
There are many issues and places that the free exchange of ideas are generally valued by society.
However, crucially, if what you say is utter nonsense, dumb-assery, or hate filled bullshit, you have no legal or moral protection from PRIVATE citizens calling you out on your bullshit, expressing outrage, protesting you, or straight up mockery. Be aware that there are consequences for your social and professional life based on your speech, and those consequences are in no way a violation of any right.
You cannot just say or post something terrible, then claim “free speech” and expect that to morally absolve you of the terrible thing you said or posted.
Moreover, to imply that you have been censored by a PRIVATE citizen, especially when that person is exercising their own freedom of speech, the very same freedom of speech you pretend to value, is the exact utter nonsense and dumb-assery for which you ought to be called out and mocked.
Also, someone else denying you a platform to speak is not censorship… it’s the freedom to choose whoever you want to speak at your event…
Lastly, there are, in fact, laws against certain speech including inciting violence, threats and verbal abuse, threatening the president’s life, defamation or libel, falsely yelling fire in a crowded theater etc.
Below is an educational video on American Government and Freedom of Speech.
Also, check out this hilarious article on Cracked about free speech.