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The dangers of censorship

To the Editor,

Censorship carries with it great risks.

Societies that allow the voices of dissent to be silenced cannot call themselves democratic. By silencing opinions we widen the divisions that exist in our society.

Our governments and the World Health Organization are telling us that “misinformation” is dangerous, and they are deciding how it is defined.

We currently have online “fact-checkers” arbitrarily determining what information is valid and what isn’t. There is also a movement to censor opinions using the validation of prohibiting “hate speech.” This raises the question as to who will define “hate speech” and how this label can be misused.

Our right to assembly is under attack (in the name of the public good).

We are treading on dangerous ground.

Ultimately, the most dangerous form of censorship is self-censorship, where people have been coerced into silence by fear of reprisals.

The sharing of information is vital for us to determine a correct course of action as a society. It is every individual’s right, responsibility and duty to do their own research and discern fact from fiction.

If statements or information are untrue then they need to be met with reasoned discussion and debate, not censorship.

David Carter

Castlegar, B.C.

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