Maybe it happened when political correctness, a concept based on language usage, became a fixation in the 1970s. Euphemisms to ease perceived exclusion, marginalizing, or insult to groups of people became ingrained in our conversations. For instance, he is not balding, he is in follicle regression. She is not a housewife, she is a domestic engineer. Old is chronologically gifted.
Now such demands have escalated to proportions that unequivocally challenge our freedom of speech. Powerful big tech entities like Facebook, Twitter, You Tube and Google censor any entries they … whoever “they” really are we do not know …. deem offensive. The problem is what is offensive to those censoring is not necessarily offensive to others.
For instance, many Americans believe there was election fraud. But because social media rejects that idea they disallow entries that mention it. Certain people have been shut down on social media because “they” do not like positions those individuals take. Some will say a certain idea is not popular, is offensive to others or is deemed untrue. It is not the job of any media to determine any of those conclusions. One may reject much of liberal or conservative gab, but those ideologues must have freedom to present their ideas no matter how fanatic, offensive, bizarre or eccentric.
If one does not use social media, we have something called cancel culture where “they” — again whoever “they” are — deem certain terms, products, books, toys, foods, titles, etc., etc., offensive because “they” say so. If you have any association with general news, you have heard that certain Dr. Suess books are racist, Goya Foods was boycotted because the company owner supported President Trump, and cartoon characters Dumbo, Pepe le Pew, Speedy Gonzalez are gone. My sense is because some group decided this, we all are supposed to go along with their ideas and forget our own freedom of thought and speech.
Workers have lost their jobs because they expressed an opinion. Entertainers and celebrities have suffered the same injustice. Most recently Piers Morgan left his show because of reactions to his negative comments about an interview with Prince Harry and Meghan Markle. Banjoist Winston Marshall apologized because he praised a book by right-wing writer Andy Ngo. Somewhere in the nonsense of politics, establishment of a commission reminiscent of Orwell’s Ministry of Truth has been suggested. This government agency would, I guess — with probably hundreds of hired snooping bureaucrats — comb through social media, talk shows, letters to the editor, print media articles, and monitored phone calls for comments that are anti anything that is the latest government darling. That is when we will have totally lost our freedom of speech guaranteed in our U.S. Constitution.