While this rant is tangentially related to the complainers at Twitter, complaining about what new leadership means for the site's content moderation under a, "free speech absolutist," it's more about the entire United States.

I say the United States because we are in a constant state of vacillation between crowing about our amazing right to freedom of speech and shouting about having that right curtailed. And while conservative folks are the fucking worst in this arena, it isn't their exclusive milieu.

So let me be absolutely clear: Freedom of speech isn't compatible with the modern day. And while a big reason for this change can be attributed to social media, I hesitate to specifically blame any one facet of life entirely. This is partially because, nestled neatly on the extreme edges of Gen X and Millennials, I can recall pockets of nonsense as far back as 2400 baud.

If you consider yourself conservative, you were probably already angry with me before the statement in bold and you've likely dismissed my opinion because of it – but that's a mistake. A mistake you make about nearly everything, and which is major contributor to the very problem I'm discussing. You, conservative person, do not put enough thought into anything. You take in enough to form a base opinion and then you just run with that. It's infuriating on many levels, but what makes it worse is that liberal people do it, too.

Hence my preface about the United States. So let me go over a few things we deal with on a near daily basis.

It's absolutely maddening that we've reached a point where child arguments about First Amendment rights are taken as, "opposing viewpoints." No, just because Holocaust deniers exist doesn't mean we need to teach kids about that or allow those people to post about it online. That's asinine. We do a great disservice to intellectual discourse by referring to things as conspiracy theories. They aren't theories. They're the products of minds that aren't getting the support they need, fuelled by anger and a lack of considered thought.

If a politician says Democrats support reparations because they think "people who do crime" are owed that, why the fuck are we arguing about what that politician means? Are we going to support that politician just because we're on the same team? Give that more than one second of thought. That shit's racist, and the person who says something like that should face serious consequences.

Or, how about when a school board member rails against the possibility of accommodating trans students by saying they've heard about classes where kids are using litter boxes? Come the fuck on. For real. You have to be super invested in making things difficult for trans people to entertain that idea for even a second. And yet, that bullshit's been repeated multiple times by people who still have their jobs.

I recently wrote about this year's Halloween candy scare, which may not strictly be a freedom of speech thing, but is still relevant. Why? We literally fall for a variation every year, and we've been doing so since well before 2400 baud. All because there's no critical thought being applied.

So what's the solution? If we apply any kind of moderation to all this rubbish, there's solid pushback because we've legitimized the arguments of the no-thought crowd. We've given them a seat at the table when they should be in the other room focused on drinking from sippy cups. They'll cry, "nanny state," or similar – even though some form of that is precisely what's needed for their ill-formed and immature opinions.

Just like my previous post about sore losers, I don't know how to fix it. It's the same root cause, really. Adults who are so angry and invested in their own inanity that they've eschewed reasonable behavior. It's a conundrum with no visible solution. That said, since I've spent this whole rant angering conservatives, let's annoy some liberals:

Not to overuse the metaphor, but back when we were dialing into Wildcat! bulletin board systems pre-internet, whenever we misbehaved our parents spanked the shit out of us. There's got to be a modern day equivalent to that.