By Matt Hampton writing for Fee
The real reason for free speech is not that all opinions have value or are worth airing. It's that there is no individual or institution whom I trust to make the decision as to *which* opinions are worthless on my behalf. And nor should you.
This quote from Yasha Mounk, a political commentator and scientist does a great job of getting to the real crux of the free speech debate.
From the article,
Free-speech defenders often point out that we can't always be confident that censored information is actually false; our understanding of reality is fallible and constantly evolving. As Joe Rogan said a few months ago when people pressured Spotify to ban his podcast: "Many of the things we thought of as 'misinformation' just a short while ago are now accepted as fact." This is true. But people on the other side are quick to respond that some ideas are obviously false or morally abhorrent: "What about Nazism? Or flat-earth theory?" This is also true. But it misses the point for exactly the reason Mounk said. If we grant any central authority the power to decide for everyone what is "true," it gives them the opportunity to distort facts for their own purposes. Even if this authority is not malicious, it will at least mean that the consequences of any innocent mistakes they make will fall on all of society.