“Free speech means I should be able to loudly be an asshole without anyone telling me to stop being such an asshole!”

– A free speech absolutist

I actually wrote this comic a few months ago and have been saving it for a time when I only had a couple of hours to draw up a comic, so this isn’t necessarily a commentary on what’s going on with Twitter and Elon Musk right now. It is still apt – Elon Musk has always expressed similar sentiments to this comic with his half-baked “free speech absolutism” philosophy – but this is such a widespread phenomenon that I couldn’t say it’s a direct commentary on any singular event or platform, be it Twitter, Parler, Truth Social, etc.

The most frustrating part about the “free speech” crowd is how they always approach this debate in bad faith. “You can’t put restrictions on comedy! Except for comedy that threatens my ability to profit off this platform.” “You can’t tell us what to teach our own kids! Except for teaching them stuff that makes America look bad.” “You can’t have social media censor and moderate its users! Except for all the censorship and moderation we agree with.”

Honestly, the closest platform I’ve found to be genuinely consistent with its “free speech absolutism” philosophy was, like, 2000s-era 4chan. And that place was terrible.

– James