Free Speech and Hate Speech
Yonatan Zunger

I live in Singapore. People outside Singapore love to bash Singapore in part for constraints on the media and ‘free speech’. Yet people who move here tend to really, really want to stay.

Any guesses on the #1 government priority here? Guess. It’s racial harmony. How beautiful is that? There are many historical reasons for this, and many ways it is engineered, but element of it is limiting speech that is defamatory towards a race or religion.

I’ve seen it in action. A government employee was fired when she posted a racially tainted rant on Facebook a few years ago.

I don’t ever hear people whinge, “gosh, I really like it here, if only I could make awful racial remarks…” It’s healthy for the well-being of the population as a whole. (Oh, and happens to also be one of the safest places in the world to be a woman. Related?)

What is lost is so much less than what is gained.

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