Freedom From Speech's Consequences


What happened to Brendan Eich at Mozilla (resigning over community uproar for his continued support of Prop 8) has now happened to one of Github's founders. Tom Preston-Werner has resigned due to community uproar over gender-based harassment.

Some are decrying this as an infringement on free speech. That people should be do and say with impunity anything that is not illegal. That all people should not criticize or judge anyone who is not doing something illegal, as though the law is the only true measurement of good and evil.

Of course, this rule does not seem to apply to the person making the allegations, whom the mob may criticize and judge as much as they want.

I agree with those who feel that this is free speech working as it is intended. No criminal charges or lawsuits have been filed (yet). Indeed, no rights for any of the involved parties have been legally threatened. They are all perfectly able to go about their daily lives, thriving, even in the same industry they rose to prominence in.

Everyone can go around spewing all the speech they want. This is exactly as it should be. Mozilla and Github were not required to do anything, just as we are not required to purchase their products for any reason we choose.

It's interesting that people outside the tech industry are now involved in the tech industry's gender relations struggle. It's disheartening that they seem to support the status quo.