In recent years the expression “freedom of speech” has acquired a new dimension, precisely concerning the right to give voice to one’s opinion without having to justify the reason for one’s thought.
In this new society, people feel empowered to give voice to the most despicable opinions (racism, misogyny, homophobia, etc.), supported by slogans that incite discord spread by the media, without being more challenged to explain the reason for their position.
Radio, television and newspapers spread the extreme opinions of institutional figures, without challenging them to explain the reason, thus authorizing the rest of the population to do the same. Nowadays when someone requests to respect the right to free speech while presenting his most controversial views, what he really asks is the freedom to speak without having to analyze or explain his position.
The media manipulate collective thinking and instill fear
One of the objectives of terrorism is to spread fear, anger and distrust, and it is not surprising to see how the media lend a hand, doing a great job of spreading hatred.
Just think for example of the period following the attack on London Bridge, the Sun published a piece entitled “If we want peace … we need less Muslims”. Such a context explains the growth of a public opinion that sees people of Pakistani origin as the main cause of heinous acts of terror.
Discussing these issues and trying to prove their groundlessness, which is the goal of the author’s radio program, sometimes, instead of making people understand how much their position has been more indoctrination spread by the media, instead leads to the fateful expression “freedom of speech “, which in this case indicates the freedom to be able to present unfounded theses and opinions without being contradicted.
At the base there is a simple truth: some people are determined to believe that others are fundamentally evil, that a certain ethnic group is more inclined to commit specific crimes and unfortunately they do not even realize that they are prey to hatred as old as humanity itself. People have given up on questioning what they read about various sources of information, be they social media or newspapers.
The example of this situation is precisely the story of a listener on O’Brien’s radio show. “Ray” explains how his anger towards Islamism and Muslims grew day by day after the continuous reading of news and information on the net, he had become intractable even with the family until, at the request of his wife, he took a month off from the Internet. Without the constant messages of hatred, “Ray “‘s anger has faded and he has returned to live a peaceful existence.
The slogans: Best method to push public opinion not to think and at the same time convince it of the contrary
For years in the UK the idea has constantly been repeated that the EU limited the country’s freedom and imposed unwelcome laws. This opinion has existed for so long unchallenged and spread by the media, to become an absolute truth for millions of people, many of whom accept it without however being able to name a single reason for the negative influence of the EU on the United Kingdom.
The slogan phrases repeated by Brexit supporters such as: “Take back control”, “Sovereignty” or “Anglosphere” seem significant and useful in a debate, but they are nothing but empty shells without a clear meaning that discourage thought and avoid facts. . The biggest threat to Brexit is to ask people to describe the reasoning that led them to vote for leaving the EU.
The slogan strategy was also used by US President Donald Trump during his election campaign. To avoid the tiring task of thinking for himself, he promoted slogans that were easy to spread and remember as: ” Make America Great Again “. Furthermore, the slogans were perfect weapons to be used against the truth, for example the expression “fake news”, thanks to which Trump presented an alternative reality in which his lies were proposed as true.
The process is very simple: just take a set of disappointed and angry individuals, claim to understand what they are suffering, offer them a target to target their anger and finally help them not to think thanks to catchy slogans, claiming that anyone who forces them to explain what they mean is only stifling their right to free speech.
Public anger can be changed and redirected by the media
The cause of all the ills of society reported by the media has constantly changed over the years, from single mothers to immigration, however one of the ever-present themes is homosexuality.
The media and political institutions are still reluctant to teach in schools how homosexuality is something perfectly normal. This happens because, as with other issues, poisoning public opinion can bring monetary benefits to certain sectors.