Op-Ed: Milo Yiannopoulos is threatening freedom of speech

In CSUF, Editorials, Opinion
A photo of Langsdorf hall

Many suggest that Milo Yiannopoulos is beneficial to our campus and that he is a proud supporter of free speech. However, Yiannopoulos is hindering our freedoms, including free speech. The problem is that he flip-flops whenever it benefits him. In 2012, Yiannopoulus said he completely agrees with censorship, and that “trolls” should be banned from the internet.  It is possible for him to have changed his mind on the subject. Afterall, he was known in 2016 to be a defender of free speech, regardless of if it offends anyone. Even before Yiannopoulos’ ban on Twitter, he was advocating for freedom of speech.

The problem is that he changes his mind too often. Right after his ban, Yiannopoulos told NBC in a July 20 interview, that he agrees with his 2012 article entirely but states he does not want Twitter to be hypocritical. That sounds noble and all, but that is the opposite of free speech. He changes his mind again in the interview and states that he “endorses free speech.” When the anchor caught him flip-flopping, he then gave a not-so-clear stance on his views and quickly tried to change the subject.  

Not only is his word inconsistent, his actions flip too. On the same day of the NBC interview, he censored someone for quoting that same article. A Facebook user provided photographic evidence of Yiannopoulos repeatedly deleting his comments and then blocking him. Yiannopoulos states his freedom of speech was at risk on social media and afterward did the same thing to someone who was criticizing him. It is both fitting and ironic to censor someone who was proving that he supports censorship. Yiannopoulos seems (at times) to be for the practice of “trolling,” but criticism is too much for him.

After his scandal on protecting pedophilia earlier this year, Yiannopoulos tried to become the rector of Glasgow University. His goal as rector was to ban the school’s Muslim Student Association. He tried to silence and ban the MSA and considered them “anti-LGBT” because they were Muslim. Yiannopoulos deemed them hateful and called to shutdown the group. Students questioned his motives as he claimed to protect the LGBT community. Yiannopoulos tried to silence them for hate speech without evidence. Even if they committed hate speech, silencing them goes against protecting free speech.

Yiannopoulos is not only anti-trans but stated that homosexuals are not as good as straight people. He said he would rather be straight due to his religion and is considered a “self-loathing homosexual” for his comments. He also tried to make people vote “no” on same-sex marriage in Australia marrying his longtime boyfriend. It seems Yiannopoulos will silence similar opinions, if they come from different people. He also argues that there should be a “cap” on women in STEM programs.

Many fear that students will be outed and doxed by Yiannopoulos. In September, Associated Students of the University of California attempted to pass an anti-doxing bill to protect students’ privacy in response to Yiannopoulos’ UC Berkeley appearance.

He also does not seem to care about the rights of private businesses. In an NBC interview, he stated businesses should have the right to limit their customers or users but constantly dictates how they should do so. In another instance, a bartender said that Yiannopoulos, White Supremacist Richard Spencer and others were forced to leave a bar due to the practice of Nazi salutes. However, he refused to leave while his group chanted “make America white again.”  

Yiannopoulos will hinder free speech if he believes he can get away with it. He lies to push his own rhetoric. He does not respect the rights of privacy and adds to discrimination of immigrants, LGBT, women. Yiannopoulos is only using freedom of speech as a shield to limit the rights of anyone other than his preferred demographic. If you truly support free speech, show it by tossing Yiannopoulos aside. Otherwise, you might seem hypocritical, gullible or too protective of people for the wrong reasons. One can’t expect to successfully criticize the left on limiting free speech if they support an authoritarian using free speech advocacy as a shield. Pick someone else. Free speech is dying and hypocrites like Yiannopoulos are killing it from the inside.

Hassan Fawaz

Fifth-year CSUF history major

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