In the digital realm, things are a bit murkier. You can see this first hand in the current investigation into whether or not right-wing news sites were involved in a Russian operation that increased the reach of certain stories appearing on those sites.
According to investigators, the Russians used bots — a type of computer command — to dramatically increase the number of social media posts linking to pro Trump stories, especially from sites like Breitbart and Infowars. Now the investigators want to know if anyone at those sites was complicit in helping the Russians.
This is more reaching by the left and the establishment to delegitimize Trump’s election. But the investigation could have some pretty nasty unforeseen consequences, depending on what the FBI finds and what it does with its findings.
These kinds of investigations don’t have to make free speech illegal. Their very existence chills free speech. As word gets around that posting the “wrong” kinds of political opinions could draw the attention of the FBI, people will become less willing to share any controversial views.
That’s not a good thing in my book, but take a look at the investigation and decide for yourself.