It’s an unthinkable question. Countering it takes a serious answer.

The battle against misinformation is here to stay. What began as a filtering-out of opinions about an election and a pandemic has extended to many other topics.

Naturally, companies that block information don’t call it censorship. For them, it’s a moral duty that serves the public good. By curtailing speech, these companies protect vulnerable people. They safeguard a part of society that is persuaded by controversial opinions. By limiting free speech, society becomes “more unified.”

Here’s the problem. Their standard for censorship is what a vulnerable person might think. This is at odds with the American legal system, which is based on what a reasonable person thinks. Lawyers present the evidence. The jury reviews it on the basis of reasonable doubt. To withhold evidence from the jury is a crime.