Written by Otaku Apologist

I want to be transparent with our readership, and to make a point. The reality is that free speech is an illusion.

The rule of all transactional relationships is that you do not criticize the people whose money you’re taking. While Hentaireviews is a review site, I have stated in the past we do not engage in journalism. We simply don’t have the means to be financially independent of our advertisers, almost all of whom are practically monopolies in their niches.

Every business exists in the safe cross-section of the self-interests of governments and companies. Should you speak truths that actually threaten the revenue streams of these governments and companies, you’ll quickly find yourself out of business. Journalism as a business is practically impossible with an advertiser-based model. In fact, truthful investigative journalism even in developed western nations that so pompously tout their commitment to human rights and personal freedoms, will get you slandered, cut off, jailed or killed.

We’ve criticized the products of the companies in this industry for three years now. Usually there’s been no backlash, but there have been incidents. Even small companies whose new product launches have been terrible, quickly stop dealing with us when their fuck-ups are exposed. If our content seems lame at times, it’s because we’re playing politics like everyone else.

There’s a lot of criticism of Twitter and Facebook these days, as these companies have started censoring their users. The companies have grown so big, they have to play by the rules of the governments of every country they operate in. If you want to do business in China, you install Chinese censorship tools on your platform. If your stock is owned by Saudi-Arabian dictators, you censor Saudi-Arabian dissidents.

The more socially connected you become, the less freedom you have. You live with increasing limits to your self-expression. You protect the secrets and egos of those who pay you. You self-censor to protect your public image. Powerful men can’t be wearing quirky hats in public. As I have stated my observation, the true nature of the dark side is boredom.

Governments and companies are not the only ones setting limits to what you can and cannot say. Customers have their biases and cultural sensibilities. The larger your customer base, the fewer things you can say without causing feelings to be hurt. You can only have freedom in a cultural environment that values freedom over feelings. The more diversity, the smaller our common comfort zone. If freedom is not our highest value, we have to create a common comfort zone where everyone’s feelings are protected, with heavy censorship.

Whenever someone makes an argument against free speech, they forget the most crucial aspect of free speech: It doesn’t exist.