Last night on The Colbert Report, Stephen Colbert expertly addressed the #CancelColbert trend on Twitter that followed Comedy Central’s tweet of a punchline -- but not the setup -- of a joke from last Wednesday’s show. Colbert laid out the circumstances surrounding the tweet and the ensuing backlash, making clear why attacks on him were misdirected -- though, as he notes, activist and trend leader Suey Park was “just speaking her mind, and that’s what Twitter’s for.”
Indeed, Twitter has proven to be a fascinating portrait of what happens when people fight speech they don’t like with more speech -- a strategy we advocate for at the Foundation for Individual Rights in Education, where I work. On Friday, my colleague Azhar Majeed explained here at The Huffington Post why it’s critically important that young adults learn that censorship is not the answer when confronted by speech with which one disagrees. The Atlantic’s Conor Friedersdorf, too, aptly noted the depressing trend of today’s college students attempting to shut down debate if the views being shared are offensive to them.
Censorship has not won in this matter, however. Colbert fans -- and fans of satire generally -- will be happy to see his response to Twitter critics and the media. The full episode is a must-see.