Josh Frydenberg is concerned about social media giants blocking or suppressing people's opinions.
This man belongs to a government whose members frequently block the views of people they don't agree with on their Facebook or Twitter accounts, and whose government frequently abuses the "moving that the member not be heard" tactic in parliament when a member of the opposition talks about matters the government would rather stay hidden.
Free speech? The LNP wouldn't know what it was if it bit them on the backside?
Ross Hudson, Mount Martha, Vic
The social media giants have banned Trump and kept servicing dictators like Ayatollah Khamenei.
Trump is powerless to act against critics while Khamenei and his ilk brook no opposition, sometimes silencing critics with jail or death.
This behaviour is not just a denial of free speech, but a disgusting demonstration of how "woke" bile and hatred can completely corrupt the thinking of seemingly decent individuals.
If you value your freedoms then fight back against all the politically correct, woke nonsense now permeating our society in the guise of social justice and truth telling that is anything but.
Doug Hurst, Chapman
Freedoms have limits
Much is again being made of "freedom of speech" without due consideration of what it means in a society.
We live in a "free country". This doesn't mean we can do what we like. Certain things are not allowed, most obviously murder, theft, rape and so on. We have laws which spell out the limits to our freedom of action. If you are a murderer, it is quite reasonable for a gun salesman to decline to sell you a weapon.
"Freedom of speech" doesn't mean we can say what we like. We can't racially vilify at the cricket. We can't incite violence.
If you incite violence, it is quite reasonable for a social media platform to decline to provide you with the means of doing so.
McCormack, Frydenberg, Christensen, Kelly, et al, - get over it.
Oliver Raymond, Mawson
Way to go Michael
It's great to see the Deputy Prime Minister declaring his fervent support for freedom of speech following the Twitter bans in the USA.
We wait with bated breath for his announcement that he will now fight to repeal all the "ag-gag" laws that the federal and state governments have been enacting, the purpose of which is to deny free speech to those seeking to expose extreme examples of animal cruelty, neglect and violations of animal protection laws on Australian farms.
If we are one and free, let's also be consistent and caring.
Desmond Bellamy, PETA Australia, Byron Bay, NSW
Close the Open
Re: "Australia fighting to keep mutant COVID-19 strains at bay" (January 11, p9).
This article reported "International arrivals will be limited to NSW, Queensland and Western Australia until February 15". However The Canberra Times has already reported that over 1000 tennis players and staff will arrive in Australia over the next week to play in the Australian Tennis Open in Victoria.
Are Australians being misled about this?
Are the tennis players coming to Melbourne via different airports, or are overseas flights to Melbourne being restricted to only tennis players.
Does this mean all the quarantine facilities are required for the tennis players?
I suspect the latter, and I therefore also suspect that because of this over 1000 Australians will be denied repatriation to Australia in January, and many thousands of Australians will for many months have their repatriation delayed by at least a month.
The Australian Open is not an essential event.
Wimbledon was cancelled. The Australian Open should be immediately cancelled.
Bob Salmond, Melba
Speech and speech
I totally agree with Keith Hill (Letters, January 12). There is free speech; then there is speech which encourages incitement against established law and order and which gives false and damaging information.
Donald Trump deliberately encouraged his minions to attack the very seat of democracy in Washington and in so doing he is responsible for five deaths.
George Christensen and Craig Kelly are deliberately peddling misinformation on their social media, which will cause some naive people to make decisions which are self-damaging.
Free speech is a central tier of democracy and must be supported. But free speech comes with the responsibility not to lie or inflict damage on those who read it or listen to it.
As the prime minister of a democratic country, it is Scott Morrison's responsibility to support free speech, but he must also call out and condemn the sort of propaganda being peddled by Donald Trump, George Christensen, and Craig Kelly. To not call it out is not supporting free speech. It is pandering to and implicitly encouraging this false information to be spread widely in the community.
Merrie Carling, Gungahlin
The deputy PM (sorry, his name escapes me), being interviewed on ABC Breakfast TV on January 12 in his capacity as acting PM while that other guy takes a holiday somewhere, seemed to be trumpeting (pun intended) the line that came out of the US during the Trump presidency that there are alternative facts and it's quite acceptable for people to hold on to and promote these alternative facts as the one and only version of the truth.
Not only that, but private businesses should be compelled to provide a platform to publicise their alternative truths.
He and other senior members of the government are now falling over themselves to make free speech the issue, not that of an American president inciting a rebellion in order to hold on to power.
Well, if free speech is the issue I have just two words for them: Julian Assange.
Keith Hill, Canberra
Waste of time
As I write this letter, it is just over a week until Trump will be gone. It is beyond silly for the Democrats to try to impeach Trump in the short time left, just to avenge the defeat of Hillary Clinton. It will simply inflame the 74 million Americans who voted for Trump in November. Biden and company have already signalled that the swamp will be refilled, and the usual grab-bag of leftist policies imposed on the American economy. The Republicans will return to power, as power always alternates. They need only accept defeat, and regroup with a new leadership team.
Ian Morison, Forrest
Well said Arnie
The article "Schwarzenegger slams Trump, riot" (January 12, p22), quotes former movie star and governor of California, Arnold Schwarzenegger saying "President Trump is a failed leader. He will go down in history as the worst president ever. The good thing is he will soon be as irrelevant as an old Tweet".
Given that they were in a tweeted video recording Mr Schwarzenegger's comments were rather ironic. That said, the fact Mr Schwarzenegger is a long-standing Republican makes his judgement of President Donald Trump especially damning. His comments also demonstrate that there is a lot more to Arnie than "I'll be back".
Douglas Mackenzie, Deakin
It's not that simple
Facebook, Twitter and Google are not private companies ("Tech platform bans: What comes next?, January 12, page 12). They are "governmentalities". "Governmentality" is a concept developed by French post-modernist theorist Michel Foucault and refers to the organised practices through which subjects are governed.
Big tech companies represent elements of new corporate state power and leftist authoritarianism. The implications are spelled out in the book by Professor Michael Rectenwald, Google Archipelago.
Rectenwald says while totalitarian Marxism failed it has succeeded as the Google Archipelago which imposes leftism in the form of universal rights, egalitarianism, identity-politics and multiculturalism blocking people and ideas that do not conform, making non-persons and non-facts of them.
We are being carried along to our fates as prisoners of Google Marxism.
Victor Diskordia, McKellar
Cause for concern
As our acting PM, a dimwit even by The Nationals standards, says: we have to put things in proportion. That a US president incited a mob to insurrection, storming the Capitol, killing some and endangering members of Congress, is "unfortunate", but one needs to remember that he would probably have supported the Mackay Ring Road.
Alastair MacLachlan, Turner
TO THE POINT
When it comes to knowing what to say about the events in Washington, our deputy prime minister (identified wryly in Barry Jones's new book as "charismatic") can certainly be described as "praising with faint damns".
Eric Hunter, Cook
Twitter and Facebook have blocked President Trump's access. But the man who can't tweet or post text messages has the keypad and code to unilaterally launch a nuclear conflagration that could destroy billions of lives and human civilization. This is lunacy, and it's not just Trump's. Nuclear weapons must be banned.
David Perkins, Reid
Trump has finally got what he wanted. He is guilty of inciting insurrection and destroying what little there is left of international respect for the once great country called America. The game show is over. Donald, you're fired. Reality will now return to the stage.
Len Kelly, Curtin
THE FINAL FRONTIER
Trump should lead the first one man mission to Pluto. All mankind would benefit, but I pity the Plutonians. Oh, and turn off the Tweet facility.
Barry Peffer, Nicholls
Michael McCormack and Josh Frydenberg need to stop getting their views about overseas events from The Daily Dribble and "Throw Back Radio".
Gary Frances, Bexley, Vic
IT'S A MYSTERY
I can't for the life of me understand why Josh Frydenberg, Michael McCormack, et al, are even buying into the debate over Trump's Twitter suspension. They have nothing to gain and quite a lot to lose given this is clearly not a freedom of speech issue. Twitter is a private company. It is better to stay silent and be thought a fool than to open your moth, as they are doing, and prove it.
M Moore, Bonython
Is McCormack Pence's other brother? It would be good to see our leaders stand up against terrorism and for democracy.
Randy Knispel, Moruya, NSW
Where's our 25th amendment to the Constitution to stop Nationals-sourced political drones such as Michael McCormack taking over the reins of government and opening their mouths? Only occasionally, to be sure, but all too frequently.
Alex Mattea, Sydney, NSW
FOOT IN MOUTH
By saying Donald Trump should have the right of speech on social media the acting prime minister Michael McCormack would seem to have moved on from COVID-19 and caught a dose of "foot in mouth" disease. Readers can be reassured that Michael is only acting in the top job for the blink of an eye and very shortly, will be back in charge of the "lesser of the two weevils" party.
John Sandilands, Garran
A SLIP TO FAR
Careful Josh, it may be an election year. A disgraceful rant in Parliament last year and now you "dribble a bibful" about free speech!