Last week closed with a violent feud between the Village Voice and Ashton Kutcher, who has joined the ranks of celebrity philanthropists. The Voice, which has been under attack for continuing to allow users to post ads advertising adult services, pointed out in their cover story last week that the numbers Kutcher uses to rally support for his foundation are grossly exaggerated, leading the star to retaliate by contacting its advertisers on Twitter accusing the publication of being a "Digital Brothel." It got ugly, but the Voice raised a good point. Here's a closer look.
Here's what is at stake: Recent censorship of online discussions of sex and pornography -- not the porn itself, but discussions -- isn't an issue of us versus them, morality versus indecency, conservatives versus liberals, believers versus atheists. This is a matter of freedom to speak, freedom to congregate, freedom to learn about ourselves and to share that knowledge. That's what this country stands for and it's essential that those of us who believe in these tenets take a stance against those seeking to oppress them.