To Speak or Not to Speak: That is the Question

Alex Greenwood
7 min readJan 2, 2024
Image co-designed with the assistance of OpenAI’s DALL-E, facilitated by ChatGPT. Copyright © 2024 by J. Alex Greenwood. All rights reserved.

In today’s snakebitten information environment, where the realms of social media and news media are intertwined, the line between informed opinion and casual commentary often blurs. As citizens, we indeed hold the right to express our views on various matters. However, this freedom comes with a responsibility, particularly when addressing issues that require domain expertise.

Indeed, it begs the question of whether we, armed with the right to speak, always should.

“These are dangerous times. Never have so many people had so much access to so much knowledge and yet have been so resistant to learning anything,” said Tom Nichols in The Death of Expertise: The Campaign against Established Knowledge and Why it Matters.

I once heatedly crossed swords with Tom Nichols on Twitter. He didn’t much care for my opinion about the Iraq War. I didn’t take it too personally, but it left a mark — just as his book hits the mark on the role of expertise in our society and how it is being overshadowed in favor of people who lack expertise but have instead cultivated a platform to spread their ignorance.

To simplify: the concept that freedom of speech entails freedom of reach has not materialized as the founders of social media envisioned.

The Pitfall of Misinformation



Alex Greenwood

PR Consultant, Speaker, Podcast Producer/Host, Editor, and Award-Winning Writer of the John Pilate Mystery Series. Accomplished belly laugher.