The American philosopher Michael Huemer writes on why it's a bad idea to try suppressing speech that we disagree with. Early in this piece, Huemer makes the following insightful comments; I think this is, with one caveat, spot on:
[T]oday we’re seeing an unusual kind of speech suppression. Traditionally, you get suppression of ideas when there is a single dominant ideological faction in society. Some faction defined by controversial philosophical, religious, or political views manages to take control of society, and then they use the power of the state to suppress challenges to their ideas.
But what we have today is a situation where there remain competing factions with comparable levels of power in our society – neither the left nor the right has gained overall control of the society – and yet one faction is still trying to suppress dissent from their main ideas. Normally, this doesn’t happen because you simply don’t have the power to suppress dissent unless you have a very dominant position in society. And since you know this, normally, you don’t even attempt it.
But people are doing it today because our society has become highly ideologically segregated. There are particular institutions or segments of society that are extremely dominated by a particular ideological faction (the woke/SJW left), even though that faction is a minority in the larger society. So this faction tries to suppress dissent using the institutions that they control. They also use the much greater emotional commitment and activist tendencies of their faction’s members to persecute the other side, e.g., starting petitions, email campaigns, etc., to try to cause personal harm to blasphemers. (It’s hard to organize an activist campaign among conservatives, and even harder among moderates.)
[T]hey draw the conclusion that one can’t trust anything coming from [what they see as] the libtard academic and media elites.
This creates obvious problems. What if the academics find some important information that people really need to know? They try to tell the public, but half the public assumes that it’s just part of some partisan agenda. The mainstream media reports on it, but again, half the public distrusts anything they say (that isn’t confirmed by their preferred sources).The academic and media solution: Keep repeating “People should listen to us, and if you don’t, you’re being stupid and partisan.” How well do you suppose that works? Right, it just backfires and pushes people further into their bubbles. There’s nothing for the academics and mainstream reporters to say, because the well has already been poisoned – anything those sources say is just going to be interpreted as more partisan manipulation.