New in PJ Media:

Stanford University, where the administration worked actively to engineer a student walkout when I spoke there in 2017, is on the warpath against the freedom of speech these days. In April, Barack Obama spoke there and called for restrictions on speech to combat “disinformation.” On Wednesday, the far-Left mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, made his own appearance at Stanford, where he claimed that “the worst thing globalization has brought to social media is the proliferation of hate speech.” What’s hate speech? Anything Obama, Khan and their allies dislike. And the person they dislike most in the world is Donald Trump; Khan is worried about what could happen if Elon Musk allows Trump to return to Twitter.

The UK’s Guardian, which makes Lavrenti Beria look like a libertarian, said that at Stanford, Khan “called on tech companies to rein in hate speech, speaking about his own experience of abuse amplified by one of the most powerful figures on social media.” Khan’s alleged abuser was, of course, Trump, “who frequently used the mayor as an online punching bag, calling Khan ‘a stone-cold loser’ and ‘very dumb.’” Khan charged that Trump’s insults had actively endangered him: “Khan, whose family are from Pakistan, said the amount of racial abuse he received on social media increased by 2,000% under Trump and required him to receive police protection.”

There’s an obvious cause-and-effect problem here. Even if Khan’s claims about the amount of “racial abuse” he received are true, unless Trump tweeted, “Hey, go and send your own insult to London’s mayor!” (he didn’t) there is no necessary connection between that abuse and Trump’s criticism. This remains true despite the fact that Khan also claims  that once Trump was banned from Twitter, the clouds dispersed, the birds started singing, the sun began to shine, and his detractors went away: “Khan emphasized the power that companies have to act, saying that in the year after Twitter banned Trump over his role in inciting the attack at the US Capitol, he received ‘the least racial abuse of any time over five years’. Abuse directed at Khan declined by 75% in 2020, the year Trump lost the election, and a further 40% in 2021 after the ban from Twitter, according to statistics from London’s city hall.”

Kids, Khan is engaging in what is known as the fallacy of post hoc ergo propter hoc: “after this, therefore caused by this.” Just because one event follows another event doesn’t mean that the first caused the second, as the change could have been caused by a variety of other factors. Any connection has to be established by more evidence than just the fact that one thing followed the other.

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