I think it is a valid question, but from my point of view the answer is sinister. Although this is a nice catchy headline, the question Matt is asking might better be stated “Why have Liberals switched to being against freedom of speech?”
My answer is that Liberals have a faith that the government solves problems; that the people in government are good folk doing good works.
Me, I’m a Libertarian, so from my point of view the more honest phrase is “… government are good folk doing good works (with other people’s money)”. Conservatives and Libertarians will donate to the charity of their choice, thank you very much. We trust charities to spend money wisely because their funding is optional, provided by their donors. If they waste money, the donors will leave. But I digress.
Back to the problem: Government has been “regulatory captured” (to use a contemporary phrase) by the deep state, who are more interested in control than good.
I’m sure it is not lost on the deep state that revolutionary forms of communication media cause tumultuous change. Hilter harnessed the power of radio; prior to radio somone wanting to be a leader could only talk at 500 – 1,000 people at a time (at most) in a beer hall or stadium. Slightly more with electricity and amplification. After radio, Hilter could talk at 100,000, then a million, then millions, every week.
So along comes Facebook and Twitter, and of course the deep state wants to control them. To control them is to control the future.
Were people allowed to converse freely, they might question the decision to cede any power to the deep state (which does not run on democratic representation).
Shouldn’t government be completely transparent about who is spending your (taxpayer) money? Who are these people, and why are we funding them? How do we stop them?
I can imagine this leads to a reaction: “Oof. These people are going to destroy everything. Quick! We need bread and circuses! Stat!” And when that isn’t enough, we get this:
From that point of view, Donald Trump was a masterful psy-op. It is still working today.
Although personally I don’t think the deep state is that smart. I think they blundered by thinking that there was zero chance that Donald Trump would actually win; but they misunderstood just how bad Hillary Clinton was as candidate. I could digress some more, but I’ll stop.
Matt Taibbi asks why are Liberals so on-board with suppressing free thought / free speech? My answer is it is because they are listening to the whispers in their ear from their deep state advisors: “If you let the rabble say their terrible things, everything will go to hell. You (we) will lose everything gained. You’ve got to control the narrative – no matter what! (First Ammendment be damned).”
Ultimately, the deep state has successfully convinced Liberals that they should not serve the public: the public should serve them. Only if they can do their work unfettered will they be successful in their good works – so don’t trust the public: rule them.
It’s the deep state way.