Tauriq Moosa in Big Think:
A society that forces its citizens to be shaped into the mould of whatever prevailing opinion thinks true or good, by virtue only and through the use of majority viewpoints, is as dangerous as any oppressive regime. Just because the weapon is prevailing opinion doesn’t mean it is any less oppressive of those who happen to dissent. Instead of a powerful individual throttling the freedom of the many, it is now the many who, by virtue of number, become powerful enough to throttle the freedom of the individual.
The reason we ought to be on our guard, then, rests in the incredible power tyranny fueled by prevailing opinion has. It rivals any of the great tyrants and tyrannies of history and today: it’s a tyranny that has built into it a watchdog alertness to individual activities, requiring no cameras or bugged houses, only paternalistic quidnuncs with idle hands, assertive self-righteousness and morally sensitive personalities; it’s a communication device with a thousand tongues, willingly able to turn into a vengeful arm of enforcement through coercion and ostracism; it sustains itself in, for example, media outlets that are twisted to take its form, as these are businesses who do not want to lose their clients and so will feed what most of them, being the majority, want to hear and see.