Over the past few weeks, some very wealthy writers have been very vocal about the importance of free speech. People should be free to voice their honestly held opinions, they say, no matter how offensive or hurtful those opinions may be.

This week, the same writers have sent their lawyers after multiple people and publications whose honestly held opinions are that the wealthy writers are transphobic.

Those opinions are honestly held. But they are not held by people who are wealthy. And that means the people they criticise can, and do, use the threat of financial ruin to silence them.