That just about sums up what I'm reading, too.
This article will argue that free speech is in retreat. Granted, technology has given millions a megaphone, and speaking out is easier than it was during the cold war, when most people lived under authoritarian states.
To me, the relevance of this bit right here out weighs a good portion of the evidence they serve for their counter-argument. The web is new and if anything that the article gets right is that government is just starting to catch up with it.
What I see as the counter-argument:
But in the past few years restrictions on what people can say or write have grown more onerous.
Chunks of the evidence:
Among big countries, China scores worst. Speech there has hardly ever been free.
China and Russia accuse dissidents of “promoting terrorism”, “endangering national security” or “inciting ethnic hatred”. This can mean simply expressing sympathy for Tibetans on social media—for which Pu Zhiqiang, a Chinese lawyer, was locked up for 19 months. Rwanda’s government, borrowing from European laws against Holocaust denial, brands its opponents as apologists for the 1994 genocide and silences them. Europeans may laugh at Thailand’s lèse-majesté laws—a Thai was recently prosecuted for being sarcastic about the king’s dog. But when 13 European democracies also have laws against insulting the head of state, it is hard to avoid charges of hypocrisy.
All of these, as I seen, have always been restrictive of speech. When was it ever commonplace as otherwise? That said, where does Islam fall into that spectrum? (Conditional*) Freedom of speech has been more or less a commodity.
The article looks more as a stretch on current events in a negative light (as if there was a positive no that I think about it), to say the cup is half empty. If anything, then it's just another swing of the historical pendulum. That is to say: why, yes, there is water in the cup.