Broadly speaking, the left wanted more freedom of speech, to widen public and political discourse, whilst the right and the state wanted to control it. For decades the people who benefitted most from fredoom of speech were on the 'liberal/left'.
Today, there seems to be a distinct trend away from this stance. This is both depressing and dangrous because it weakens the defence and 'health' of freedom of speech, at a time when we probably have never needed it more.
An anecdote. An aquaintance of mine, does a course in media studies and focuses a lot on advertizing. He started a course in the history of racism in advertizing, going back to the very birth of advertizing in the media well over a century ago.
There are so ridiculous, absurd, ghastly, disgraceful racial sterotypes to be found. He's on the left, always has been. He has the scars to prove it! Anyway, some of his students took exception to the pictures and texts, in the extreme. When he used the dreaded 'N' word because it was in the texts they were looking at, a few of the students, protested, stood up and left the lecture. No only that they complained to the universtity authorities about his use of 'racist hate speech'! The students were 'leftwing'. Anyway, the ball is now rolling, there are demands that he is suspended and the course 'banned'.
Who knows where this kind of thing will end?