Surprisingly, things haven't changed a lot since 17th century Amsterdam. Even today, freedom of speech is never really granted for extremists, either from the right or the left wing. They often suffer modern versions of the excommunication (Cherem).
Moreover, even the cruel public "Zubur" that Acosta had to withstand at the synagogue (a ceremony that is impossible to reproduce today because we live in a big state and not a small local commmunity) still happens sometimes: an example is Clinton confessing his affairs on the TV. The public loved to see the powerful man humiliated and "accepting" the conservative (christian) family values. Vox populi is still vox dei.