Hate Speech

Euro Logic: We Must Kill Free Speech to Promote Free Speech

Americans must resist the delusional embrace of E.U.-style "hate speech" rules.

|

@VeraJourova/Twitter

Recent "hate speech" investigations in European countries have been spawned by homily remarks by a Spanish Cardinal who opposed "radical feminism," a hyperbolic hashtag tweeted by a U.K. diversity coordinator, a chant for fewer Moroccan immigrants to enter the Netherlands, comments from a reality TV star implying Scottish people have Ebola, a man who put a sign in his home window saying "Islam out of Britian," French activists calling for boycotts of Israeli products, an anti-Semitic tweet sent to a British politician, a Facebook post referring to refugees to Germany as "scum," and various other sorts of so-called "verbal radicalism" on social media.

One might consider any or all of these comments distasteful, but Americans (recent trends on college campuses notwithstanding) tend to appreciate that for a free-speech right to truly exist, we must severely limit the types of speech—true threats, slander, etc.—that don't deserve protection from government censorship and potential prosecution. Not so in European Union (E.U.) member countries, many of which have laws against any language that "insults," "offends," "degrades," "expresses contempt," or "incites hatred" based on certain protected traits like race, religion, or sexual orientation. As Nick Gillespie has put it, "hate speech" is like the secular equivalent of blasphemy.

On Monday, V?ra Jourová, the E.U. Commissioner for Justice, Consumers and Gender Equality, gave a speech stressing the importance of such laws and calling for even more intense policing of so-called hate speech. (Just to be clear, by "hate speech" we are not talking about things like threats or criminal harassment.) "My top priority is to ensure that the Framework Decision on Combatting Racism and Xenophobia is correctly translated into the national criminal codes and enforced, so that perpetrators of online hate speech are duly punished," Jourová said.

The commissioner offered a characteristically European rationale for the imposition: only by government censorship of free expression can free expression flourish.

"In recent years, we have seen messages of extremism and intolerance spread around the globe like wildfire" and "we need to stand united against this growing phenomenon," said Jourová. "Our commitment is to deliver change so that people do not need to live in fear, and to ensure that the internet remains a place of free and democratic expression, where European values and laws are respected."

"The spread of illegal hate speech online not only distresses the people it targets," she continued, "it also affects those who speak up for freedom, tolerance and non-discrimination in our society. If left unattended, the fear of intimidation can keep opinion makers, journalists and citizens away from social media platforms."

It's easy to see how folks might buy Jourová's idea that allowing intolerant speech online "means a shrinking digital space for freedom of expression." We've all heard about public figures or controversial thinkers who were allegedly hounded off of social media by online criticism, with its harsh, vulgar, and sometimes violent tones. And what is gained by such uncivil opprobrium? By sanctioning not only violent threats and ongoing harassment but also speech that serves no purpose but to troll, denigrate, or spread bigotry, we can usher in a more welcoming environment for all sorts of ideas and speakers online…

Or so the thinking goes, anyway. But the fatal flaw in this conceit is pretending there's some bright line between desirable, pro-social speech and speech that merely incites offense, fear, or feelings of negativity.

Of course, many of us object on pure principle to censoring the latter forms of speech. But setting aside classical-liberal notions, there are still plenty of good arguments against EU-style speech policing. For one, it makes distinctions between legal and illegal speech based not only on what is being said but who is saying it and whom it's said to.

For instance, a few years ago Slate's William Saletan complained that countries were (in practice) criminalizing insults against Jews but not against Muslims. Now, a more common complaint is that speech critical of Islam, Islamic customs, or refugees form Muslim countries gets monitored and punished more than any other speech.

There's also the fact that officials can't possibly go after everyone who insults someone's religion on the internet, disparages Syrian migrants, espouses non-egalitarian views about the sexes, or expresses empathy for some hated group. Thus police and political elites tend to concentrate on those who are either the most visible (celebrities, opposition leaders) or deviate most from the intellectual status-quo. The result is speech policing that leaves alone plenty of people who fly under the radar or direct their hate in the right direction, while denying protection to the sorts of ideas and speakers who need protection most.

Yes, allowing a "right to offend" may mean more vulgar and inflammatory online environments. But there are plenty of non-governmental and less draconian ways to address problems that arise from this than imprisoning people for saying dumb, mean, or unpopular things. Technological tools, business practices, and social shaming have all been known to work—and to work more effectively than police playing an endless, expensive game of whack-a-mole with online speech.

How could officials ever expect to put a dent in online intolerance through individual criminal prosecutions? I'm not sure that's actually their point—rather, high-profile and individual "hate speech" investigations are intended as a morality play put on by government to teach its desired values and ideologies.

Jourová more or less admitted as much, crowing that new European Commission initiatives seek "to step up" the spreading of "counter-narratives" that give "due space to the messages that oppose hate speech and respect our values." One way it's doing this is by issuing an IT code of conduct, agreed to in May by companies like Facebook, Twitter, and Google. You can find all sorts of details (and official justifications for it) here.

As Jourová explained Monday, the code "means that notifications for removal of illegal hate speech have to be assessed and relevant action has to be taken [by IT companies], in the majority of cases, in less than 24 hours." These polices must be "checked not only against the companies' terms of service but also against the law."

The commissioner insisted that free speech was alive and well in the E.U., and no one was denying "the right 'to offend, to shock or to disturb the State or any part of the population.'" Speech rights do not, however, "include the right to incite violence and hatred," Jourová said. "Speech inciting violence or hatred is illegal. It is a crime."

Yet spreading "hate" isn't like punching someone in the face. Hatred, unlike violence, is an entirely internal and subjective thing. Thus criminalizing the incitement of hatred necessarily involves banning or censoring speech merely because it winds up offending, shocking, or disturbing some individual or the state.

Jourová comes close to admitting this, too, stating that while "many cases of online hate speech, notably those inciting violence," will be easy for online companies to recognize and deal with, in other cases "it may be more difficult to decide whether a speech is illegal or not." This is the major issue with E.U.-country speech rules—how does one determine conclusively whether an off-color comment is merely uncivil/sexist/racist/whatever or whether its criminally actionable?

Yet Jourová waves away the entire tension in one sentence, acknowledging that business leaders already "make difficult legal compliance decisions" in many areas, "such as tax, accountancy or workers' rights cases" and "ensuring compliance with hate speech law is no different."

NEXT: A.M. Links: Poll Says Clinton Beat Trump in Presidential Debate, Suicide Bombing in Baghdad, Mosque Bombing in Dresden

Editor's Note: We invite comments and request that they be civil and on-topic. We do not moderate or assume any responsibility for comments, which are owned by the readers who post them. Comments do not represent the views of Reason.com or Reason Foundation. We reserve the right to delete any comment for any reason at any time. Report abuses.

  1. I bet this topic comes up in the next presidential debate.

    1. It should come up in the next debate. Elizabeth says that we are not talking about “things like criminal harassment,” and that “the fatal flaw in this conceit is pretending there’s some bright line between desirable, pro-social speech and speech that merely incites offense, fear, or feelings of negativity.” Yet, she does not mention the Trolls of the Net, or the unwanted, inappropriately deadpan “parody” with which they disrupt our lives. We Americans do draw lines between these things, despite the outrageous “First Amendment dissent” of a single, isolated, liberal judge in our nation’s leading criminal “satire” case. Surely Elizabeth would not dare to defend the views put forward by that judge? See the documentation at:

      https://raphaelgolbtrial.wordpress.com/

  2. As Nick Gillespie has put it, “hate speech” is like the secular equivalent of blasphemy

    That’s exactly what it is and all progressives love it.

    1. One can be sure that “hate speech” will come to include criticism of Big Government, since that’s the biggest blasphemy in the eyes of the proggies.

      1. Oh, of course. ‘Hate Speech’ has always boiled down to ‘disagreeing with your Progressive Liberal Betters’.

        Anyone – ANYONE – who actually says “Freedom of speech should not protect hate speech” should be impacted, on a short stake. Publicly, so the object lesson isn’t lost.

        And these are the people who have the unmitigated gall to call those who disagree with the Fascists.

  3. Thank god we don’t have any problems with criminal prosecution of speech in this country.

    *stares at Preet*

    1. Don’t lock eyes with him. Don’t do it.

  4. I’m pretty sure a call to “kill all white men” doesn’t fit with the others.

    1. #PunchingUp

    2. Depends on context. I can say “death to tyrants” and hopefully people won’t assume that I actually plan to kill various politicians.

      1. You can however say that Tyrants are scum without having to face the same kind of potential legal issues. Hence my point that calling for killing is quite different from statements simply “hating” on groups.

        As a side note, I’d also point out that calling for the killing of specific govt officials as your personal idea of justice for their misbehavior, is quite different from calling for the killing of innocent people because of silly ideas about inherited/shared guilt and whatever. Still illegal of course, since the govt makes the laws, so you need to be prepared to accept consequences.

  5. I use American police and Isreal as examples when trying to explain to some people why I don’t like protected classes or hate speech in laws. Antisemitism exists, but that doesn’t mean you can’t criticize Israel. People hate cops and they have been targeted, but that doesn’t mean they can declare themselves protected and any move against them an extra special crime when they already have a huge amount of power and government behind them? Do you really want cops playing the victim and the bully? Because what’s different between someone who hates all gay people and someone who hates all cops?

    I just wonder what the heck someone could use in Europe as a comparison where you’re switching groups usually targeted as the good or bad guy to showcase how hate speech backfires? Are they just so very settled into which groups are right and wrong?

    Not to say this is necessarily a good argument, because people think we will always be able to pick the right groups to protect and people in power will never abuse it.

  6. Similarly, government bureaucracies work best when hey don’t exist.

  7. Thoughtcrime is death.

  8. Good morning. Man, I had the craziest nightmare last night: I dreamed that Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump were the two nominees for president! Can you imagine?

    1. shhhhh…. nobody tell him

    2. WHat is your problem, cuck?! ARe you Hillary supportr? Because one is obviously better than the other wrt free speach! #NEVERHITLERY

      ….

      They’re coming…

      1. They’re coming…

        Don’t worry. They shall not pass!

  9. Americans must resist the delusional embrace of E.U.-style “hate speech” rules

    I think that train has already left the fucking station, for at least half of the population anyway. All that’s needed are one or two Hillary SCOTUS appointments to codify it.

  10. As technology from Gutenberg on has forced decentralization of government, governments have felt their control slipping away, and reacted with ever more unenforceable laws. Used to be, no one needed these laws, because government did whatever it wanted regardless of laws.

    Look, man, even Hitler and Stalin (and presumably Mao) had the pretense of passing laws and having show trials. This is just more of the same.

    1. Then what was the Night of Long Knives for?

  11. So how does this behavior by European countries comply with their obligations under Article 2 of the Atlantic Treaty

    “The Parties will contribute toward the further development of peaceful and friendly international relations by strengthening their free institutions, by bringing about a better understanding of the principles upon which these institutions are founded, and by promoting conditions of stability and well-being….”

    Have these countries, since 1949 (when the treaty was ratified), strengthened their free institutions?

    They’re worse than the worthless servant in the parable who buried his talent in the ground. At least he gave it back unimpaired.

    The European countries took the free instutions we helped give them in 1949, and fucked them up.

    1. But at least they have stability and well-being vis-a-vis their immigrants, right?

      /sarc

    2. They’re “free” to not hear insulting things.

      1. Back during the youtube video flap the BBC News was actually describing censorship of depictions of muhammad as “religious freedom”. Whereas religious freedom and freedom of speech were in conflict in the US, according to those morons.

    3. the worthless servant in the parable who buried his talent in the ground

      Now there’s a euphemism.

      1. Matthew 25:14-30.

        You’ll like it – the prudent investors get rewarded and the non-risktaker gets cast into the outer darkness.

        1. Yes, I am familiar with the gospels. Just going for the cheap joke.

  12. The government, policing our feelings…yeah, nothing could go wrong with that.

  13. Jourov? comes close to admitting this, too, stating that while “many cases of online hate speech, notably those inciting violence,” will be easy for online companies to recognize and deal with, in other cases “it may be more difficult to decide whether a speech is illegal or not.” This is the major issue with E.U.-country speech rules?how does one determine conclusively whether an off-color comment is merely uncivil/sexist/racist/whatever or whether its criminally actionable?

    To them, this is a feature not a bug. The govt will have to constantly wrestle with the difficult problem of determining the limit on the govt’s power. We just need a bigger more powerful govt to handle this challenge obviously.

    1. how does one determine conclusively whether an off-color comment is merely uncivil/sexist/racist/whatever or whether its criminally actionable?

      Whose feewings are hurt the most?

      1. Was is a credible threat to someone? If not, then it’s not criminal.

        What the fuck is wrong with people? How is free speech not obviously good and incredibly important?

  14. Can we please stop with the idea that slander (in the US at least) is not also considered protected speech?

    Slander is not as a general rule subject to criminal penalties but rather is a Tort. The government (again in the US) typically cannot hold you criminally liable for committing slander (there are no Federal criminal statutes and only about a third of states have criminal statutes for defamation) instead the person you slandered needs to sue you which means it is not the government punishing you but rather your being held liable for the damages your slanderous speech caused and compensating the aggrieved party.

    1. And who is enforcing that compensation?

  15. So Vera. When a politician expresses admiration for people like Castro or Chavez or places likes China and Venezuela, will you deem this inappropriate because I’m plenty of people would think it is.

    Progressives are evil. Only evil minds would appoint themselves to such duties and actually believe they can be fair about it.

  16. Isn’t it interesting that when hate speech becomes a crime, free speech really does become racist, xenophobic, Islamophobic, etc? You cannot support free speech in a democratic society that has embraced hate speech laws without objectively championing those hateful causes–because those hateful causes are the victims of hate speech laws.

    And that’s an excellent reason to oppose hate speech laws in the first place. Right now, I can intellectually defend a neo-Nazi’s right to spew garbage while still condemning the garbage he’s spewing, but that changes once the neo-Nazi becomes a criminal for his speech. Once he’s a criminal, it’s no longer merely an academic issue . . .

    If I want free speech under a democratic government where hate speech is criminalized, then not only do I have to campaign to free neo-Nazis from jail, I have to vote for a political party that champions neo-Nazis. If you want free speech in France, how can you show that with your vote other than by using it to support Marine Le Pen? . . . and they have a multiparty system–more choices than we do!

    If you want to live in a world where free speech becomes an issue that can only be supported by voting for xenophobes, racists, homophobes, Islamophobes, etc., then you definitely should support hate speech laws.

    1. You cannot rule innocent men.

    2. “Hate speech” and “free speech” cannot exist together. Implement the former and the latter is effectively dead.

      1. Hate speech and free speech must exist together.

        You can’t have one without the other.

        I think you meant that anti-hate speech laws and free speech can’t exist together.

        Also, censorship can’t be unbiased. If they’re prohibiting some kinds of speech but not others, they’re being biased.

        1. Yes, I was using “hate speech” as shorthand.

  17. Hate speech laws are what caused the Holocaust – top Nazi propagandists were radicalized under Weimar blasphemy laws. Europe knows this well and is quickly heading towards another conflagration. The US must resist such efforts. The anti-BDS legislation in NYC and CA are very bad developments in an otherwise healthy speech environment.

  18. ENB, we’re in America. You don’t (yet) have to worry about alt-text getting you in trouble for hate speech.

    1. She’s worried about 5 years from now when the SJW’s openly hunt, and 10 years from now when this stuff is actually illegal, and 15 years from now when those laws are made retroactive and bounties are offered.

  19. The worst thing about policing speech is that the bar of what is offensive is set by the people and groups of people who are the most sensitive among us.

    This leads to a public debate that is vanilla and grey and advances no understanding of the issues between us because those issues can’t be debated anymore for fear of offense.

    You suck, Europe.

  20. Here’s the other part that’s not unusual that possibly gives life to such awful schemes (which to me all have their roots in the eugenics movement. I have a theory that progressives never really apologized or owned up to it and this has permitted them to continue the practice by other means) is the fact most people calculate ‘hey, I wouldn’t do that and it’s probably better to nip this in the bud before it gets worse. Don’t do it and they will leave you alone’ without ever thinking once about liberty.

    This the great challenge, I think, for libertarians. How do you get people to think about it in this way. It could happen to you.

  21. We’ve all heard about public figures or controversial thinkers who were allegedly hounded off of social media by online criticism, with its harsh, vulgar, and sometimes violent tones.

    This is largely apocryphal. Like addiction stories, we should be skeptical of calls for more regulation based on such events. First of all, they are sometimes manufactured with the consent of the ‘victim’ and secondly real threats can be prosecuted, and finally, all controversial opinions will be met with resistance and will be branded ‘hate speech’. Thus the laws originally intended to protect it end up being used against it. As an example, in France it is illegal to describe drugs in a ‘positive light’ and therefore they are trapped in a drug war.

  22. Here’s a new advertisement (English subtitles), being run by the NGO ‘Swedish Development Partner’ on Swedish television, telling Swedes that they need to integrate into the new Sweden being brought by immigrants and refugees:

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8XIGic4PvFQ

    If you wanted to inflame hatred against immigrants and refugees in Sweden, you could probably do better, but if you wanted to inflame public support for hate speech, I don’t know how much better you could do than that advertisement.

    Hate speech isn’t just about the use of racial slurs. How do you say that Swedes shouldn’t have to integrate back into their own country because of refugees and immigrants–without being xenophobic? How do you bring up the atrocities committed by recent immigrants and refugees–without being Islamophobic?

    Is it even possible for average Swedes to disagree with that advertisement in their own homes without committing some form of hate speech?

    1. The blowback from all this is going to be epic.

      1. Unfortunately, the blowback may also be xenophobic and authoritarian.

        What the left is doing in Europe, right now, is so stupid and pathetic, leftists will probably someday claim that it was all a false flag operation to discredit the left.

        1. I want to say that according to the Tytler Cycle it’s more of a certainty than a ‘may’ but that’s perhaps giving too much credence to the cycle. Personally, I find it’s a pretty damn good guideline even though I sincerely hope it isn’t.

  23. Linguistics is the sun of wo/mankind’s humanity. Tempering or removing this human constant is the primo aim of those infected with the control virus.

    Initialize expression vaccums and you will gain supremacy over the societal narrative.

  24. It’s the logic as well of Lamar Smith when he accused Schneiderman of issuing subpoenas that stifled the free speech of Exxon by doing what…issuing subpoenas of independent groups like the Roxkefeller Fund and Greenpeace.

    Of course, that kind of logic was duly accepted around here when a climate denier did it.

    1. *Rockefeller

      1. In the name of multiculturalism and inclusivity I shall respectfully reply in your native tongue;

        Derpy derp derp derpa derpy derp. Derpa derp derping derp derp derpa derpa derp. Derp derpa derp derpa derpa derp derp deping derply derping derp.

    2. “I want everything you’ve ever said about climate change”
      !=
      “I want all the evidence you conspired together, in violation of the law, to extort a third party”

      There is no equivalence

      1. Good try. There is no law that forbids advocacy groups from speaking with government officials. Unless you live in Lamar Smith’s world, which apparently you do.

        1. RICO doesn’t exist in your special little world?

          1. Ah I see. Like I said, Euro logic right here in the States…Can always count on Libertarians to exercise it.

            1. I am specifically and especially decrying the lawsuit that started this whole mess.

              What the fuck are you talking about?

              I do not endorse the tactics of the AG of NY or any of the bullshit “environmental” organizations that sought to extort through force unearned monies out of businesses and other organizations for their allegedly impolitic speech. Lamar Smith, no doubt for his own political benefit but nevertheless, has sought to expose these criminal acts and see that they are not continued.

              That is the opposite of Euro logic.

              1. You’re getting your blood pressure up. Can’t have that. Enjoy your day!

                1. YOU LIE.

                  You expect to peddle lies and get treated like an honest person?

                2. “You’re getting your blood pressure up. Can’t have that. Enjoy your day!”

                  Self-confessed trolling.

                  1. This is virtually the only point Jack comes to these boards to talk about. Presumably because he thinks this exposes some type of hypocrisy on the part of libertarians when in reality it’s thinly veiled ‘whataboutism’ straight from the Soviet playbook.

                    His diatribes on Anthropogenic Global Warming, or ‘Climate Change’ now that the heating is called into question, are actually some of the most entertaining drivel around. This Lamar Smith issue is his go-to whataboutism, and frankly I think he needs some new material.

      2. But you are right about no equivalence. There is a law in NY (Martin Act) that forbids fraud to the public, and which has been used before to prisecute business fraud.

        As opposed to any law that would have forbade 350.org from speaking with any government official.

        So thanks Kbo for making my point. Always glad you follow me around to step in it!

        1. There is no evidence that Exxon defrauded anyone. Not its shareholders, not the general public, not the State of New York. No one. The subpoena is a fishing expedition.

          There is evidence that various conspired with the Attorney General of New York to violate the civil rights of Exxon and other organizations.

          And regardless, no matter what the law in New York says, the 14th Amendment is superior to the laws of any State.

          1. Yawn. Of course there is evidence, as detailed specifically by Inside Clinate as well as LA Times.

            http://mobile.nytimes.com/2016…..-past.html

            There is no evidence of anything in regard to advocacy groups conspiring anywhere. But I will read if you have it. But you don’t. It’s a guess.

            Let me know when Martin Act has been deemed unconstitutional. Hadn’t happened in nearly 100 years, and even Exxon doesn’t suggest it.

            You live in a fantasy world Kbo.

            1. How the fuck is an accurate summary of the research to date evidence of fraud? You people are so far up your own assholes you don’t even know what words mean any more.

              And of course there’s evidence they worked together. You already said they did! What are you, retarded?

              1. It’s evidence of possible fraud, hence the investigation.

                Settle down there big fella. I said they communicated. If every communication is a conspiracy, that would be a Libertarian world I guess.

                Don’t get angry there big guy!

                1. Wow, you really are a shithead.

                  Thank goodness for the First Amendment so I can say so.

                  God knows if you’d sic the Attorney General on Exxon for what they say about global warming, if you could, you’d criminalize any of us for criticizing you, too.

                  . . . er . . . you’re not still claiming any kind of magnanimity on free speech, are you?

                  LOL

                  1. The anger keeps coming.

                    1. The anger keeps coming.

                      Stop lying, then.

                    2. If I get angry at shitheads for being shitheads, is that supposed to be a problem?

                      Are you saying you don’t support the AG for going after Exxon because of what they say?

                      Are you saying that even if you could, you wouldn’t press charges against us for criticizing you?

                      No. You don’t say any of that.

                      You say I’m getting angry.

                      What a shithead!

                2. WHAT FRAUD?

                  There is no fraud, no evidence of fraud, no hint of fraud. Unlike Hillary Clinton’s “private server”, there isn’t even smoke here, never mind a fire.

                  A bunch of people worked together to manufacture charges out of thin air and extort people. That is a criminal conspiracy.

                3. Jackand Ace|9.27.16 @ 11:34AM|#
                  “It’s evidence of possible fraud,”
                  Cite missing

                  “Settle down there big fella.”
                  Fuck off, slaver.

            2. Jackand Ace|9.27.16 @ 11:29AM|#
              “Yawn. Of course there is evidence, as detailed specifically by Inside Clinate as well as LA Times.
              http://mobile.nytimes.com/2016…..-past.html

              Yawn. Perpetual liar posts pay-walled link:
              “For more than a year, much of the public scrutiny of Exxon Mobil was captured by the #Exxonknew hashtag ? shorthand for revelations about decades-old research on climate change conducted by the company while it funded groups promoting doubt about climate science.”
              Cite missing for “evidence”, liar.

  25. What a bunch of cocksucking fuckwads. And I mean that is the most vulgar and disparaging way possible.

  26. The whole notion that ‘hate speech incites violence’ is a monumental fallacy. It doesn’t. What does? Standing back and saying nothing when others threaten and harass. What does? Enacting ‘hate speech’ laws that only serve to radicalize people (e.g. BDS) and give people justification for extra-judicial enforcement (e.g. Bataclan attack).

    The world is too dangerous to live in ? not because of the people who do evil, but because of the people who sit and let it happen.
    ? Albert Einstein

    1. He was wrong. It’s because of the people who do evil. If they didn’t do it, it wouldn’t happen. If they do it, people who try not to let it happen might not succeed in preventing it.

  27. It should be noted that the difference between the U.S. and other countries on this isn’t European culture–it’s the First Amendment.

    Here’s how it is in Australia:

    (1) It is unlawful for a person to do an act, otherwise than in private, if:

    (a) the act is reasonably likely, in all the circumstances, to offend, insult, humiliate or intimidate another person or a group of people; and

    (b) the act is done because of the race, colour or national or ethnic origin of the other person or of some or all of the people in the group.

    http://www.austlii.edu.au/au/l…../s18c.html

    1. I assume Chris Rock has been ejected from Australia?

      1. I don’t know, but wanting to imprison Chris Rock sounds pretty racist.

  28. And here’s how it works:

    “In September 2010, nine individuals commenced legal proceedings in the Federal Court against Andrew Bolt and the Herald Sun over two posts on Bolt’s blog. The nine sued over posts titled “It’s so hip to be black”, “White is the New Black” and “White Fellas in the Black”. The articles suggested it was fashionable for “fair-skinned people” of diverse ancestry to choose Aboriginal racial identity for the purposes of political and career clout.[6] The applicants claimed the posts breached the Racial Discrimination Act. They sought an apology, legal costs, and a gag on republishing the articles and blogs, and “other relief as the court deems fit”. They did not seek damages.[7] On 28 September 2011, Bolt was found to have contravened section 18C of the Racial Discrimination Act.[8][9]

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/ Racial_Discrimination_Act_1975 #Andrew_Bolt_defamation_case

    You can’t post comments at The Herald Sun without having them screened by censors.

    Australia doesn’t have the First Amendment.

    It’s the First Amendment that makes us American. Get rid of it, and we’re just like the Europeans.

    1. screened by censors? are we unique in that our Communications Decency Act provides immunity to publishers for content posted by users?

      1. And the only reason the CDA exists is because of the 1st Amendment.

      2. That’s partially because of our libel laws having to compromise with the First Amendment.

        You don’t have to prove damages or malicious intent in the UK, Canada, Australia.

        Ultimately, Reason doesn’t have malicious intent because I wrote something libelous on their site. If the plaintiff doesn’t have to prove malicious intent, then that doesn’t matter. If Reason published my comment without malicious intent, they’re liable for libel anyway.

        They don’t have First Amendment protections for hate speech either.

          1. Yeah, because of the First Amendment.

            It’s what makes us American, and it’s what makes America exceptional.

    2. Speaking of censors, New Zealand has a full-time government Chief Censor.

    3. And here’s an Australian law student lamenting that Hate Crime Laws don’t go far enough.

      1. And here’s a comedian in Canada who was fined $42,000 because he hurt the feelings of a handicapped kid.

        http://tinyurl.com/zrhqyqw

        All in the name of human rights, you know.

        Somehow free speech isn’t a human right. I never figured that one out.

        1. When the State took over parenting, they forgot the old saying ” . . .and names will never hurt me . . .”.

  29. “The commissioner offered a characteristically European rationale for the imposition: only by government censorship of free expression can free expression flourish.”

    Neither the Euros in general nor the commissioner have any idea waht “free” means.

    1. The Euros replaced monarchism with majoritarianism. The Enlightenment lives on outside of Europe, not really within it.

  30. …how does one determine conclusively whether an off-color comment is merely uncivil/sexist/racist/whatever or whether its criminally actionable?

    Simple, if the target of the “hate speech” is a member of a protected class, it’s criminally actionable, but if the target is a cis-hetero white male shitlord, then… I don’t know, some horseshit about “punching up” or something like that.

  31. Why to we continue to allow Europeans to immigrate to our country??

    1. Personally, I think we should allow all single, Scandinavian women under the age of 35 free access to our borders.

      Eastern European women, too.

      Also, single women from Colombia and Venezuela.

      And the really, really, hot ones from India, too.

      “Refugees”, we’ll call them.

    2. Lebanon!

      Single women under 35 from Lebanon, too!

      Whew. I almost forgot Lebanon.

  32. If you try to put out every brush fire, eventually you get an unmanageable conflagration.

  33. I didn’t know Hitler had a granddaughter.

  34. You know, some of this almost makes me wish some sort of bastard would rise to power in Europe.

    “So, you commented that people were ‘racist’ for opposing unrestricted immigration from the Middle East. ‘Racist’? That sounds like a pretty hateful term. You’ll come with us please…”

  35. Is Monty Python guilty of hate speech against Scots for that sketch in which the aliens go turning everyone into Scotsmen because they want to win Wimbledon?

    1. Some would probably say so.

  36. I guess V?ra Jourov? never read “1984”

  37. “I fucking hate government”.

    Is that a hate crime?

  38. Let’s be clear here. The EU demands deep control over a very narrow scope of shibboleths. Censorship of speech critical of Islam, LGBT, black people, immigrants from Africa or the mideast. Everything else is not just ignored it’s encouraged.

  39. Many progressive elites especially those in the halls of academia really enjoy en-lighting us bumpkin freedom types of the greatness of Europe. They tell us they have so many more rights there. You know healthcare housing etc etc. To me it perfectly shows their belief that rights are not something you have for being a human being but privileges received from your kind and benevolent rulers. Those privileges are based on a consensus of those same elites who decide what is proper and what is not. What is to be allowed speech will be determined in faculty lounges and government chambers.

Please to post comments

Comments are closed.