Free Speech

Indian Government Attempts to Remove Material from Western Sites

That material: Photoshopped pictures of PM Narendra Modi "embracing his right-hand man Rajnath Singh on an idyllic beach."

|The Volokh Conspiracy |

Northern Irish blogger Dean Sterling Jones reports on a successful demand that Buzzfeed remove the photo, and on an unsuccessful demand that WordPress remove it from Jones' own blog post, which had reported on the Buzzfeed incident. I confirmed that the takedown demand came from the Mumbai Cyber Police; it begins:

WordPress alerted Jones to this, writing:

As the request does not comply with our requirements, we will not be taking any action against your site at this time:

https://en.support.wordpress.com/report-blogs/legal-guidelines/

While we may preserve information about your account, we have not turned over any information. We will not turn over any information unless we receive a valid request for the information, or a court order. If we do receive such a request, unless we are legally prohibited from doing so, we will inform you and provide you time when you may attempt to quash or legally challenge the request….

Here's the offending altered photo:

Read Jones' post for more, and, if you'd like, check out the Google deindexing requests submitted under Cyber Police Station, Mumbai, some of which seem to be focused on blasphemy or insults of religions, rather than just personal insults of politicians.

NEXT: Brickbat: A Picture Tells a Thousand Words

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  1. Yet another example of why an international convention on jurisdiction over the internet would be useful. You can’t “take back control” over what gets published on the internet in your country without also affecting what other countries’ citizens get to see. However much I agree with the US legal answer in this case, I wouldn’t want all legal issues relating to the internet to be judged by American standards. (Or necessarily by the standards of any one other jurisdiction.)

    1. Yes, remove the competition for a freer internet.

      Excellent plan … for censorship. No thanks.

      1. As we have known since Hobbes and Locke, there is such a thing as too much freedom.

        In such condition there is no place for industry, because the fruit thereof is uncertain, and consequently no culture of the earth, no navigation nor the use of commodities that may be imported by sea, no commodious building, no instruments of moving and removing such things as require much force, no knowledge of the face of the earth, no account of time, no arts, no letters, no society, and which is worst of all, continual fear and danger of violent death, and the life of man, solitary, poor, nasty, brutish, and short.

        1. This must be some philosophical joke way over my head, because I sure don’t see anything in that quote about too much freedom.

        2. Hobbes was making excuses for an absolute state ruled by an absolute monarch, else everyone live lives like Sam Kinnison on a bad day “nasty, brutish, and short.”

          Absolute states under absolute rulers have a proven track record of imposing continual fear and danger of violent death, and rendering the lives of common people isolated, impoverished, nasty, brutish, and short.

          To go totally cliche, power corrupts and absolute power corrupts absolutely; that government governs best that governs least.

          More is to be gained for the betterment of humankind from a confederation of citizens than from a kingdom of subjects.

          1. The internet equivalent of that Hobbes quote is the dark web, which many people use every day to access the Piratebay and evade copyright laws. Hurray for freedom!

        3. – “In such condition…”

          Claiming that this is a reference to a society with “too much freedom” is disingenuous at best. It’s a reference to a state of anarchy, or a complete absence of civil society, which is antithetical to individual liberty as it is a condition that favors the strong imposing their will on the weak.

    2. The First Amendment is a great start, though, and I’m fine cramming it down the throats of other nations whether they want it or not.

      Inevitably it is the power hungry who don’t like it, and it’s an eternal, and mass murderous, shame, of western philosophy to think it’s just equally-valid different “values”.

      It’s not. It’s dictators and dictator wannabees and mundane pols seeking to maintain their power.

      There is no honor in that.

      1. Shorter Krayt: America is God’s gift to mankind and everyone who disagrees is misguided or otherwise in the pocket of some “dictator”.

        1. “America is God’s gift to mankind”

          Why yes it is. You would be speaking German without it.

          1. My country was liberated by Canadians, Brits, and Polish, thank you very much.

        2. Apologia on behalf of murderous dictators who use “value differences” to philosophically disable westerners (living free), so they can remain in charge of their kleptocracies is, of course, the primary thrust of my previous post.

          “Freedom. Horrible, horrible freedom! We have a different culture here of not being a threat to those in power. Our masters to whom we bend the knee inform us this is something for us to consider a high value, not that western nonsense.”

          “I firmly believe the dictator’s right to lord over me is an equally arbitrary, and thus equally valid, position as my desire to be free.”

          1. Not every wrong has a remedy.

          2. Good, as long as we all agree that you were fighting strawmen…

    3. “I wouldn’t want all legal issues relating to the internet to be judged by American standards.”

      I would. Any sane person would.

      1. I love American culture as well, but cultural imperialism doesn’t end well.

        As we learned in Iraq, China, Latin America, et al, you can’t impose freedom on another culture by force, whether that force be economic, military, political, or legal.

        We can lead by example. And part of that example is not acting like the hubristic empires of old.

        1. So maybe a bit less of ‘Harvard freshman had visa cancelled and was deported after US officials searched his phone/laptop & said his friends had social media posts critical of the United States ‘

          1. There’s one. That would never be possible in Europe, where ECtHR case law would prevent punishing people for their opinions through immigration law. (For the most part.)

        2. Leading by example also means not abandoning that example the first time that someone disagrees with it. Leading by example means sticking to your principles.

          India can impose whatever censorship regimes they like within their own jurisdiction. Regrettable as those decisions may be, they are theirs to make. They don’t get to impose those restrictions on us, though.

          1. I think the above case is pretty easy, and agree with you. It’s the ‘I wouldn’t want all legal issues relating to the internet to be judged by American standards’ I have issues with.

            Respecting sovereignty is not abandoning your principles. It is not weakness to recognize something is wrong, but that you cannot do anything about it.

            1. The majority of the nations in the world are governed by dictatorships or weak young democracies which don’t have our glorious [if imperfect] traditions of free speech.

              Its our standards or nothing good frankly.

              1. You’re assuming a universal standard is the only way forward. We’ve operated without that for decades now.

                1. By containing illiberal unfreedoms from the international stage.

                  There is nothing to brag about touting philosophies dictators drool over as mere “cultural differences.”

                  1. I’d argue the cure would be worse than the disease.

                    I’m also not clear on the disease – is it allowing other countries to regulate internet access internally, allowing same externally, or the very act of touting bad totalitarian philosophies on the Internet?

        3. As a practical matter, of course. That just means a policy of containment of their dictatorial controls, though.

          It isn’t cultural imperialism to free people from such dictatorship. That is why I mock western philosophy that disables itself by pretending, in service to dictatorships, that ending dictatorship is “wrong” or that forbidding tools of tyrrany to government is a cultural difference.

          1. There’s a lot of middle ground between servicing a dictatorship and becoming the world police.

    4. – “Yet another example of why an international convention on jurisdiction over the internet would be useful. ”

      Useful to whom? And in what way?

      1. Useful to people using the internet, for one. If you’re concerned about Americans being hauled in front of foreign courts for what they wrote on the internet, you might think that some clarity in this area could be a good idea.

        1. How exactly is a foreign government going to haul me to one of their courts for what I’ve written on the internet? And how exactly would a “convention on international convention on jurisdiction over the internet” (whatever that might mean) ensure the protection of my 1A rights WRT internet content in any way that it already is not?

    5. Yeah, because international jurisdiction over human rights (through the UN’s Human Rights Council, or the UN in general) has worked out so well.

      1. No argument from me!

        Though a single nation arrogating to itself jurisdiction over human rights has also proven problematic.

        The current somewhat ad-hoc patchwork regime may not be sustainable in the long-term, though for now with our bunches of soft power, IMO it’s the best of the lot.

    6. I’ll pass. Last thing I want is anyone except the US deciding internet policy when, per usual, the US is the only country that remotely protects freedom (and not very well at that).

      Now if there was an EFF convention to decide international internet policy chaired by Stallman, I’d be down for that.

      1. Stallman is maybe not that reliable either.

      2. Tell that to George Carlin, who ended up in jail for swearing on stage. (Yes, I know he’s dead, but the precedent is still valid.) Or tell that to Max Hardcore, who went to jail for violating the community standards of rural Florida.

        Also, remind me how US copyrights ended up at life of the author plus 70 years? O, right, because Disney paid Congress to adopt the Mickey Mouse Protection Act of 1998? Hurray for freedom!

        1. – “Tell that to George Carlin, who ended up in jail for swearing on stage.”

          Tell what to George Carlin? That “the US is the only country that remotely protects freedom (and not very well at that)”?

          – “(Yes, I know he’s dead, but the precedent is still valid.)”

          The court dismissed the case against Carlin on the grounds that his speech was constitutionally protected. So the still-valid precedent from that case is one that that does not support your criticism.

  2. Of all the countries that we should be concerned with, India is my #1 concern.

    While other countries’ governments (China, Russia) should be condemned for their strong-hand tactics, at least they have some semblance of national control.

    India is a fracturing country with hugely divergent and powerful forces.

    Did you know India holds the second most Muslims (Indonesia is first)?

    1. All that diversity in India isn’t a strength?

      1. It definitely is. Conformity is an authoritarian’s best friend.

        1. Perhaps, perhaps not. Dictators like Tito in Yugoslavia were very good at turning groups against each other, and did it very well for 40 years. Meanwhile conformist societies like Canada and Denmark aren’t very authoritarian either.

      2. Diversity with tolerance is the key.

        That’s why the US is a stable country and India isn’t.

        Conservatives, racists, and bigots don’t understand this, but the rest of us do.

        1. It’s cute that you think that the modern left is tolerant.

          1. It’s great that today’s right-wing bigots, unlike the bigots I encountered 50 years ago, do not wish to be known as bigots.

            At least not publicly.

            Today’s racists and gay-bashers are guarded with respect to their bigotry, lowering that guard solely in what they regard as “safe spaces,” such as private homes, militia meetings, conservative websites, and Republican committee gatherings.

            1. So, essentially, you are confirming 12″ about the left being intolerant, by saying that people who express divergent opinions from the mainstream socially acceptable ones about race or sexual orientation are afraid of repercussions. How Stalinist!

              1. Yes! That is what we remember Stalin for: driving the racists and homophobes underground.

                1. We remember Stalin for a lot of things, like Holodomor and a wicked mustache, but also for no tolerance for those who disagreed with him and his government.

                  It’s called an analogy, try it sometime.

                  1. Oh, an analogy! How charming. I thought you were making the claim that to oppose racism and homophobia, to subject the racists and homophobes to the opprobrium which they so richly deserve, would be Stalinist. But I see it now! Opposing racism, for example, is just like murdering millions of your perceived political opponents.

                    Analogy. I’ll have to write that down.

            2. So to sum up from what you’ve posted here:

              You are white, male, and grew up in a purportedly Christian household in a rural area at a time when white supremacy was openly preached and practiced.

              Which gives you special authority to be bigoted against whites, rural dwellers, etc., and wish for their deaths.

              A political philosophy based on “screw you, Mom and Dad!” isn’t particularly rational and enlightened.

          2. – “It’s cute that you think that the modern left is tolerant.”

            And that he isn’t a bigot himself.

          3. 12″P, I’m fully aware that the “modern” left is intolerant. . .of racists and bigots.

            1. Define “racist”

              Define “bigot”

              1. “Define “racist”
                Define “bigot””

                Easy. Racists and bigots are people that the modern left is intolerant of.

            2. Who is the modern left tolerant of? Because the funny thing about tolerance is, you only tolerate people and things you don’t like. So who does the modern left disapprove of but nonetheless tolerate?

        2. So, then let me ask seriously, since I was baiting you with that “diversity is our strength” rosary prayer you repeat.

          Is the virtue of tolerance, itself, something that we need to be conformist about? And if so, doesn’t that negate the premise of diversity? Is it possible to be *too* tolerant as a society?

          1. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Paradox_of_tolerance

            Short answer: Hidebound idealistic extremism is silly – add a dollop of pragmatism and you’ll be fine.

            1. Yea, yea, I know. I wasn’t asking Mr. radical centrist to swoop in and save apedad from his self-imposed cognitive dissonance.

              1. I don’t think making the argument that Diversity with tolerance is the key to stability means apedad is on an idealistic crusade to maximized both of them damn the consequences.

                Trying to put pure idealism into apedad’s mouth makes for an easier argument for you, but I don’t see it in his posting here. (Actually, he’s to my right on some stuff)

                1. “Trying to put pure idealism into apedad’s mouth makes for an easier argument for you”

                  Sarcastr0 is offended that you are stepping on his turf.

                  1. Good stuff. Regardless of what apedad policy desires are, he doesn’t think through the implications of them very much.

                    1. The implications are only a problem if you assume whole-hog idealism.

                    2. The devil is in the details sarc

                    3. Details matter only once you ascertain you’re on the same page in broad strokes.

                      Hardly clear around here. In fact, from past discussions I’m not sure you agree with tolerance/diversity as virtues. No point in discussion operational details if you disagree with the premise.

                    4. How’s this: I agree with the premise that a society needs to be tolerant, and a society can be demographically diverse as long as it is ideologically conformist in that the Overton Window is narrow. This is America, punctuated by certain periods of intense movement of the window.

                      You’re pettifogging by invoking the opinions of the entire commentariat peanut gallery as a way to not get specific.

                    5. I don’t see what demographics have to do with ideology.

                      Stripped down, you’re just saying that a society has to be ideologically conformist to work. And that America is sufficiently ideologically conformist.

                      I guess I’d start by taking issue with your second premise – what does a fractious society look like, if America is a conformist one?

                    6. If you don’t see how demographics have to do with ideology, then you’re either baiting me or being willfully blind. Answer this question to yourself then, if they are unrelated, why do blacks vote 90% for Democrats, white evangelicals vote Republican, and so on. This is something the left has been pushing forever, that group identity matters, whereas movement conservatives try to pretend it doesn’t (or normatively shouldn’t).

                      It doesn’t take a hard look to see a fractious society, usually they are torn along racial, religious, and ethnic lines. Marx was wrong, in that class usually isn’t the flashpoint for conflict. Three easy examples: Ireland during the troubles, anywhere in the Balkans, Ukraine today between ethnic Russians and Ukrainians, and periods of American history when various minority groups agitate sufficiently.

                      This is classic de Tocqueville stuff here, I’m not re-inventing the wheel.

                    7. If demographics are a heuristic for ideology, I don’t see why you’re not just sticking with ideology for your point.

                      Group identity can matter without being the same as ideology.

                      Marx would argue (and I would as well) that the lines of fracture are not the same as the cause of the fracture. I don’t know that I’d say it’s always class, but people retreating to affinity groups is human impulse once things are already breaking down.

                    8. Hmm, I figured you argue direction of causality, for example that blacks vote democrat because they got the spoils of (electoral) victory and that thus perpetuates itself.

                      Race/ethnicity/religion is not a means of discovering ideology without making the ecological fallacy, it’s more that group identity is part of the individual level discernment process by which people form their ideology. In other words group identity helps inform ideology, but doesn’t determine it. After all, 10% of blacks vote GOP.

                      Despite a few notable counter examples like the French Revolution, which was class based at the start (but quickly spread to other things like religion) societies almost always fracture upon racial/ethnic/religious lines. If you were to trace a casus belli it is because each group identity wasn’t getting its share of the spoils rather than people grouping to those like them once things fracture.

                    9. Right, so to circle back, your thesis about diversity is actually about ideological diversity.

                      Why you go and use demographic diversity as a so-so proxy because it’s easier to see.

                      I would also reiterate that how societies fracture is not the same as why they fracture. I think you’re conflating the two.
                      For example, my society lost a big war, causing me to lose faith in my government, so I turn to other affinity groups. The affinity groups, often demographic in nature, are not the cause, but they will become the point of fracture.

                    10. Do you deliberately try to baffle?

                      Diversity of opinion is almost always along demographic lines, because even if some individuals cut against the grain, the majority of the demographic thinks/acts/feels a certain way. A demographically diverse society can be successful, like America, as long as it is not ideologically diverse or more accurately, the demographic majority is not ideologically diverse. Again, this is just reiterated de Tocqueville.

                      Conflating, not so much. What is the definition of politics? It is “who gets what, when, and how.” When one group doesn’t get resources it feels it is due, that is the source of conflict, along group lines simultaneously because it is the “who” that wants “what” The why is the same as the how.

                    11. …Your 2:46 pm seems to explicitly declaim that demography is the same as ideology, or even a very good proxy oftentimes. Being part of the process of making up one’s ideology is a fine way to distinguish from ideology itself.
                      And if I misunderstood you, then I’d argue the point I thought you were making – that demographics being related to experience which is in turn part of what makes up ideology is a far cry from being ideology. Saying a certain group is marching in ideological lockstep is not saying they’re being natural.

                      Which is why I wonder why you add this artificial middleman and talk about America’s demographics when everything you speak about has to do with America’s ideology. (And I continue to disagree that America’s ideology is more conformist than diverse).

                      You’re not listening to me about how your observations about where society fractures do not necessarily tell you anything about why it did so. You’re making a jump that is not justified.
                      Conflict is not the same as instability – America is full of examples of politically stunted outgroups not fomenting revolution.

                      And history is full of examples of civic breakdown completely orthogonal to demographics (and class, for that matter).

            2. That’s not a paradox. It’s just a stupid hypothetical that refutes itself. Even in the example, what can’t be tolerated is violence, not intolerance, and nobody is suggesting that a pluralistic society has to tolerate violence.

              1. Are you just being contrarian?

                From the linked entry: Whether this should be taken to refer to merely intolerant expression and advocate for censorship of free speech on Popper’s part, or such an interpretation regarded more narrowly as quotemining of a passage in which Popper argued for self defense against violent force, remains the subject of debate.[2]

                There’s also a section in that entry on the implications for freedom of speech. The scope of the issue is larger than you seem to think it is.

                1. “Are you just being contrarian?”

                  No, it’s a stupid hypothetical that should never be used as an example. Unless you believe that only intolerant groups use violence, and that anyone that uses violence is intolerant, it refutes its own premise. And if you do believe that anyone that uses violence is intolerant then its just meaningless because, again, the issue is violence, not intolerance.

                  “remains the subject of debate.”

                  There’s another sign of the stupidity of the example. Popper didn’t die for almost a half century after he gave the example. Nobody bothered to clear it up in the meantime?

                  “The scope of the issue is larger than you seem to think it is.”

                  No it isn’t.

                  1. So you have a problem with Karl Popper. Good luck with that.

                    1. “So you have a problem with Karl Popper.”

                      No, I have a problem with one of Karl Popper’s examples. And, of course, the morons who try to rely on Karl Popper’s status instead of the quality of the thought.

                      I would say I’m shocked that you are attempting to rely on an argument from authority, but such unprincipled hackery is exactly what I expect from you.

                      “Good luck with that.”

                      I don’t need any luck with that. I’ve always been comfortable with thinking for myself and evaluating the merits of an argument rather than the source. You should try it.

                    2. You misapprehended Popper as talking about violence, then you dismissed him as stupid. Then you backpedaled, said your real issue was with me, for citing Popper.

                      If you have a problem with Popper, say that. If you don’t, say that. But what you just did? You’re not thinking for yourself, you’re just reflexively continuing whatever grudge you have with me.

                      I shouldn’t have engaged you. Plenty of fruitful comment chains down below.

                    3. “then you dismissed him as stupid.”

                      No I didn’t, you lying sack of shit. In my original post I said “[i]t’s just a stupid hypothetical that refutes itself.” That’s not dismissing Popper as stupid. In my next post, I said “it’s a stupid hypothetical that should never be used as an example.” That’s not dismissing him as stupid. You said I had a problem with Popper. In response, I said, “[n]o, I have a problem with one of Karl Popper’s examples.” That’s not dismissing him as stupid.

                      This is why is so unproductive to discuss things with you. You are either to stupid to understand what is said, or too dishonest to respond to what is actually said instead of a caricature of it.

                      “Then you backpedaled, said your real issue was with me, for citing Popper.”

                      I didn’t backpedal at all. In every post I’ve criticized the pretend Intolerance Paradox. You are the one who tried to take my issue with the hypothetical and turn it into a dispute with Popper.

                      “I shouldn’t have engaged you.”

                      You haven’t. You haven’t made a single substantive response attempting to defend the pretend Intolerance Paradox, other than a really lame appeal to authority.

                    4. Not willing to split hairs between calling Popper’s concept and (and all those who built off that idea) stupid versus the man himself. Maybe don’t use words like stupid if you’re trying for such nuance, eh?

                      This is why is so unproductive to discuss things with you. You are either to stupid to understand what is said, or too dishonest to respond to what is actually said instead of a caricature of it.

                      No one else has this problem when talking to me. I’m quite willing to engage to clarify what other commenters mean, and what I mean.

                      Maybe the problem isn’t with me, eh?

                    5. “Not willing to split hairs between calling Popper’s concept and (and all those who built off that idea) stupid versus the man himself.”

                      Well, you’re a moron, so that’s not surprising. Most people know that smart people are perfectly capable of saying stupid things. That’s why most people, especially those who argue in good faith, prefer to focus on the thing said rather than who said it. I get why the concept is foreign to you.

                      “Maybe don’t use words like stupid if you’re trying for such nuance, eh?”

                      I wasn’t trying for nuance. The pretend Intolerance Paradox is a stupid concept that refutes itself. And again, I note that you’ve yet to make a single substantive counter to anything I’ve actually said.

                    6. No, the problem is definitely with you, Sarcastro. Lots of people have this problem with you.

                    7. – “No I didn’t, you lying sack of shit.”

                      I see nothing has changed with regard to his tactics.

                      – “This is why is so unproductive to discuss things with you. You are either to stupid to understand what is said, or too dishonest to respond to what is actually said instead of a caricature of it.”

                      – “No one else has this problem when talking to me.”

                      ROFLMAO!!!!

                    8. Saying ‘I think Popper’s idea is stupid but don’t want to say Popper is stupid’ is nuance, chief.
                      Self-refuting is the whole point of the paradox! That’s why it’s not a principle or theorem or whatever. Come on, read the wiki before you yell about my posting it, next time.

                      Y’all enjoy your Sarcastro hatapalooza here. Maybe it’s my self-esteem, but this looks more like sour grapes than an actual gripe

                      Because as I said, I’m always up for clarification – that’s part of why I often reiterate what I think the thesis of the commenter I’m replying to is. If you think I’m not taking you correctly, then engage with me. I’ve been gratified in the past that I misunderstood what seemed to me a crazy opinion.

                      Except for jph12. Engaging with him just results in empty, profane name-calling.

                    9. – “Saying ‘I think Popper’s idea is stupid but don’t want to say Popper is stupid’ is nuance, chief.”

                      Doing/saying a single “stupid” thing is not even remotely the same as being a “stupid” person in general.

                      It’s sort of like the difference in calling someone out on a one-time lie (that you know of) vs. applying the label “liar” as a general character trait (something we all know you’re quite familiar with).

                    10. “Saying ‘I think Popper’s idea is stupid but don’t want to say Popper is stupid’ is nuance, chief.”

                      No it isn’t, you fucking moron. I don’t think Karl Popper is stupid. I think Karl Popper came up with a stupid example. As I’ve repeatedly pointed out, smart people can and do come up with stupid arguments all the time. Just like stupid people come up with smart arguments. Which is why people who argue in good faith focus on the argument, not who first made it.

                      I have repeatedly and unequivocally stated that I don’t think Karl Popper was stupid. Yet you keep insisting that I do. This is exactly why attempting to engage with you is so worthless. There’s no discussion of substance. It’s just you pretending I said the very opposite of what I said.

                      “Self-refuting is the whole point of the paradox! That’s why it’s not a principle or theorem or whatever. Come on, read the wiki before you yell about my posting it, next time.”

                      The supposed paradox is that by tolerating intolerance, tolerance disappears. What refutes it is that, as it admits and I’ve already pointed out, it’s not tolerating intolerance that makes tolerance disappear, it’s tolerating violence. There is no paradox because nobody seriously suggests that a tolerant society needs to tolerate violence of any kind.

                      “Except for jph12. Engaging with him just results in empty, profane name-calling.”

                      Again, you haven’t engaged with me you fucking moron. You haven’t made a single substantive point in response to anything I’ve said. Instead, you’ve merely tried to pretend that I think Karl Popper is stupid and make it about Karl Popper not being stupid. I don’t care if Karl Popper was stupid, because stupid people can still make good points. Even you might be able to come up with a good idea one day.

                    11. Last bit – when you use blunt words like stupid, it implies perhaps more than you mean to say. If you want to communicate a distinction like you were, perhaps use a different word. Or at least add a disclaimer. But instead, you use strong pejorative language and then get het up when people point out that you’re oversharing.

                      I said only once that you thought Popper was stupid. I did not insist, only noted that it was splitting hairs when you use that kind of rhetoric. Whose putting words into whose mouth?

                      Finally, look up illiberal democracy – violence is not the only way for intolerant ideas to threaten a tolerant society.

                    12. “Last bit – when you use blunt words like stupid, it implies perhaps more than you mean to say.”

                      No it doesn’t. Because I meant what I said. It’s a stupid example.

                      “If you want to communicate a distinction like you were, perhaps use a different word. Or at least add a disclaimer. But instead, you use strong pejorative language and then get het up when people point out that you’re oversharing.

                      I wasn’t communicating a distinction. I was talking about an example. An idea. What you keep ignoring is that there was absolutely no reason to bring Karl Popper into the discussion because his identity has absolutely no bearing on the validity of the pretend Intolerance Paradox. Doing so is an example of a logical fallacy, one that you frequently whine about if anyone on the right does it. There was no distinction to be made.

                      And, despite all your claims of wanting engagement you have yet to make a substantive post in defense of the paradox.

                      “I said only once that you thought Popper was stupid. I did not insist, only noted that it was splitting hairs when you use that kind of rhetoric. Whose putting words into whose mouth?”

                      Bullshit. “So you have a problem with Karl Popper. Good luck with that.” “then you dismissed him as stupid.” “Not willing to split hairs between calling Popper’s concept and (and all those who built off that idea) stupid versus the man himself.” Those are all you trying to pretend my issue is with Popper rather than the example. So it’s you. It’s always been you.

                      “Finally, look up illiberal democracy – violence is not the only way for intolerant ideas to threaten a tolerant society.”

                      We’re talking about a stupid example you selected, not other ways it can happen.

                    13. The example Popper gives is not an example – it’s a philosophical question. And the methods being violence or otherwise don’t enter into it.

                      And if you think Popper’s idea is stupid, you do have a problem with Popper, no?

                    14. “The example Popper gives is not an example – it’s a philosophical question. And the methods being violence or otherwise don’t enter into it.”

                      Right. There’s no discussion of violence in here. “[F]or it may easily turn out that they are not prepared to meet us on the level of rational argument, but begin by denouncing all argument; they may forbid their followers to listen to rational argument, because it is deceptive, and teach them to answer arguments by the use of their fists or pistols.” None at all. Nope, they’re using their fists and pistols for loving caresses, not violence.

                      And if you don’t want to call that an example, call it what it you will. It won’t make it any better.

                      “And if you think Popper’s idea is stupid, you do have a problem with Popper, no?”

                      No, you fucking moron, as I have repeatedly explained, I do not. I am capable of distinguishing between stupid ideas and stupid people. After all this, you are still pretending that I have an issue with Karl Popper. And after all this you are pretending that whether or not I do matters.

                      Since you keep avoiding the question, what does my view of Karl Popper have to do with the issue we are discussing? Why do you keep pretending that it is relevant? Why do you keep refusing to defend the pretend Intolerance Paradox then pretend I’m not engaging with you?

                    15. And can we just let the “brilliance” of this sink in?

                      According to Sarcastr0, “[t]he example Popper gives is not an example.”

                    16. “Not willing to split hairs between calling Popper’s concept and (and all those who built off that idea) stupid versus the man himself.”

                      Sarcastro, if you think this is hair-splitting, then your comment above, “So you have a problem with Karl Popper. Good luck with that…” is functionally the same as saying, “So you have a problem with something Karl Popper said. Good luck with that.”

                      That would be a trivially obvious comment, I mean, he just got done saying that. I don’t think that that’s what you meant.

                      And FTR, the “paradox of tolerance” is indeed stupid. And all those who build off of it have said stupid things.

                    17. Still waiting for a response to these simple questions.

                      “Since you keep avoiding the question, what does my view of Karl Popper have to do with the issue we are discussing? Why do you keep pretending that it is relevant? Why do you keep refusing to defend the pretend Intolerance Paradox then pretend I’m not engaging with you?”

                    18. – “Still waiting for a response to these simple questions.

                      “Since you keep avoiding the question, what does my view of Karl Popper have to do with the issue we are discussing? Why do you keep pretending that it is relevant? Why do you keep refusing to defend the pretend Intolerance Paradox then pretend I’m not engaging with you?””

                      There’s no reason to wait. You answered these questions yourself previously with…

                      – “you lying sack of shit”

                      It’s just the way he does business.

            3. “https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Paradox_of_tolerance”

              Sarcastro is precisely correct with his paradox of tolerance. This is why we should round up and imprison those who are intolerant of our racial, ideological, and economic tolerance. It is important that we don’t Nazis, Socialists, and others who would restrain our freedom of speech and religion. That’s why we need to get people like Steve King, the Squad, Trump, and Elizabeth Warren out of power and try them for their crimes against tolerance. We should also lock up others who suggest that we restrict our freedom of speech by imposing intolerant European policies like hate speech or the right to be forgotten on the US.

          2. Extremism of anything is bad – and something I’ve said in this forum before.

            1. While I tend to stick to the Greek adage that the mean between the extremes is virtue, there are, indeed, some things to be intolerant and extreme about. I bet you could name three off the top of your head. Me, I think slavery was something the North should have been more tolerant towards. And murder, well, sometimes it’s called for, right? Rape, too, should be acceptable in certain circumstances, like when the woman really is asking for it.

            2. – “Extremism of anything is bad”

              And you’re not even being sarcastic.

                1. So why do the Jedi recognize the Light and Dark sides of the Force? Shouldn’t it all be Twilight?

                  1. I see no reason to drag sparkly vampires into this.

                    1. Light sabers are kind of sparkly. I think they’d fit right in.

    2. Pakistan has 5 million more Muslims than India.

        1. Pakistan has had high growth rates since 2015 while India’s Muslim population has barely budged.

    3. Superpower by 2020!

  3. Yet another reason to make it a crime for any foreign official, legislature, or judge to interfere with the exercise of an American citizen or company’s first amendment rights. In this case the blogger was not in the US, but some of the companies may have been.

    1. American companies and individuals abroad enjoy the protection of being American. I don’t think it’s a good idea to give up that reciprocity.

      We’re not that kind of empire anymore, if we ever were.

    2. You just need to make it a crime for a US citizen to cooperate with a foreign censorship regime.

      We do that for foreign bribery already.

      1. I kinda like that idea, though I’ll note that the FCPA doesn’t work great.

  4. “Look at Atul’s low exam score – such a shame for someone from a prominent family!”

    “There has to be some job we can get him.”

    “How about a desk job in the police department sending takedown notices to Google whenever he sees something unflattering about our government.”

    “Easy paycheck, defending India’s honor, it’s the perfect job!”

    (Totally *not* a real transcript of a real conversation)

    1. (Posted for the purpose of satire, any resemblance to any real person named Atul is purely coincidental)

  5. I don’t see this situation as being as clear cut as most commentators. If the photo was altered, then it is false, and it’s understandable that sexual allegations would be considered defamatory.

    The Indian government would need to go through US courts to get an injunction against defamatory material, which they appear not to have done.

    But if they went the correct route, it seems possible to me that they might win. It also seems to me that the general maxim that reputation is relative to audience suggests a greater chance of winning. It’s possible that the material might be considered more defamatory to an Indian audience than to an American one. And if it’s false and the poster knew it, it is outside First Amendment protection for defamation purposes, so I would think it’s possible that US courts might be willing to apply a lesser Indian standard of what types and quanta of sexually suggestive conduct would be considered defamatory.

    1. I understand the photo might have been presented as satire or similar, in a manner where its falseness was made clear. The above assumes it was presented as fact.

    2. The photo is so obviously altered that it would not be mistaken for a factual representation by a reasonable person and that the intent would probably be perceived as parody or satire.

      1. The Buzzfeed article was also labeled as a list of Photoshopped images.

    3. “it seems possible to me that they might win”

      Anything is possible but its unlikely. First, its parody as Naaman Brown points out. Second, for the time being, Section 230 gives a safe harbor for any site hosting it. Third, Modi personaly might have standing but the Government of India likely does not.

      1. Agreed. On the “Jerry Falwell v Hustler” scale of offensive satire/parody, this one barely rates a mention. I simply cannot see any US court seriously entertaining a legal challenge to the usual First Amendment protections.

  6. Although the blogger was successful, this does represent a problem.

    What happens when a company tries to expand into India and the Indian government requires the company to censor all content on their platform, even content not hosted or accessible in India (or whatever other country you want to substitute).

    Providing a private right of action for US citizens silenced by internet providers at the behest of foreign governments seems like a reasonable solution. At the very least it would give these companies some ammunition to resist censorship as a condition of doing business.

  7. Whew. Despite all the hot air in these comments, I do not see anyone calling for Balkanization of the Internet. At least not yet.

    Tekkies (not trekkies) are receptive of the idea of making cyberspace a separate geopolitical entity; self policed. That is not going to happen, nor is there any evidence that the self policing would be effective.

    But the 1st amendment versus everyone else is the world is an epic struggle. I expect it to perpetuate. But the Internet is at risk for becoming so overpoliced that it becomes not useful.

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