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Man's Joke Video of Dog Giving Nazi Salute Lands Him U.K. Hate Speech Fine

Court feels "menaced" by a pug.

Bad dogDamedeeso/DreamstimeDeclaring a joke video of a pug giving a Nazi salute to be "menacing," a court officer in the United Kingdom today fined a man £800 (about $1,100) for violating the country's hate speech laws.

Scottish man Mark Meechan (a.k.a. "Count Dankula") was convicted last month for violating the Communications Act and became an international story over the absurdity of the case. Meechan taught his girlfriend's pug to raise a paw when he said "Sieg Heil," apparently to annoy said girlfriend, and he posted a video of it on YouTube.

Here's how the man sentencing Meechan described the justification for his fine, according to The Guardian:

"You say the video was only intended as a joke to upset your girlfriend, whose dog you used, and nothing more.

"On the whole evidence, including your own, applying the law as made by parliament and interpreted by the most senior courts in this land, I found it proved that the video you posted, using a public communications network, was grossly offensive and contained menacing, antisemitic and racist material."

He added that while the right to freedom of expression was very important, "in all modern democratic countries, the law necessarily places some limits on that right."

Much as with the rap lyrics case that I noted earlier today, there is no evidence in the video that Meechan is trying to stir up prejudice or violence. There is no call to action. There is no threat. It's a joke that offends people with the power to punish Meechan.

Reason's Christian Britschgi noted Meechan's arrest and the absurdity surrounding it last fall. Meechan faced potential jail time for his video, so he at least he avoided that.

Meecham's video has also prompted support, and discussion of humor and free speech. Watch a group of people reacting live to his video below:

Photo Credit: Damedeeso/Dreamstime

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  • John||

    Mark Steyn put it best, "In the UK today everything is policed except for crime."

  • Just Say'n||

    In British Clue the murder weapon is always "hate speech"

  • Chipper Morning Baculum||

    I thought the candlestick and rope were still allowed in British Clue.

  • John||

    Sure, but they are only the weapon if it is a hate crime. So, "evil Tory murdered Muhammad in the kitchen with the rope" is fine. But otherwise, the weapon has to be "hate speech".

  • Just Say'n||

    Prepare for commentators to inform everyone that British 'Clue' is actually called 'Cluedo', as if anyone cares.

  • Radioactive||

    full marks, no one cares...

  • Just Say'n||

    Thank God we live in a country that is woke enough to only fine people for using the wrong pronoun. Which is completely different for reasons

  • lap83||

    OT: I haven't posted much lately but I needed some help in parsing this political cartoon that was on my LinkedIn feed

    Pretty decent number of labels, but I feel they could've been a little more thorough...for instance, what do the guard tower and barbed wire represent?

  • Citizen X - #6||

    Cash for Clunkers, obviously.

  • BestUsedCarSales||

    HuCows are getting really popular in the fetish community as of late.

  • Chipper Morning Baculum||

    Is it because of that sex cult whose leader branded his initials into the women's pubic areas and made them wear cow udders?

  • BestUsedCarSales||

    Is this is a thing that happened?

  • Just Say'n||

  • Citizen X - #6||

    Damn, none of my sex slave cults was ever able to get celebrity endorsement.

  • Just Say'n||

    Typically a cult involves more than one person. That's why yours never got off the ground.

  • I am the 0.000000013%||

    nice!

  • Just Say'n||

    Ben Garrison is not well. I love the GMO and flouride scare tactics employed here.

  • Just Say'n||

    Me: Why aren't more Americans upset about taxes, debt, and NSA spying?

    Ben Garrison: Forced inoculation, GMOs, and flouride

    Me: *backs away slowly*

    Ben Garrison: Whatever, you're a flouride junkie

  • BestUsedCarSales||

    He's certainly a character.

  • chemjeff radical individualist||

    IT'S FLUORIDE DAMMIT

    there is no flour in fluorine

    sorry chemistry pet peeve here

  • Just Say'n||

    *backs away slowly*

  • gormadoc||

    What about flourites in the water? Does that bug you?

  • lap83||

    It seems like it would be more efficient to just put the aborted fetal matter directly into the GMO feed, or at least the flouride water fountain, but what do I know? I guess that's why the Monsanto execs make the big bucks

  • Diane Reynolds (Paul.)||

    Oh jesus, they're bringing back water fluoridation as an issue? Really? Who represents the Jewish Bankers in that cartoon?

  • DajjaI||

    I smell a business opp.

  • Chipper Morning Baculum||

    As, what a cute little pug-nazi-ous doggo.

  • sharmota4zeb||

    Perhaps we should make "cute pug" slang for neo-nazi in online commentary. It might be the best way to diffuse those guys. Chicken hawks tend to get quite when you say how cute they are.

  • The Last American Hero||

    You mean a dog whistle featuring a reference to an actual dog?

    That's pretty meta.

  • Alcibiades||

    Someone better tell Mel to avoid the UK, in fact just stay clear of Europe entirely.

  • Radioactive||

    sound advice under any circumstances...might also want to widen that to include Canada...

  • RoyMo||

    We need to give this guy political asylum

  • Definitely Not Tulpa||

    I follow a few British cultural nationalists and I really just don't get their position.

    British culture is provably dead and rotting.

  • Diane Reynolds (Paul.)||

    What happens if he refuses to pay the fine.

  • Palatki||

    I am thinking this limey should make his way, running, not walking, to the the US embassey. Perhaps these are are the asylum seekers we should be welcoming. Just on the off-chance that Churchill wasn't the last decent englishman who ever lived.

  • Johnimo||

    Concentration camp for rehabilitation, comrade.

  • Deconstructed Potato||

    Shooting the dogs in Wolfenstein 3D was heartbreaking.

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