Hate Speech
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Free Speech Isn't Free

Free Speech Isn't Free | Hate Speech | Scoop.it
A system that tolerates "hate speech" is probably superior to the alternatives, but defenders of an absolute right can't pretend no one gets hurt.
Anna Olson's insight:

golden ideas 

World War 2 leading to widely different reactions from different countries means there was no one right reaction. I also liked the legal precedent included to show the evolution of speech in the US. 

 

thorns 

I think including Oliver Wendell Holmes’ quote about the agony of democracy was hyperbolic, and didn’t really relate to the main argument. I also thought he focused too heavily on the negatives of free speech, and none of the positives. 

 

questions

How did the US deal with hate speech in the 1800’s?

What forces caused the US to deviate so strongly from Europe?

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A secularist’s lament

A secularist’s lament | Hate Speech | Scoop.it
[inline|iid=33372]“I AM not sure if you have noticed, but where there is a louse, a nonentity, a low life, thief or fool, they are all Islamists. Is this a...
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what is the article about 

The article is a series of comments about a specific incident where Fazil Say tweeted comments about the intolerance of muslims. The commentators offer a variety of viewpoints on the content and appropriateness of his comments. 

 

what are people saying about the article

People are generally coming out in support of Fazil Say. It seems as if people are less willing to support protecting an large institution which has regularly employed rhetoric that was offensive or derogatory to non-believers.

 

what do I think about it 

I think it’s interesting that people’s sympathies seemed to lie with the man who tweeted, rather than with the religion he offended. It would be interesting to explore which instances of hate speech incite the most public anger.

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Hate speech or free speech? What much of West bans is protected in U.S. - The New York Times

Anna Olson's insight:

I was really intrigued by the sheer number of books referenced, and people quoted on the issue of hate speech. This would imply that it is an issue that a variety of people with widely varying viewpoints want to contribute to the discussion. Despite the variety of opinions, there seemed to be a general consensus, Americans generally support the First Amendment. We are willing to accept the risk of hurting someone’s feelings, as long as we can say whatever we want. 

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Bob Dylan has escaped a jail term in France, after hate speech charges were thrown out

Bob Dylan has escaped a jail term in France, after hate speech charges were thrown out | Hate Speech | Scoop.it

The legendary singer was charged with incitement to hatred over comments made to Rolling Stone in a 2012 interview.

Anna Olson's insight:

bob dylan 

strengths

The article picks a good, but extreme example of why hate speech bans are ridiculous, or at least can be. It shows that these laws can be used as more of a tool of publicity than an everyday tool, ones implemented only when something happens very publicly. 

 

weaknesses

Due to the extreme nature of the case (someone who really didn’t do anything too wrong), and the celebrity. It doesn’t paint a realistic picture of the negatives of the bans. 

 

threats

By enforcing the laws in times like this, it only casts them in a negative light. It makes people rally against the bans because they see them as ridiculous. 

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Free Speech or Hate Speech? Britain Bans U.S. Anti-Muslim Bloggers

Free Speech or Hate Speech? Britain Bans U.S. Anti-Muslim Bloggers | Hate Speech | Scoop.it
Britain has vetoed a visit by two American activists on the grounds that they might stir up trouble at a far-right rally this weekend. Is the government right to ban foreign troublemakers or is the right to free speech paramount?
Anna Olson's insight:

I chose this piece because preemptive restriction on speech pose and interesting and crucial question for hate speech regulations. I know that in the United States, preemptive restrictions are not allowed because they are seen as an unnecessary and not content neutral regulation. I also know that England has more liberal restrictions on speech than the United States does, allowing for a regulation like this. 

I want to learn more about the purpose of these regulations and their history. I also want to learn more about the application of these rules, and whether there is a bias in application. 

I learned that with regulation of specific groups, it can incite more anger and support to regulate their speech, than if the group were allowed to speak. I also think it’s interesting that it is seen that Islamic groups have been allowed express themselves, while anti-Islamic groups are being regulated. 

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Free speech under threat

Free speech under threat | Hate Speech | Scoop.it
IN 1999 Jack Straw, then Britain's home secretary, was attacked for being rude about an ethnic minority. There were demands for criminal investigations, appeals to...
Anna Olson's insight:

freedom of expression or just bigotry?

 

golden idea: This article examines the tensions between free speech and protecting people from hateful speech. It examines different laws in Europe and their recent extensions to cover broader types of speech. It pinpoints holocaust denial laws in France as the starting point for a lot of the new laws we see now. 

 

thorns: It really worries me that hate speech laws are beginning to unintentionally stifle free speech and political debate. It’s awful that laws that were implemented to allow for diversity and people to feel comfortable in society are having exactly the opposite effect. There’s no way to fix racism or xenophobia if no one can talk about either issue without offending. 

 

questions: what exactly did the first holocaust denial laws say? had there been any similar laws in Europe before the holocaust?

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Facebook's Online Speech Rules Keep Users On A Tight Leash

Facebook's Online Speech Rules Keep Users On A Tight Leash | Hate Speech | Scoop.it
Social networks now hold tremendous power to regulate online speech. Their rules for allowable comments, art and video govern billions of posts worldwide each day. And while Twitter users enjoy a great deal of freedom, Facebook has relatively tight restrictions on what users can say and see.
Anna Olson's insight:

I thought this was a really interesting perspective on hate speech in a non-governmental context. In the world today, where most people spend a good amount of time online, it may not matter as much if the government isn’t regulating speech, if facebook is. Online platforms approaches to regulating speech could play an important role in the future of speech. It seems reasonable to regulate pornography, nudity, and obviously offensive comments to maintain the community as a safe space. 

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‘The Harm in Hate Speech,’ by Jeremy Waldron

‘The Harm in Hate Speech,’ by Jeremy Waldron | Hate Speech | Scoop.it
A legal philosopher urges Americans to punish hate speech.
Anna Olson's insight:

This article concludes that, yes, hate speech is bad, but censorship is worse. No matter how we feel about the first amendment, we have it, and courts should continue to protect it, and legislators as well. We can talk about how Europe or Canada monitors free speech, but we are a different country, with a different document guiding us. As long as we are willing to follow it, we have to follow all of it. 

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Hate crimes and double jeopardy

Hate crimes and double jeopardy | Hate Speech | Scoop.it
THE senate has voted to attach a hate-crimes bill to a must-pass defence spending package. Like so many bad laws, this one is named after the victim of an appalling...
Anna Olson's insight:

what is it about?
This article is about hate crimes, and the ability of the government to retry crimes as hate crimes even if they failed to win the case the first time around. The author also argues that the hate crimes bill is just a way for liberal politicians to affirm their opposition to racism.

what are commenters saying?
The commenters overwhelmingly agreed with the author that the hate crime bill is unnecessary. Some people brought up the idea that hate crimes will bring violent racist crimes into the forefront of people’s minds, possibly to contribute to more violent crimes. The issue was also brought up that the hate crime categorization is just another way of stifling free speech.

what do I think?
I agree that the hate crime categorization could just be a way to monitor speech, and could be unfairly enforced. I do think there is some value in having a separate categorization for hate crimes, but I don’t think they necessarily need to be more strictly punished.

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The case against hate speech bans - Eric Heinze

The case against hate speech bans - Eric Heinze | Hate Speech | Scoop.it
Anna Olson's insight:

golden idea: The idea that bans do not actually solve the problem, but rather hide it, is intriguing yet problematic. Also connecting many of the ideas to philosophy as opposed to legal precedent gave the article a different edge. 

 

thorn: I thought it was overly argumentative and dismissive of many of the points, relying simply on saying that the people who make the arguments don’t understand free speech. I thought the same arguments were used over and over again to refute varied points. 

 

questions: what is the responsibility of an individual to the whole society in stopping hate speech? what is the responsibility of society to free speech?

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Hate speech, not Europe, tops agenda in French EU vote

Hate speech, not Europe, tops agenda in French EU vote | Hate Speech | Scoop.it
The European election is largely absent from the French public sphere, but the same cannot be said for hate speech. The only ones to profit from this electoral silence are extreme parties.
Anna Olson's insight:

weakness: 

I feel like the article did not go into good enough detail about the reaction to hate speech and related laws, instead it spoke more about the electoral climate in France. It started to explore the idea of hate speech laws hampering general public debate, but did not fully explain it. 

 

improvement

I think the article could be improved by a deepening of the analysis of the different political factions within France, and their differing views on hate speech in France. I also thought a deeper exploration of laicité would have been an interesting perspective on hate speech. 

 

obstacles 

Finishing with the general apathy towards the elections within France introduced an important, yet unique force working against sensible hate speech legislation. Angry people are more likely to go to the polls and vote than content people. This should have a large, and potentially negative effect on future elections. 

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Comedian Runs Afoul Of France's Strict Laws On Hate Speech

Comedian Runs Afoul Of France's Strict Laws On Hate Speech | Hate Speech | Scoop.it
French police raided the offices and home of a controversial comedian on Tuesday.The comedian, known by his stage name of Dieudonne, has been accused of making anti-Semitic remarks during his performances. The French government has banned his current show, claiming it is a threat to public order.
Anna Olson's insight:

what is the article about?

The article is about a french comedian who has been accused of making anti-Semitic jokes and comments during his radio show. It is about whether comedian is exempt from typical hate laws, and whether the comments themselves were even meant to incite hate. 

 

what are people/commenters saying about the article?

He shouldn’t get in trouble because “it’s not personal,” he insults all groups, and jewish people are just the only ones who care. 

“I know humor, this isn’t humor”

“Incite people to hate jews”

 

what do you think about the article, the comments, and why?

I think that this case is a good example of an extreme situation when some censorship might seem justified, but laws should not be made with the most extreme cases in mind. I think it’s interesting that none of the commenters in the story really brought up the actual issue of censorship, but rather focused on whether the type of speech should be allowed. 

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Does Europe Understand the First Amendment Better Than We Do?

Does Europe Understand the First Amendment Better Than We Do? | Hate Speech | Scoop.it
Lord Anthony Lester, a British member of parliament who helped make free speech law relevant overseas, explains why America is losing at its own game.
Anna Olson's insight:

Exporting the American Legal System 

Golden Ideas: 

I thought it was very interesting to learn that the First Amendment has been used in other countries as precent to expand the protection of free speech. Similarly, I found it interesting and discouraging that the US system has no evolved to include precedents from other countries. 

 

Thorns: 

The author was somewhat hyperbolic in his prediction of the complete diminishment of the US’s legal influence around the wold. He discounts much of the influence we’ve had in more recent years, even if it has been more troubled in recent years. 

 

Questions to research further: 

What was it about the 60s that made the US such an exemplar of free speech? 

What effect did the exportation of US ideas have on Europe?

Why has there been a shift away from American values?

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