Censorship in the defense of free speech.

Some days I really wonder if I could ever be imaginative enough to make this shit up:

In the wake of this week’s terrorist attacks in Paris, which began with the killing of 12 people at the offices of satirical publication Charlie Hebdo, the interior ministers of 12 EU countries have called for a limited increase in internet censorship.

The interior ministers of France, Germany, Latvia, Austria, Belgium, Denmark, Spain, Italy, the Netherlands, Poland, Sweden and the U.K. said in a statement that, while the internet must remain “in scrupulous observance of fundamental freedoms, a forum for free expression, in full respect of the law,” ISPs need to help “create the conditions of a swift reporting of material that aims to incite hatred and terror and the condition of its removing, where appropriate/possible.”

Heh, I should have read all the way through, here’s another gem:

They said they had resolved “to develop positive, targeted and easily accessible messages, able to counter this propaganda, aimed at a young audience that is particularly vulnerable to indoctrination.”

So… counter-indoctrination indoctrination.

In a similar vein, Eusebius McKaiser weighs in. His article is fraught with several sorts of dodgy presupposition and oversimplification.

While there clearly are individuals who time and again show themselves to be unrepentantly nasty pieces of work, censorship would still be a mistake. Though there’s no express right to it, the Internet provides a global forum where words, even highly questionable and unpleasant words, can be exchanged instead of bullets and bombs.

And, “You have not converted someone because you have silenced them.


Let’s be scared very scared! When this shit starts, where do “we” draw the line? Who draws the line? The religious and morally decrepid? the politicians and their corrupt buddies? A new section of the Anti terrorist lobby, let’s say a moral police force? Interpol? I cringe when I hear morally outraged politicians spew this rubbish…The United Nations has for a long time been considering requesting governments to pass laws forbidding all “anti-religious utterings” and hate speech. Constitutions such as ours as well as the USA Decl of Independence are limitations on government, not on private individuals: they describe and proscribe government actions and conduct: they are not a charter for government power but the individual’s protection against government. Laws that start to undermine these constitutions for the common good (an oxymoron if ever there was one) allows governments to violate the rights of individuals. We can see this happening increasingly in the USA as a response to terrorism.

Any increase in censorship at this time is exactly the type of thing that would signal to the terrorist that his despicable methods pay. So go ahead, but do expect more attacks until such time as the level of censorship is to the terrorist’s liking.


There’s a point that goes whooshing over all of these people’s heads:

The same people who supposedly “Are Charlie” the moment a photo-op is to be had, want to pass laws that would’ve made publication of Charlie Hebdo a crime. From a religionists’ standpoint you could without breaking a sweat argue that they were the actual “trolls”. In fact I’ve read several headache-inducing rationalisations in the last week or so doing exactly that: Re-stating the “she was asking for it” rape argument, but in the publication sense. All completely somber and without a moment’s regard for what that would actually entail: Justification for Religion X killing people of Religion Y simply because Religion Y is “blasphemous”. That’s the problem with these kinds of laws: They are universally ripe for individual interpretation and biased enforcement. Or worse: Over-zealous enforcement.

When this shit starts, where do "we" draw the line? Who draws the line? The religious and morally decrepid? the politicians and their corrupt buddies?

This is exactly why I don’t believe in free speech coming with ANY caveats. If someone “incites violence” which does lead to actual crimes then charge them with conspiracy to commit a crime. That’s already illegal. The premise here lies in the flawed perception that stopping someone from saying something in public somehow prevents them from planning and carrying out illegal deeds in private. I’d argue letting people say whatever they want online would result in a much fuller list of suspects for law enforcement to keep tabs on.

I would qualify that with “as long as one’s right to privacy is maintained”, but I’m not sure who I’d be kidding.

And for many of them, it is also a safe way to blow off steam. Furthermore, message boards where people can freely spew their hatred often attract people with opposing views, and then they can all have a nice war of words instead of running around shooting people.

Anyway, thank goodness once again for the web, where it is pretty difficult to enforce censorship, and where people like the Paris shooters very rapidly become big time victims of the Streisand effect.

My words were barely cold…

There should be no "means of communication" which "we cannot read", [David Cameron] said.

Terrorist attack our freedom
And our governments react in taking it away from us.

In any case any sophisticated terrorist group could design a communication tool that
no NSA or likes would be able to intercept unless they compromised a device that was accessing the communication.

So just blanket spying is not going to deliver any real result.

Of course it delivers a real result, it delivers the result of those in power having even more power and control over your life.


Amen. :wink:


fuck yeah

I fear that any real argument about islam extremist. Is being taken up by bigots
and will be used to fuel there own hatred of people who is either muslim or from
middle eastern decent.

So I would say that last line is false. There is such a thing as islamaphobia.
and to be honest the Americans and our government had a bad case of ‘comunisphobia’ there was just not a catchy term for it.

But it doesn’t say, “There is no such thing as Islamophobia.” When I sorta squint a ju-u-u-u-ust right, the caption looks to me like it actually says the following:

People have rights. Ideas don’t have rights.
Every ideology must be subjected to open, free discussion in regard to its value or otherwise, without fear of reprisal. No Exceptions.
“Islamophobia” is not racism, any more than “Communistophobia” or “Fascistophobia” would be, because Islam is an idea, not a race.
In a civilised society, no idea – religious, political or philosophical – can claim any special treatment, or be set beyond the reach of empirical evidence.
Support free speech. Support people.
I really, really, really hope that I’m reading it correctly…


I believe I am reading like you too: ideas are open to debate/mocking/criticism: people are protected from the bulk of that (hate speech etc)… ???

Yes sorry that is what it reads.

On second reading, I still have a problem with it thou.

Any meaningful discussion as the paragraph puts its should not be labeled “Islamophobia”.
“Islamophobia” is what bigots might have.

I have no phobia about muslims. I do want to stand up and say if you have believe that killing
people in defense of you religion is right. Your believe has no place in this world.

Oh for fuck sakes

(My emphasis)

Pope Francis spoke about the Paris terror attacks, defending free speech as not only a fundamental human right but a duty to speak one's mind for the sake of the common good. But he added there were limits. While Francis insisted that it was an "aberration" to kill in the name of God and said religion can never be used to justify violence, he said there was a limit to free speech when it concerned offending someone's religious beliefs. By way of example, he referred to a friend: "[b]if someone says a curse word against my mother, he can expect a punch[/b]". "There are so many people who speak badly about religions or other religions, who make fun of them, who make a game out of the religions of others," he said. "They are provocateurs."

See what I meant about the “asking for it” argument? These people truly believe they’re making a consistent point.

So acc. to our dear pope free speech can, and should, beget violence. Except when it’s other religions doing the violence. Then it’s bad. Ya’ll got that?

One may argue that the merits would depend on whether Pope Francis’s mother was indeed a whore. If a person entertains ridiculous beliefs, those beliefs deserve to be ridiculed.

Maybe he became Pope because someone spoke ill of his friend’s mother, in which case it’s not clear who deserves some punch… ::slight_smile:

More seriously, the whole basic premiss (i.e., that violence somehow constitutes a sane and commensurate response to words, however hurtful) can itself only be “defended” by invoking the religious principle that says there are holy cows that thou shalt not touch.

ETA: And just when you thought the PC bag had been emptied, you find another pork sausage in it.


In any event, here we once again have a failure to understand the difference between the rights of people and the rights of ideas. Calling your mother a whore is simply not in the same category as calling your religion silly.