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EU, Facebook, Youtube, Twitter and Microsoft to ban free speech

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The authoritarian EU wants to police the internet and remove anything they find offensive. I guess we continue the slow march towards an Orwellian state.

The worst part of this is they have outsourced the definition of offensive to politically active NGOs which makes it a transparent attempt to censor political speech that offends the EU elites. Edited by TimG

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http://www.economist.com/news/leaders/21699909-curbs-free-speech-are-growing-tighter-it-time-speak-out-under-attack

However, watchdogs report that speaking out is becoming more dangerousand they are right. As our report shows, curbs on free speech have grown tighter. Without the contest of ideas, the world is timid and ignorant.

Intolerance among Western liberals also has wholly unintended consequences.

...

The threat to free speech on Western campuses is very different from that faced by atheists in Afghanistan or democrats in China. But when progressive thinkers agree that offensive words should be censored, it helps authoritarian regimes to justify their own much harsher restrictions and intolerant religious groups their violence. When human-rights campaigners object to what is happening under oppressive regimes, despots can point out that liberal democracies such as France and Spain also criminalise those who glorify or defend terrorism, and that many Western countries make it a crime to insult a religion or to incite racial hatred.

These are good rules for everyone. Never try to silence views with which you disagree. Answer objectionable speech with more speech. Win the argument without resorting to force. And grow a tougher hide.

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The worst part of this is they have outsourced the definition of offensive to politically active NGOs which makes it a transparent attempt to censor political speech that offends the EU elites.

citation request

by the by... hate speech ain't free speech!

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The authoritarian EU wants to police the internet and remove anything they find offensive. I guess we continue the slow march towards an Orwellian state.

remove... "anything"! Anything? Or just, "illegal online hate speech"?

.

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These are good rules for everyone. Never try to silence views with which you disagree. Answer objectionable speech with more speech. Win the argument without resorting to force. And grow a tougher hide.

because... clearly... purveyors of hate speech are all about winning arguments! Ya think?

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... to respond to the challenge of ensuring that online platforms do not offer opportunities for illegal online hate speech to spread virally.

European Commission - Press release

European Commission and IT Companies announce Code of Conduct on illegal online hate speech

Brussels, 31 May 2016

The Commission together with Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and Microsoft (“the IT companies”) today unveil a code of conduct that includes a series of commitments to combat the spread of illegal hate speech online in Europe.

The IT Companies support the European Commission and EU Member States in the effort to respond to the challenge of ensuring that online platforms do not offer opportunities for illegal online hate speech to spread virally. They share, together with other platforms and social media companies, a collective responsibility and pride in promoting and facilitating freedom of expression throughout the online world. However, the Commission and the IT Companies recognise that the spread of illegal hate speech online not only negatively affects the groups or individuals that it targets, it also negatively impacts those who speak out for freedom, tolerance and non-discrimination in our open societies and has a chilling effect on the democratic discourse on online platforms.

In order to prevent the spread of illegal hate speech, it is essential to ensure that relevant national laws transposing the Council Framework Decision on combating racism and xenophobia are fully enforced by Member States in the online as well as the in the offline environment. While the effective application of provisions criminalising hate speech is dependent on a robust system of enforcement of criminal law sanctions against the individual perpetrators of hate speech, this work must be complemented with actions geared at ensuring that illegal hate speech online is expeditiously reviewed by online intermediaries and social media platforms, upon receipt of a valid notification, in an appropriate time-frame. To be considered valid in this respect, a notification should not be insufficiently precise or inadequately substantiated.

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Hate speech laws require police to lay charges, prosecutors to choose to pursue a case and a judge decides after giving the defendant a chance to explain themselves.

What we are talking about here is a near automated process with little oversight and no appeal driven by 'civil society organizations' which are not known for their unbiased assessment of facts and their openness to opinions which undermine their world view.

The later is a recipe for wide scale suppression of views that do not conform to approved narratives.

The only thing this directive got right is the effort to counter speech with speech.

Edited by TimG

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What we are talking about here is a near automated process with little oversight and no appeal driven by 'civil society organizations' which are not known for their unbiased assessment of facts and their openness to opinions which undermine their world view.

no - what we are talking about here is your improper conflation of the agreement/intent by Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and Microsoft to respond to notifications received from requisite authorities/legal instruments mandated to review, analyze, decide and act upon determinations of "illegal online hate speech". The turnaround time of response from Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and Microsoft is the mechanics of response to received notification from requisite authorities/legal instruments... that's it.

.

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because... clearly... purveyors of hate speech are all about winning arguments! Ya think?

.

But what's hate speech? Our standards here are considerably laxer than those of countries like Britain and France. Think the cops would have been busting down this guy's door in Canada?

http://www.bbc.com/news/uk-england-36451693

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Facebook, YouTube, Twitter, and Microsoft are companies that do not have to support people's speech whatsoever. That's not what free speech is about, but I'm sure you know that.

The EU is a governing body, so there may be an argument there. Most of the time, though, people seem to confuse free speech with speech that's free from consequences. Your employer, friends, family, neighbours, and even strangers have every right to criticize your speech. Companies and venues have every right not to provide you with a platform for your speech. Free speech is about government prosecution for the things you say.

On that point, every freedom we have comes with reasonable limits. If you think it's reasonable to incite violence towards identifiable groups, you're awfully confused about what's reasonable in a civil society.

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Free speech is about government prosecution for the things you say.

This is the only thing that matters when it comes to free speech. Nobody has to listen. Nobody has to give you a pen, or a megaphone, or allow you to use their podium. Just so long as the government provides no sanction.

That said, there is nothing wrong with pointing out hypocrisy in some institutions that purport to be for it, and are not.

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This is the only thing that matters when it comes to free speech. Nobody has to listen. Nobody has to give you a pen, or a megaphone, or allow you to use their podium. Just so long as the government provides no sanction.

That said, there is nothing wrong with pointing out hypocrisy in some institutions that purport to be for it, and are not.

And further to that point the government can invoke reasonable limits, as they do with every other freedom. The classic example being that you can't shout "fire!" in a crowded theater. The free-speech-at-all-costs crowds can't wrap their heads around reasonable limits. They would just say death by stampede is a price to pay for that freedom.

Edited by cybercoma

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And further to that point the government can invoke reasonable limits, as they do with every other freedom. The classic example being that you can't shout "fire!" in a crowded theater. The free-speech-at-all-costs crowds can't wrap their heads around reasonable limits. They would just say death by stampede is a price to pay for that freedom.

Limits based on physical harm are reasonable, but those based on offense or political sensitivity are not, IMO. You can't yell fire in a crowded theatre, but you should be able to deny the holocaust in one. In Berlin.

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And further to that point the government can invoke reasonable limits, as they do with every other freedom. The classic example being that you can't shout "fire!" in a crowded theater. The free-speech-at-all-costs crowds can't wrap their heads around reasonable limits. They would just say death by stampede is a price to pay for that freedom.

That 'ban any speech that offends me' crowd can't seem to understand that public acceptance of 'reasonable limits' requires that the people/organizations tasked with deciding such things can be trusted to be 'reasonable'. In the current environment where institutions are filled with ideologues out to ban anything that casts doubt on their pet narratives, it is reasonable to say that that those institutions cannot be trusted and the only optional available to protect freedom of speech is to remove the ability for ideologically biased people in positions of power to decide what should be allowed. If that means we have to live with people "shouting fire in a theater" then so be it. The alternative is much much worse. Edited by TimG

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One can shout "fire !" in a theatre when there is none, crowded or not. This nonsense has been perpetuated to the level of myth:

http://www.theatlantic.com/national/archive/2012/11/its-time-to-stop-using-the-fire-in-a-crowded-theater-quote/264449/

I don't know that it's meant to be taken literally. Just as an indication of where a line ought to be drawn. Harm. After all, anyone who shouts fire in a crowded theatre when there is no fire should be kicked to within an inch of their lives, and we all know that would be illegal.

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I don't know that it's meant to be taken literally. Just as an indication of where a line ought to be drawn. Harm. After all, anyone who shouts fire in a crowded theatre when there is no fire should be kicked to within an inch of their lives, and we all know that would be illegal.

These days, one should be more concerned about shouting "Shooter !" instead of "Fire !".

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These days, one should be more concerned about shouting "Shooter !" instead of "Fire !".

in which country would that be, hey? :lol:

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Most of the time, though, people seem to confuse free speech with speech that's free from consequences.

I know, for example, Saudi Arabia has freedom of speech, you just aren't free from consequences. So if you are born a Muslim and you declare that Islam is false and you have changed your religion, you can totally do that, but there are consequences (such as death).

Freedom of speech is more than what rules the government imposes. It is a culture. A culture that allowed for the free exchange of ideas and for ideas to compete in a free marketplace, is one that is successful in the long run since the best ideas rise up above the rest.

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Freedom of speech is more than what rules the government imposes. It is a culture.

You would like it to be a culture, but it's not. It is literally free from government persecution. You say you want a "free exchange" of ideas, but what you want is to proselytize without anyone challenging your positions. Free speech doesn't mean you get to use my yard for your soapbox. Free speech doesn't even mean I have to listen to you. Free speech literally means that the government is not going to throw you in jail for having an opinion.

They will, however, throw you in jail if you're inciting violence and riots because whether you like it or not there are reasonable limits on freedoms and no reasonable person is going to say that you should be allowed to incite violence or threaten the safety of people by calling on others to attack them. That's the essence of hate speech laws.

Now if this were an actual intelligent discussion, someone would have posted the legislation and made direct reference to the problems with it. Yet, rarely does you or anyone else on this forum do that. Because this isn't about intelligent discussion. It's about people whining that their ideological diarrhea has real-world consequences. It's about whining that your extreme views are not accepted by reasonable and intelligent people. Sorry, but having your regressive views rejected is not a violation of free speech at all. In fact, it is free speech at work.

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