Free speech, privacy, and the web

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Written By Brian Krogsgard

4 thoughts on “Free speech, privacy, and the web”

  1. So, this is going to be the new 1984 George Orwell’s Novel? Where did it go the free speech? If you don’t like it stop reading or provide arguments against the ideology but never kill it! Never delete it. Never burn the books. Where is the difference in burning books that are against someone’s view and deleting the sites?

    • Fortunately, the majority of the world takes a different view to freedom of speech.

      In most European countries, if you start chanting “The Jews will not replace us”, “Heil Hitler” or similar drivel, you would be arrested for hate speech.

      Hate speech is defined by law as public expression which spreads, incites, promotes or justifies hatred, discrimination or hostility towards a specific group. It contributes to a general climate of intolerance which in turn makes attacks more probable against those given groups.

      So yeah, there are two sides of each story. And in 1930s one side used hate speech to dehumanize non-aryan nations. We all know what happened next. That’s why we’re not sitting on our butts and letting leaders with racist agendas come into power. History is pretty clear about the outcome.

  2. A point that really needs to be made. Free speech is free speech when it comes to opinions and you only defend it when you defend the right of others to say that which deeply bothers you. Otherwise it’s easy.
    As for the difference between opinion, incitement and threat, taking an obvious harsh example:
    – Opinion: I believe X must be killed.
    – Incitement: I call upon you to rise up and kill X.
    – Threat: I am going to kill X.
    The opinion must be protected under free speech, no matter how much it bothers. And hate speech that does not become clear incitement or credible threat must be protected just as much as any other kind of speech, no matter how much I or you or anyone else may, uh, hate what’s being said. Otherwise we just protect rights and freedoms when they suit us, and that’s what we keep accusing “them” of…

    • Fwiw, that’s pretty much exactly what I said, at least in terms of the law. And that’s also the basis most of these platforms are using. They haven’t banned all users who say/express vile things; just the ones that cross the line into incitement and threats (per your definition of those terms). My broader point is that web platforms need to be prepared in how they handle these situations, especially to be consistent.

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