Thu Jan 3, 2013, 11:06 AM
JReed (149 posts)
Glenn Greenwald: France's censorship demands to Twitter are more dangerous than 'hate speech'
France's censorship demands to Twitter are more dangerous than 'hate speech'
Few ideas have done as much damage throughout history as empowering the government to criminalize opinions it dislikes
Writing in the Guardian today, Jason Farago praises France's women's rights minister, Najat Vallaud-Belkacem, for demanding that Twitter help the French government criminalize ideas it dislikes. Decreeing that "hateful tweets are illegal", Farago excitingly explains how the French minister is going beyond mere prosecution for those who post such tweets and now "wants Twitter to take steps to help prosecute hate speech" by "reform the whole system by which Twitter operates", including her demand that the company "put in place alerts and security measures" to prevent tweets which French officials deem hateful. This, Farago argues, is fantastic, because - using the same argument employed by censors and tyrants of every age and every culture - new technology makes free speech far too dangerous to permit:
"If only this were still the 18th century! We can't delude ourselves any longer that free speech is the privilege of pure citizens in some perfect Enlightenment salon, where all sides of an argument are heard and the most noble view will naturally rise to the top. Speech now takes place in a digital mixing chamber, in which the most outrageous messages are instantly amplified, with sometimes violent effects . . .
Before getting to the merits of all this, I must say: I simply do not understand how someone who decides to become a journalist then devotes his energy to urging that the government be empowered to ban and criminalize certain ideas and imprison those who express them. Of all people who would want the state empowered to criminalize ideas, wouldn't you think people who enter journalism would be the last ones advocating that?
I've written many, many times about the odiousness and dangers of empowering the state to criminalize ideas - including the progressive version of that quest, especially in Europe and Canada but also (less so) in the US - and won't rehash all those arguments here. But there is a glaring omission in Farago's column that I do want to highlight because it underscores one key point: as always, it is overwhelming hubris and self-love that drives this desire for state suppression of ideas.
13 replies, 1201 views
Glenn Greenwald: France's censorship demands to Twitter are more dangerous than 'hate speech' (Original post)
|Luminous Animal||Jan 2013||#2|
|Spider Jerusalem||Jan 2013||#8|
|geek tragedy||Jan 2013||#4|
|Luminous Animal||Jan 2013||#13|
|Capt. Obvious||Jan 2013||#9|
|Capt. Obvious||Jan 2013||#12|
Response to Luminous Animal (Reply #2)
Fri Jan 4, 2013, 03:11 PM
Spider Jerusalem (18,390 posts)
8. Which doesn't apply outside the US
other countries have made expressing various things illegal. Antisemitism and Holocaust denial will get you sent to prison in Germany, for instance.
Response to Bonobo (Reply #1)
Thu Jan 3, 2013, 01:22 PM
JReed (149 posts)
3. What Greenwald is saying
is that the greater concern is giving the state the power to deem what is speech that can be censored.
He is quite sensitive as to the destructive nature of hate speech.
Response to Odin2005 (Reply #5)
Fri Jan 4, 2013, 04:50 PM
Luminous Animal (22,189 posts)
13. Which he has denied over and over again. As he has stated, in regards to his professtional career...
He is a civil libertarian. And that is that. He has also spoken at socialist conventions does that make him a socialist?