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Thu Jan 3, 2013, 11:06 AM

 

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.

...

http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/2013/jan/02/free-speech-twitter-france

13 replies, 1276 views

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Arrow 13 replies Author Time Post
Reply Glenn Greenwald: France's censorship demands to Twitter are more dangerous than 'hate speech' (Original post)
JReed Jan 2013 OP
Bonobo Jan 2013 #1
Luminous Animal Jan 2013 #2
Spider Jerusalem Jan 2013 #8
JReed Jan 2013 #3
geek tragedy Jan 2013 #4
cthulu2016 Jan 2013 #7
Odin2005 Jan 2013 #5
Luminous Animal Jan 2013 #13
snot Jan 2013 #6
Capt. Obvious Jan 2013 #9
FSogol Jan 2013 #10
Capt. Obvious Jan 2013 #12
RomneyLies Jan 2013 #11

Response to JReed (Original post)

Thu Jan 3, 2013, 11:12 AM

1. Hate speech is not "ideas". It is hate speech.

Is saying that Jews should be roasted alive an "idea" that deserves protection?

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Response to Bonobo (Reply #1)

Thu Jan 3, 2013, 11:56 AM

2. Yes it does deserve the protection of the First Amendment.

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Response to Luminous Animal (Reply #2)

Fri Jan 4, 2013, 03:11 PM

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.

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Response to Bonobo (Reply #1)

Thu Jan 3, 2013, 01:22 PM

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.

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Response to JReed (Reply #3)

Thu Jan 3, 2013, 01:24 PM

4. Not as sensitive as European Jews, those whose ancestors survived the 'ideas'

of the 1930's and 1940's.

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Response to Bonobo (Reply #1)

Fri Jan 4, 2013, 03:07 PM

7. Of course

1) Is it an idea?

Yes.

2) Does it deserve protection from censorship?

We have already established that it is an idea, so yes.



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Response to JReed (Original post)

Thu Jan 3, 2013, 01:25 PM

5. Greenwald is a Libertarian, not a Liberal.

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Response to Odin2005 (Reply #5)

Fri Jan 4, 2013, 04:50 PM

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?

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Response to JReed (Original post)

Fri Jan 4, 2013, 03:02 PM

6. I don't care what Greenwald is; I'm glad he speaks out against censorship.

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Response to JReed (Original post)

Fri Jan 4, 2013, 03:15 PM

9. No has said, "Fuck Glenn Greenwald" yet?

Slow day.

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Response to Capt. Obvious (Reply #9)

Fri Jan 4, 2013, 03:45 PM

10. Nobody said, "You Better Believe It" yet either.

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Response to FSogol (Reply #10)

Fri Jan 4, 2013, 03:55 PM

12. Ah touche

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Response to Capt. Obvious (Reply #9)

Fri Jan 4, 2013, 03:50 PM

11. I would've but this story is so "meh", why bother?

 

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