EU pushes forward on law against hate speech, illegal content. Hosting companies required to take websites offline

webbouk

Well-known member
The way I see it is far too many people need wrapping up in Cotton Wool, given gentle cuddles, and guided through life protected at every angle from the 'nasties' in this world. You read and hear about it so often it makes me wonder how people manage to get through daily life without having a crisis or meltdown because he said/she said something about them in a Tweet, Insta, Fb, or whatever the flavour is at the time.

Someone objects to something you post and they say so in a blunt manner - so what?
Someone, your bezzie mate or BFF or BMF or aunty's next door neighbours cat says you look fat(ter) today than yesterday - so what?

Words on a screen, that's all.
As long as the words are not vindictive, not meant to harm or inciting harm, they are not going to hurt you unless you let them - ultimately press the 'power button' and they go away.
 

Frode789

Well-known member
This is such a thin line.. Huge, huge censorship red flag.

Right now in the US, there are many cases of people finding this and that as hate speech, which really is not. This is also why a lot of comedians are "cancelled", because some find it offensive. (which is not the same as saying it is hate speech, just because you don't like it/find it offensive). Eg. "They are promoting anti-trans hate speech".
If some board moderators want to impose a much more strict moderation, they are free to do so though..

What is hate speech?
What is free speech?


In the US, the constitution protects the free speech. Supreme Court has repeatedly ruled that most of what would qualify as hate speech in other western countries is legally protected free speech under the First Amendment.

Even experts struggle to find a balance here.
UN says that:
Freedom of opinion and expression is, indeed, a cornerstone of human rights and a pillar of free and democratic societies, as it supports other fundamental rights, such as the right to freedom of religion, to peaceful assembly and to participate in public affairs. It is undeniable that digital media including social media have contributed to sustaining the right to seek, receive and impart information and ideas. Therefore, legislative efforts to regulate free expression are, unsurprisingly, raising concerns that attempts to curb hate speech could also contribute to silencing dissent and opposition.
As the key means to counter hate speech, the United Nations supports more speech - not less - and holds the full respect of freedom of expression as the norm.

Example from the EU code of conduct for hate speech: "For instance, public calls to kill all members of a certain religion or to burn down refugee shelters represent illegal hate speech." That's a pretty serious statement, everyone can understand that it would be hate speech.
However, this is while a lot of very liberal people, would say that a lot of what is said online right now is hate speech. Much, much less severe than the above example. It will be a mess of mass reports and chaos.

Who wants EU to have control over shutting down websites due to "hate speech"?
I mean.. You have:
  • Terrorism
  • Child pornography
  • "Hate speech"?
Which one doesn't belong there...

So some people are pissed at your site (they got banned), start making some alt accounts and reporting content and suddenly you have a problem with EU threatening to shut down your site or fining you if some random EU employees in their "ethical committee" find your content "hate speech"? Then they can ruin your business right there. It's insane.
 

ShikiSuen

Well-known member
The problem is that hate speech can stir up others. This is not controllable by the speecher's intention.
A balance between free speech and its related responsibilities is of vital necessity.
 

Mr Lucky

Well-known member
I always thought free speech is about what is allowed by law. It has nothing to do with forums. The admins can set their own rules about hate speech.

Although as we see there is a lot of confusion about hate speech.

Often people attempt to or do get away with it in the name of comedy, banter. I think the victims of hate speech and bullying are those who are most justified in defining it.
 

Mendalla

Well-known member
The admins can set their own rules about hate speech.
Precisely this. Hate speech laws should be seen as a minimum standard, since the board could be held liable in some countries if it allows speech that violates the law, but if a board feels that standard is too low, they are free to set their own higher one.
 
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