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UK Men Arrested For Anti-Semitic Tweets After Football Game

timothy posted about 7 months ago | from the thought-police's-little-helper dept.

Censorship 598

magic maverick writes "Reuters reports that three men were arrested for posting anti-Semitic comments on Twitter following the English Premier League match between Tottenham Hotspur and West Ham United in October, police said on Friday. 'Two men, aged 22 and 24, were arrested on Thursday in London and in Wiltshire, while a 48-year-old man was arrested at his home in Canning Town in London last week on suspicion of inciting racial hatred. The investigation following the match on October 6 was triggered by complaints about tweets that referred to Hitler and the gas chambers.' I guess it goes to show, you'd be stupid to use your real name or identifying details on Twitter. Perhaps the British should also work on reforming their laws on free speech (or lack thereof)."

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598 comments

Perhaps not (1, Insightful)

Space cowboy (13680) | about 7 months ago | (#45686929)

Perhaps racist behaviour should be punished independent of any mindless "free speech" worship.

Simon

Re:Perhaps not (0, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#45686943)

Why do you classify tweeting as "racist behavior" and what is "racist behavior"?

Re:Perhaps not (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#45687037)

Why do you classify this as "News for Nerds" instead of typical tabloid flamebait?

Re:Perhaps not (4, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#45686947)

Maybe people should be free to speak their mind without being arrested. I'd rather live in a world where someone can call me a name and not be locked up than any alternative.

Re:Perhaps not (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#45687183)

And you do. You live somewhere that allows for that.

But I assume you can understand that not everyone wants the same things. Many people would rather live with civility than unbridled and often thoughtless speech.

Re:Perhaps not (5, Insightful)

Dunbal (464142) | about 7 months ago | (#45687249)

Someone who would put someone else in a cage for being rude or for having a different point of view deserves no civility.

Re:Perhaps not (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#45687223)

Here in the US, you likely won't be arrested. However, your "free speech" can be noted by the bots that slurp data on social networks (even that marked private), flag you as "racist" and ensure a job-free future. Just making fun of "press 1 for English" can get one the scarlet letter.

Who needs arrest when there are plenty of databases that can blacklist an individual in the US?

Re:Perhaps not (1)

richlv (778496) | about 7 months ago | (#45687383)

what fun can you make out of "press 1 for English" ?

Nosy Parkers (1)

flyingfsck (986395) | about 7 months ago | (#45687333)

Your freedom stops, where someone else's nose begins.

Re:Nosy Parkers (3, Insightful)

fredprado (2569351) | about 7 months ago | (#45687355)

That is why the law of most civilized countries do not let people randomly punch other people in the face. Saying things you don't want to hear has nothing to do with your nose, though.

Sticks and stones (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#45687395)

I do not agree with what you have to say, but I'll defend to the death your right to say it.

Words only have as much power as you allow them to. Grow up, grow a pair and stop being an emotional little bitch and there is no problem.

Re:Nosy Parkers (0)

noshellswill (598066) | about 7 months ago | (#45687461)

Seig heil feckin-A  kosmo-komrades ... thought-crime pimps have a nose worth busting. 

Re:Perhaps not (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#45686949)

This! It's always the racist Republicans in the USA that whine constantly about free speech. That horrible concept should have never been created.

Re:Perhaps not (-1, Troll)

craigminah (1885846) | about 7 months ago | (#45686977)

Way to lump everyone together...if you know anything of history you'll realize it's the Democrats who are the party of hate and bigotry.

Re:Perhaps not (-1, Flamebait)

meglon (1001833) | about 7 months ago | (#45687169)

Way to lump everyone together...if you know anything of history you'll realize it's the Democrats who are the party of hate and bigotry.

Actually, if you know anything of history you'd realize it's the conservatives, regardless of the party they're affiliated with at the time. Republicans now days like to try to equate the democrats of Lincolns time with today's democrats, but they fail to realize that back then the democrats were the conservatives. It's too bad we don't have some conservatives with integrity who don't lie constantly, try to rewrite history constantly, and never take responsibility.... or maybe some that aren't home schooled to reinforce their bigoted stupidity.

You obviously need to pull your head out of your ass and take a look around at the current state of affairs: republicans have become the party of old, angry, white men who hate anyone with a different skin color, ethnic background, or religion other than christian.

Re:Perhaps not (1)

Oligonicella (659917) | about 7 months ago | (#45687429)

back then the democrats were the conservatives

Yes they were, and Lincoln was a Republican. Democrats wanted things to stay the way they were, with slavery, not without.

Keep in mind they were also the ones against integration in the south later.

No need to rewrite at all.

Re:Perhaps not (5, Insightful)

ShanghaiBill (739463) | about 7 months ago | (#45686987)

This! It's always the racist Republicans in the USA that whine constantly about free speech.

But where do you draw the line? If the government has the authority to arrest someone for hating Jews, then why can't they also arrest you for hating Republicans?

Re:Perhaps not (2)

gandhi_2 (1108023) | about 7 months ago | (#45687049)

Easy. You don't. Because the people never gave YOU the right to draw lines for them. And if you think, well, this one time I'll delegate line-drawing authority on this subject, to these people... you just set the precedent and people you never expected will inherit powers to draw lines you never wanted.

Re:Perhaps not (2)

circletimessquare (444983) | about 7 months ago | (#45687359)

well we can't legalize gay marriage because then we have to legalize marriage to dead people and marriage to dogs

and we can't legalize marijuana because then we have to legalize methamphetamine and heroin

i'm being sarcastic in both statements: those statements, and you, are relying on what is called the slippery slope, which is a logical fallacy

it's also kind of strange to see people using it when arguing against what they perceive as hysteria and fear, since the slippery slope is basically hysteria and fear instead of logic

we draw lines, and we can draw lines, and it's not a big deal

because we think

the slippery slope argument depends upon people not thinking and not being able tell the difference between different topics

if you believe that about people, you might as well give up entirely on reason, law, morality, and civilization too

i understand why the laws exist, as defined within a narrow scope. and i don't believe that scope will change, because i have faith in people's ability to think

look: it's easy for americans to grandstand and showboat on this issue, because they didn't have something happen in the usa within 80 years ago which consumed the lives of millions of people because of a hateful, racist ideology. if that happened in the usa, i'd expect us to have the same laws. i'm glad we don't, but i'm not going to hold it against europeans, because i understand the reason for them having this law

Re: Perhaps not (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#45687457)

you do realize that's what the op effectively said in the form of a rhetorical question to which you just repeated the answer ?

Re:Perhaps not (1, Insightful)

epyT-R (613989) | about 7 months ago | (#45687059)

as opposed to the racist/sexist democrats who blatantly build race/sex-based protectionist law into the system instead? The fact they do this under the guise of fighting discrimination on these attributes makes it doubly galling.

Today Antisemitism Comes From The Left (2, Insightful)

Nova Express (100383) | about 7 months ago | (#45687251)

In the United States, Antisemitism overwhelmingly comes from the political left [washingtonpost.com] , both the Occupy Wall Street crowd and the victimhood identity politics left that regard Islamists and Palestinians as protected species.

There are also significant amounts of Antisemitism among liberal black politicians. Indeed, Jesse Jackson seems to have lost no political influence after calling new York City Hymietown [thecrimson.com] .

These arrests bear this out. (2)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#45687323)

Because the "right" would have had absolutely no issues with the men for tweeting anti-"Arab" messages.

Those "raghead" jokes will always be popular, but woe betide the dumb bastard who ever criticizes Jews or Israel.

It's with enormous regret that I can say this as both a Jew and an Israeli.

Somewhere, sometime we lost whatever tolerance and sense of humor we may once have possessed.

(Yes, I know: Someone will instantly reply "In Auschwitz and Dachau." How astute of you.)

Re:Today Antisemitism Comes From The Left (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#45687325)

Hey when you've got a political axe to grind, Slashdot is as good a place to bash liberals as any other site out there!

Re:Today Antisemitism Comes From The Left (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#45687437)

Last time I checked, it was the Occupy sites which got hijacked by writings about the "Zionist USA".

Now, lets be real here... for someone burning a flag over in Kabul, that writing would be understandable. For someone complaining about student loans or other domestic issues, very few Americans use the term "zionist" in their writings.

Of course, the far right isn't much better. The Tea party also got hijacked and became an advocate for going back to the Gilded Age (which was shown to have nearly destroyed the US in the '20s.)

Re:Today Antisemitism Comes From The Left (3, Insightful)

myowntrueself (607117) | about 7 months ago | (#45687465)

To say that Palestinians have been subjected to a form of genocide at the hands of the state of Israel is hardly 'antisemitism'.

How is it antisemitism? Israel is a nation with a parliament, army, laws. It is not Judaism itself. Much of the population is Jewish and virtually all of the genocide has been conducted by people who happen to be Jews.

But to call it genocide is not being 'against Jews' any more than calling the Nazi-era holocaust genocide is being 'against Germans'. It doesn't make sense in the context of Germany and it just doesn't make sense in the context of Israel.

The people who drive the bulldozers that flatten Palestinian houses and kill old folks who are still in them? I hate them and the fact that they are Jewish makes absolutely no difference to me. Ariel Sharon, who slaughtered Egyptian prisoners of war in cold blood, I hate him and the fact that he is Jewish is completely irrelevant.

Re:Perhaps not (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#45686959)

Yes, because it was free speech that bought on the worst things in history.

When communists came to power, they declared "FREE SPEECH", and people spoke too many things and it ended in disaster. When the National Socialists came to power, they were like "FREE SPEECH" and people spoke, went mad, and it descended into chaos.

Every instance of bad history was preceded by authorities unclamping the gates of free speech and people grabbing their chance and shooting off their mouths randomly, mowing down hundreds to thousands with their words.

Re:Perhaps not (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#45686963)

Or perhaps hate speech should only be a crime when it's directed at a specific person or persons. If you make derogatory comments or threats toward a general group, that's not really hurting anyone.

Re:Perhaps not (1)

cheekyjohnson (1873388) | about 7 months ago | (#45687099)

Or perhaps hate speech should only be a crime when it's directed at a specific person or persons.

I don't really see why you shouldn't be able to insult someone in specific.

If you make derogatory comments or threats toward a general group, that's not really hurting anyone.

Careful. You're giving people who despise free speech some leeway, here. Is offending someone the same as hurting them? I do not believe it should matter whether you offend them or not.

Re:Perhaps not (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#45687137)

Oh, I'm not trying to make the case that "hate speech" should be a crime. In some places it already is, but I consider it a thought crime. All I'm saying is that if it's a crime, it should have a specific "victim." You can't just arrest Mel Gibson for saying bad things about the "!@#$ing Jews."

Re:Perhaps not (1)

epyT-R (613989) | about 7 months ago | (#45687121)

It's already against the law to make threats.. I question whether that's a good idea, because it just gives passive aggressives another outlet to make false accusations.. Laws against 'hate speech' allow even more of this. Fuck that.

I swear, western society is going feral. People need to learn to graduate junior high again, with the lessons they're supposed to learn about handling social adversity intact. The only way this is going to happen is if we take control of school policies away from the soccer moms and the fear mongering politicians they vote for. Thin skins should not be in charge.

Re:Perhaps not (5, Insightful)

Charliemopps (1157495) | about 7 months ago | (#45686965)

Making "racism" illegal is no different that declaring thought crime. When the state can govern your speech and your thought, alls well, as long as you agree with the state. Once you don't, you're fucked. I've always argued, you can easily determine if a law is a good one by the simple thought experiment: "Once we inevitably elect the next tyrant, will this law help or hurt his ascent to power?" What do you think Hitler would have done with such a law? I think it's rather clear.

Re:Perhaps not (5, Informative)

TubeSteak (669689) | about 7 months ago | (#45687135)

Making "racism" illegal is no different that declaring thought crime. When the state can govern your speech and your thought, alls well, as long as you agree with the state.

Europe has some rather strict hate crime laws because of a certain incident that happened during the 30s and 40s.
It'd be nice if they had strong free speech laws, but their history has led them down a different path.

This was the offending tweet

Spurs are on their way to auschwitz
Hitler's gonna gas em again
We can't stop them
The yids from tottenham
The yids from white hart lane

There's also some other related tweets, but they link to pictures that are now gone.

Re:Perhaps not (5, Insightful)

Entropius (188861) | about 7 months ago | (#45687207)

The way I would prefer to make sure that nothing like the Holocaust ever happens again is to publically ridicule the neo-Nazis, not send the police after them. The entire country pointing and saying "You people are crazy and dangerous" is a better safeguard than throwing some folks in jail. (Hitler got thrown in jail too, and look what happened to him...)

You cannot ban your way into removing things from society.

Re:Perhaps not (1, Insightful)

Jah-Wren Ryel (80510) | about 7 months ago | (#45687253)

Europe has some rather strict hate crime laws because of a certain incident that happened during the 30s and 40s.

Seems like they didn't learn from their experience. Just look at how common neo-nazis are in Germany and Austria today.

The lesson Europe should have learned isn't that hate-speech enabled hitler, it was that hitler put words to what a great deal of people already believed. The hate speech wasn't the cause of the problem, it was a symptom. Make it illegal and all they accomplish is to make it harder to diagnose the problem in the future.

Re:Perhaps not (2)

flyingfsck (986395) | about 7 months ago | (#45687343)

They are not common - been there many times and never met one. They only appear on foreign telly.

Re:Perhaps not (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#45687307)

This is a very stupid tweet - it's even so garbled that I can't work out whether its "you're all doomed" or "Spurs going to die gloriously i.e. get as far as the final and then lose". I'm pretty sure its not an argument of any kind for a belief that people of jewish descent or even culture are a threat to anybody else, or inferior, or anything that would attempt to justify violence, let alone the behaviour of Nazi Germany. This is what the so-called anti-racist laws are in fact doing - giving idiots a moment of fame before ruining their lives for a stupid mistake, making the law look an ass, and making any genuinely dangerous racists - who would be very careful to stay just the right side of the law - look like martyrs by association.

Re:Perhaps not (1)

clarkkent09 (1104833) | about 7 months ago | (#45687339)

That's a song fans sing at the game to annoy the Spurs fans. I think it originated with Chelsea fans.

Re:Perhaps not (2, Insightful)

richlv (778496) | about 7 months ago | (#45687401)

Europe has some rather strict hate crime laws because of a certain incident that happened during the 30s and 40s.
It'd be nice if they had strong free speech laws, but their history has led them down a different path.

why do american "news" people say "n-word" ?

Re:Perhaps not (1)

Black LED (1957016) | about 7 months ago | (#45687407)

By doing away with free speech, you become the very thing that you sought to prevent.

Re:Perhaps not (1)

ljw1004 (764174) | about 7 months ago | (#45687397)

"Once we inevitably elect the next tyrant, will this law help or hurt his ascent to power?" What do you think Hitler would have done with such a law? I think it's rather clear.

Rather clear? Yes, he'd have ignored it, because his ascent to power was built on populism and illegal thugs, not on obeying the technicalities of existing laws. Once he got into power, the presence or absence of the law would be irrelevant, because he'd control the judiciary.

I don't see how your thought experiment helps. It just tells us that consideration of tyrants is the wrong way to think about these laws.

Re:Perhaps not (4, Insightful)

HBI (604924) | about 7 months ago | (#45686969)

Perhaps every unthinking idiot who proclaims free speech to be 'mindless' should be reminded that this sort of power is always abused ultimately. It won't be just used to curtail racist speech, but any speech that the authorities dislike. Yet another right that once given away, will have to have much blood spilled to regain.

Re:Perhaps not (1)

sumdumass (711423) | about 7 months ago | (#45687167)

This is so true.

Besides, i prefere to know who the racist are. Words do not hurt anyone unless the are directing violence at someone or something similar. That point is even debatable. But you knowing who the racist are makes it a hell of a lot easier to know who you do not want around and if some action truly is racist rather than circumspect. I mean how do you really know an employer or manager is a racist and the low minority employment rates are not because of that instead of the lack of qualified applicants if you don't let him show his true colors.

Re:Perhaps not (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#45686971)

Fuck you, Jew

Re:Perhaps not (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#45687053)

Hey Tea Party, take that job at McDonalds so you can get out of your mom's house!

Re:Perhaps not (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#45687089)

Hating Jews isn't a Tea Party thing in the US, it is a problem mainly of the Left.

Re:Perhaps not (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#45686975)

Perhaps racist behaviour should be punished independent of any mindless "free speech" worship.

Simon

You don't see a possibility of the government taking advantage of this to suppress dissent?

Suppose you're against a certain immigration law the government is trying to pass... it would be easy to lock up anyone who spoke against it under racial hatred laws

Re:Perhaps not (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#45686981)

Perhaps free speech should be celebrated, independent of any mindless anti-racism worship.

Re:Perhaps not (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#45686985)

You can punish however you like save from kidnapping, inflicting bodily harm, or theft. In which case you committed the much more serious transgression.

Re:Perhaps not (2)

MiKM (752717) | about 7 months ago | (#45687001)

Who gets decide what is racist?

Re:Perhaps not (0)

Charliemopps (1157495) | about 7 months ago | (#45687095)

Oh that's easy... "the majority"

Re:Perhaps not (4, Insightful)

epyT-R (613989) | about 7 months ago | (#45687177)

'The People' of course.. For example, north korea is a 'People's Republic'!

Re:Perhaps not (2, Informative)

Brett Buck (811747) | about 7 months ago | (#45687011)

Perhaps racist behaviour should be punished independent of any mindless "free speech" worship.

        You, sir and or madame, are the worst kind of imbecile. Because as soon as you accept the notion that speech should be censored, you put someone else in the position of deciding which speech is to be censored.

      Yes, that does mean you have to put up with all sort of racists, anti-semites, and plain old lunatics spewing anything they feel like. That's far better than ceding your rights.

Re:Perhaps not (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#45687013)

Mods, please mark parent as Troll.

Re:Perhaps not (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#45687237)

> Mods, please mark parent as Troll.

No. This is a thread about free speech.

You obviously have irony-poor blood.

(Back to modding in this thread ...)

Re:Perhaps not (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#45687309)

Modded "underrated" to spite your stupid face.

Re:Perhaps not (1)

epyT-R (613989) | about 7 months ago | (#45687033)

or, perhaps western society should grow a thicker skin instead of having its governments ruin lives with criminal records just for offhand comments. Coddling these crybabies just give the wannabe tyrants more justification..

Re:Perhaps not (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#45687441)

In Europe a criminal record is not supposed to ruin your live. For example in the Netherlands a company is not allowed to request this information from the judgment department, unless they are required to by law (schools and banks) and only for persons that have specific job position; and then only for specific crimes.

For example I work for a proprietary trading firm as a software engineer. Because I am allowed to be on the trading floor, I am classified as an insider (being able to see the positions the company has in the market). The regulator requires all insiders to be checked for a criminal record with respect to fraud and other money related crimes.

The judgment department has a form where you check which crimes to check for. This form is filled in by the employer, but I personally have to hand it over to the judgement department, therefor I can see which crimes are checked and complain if the wrong ones are checked. Then I receive/see the result of the judgment department, before handing this over to the employer. The result is on pretty paper.

Re:Perhaps not (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#45687193)

I'd prefer an ignorant racist over someone that believes that speech should be governed. You're either an excellent troll or extremely unaware of history and the type of censorship this leads to. I hope it's the former.

Re:Perhaps not (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#45687259)

Perhaps racist behaviour should be punished independent of any mindless "free speech" worship.

Simon

Perhaps you should get yourself a bit more education.

The Jewish people are not a race, they are a group who favor a certain flavor
of religion.

So anti-Semitic tweets, as ill-advised as they may be, have nothing to do with racism.

You. Stupid. Fucking. Twit.

.

Re:Perhaps not (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#45687353)

So where does it end? Once they take away your ability to speak freely about one thing, they'll start taking it away for other things. Give them an inch and they'll take a mile.

Not a problem for long (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#45686931)

Islam could be dominant UK religion in 10 years â" census analysis.

http://rt.com/news/christianity-decline-uk-islam-rise-405/

Re:Not a problem for long (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#45686967)

Christians seeing common sense, lots of immigrants. Mystery solved.

Re:Not a problem for long (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#45687091)

Arrest the Queen, Prince, Princess in UK if that ever happens for Treason of the UK people!

Re:Not a problem for long (1)

epyT-R (613989) | about 7 months ago | (#45687185)

Yes, if the government succeeds in saddling their indigenous population with sufficient disincentives to breed, work, and be prosperous..

Re:Not a problem for long (1)

gagol (583737) | about 7 months ago | (#45687291)

Gotta feed the Queen...

Re:Not a problem for long (1)

gagol (583737) | about 7 months ago | (#45687285)

The great (silent) majority of Muslims who emigrates in the "west" flee the oppressive religious justice system. Sharia is NOT a threat in any way for you, me or any of our neighbours. Stop your ridiculous propaganda and start living with the sane people. If you cant, please check yourself in, cause you need it mate.

Pointless (1)

Saei (3133199) | about 7 months ago | (#45686945)

I'm certain that these arrests won't have the desired effect, and I'd venture a bet that they'll foster feelings similar to those of the original tweets - a verbal Streisand effect. I'm confused what the police (and vicariously, those that push for harsh laws pertaining to what may be tweeted) are trying to accomplish here. This isn't good for anyone.

Again? (3, Interesting)

kintamanimatt (2674243) | about 7 months ago | (#45686955)

Wtf did they say exactly?

It appears Britain is trying to legislate a polite and sterile society rather than a free society. People need thicker skins, not laws to protect their feelings from being hurt.

Re:Again? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#45687065)

Sounds like "fighting words" to me. Already not protected speech in the US, I believe.

Re:Again? (1)

blackraven14250 (902843) | about 7 months ago | (#45687103)

Depends on the context of the hate speech. If you're organizing violence, you're not covered. If you're organizing a peaceful demonstration, you're covered. It's a fine line, but everything below that line is allowed.

I can't find the tweets themselves though, so I couldn't give some insight.

Re:Again? (-1, Troll)

cheekyjohnson (1873388) | about 7 months ago | (#45687149)

Which is a blatant violation of the first amendment.

Re:Again? (0)

gagol (583737) | about 7 months ago | (#45687317)

Nice of you to assume everybody in UK have dual US citizenship... get a fuc**ng clue and learn to understand what you read.

Illegal to be racist? (1)

Pro923 (1447307) | about 7 months ago | (#45686973)

How can it be illegal to be racist? I mean - I know it's socially unacceptable and personally I know it's wrong to be racist - but illegal?

Re:Illegal to be racist? (1)

Suiggy (1544213) | about 7 months ago | (#45687047)

Antisemitic behavior got you the death sentence in the Soviet Union. Watch your tongue, goy.

Re:Illegal to be racist? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#45687131)

You know very little indeed.

Re:Illegal to be racist? (1, Troll)

epyT-R (613989) | about 7 months ago | (#45687163)

Easy. Just cultivate a group of people who are easily butthurt, or one that forms a 'survivor-guilt' bond over the 'plight' of another, demand criminal punishments for 'objectionable' behavior. This is the primary functional dynamic of left wing identity politics.

The remedy (1)

BobMcD (601576) | about 7 months ago | (#45687057)

The remedy to unwanted speech is speech. And only speech. Any other efforts go towards some purpose other than remedying unwanted speech.

Laws alone don't prevent arrest (4, Interesting)

mysidia (191772) | about 7 months ago | (#45687077)

Perhaps the British should also work on reforming their laws on free speech (or lack thereof)."

You could be arrested for the same activity in the US under the 18 USC 245 -- Federally protected activities, act. There is the first amendment, but there is some separation between constitutional theory, and law enforcement fact. You might or might not ultimately prevail incourt.

(b) Whoever, whether or not acting under color of law, by force or threat of force willfully injures, intimidates or interferes with, or attempts to injure, intimidate or interfere with ....

(2) any person because of his race, color, religion or national origin and because he is or has been—

(F) enjoying the goods, services, facilities, privileges, advantages, or accommodations of any inn, hotel, motel, [...] , or of any motion picture house, theater, concert hall, sports arena, stadium, or any other place of exhibition or entertainment which serves the public, or of any other establishment which serves the public and ....

shall be fined under this title, or imprisoned not more than one year, or both

Re:Laws alone don't prevent arrest (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#45687111)

Not applicable. These guys tweeted something that is supposed to be so racist that they were all arrested. That doesn't do the thing you said- they weren't screaming at a stadium or anything. Also note that one of the teams is closely associated with Jews for some reason that I guess makes sense if you are British, so these guys were probably not REALLY saying anything more than "fuck the Raiders".

Re:Laws alone don't prevent arrest (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#45687229)

Note the past tense -- "has been". It means doing the bad stuff above because someone was, at one point in the past, both (a) a different race/color/religion/national-origin than you, and (b) using the services of a sports arena or stadium.

I could, hypothetically, say the words "Christianity is a myth" and be arrested under 18 USC 245. All you need is to have a different religion from me, and claim I made you feel "intimidated" or I "interfered" with you.

Re:Laws alone don't prevent arrest (1)

Dunbal (464142) | about 7 months ago | (#45687275)

Yeah, this is a clear case of the new anti-terrorism powers being abused once again. That's what happens when you give power to mean people. They abuse it. It gives their life meaning to make your life miserable, because they can. The age of tyranny has well and truly begun. It's only going downhill from here.

Re:Laws alone don't prevent arrest (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#45687419)

This has nothing to do with anti-terrorism legislation. The arrests were made under section 18 of the Public Order Act 1986:

(1)A person who uses threatening, abusive or insulting words or behaviour, or displays any written material which is threatening, abusive or insulting, is guilty of an offence if—
(a)he intends thereby to stir up racial hatred, or
(b)having regard to all the circumstances racial hatred is likely to be stirred up thereby.

Re:Laws alone don't prevent arrest (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#45687195)

You should read that law more carefully. That really only applies for very specific cases - employment for example. Or a sporting venue denying you admission because of race, etc.

Re:Laws alone don't prevent arrest (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#45687463)

No, you can't get arrested merely for tweeting vaguely racist comments in the US. What you don't know is that in the US, there are several factors that go into making an arrest. When no officer of the court is on-hand to witness the crime, the alleged crime needs to be investigated. Depending upon the type of crime, this can involve several people with various discretionary powers. The various checks in the system (the "paperwork") would generally make first amendment cases difficult to lead to an arrest. Arbitrary use of police power largely happens with street crime in front of witnesses, not stuff like this.

Endless legal well (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#45687127)

Like it or not, everyone is to some degree racist. It's a byproduct of evolution and protecting "DNA like mine".

One doesn't need to act upon it. One doesn't need to even talk in support of it. But prosecuting for an off-the-cuff remark is very close to prosecuting for thoughts, and everyone has that thought at one point or another. Everyone being guilty may be profitable for some in locales now with essentially for-profit corporate "crime management", but it isn't a sane basis for setting a legal bar if the interests of the populace is the objective.

Intolerance will not be tolerated. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#45687155)

Intolerance to racism is just as bad as the racists being intolerant of other races.

Actually it could even be argued that the state is more wrong here.
It has a responsibility to be BETTER than the racists. And instead they prove they are not.
And are simply enforcing a view under threat of law. Might makes right.
A much worse view than just being racist...

You're not helping.

This is why I don't use Twitter (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#45687173)

My racial hatred is confined to family gathering where I can blame it on my own blood and the alcohol provided.

Posted by a typical American? (1, Interesting)

mishehu (712452) | about 7 months ago | (#45687213)

"Perhaps the British should also work on reforming their laws on free speech (or lack thereof)." -- While I am all in support of the right of free speech (excluding the "yelling fire in a crowded theater kind"), isn't it a bit pretentious for somebody not a citizen or residing within a given country to tell them they need to work at making their laws more like your own? If I'm not mistaken, in a strict legal sense, the USA is amongst the minority.

Re:Posted by a typical American? (4, Interesting)

cheekyjohnson (1873388) | about 7 months ago | (#45687281)

isn't it a bit pretentious for somebody not a citizen or residing within a given country to tell them they need to work at making their laws more like your own?

I don't think so. Criticizing someone when you think they're doing something wrong is perfectly acceptable to me. A country isn't immune from criticism just because you don't live in it.

Re:Posted by a typical American? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#45687295)

If I'm not mistaken, in a strict legal sense, the USA is amongst the minority.

Since when does "being in the minority" mean something is less valid or less just ?

All you have revealed is your own pathetic personal limitations which involve
an unfortunate combination of ignorance and groupthink.

Re:Posted by a typical American? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#45687301)

> While I am all in support of the right of free speech (excluding the "yelling fire in a crowded theater kind")

I never understood the argument against yelling "fire" in a crowded theater. If there's a fire, you're supposed to pull the fire alarm, right? Which is basically the same as yelling "fire" if you want to warn people to get out. Is it really more dangerous to yell "fire" when there isn't a fire, than when there *is* one??

Re:Posted by a typical American? (1)

rjh (40933) | about 7 months ago | (#45687391)

If you yell "fire" in a crowded theater where there is no fire, you have taken a safe situation and turned it into an immensely dangerous one.

If you yell "fire" in a crowded theater where there is a fire, you are attempting -- as best you can -- to mitigate the risk of an immensely dangerous situation.

The law prohibits shouting "fire" in a crowded theater where there is no fire present. There is no law against alerting your fellow patrons to the fact the building is on fire.

Re:Posted by a typical American? (1)

Mr. Slippery (47854) | about 7 months ago | (#45687349)

...isn't it a bit pretentious for somebody not a citizen or residing within a given country to tell them they need to work at making their laws more like your own?

Boy, it sure was pretentious of citizens of other countries to tell South Africa that it should let Nelson Mandela out of jail and end apartheid. Or citizens of counties outside of China to express disappointment over the whole tank think in Tienanmen Square. Or, you know, the Holocaust, wasn't that an internal matter for German law to decide?

Seriously? Is that the argument you're making?

Re:Posted by a typical American? (3, Informative)

rjh (40933) | about 7 months ago | (#45687375)

I agree with you. I get quite irritated when people in the UK tell me we should emulate them in gun control laws, healthcare laws, or their habit of dropping random 'u's in words where they clearly don't belong. Courtesy requires I refrain from telling the UK how they ought pattern their free speech laws on our First Amendment.

It is enough to say that I am pleased to live where I do, and that I believe the evils of generally-unregulated free speech are far far outweighed by the good.

Free speech (4, Insightful)

Any Web Loco (555458) | about 7 months ago | (#45687269)

Perhaps the British should also work on reforming their laws on free speech (or lack thereof).

The British (and the Europeans) have perfectly adequate laws against hate-speech, which is what these comments were likely caught by. Just because you don't know what those laws are, understand how or why they came about, or how their application works, doesn't mean they necessarily need to be reformed.

Re:Free speech (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#45687329)

Perhaps the reformed laws shouldn't be related to free speech, but to police actions, prosecutions and sufficient conditions for application of criminal laws. Based on that reuters piece, the sufficient condition is one word. That's similar to the harshness an uncle in NK could face after saying one wrong word during family dinner.

Re:Free speech (1)

Mr. Slippery (47854) | about 7 months ago | (#45687361)

The British (and the Europeans) have perfectly adequate laws against hate-speech

There is no such thing as an "adequate" law against any content of speech. Censorship is obscene. It's a shame that many British (and Europeans, and some Americans) don't understand that when you threaten someone at gunpoint (which is what an arrest is) for the content of their speech, you're doing thing much more evil than any speech can be.

In the UK (1)

AftanGustur (7715) | about 7 months ago | (#45687367)

Your freedom stops where other people's hurt feelings begin.

americans like to fight (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#45687411)

In the US hateful speech is prosecuted by society. The outcome (censure) is exactly the same as if the govt prosecuted it, but society takes longer and exacts more pain and suffering for everyone involved. Take the example of Keegstra in Canada. He taught schoolchildren in Alberta that the holocaust didn't happen etc. Naturally people were outraged, and the gov't --- which belongs to the people --- prosecuted him. As a result Keegstra got his day in court. In court you have to take responsibility for what you say. If you speak the truth, then no worries, the truth is an absolute defense. Also, hate speech has a close legal definition, it doesn't mean speech Bob doesn't like hearing from Bill. If what you say is not legally hateful, then again, no worries. OTOH if you reveal yourself to be an ignorant bigot, then everyone learns exactly why you're an ignorant bigot, and you have a problem. Keegstra had a problem. He was found guilty and sentenced to 100 years in solitary confinement. No I'm just kidding. People don't go to jail for jibber jabber in Canada. Keegstra paid a fine and can never teach again. That's basically the last anyone has heard of him. It's the perfect outcome. If Keegstra pulled that stunt in the US you'd probably still be fighting a cultural war he started and that only people like him want, and that's just stupid.

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