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EU Anti-Hate Laws On The Web

timothy posted more than 11 years ago | from the they-must-hate-speech dept.

Censorship 589

coupco writes "The European Union's Council of Europe passes a measure that would make hate speech on the web illegal, and subject to banning and filtering. A story on Wired News explains the How and Why."

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I hate the EU (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#4633074)

I really hate them

I hate you (1)

CableModemSniper (556285) | more than 11 years ago | (#4633162)

I really hate you. Ooo and heres a hyperlink [slashdot.org] to hatespeech.

I HATE THIS ARTICLE! (4, Funny)

ekrout (139379) | more than 11 years ago | (#4633075)

Per recently enacted anti-hate laws, this page must therefore be removed immediately!

Re:I HATE THIS ARTICLE! (-1)

Yr0 (224662) | more than 11 years ago | (#4633084)

i hate you, therefore you must be removed.
BEGONE! OUT i say, OUT!

Re:I HATE THIS ARTICLE! (-1)

YourMissionForToday (556292) | more than 11 years ago | (#4633104)

Hello there. Nice to see a fine upstanding citizen such as yourself still freqenting this site.

Re:I HATE THIS ARTICLE! (-1)

Yr0 (224662) | more than 11 years ago | (#4633145)

why, thank you.

Re:I HATE THIS ARTICLE! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#4633160)

First, it is not yet enacted.

Second, the article is not a person or group of persons and you are not inciting hatred or violence based on religion, ethnicism, or any of the other reasons named.

Just curious... (3, Interesting)

tuxracer (622175) | more than 11 years ago | (#4633076)

Who gets to decide what is considered "Hate Speech"?

Re:Just curious... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#4633099)

Who gets to decide what is considered "Hate Speech"?


Most likely the lowest common denominator, which means that this drama will soon be playing in the theater of the absurd.

Re:Just curious... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#4633129)

European government officials. Why you ask? Because they are so much more in tune with thought than the sheep they govern. Such is the way of any big government - absolute power corrupting.

Re:Just curious... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#4633310)

No. It's a protocol, not a law. Protocols are enacted by elected national parliaments. That means that the UK (for example) will implement it's own version of the Protocol, UK police will police the law, and UK courts will enforce it. Yes, you can end up at the European Court of Human Rights over the national law, but you can end up there anyway, protocol or no protocol.

Re:Just curious... (3, Funny)

dattaway (3088) | more than 11 years ago | (#4633135)

This guy [somethingawful.com] might be illegal.

Re:Just curious... (1)

the_2nd_coming (444906) | more than 11 years ago | (#4633316)

yeah..nice...I just went over to the interweb site of this old codger who cannot get his terms correct :-p

Re:Just curious... (2)

demaria (122790) | more than 11 years ago | (#4633138)

my Big Brother does. Duh.

Re:Just curious... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#4633175)

The various European judges, of course. Who else?

Re:Just curious... (4, Funny)

jejones (115979) | more than 11 years ago | (#4633200)

Who gets to decide what is considered "Hate Speech"?

Isn't that Minitru's job?

EU banning and censoring a la Communist Russia (-1)

Anomymous Coward (303315) | more than 11 years ago | (#4633082)

More evidence that the leftists in charge of the EU are no different than those formerly in charge of the Soviet Union.

Freedom takes a back seat to political correctness.

Hate speech on the web? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#4633085)

That's a shame. I hope I'm not affected.

Damn Europeans (0, Flamebait)

elite lamer (533654) | more than 11 years ago | (#4633088)

Oh, so the European Union gets to decide what's good for the word? I hate that. Oops...I mean, I respect all humans equally. Even those who try to make decisions that affect people they don't govern over, such as Europeans affecting the way Japanese can access the internet.

Re:Damn Europeans (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#4633196)

Oh, so the European Union gets to decide what's good for the word?

Been following what's been going on in the UN Secuirty Council lately?

Re:Damn Europeans (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#4633197)

Actually, in countries outside the USA it is normal to create laws that apply only to their own subjects. I see how this may be a source of confusion to a US citizen, though...

Boy, you Europeans sure do suck. (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#4633093)

I mean it.

--Joe Americano

Gender/sexual orientation? (5, Interesting)

Pyromage (19360) | more than 11 years ago | (#4633096)

Aside from the fact that this is an affront to free speech (Which I'm sure everyone else here will cover just fine), did anyone notice that they allow you to promote hatred against people based on sexual orientation or gender?

The quote nicely omits these. Now, provisions for that may be elsewhere in the amendment, but it belongs in that sentance; seperating it is poor writing.

Is the EU is telling its citizens who they can hate?

There's something very wrong here.

Re:Gender/sexual orientation? (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#4633136)

Is the EU is telling its citizens who they can hate?

Exactly, they should hate everyone equally.

Re:Gender/sexual orientation? (5, Interesting)

GigsVT (208848) | more than 11 years ago | (#4633144)

Hate laws are inherently that way.

Maybe I hate people that have red hair or something... and I start a group of people that also hate people with red hair, and we make sure that none of those kind of people can work for any member of my group that owns a business, etc...

It's all or nothing. Once you butt into private industry, private speech, and start mandating tolerance, it's all over.

Hate "crimes" are inherently though crimes. They punish you additionally for what you think, rather than only based on what you do. Soon we will be able to harness the rotational energy from Orwell's grave to solve all world energy problems.

Re:Gender/sexual orientation? (1)

CableModemSniper (556285) | more than 11 years ago | (#4633182)

Soon we will be able to harness the rotational energy from Orwell's grave to solve all world energy problems.

Oh my god that was beautiful. Mind if I make it my sig? Properly credited of course.

Re:Gender/sexual orientation? (1)

GigsVT (208848) | more than 11 years ago | (#4633229)

Go ahead, if it will fit :)

Re:Gender/sexual orientation? (4, Insightful)

Soko (17987) | more than 11 years ago | (#4633232)

Hate "crimes" are inherently though crimes. They punish you additionally for what you think, rather than only based on what you do. Soon we will be able to harness the rotational energy from Orwell's grave to solve all world energy problems.

I tend to think of Hate laws as anti-propoganda laws. Here in Canada we have anti-hate laws, and they seem to work well. The haterd isn't illegal, it's the spreading of your, umm, "theory" by lies and deciet that you are held accountable for. IOW, you can type "I don't think the Holocaust happened." and it will likley not get you in legal hot water, but "The Holocaust didn't happen and the Jews..." likley would, since you are deliberately trying to mislead someone into hating another ethnic group based on falsehoods.

Hatred spreads the same way our friends in Redmond try to discredit thier compeditors - by trying to teach everyone that others are bad through FUD. If we try to make the teaching of hatred carry some legal repercussions, the falsehoods will soon end, as well as the hatred and discrimination that come from spreading those falsehoods. This is an attepmt to "cut off the air supply" of discrimination at it's source.

Hey, say whatever the hell you want - it's a free country. I only ask 2 things - make sure I know it's only your opinion (unless you have iron clad, set in stone hard proof to back up your statements) and don't lie to me just to further your point. I hope this is the essence of the laws they try to enact, not the "thought police" like you suspect.

Re:Gender/sexual orientation? (5, Insightful)

GigsVT (208848) | more than 11 years ago | (#4633318)

The haterd isn't illegal, it's the spreading of your, umm, "theory" by lies and deciet that you are held accountable for. IOW, you can type "I don't think the Holocaust happened."

But so what if someone thinks the halocaust didn't happen? So what even if they present it as fact? Most (if not all) of the history books used in school have many outright lies and inaccuracies that reflect the bias of the publisher.

The government of all countries have outright lied to the people many times, and been caught and even admitted the lie years later. If all deceptive propaganda were banned, only the government would be able to use said propaganda. Is that the way you want it to be?

You also seem to be confusing propaganda with deceptive propaganda. Propaganda takes many forms [turnerlearning.com] , not all of it involves deception. Propaganda is used every day by governments, companies, groups, and individuals.

So lets say that these hate laws are carefully crafted to end deceptive propaganda... That won't end what most consider "hate speech" by a long shot.

Suppose I put up a web site that says "Almost half [ncianet.org] the young nigger men in Washington DC are criminals." That is a fact, not a lie or even an opinion. It would still be considered by most as "hate speech", because of the connotations of the words I use.

I don't see any reasonable way to have any hate speech legislation at all, without repugnant repercussions to liberty.

Re:Gender/sexual orientation? (2, Interesting)

Gizzmonic (412910) | more than 11 years ago | (#4633295)

It's all or nothing. Once you butt into private industry, private speech, and start mandating tolerance, it's all over.

Typical binary thinking by someone who doesn't have to have his philosophies tested in the real world.

The fact is, laws that "mandate tolerance," such as civil rights legislation, have done much to remove the artificial barriers that kept Blacks and other minorities from succeeding in the workplace.

We here in the US might gripe about the dissolution of "free speech." Our European friends may gently remind us that it's a luxury to debate philosophy when they have some pretty hard evidence that the "hate speech" websites help violent government dissidents to organize.

The US recently arrested a citizen who was making a website for Al-Qaeda. Is this occassion for the melodramatic libertarians to trot out the "1984" FUD again? Or is it possible that this person may have some valuable information? Don't forget, it's (at the very least) selfish to tell others how to run their life when you can't even get your own together.

common sense (1)

bouis (198138) | more than 11 years ago | (#4633147)

Modern politically-correct language considers gender "the behavioral, cultural, or psychological traits typically associated with one sex" to borrow from M-W.com. This is seperate it from "sex," which refers to being physically male or female.

Thus, gender, along with sexual orientation, is now a choice. I'd hate to live in a world where you can't discriminate based on peoples' choices.

Duh (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#4633236)

They allow you to promote hatred against people based on "sex" as well. You have no point.

If this is so, (1)

bouis (198138) | more than 11 years ago | (#4633252)

Then it isn't fair to blame me because their laws make no sense, my friend. Besides, it wasn't central to my "point," but merely complimentary.

OMF!!! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#4633097)

Fascism is taking over Europe.

And I live in spain... :(

Re:OMF!!! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#4633165)

If you live in Spain, you should be used to living under a Fascist dictator.

Bah dum dum!

Life is too complex (4, Funny)

ekrout (139379) | more than 11 years ago | (#4633101)

If you hate everyone you get punished by the EU.
If you love everyone you get STDs.
Where's the happy medium?!

Re:Where's the happy medium?! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#4633188)

Geekiness.

Re:Life is too complex (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#4633224)

the happy medium is loving yourself and ignoring everyone else

Same old problem applies (2)

gatesh8r (182908) | more than 11 years ago | (#4633102)

"What if the statement resides outside of the European Union? Who gets to censor it, huh?"

Re:Same old problem applies (1)

Draigon (172034) | more than 11 years ago | (#4633176)

Somehow this makes me think that eventually countries will consider international websites as essentially visiting another country and if you break the law it's as if you were exiled.

Punishments for virtual defecting and high treason coming soon to a nation near you.

Great way to keep political power... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#4633108)

If I were in power, I could just rule that opposition to my policies constitutes hate speech and muzzle those that want to end my rule. Brilliant idea!

Re:Great way to keep political power... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#4633225)

They've been doing it since the end of WWII. Try flying a nazi flag in Berlin, or start singing fascist songs in Rome wearing a black shirt. No surprise in Europe we have rather large "communist" political parties.

The EU (1)

GigsVT (208848) | more than 11 years ago | (#4633113)

When all this EU stuff started, everyone was talking about how it would only deal with making uniform commercial codes, and trade easier, the Euro and all that..

When did it get the power to pass laws such as this?

I'm glad I'm not in Europe... I would have fought this EU thing tooth and nail. Is there widespread dissent about the EU? If there is, it's sure not being reported over here in the US.

Re:The EU (2, Insightful)

Haer (617865) | more than 11 years ago | (#4633203)

In Britain there is, Im not sure about on the continenet but I get the idea its seen as a good thing in France/Germany. Over here theres a feeling we dont want to have our lives controlled by brussels/paris, and especially the tabloid newspapers are anti EU. One thing that should be pointed out is that this does nt mean all countries in the EU have now banned hate websites - This is just an advisory thing and if its upto individual members if they make it law(some already have). Im skeptical about it would become law here in Britain, we dont generally go for this kind of thing.

Re:The EU (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#4633250)

Oddly enough, the US has the same problem with the rest of the world.

PS isn't the news going to be empty, now that hate speech has been banned? I mean, GWB *hates* them damn eye-racks!

Re:The EU (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#4633277)

There sure is. The only problem is that somwhere along the road someone forgot about the people, and most people don't care. We're almost heading towards beeing USA..

Re:The EU (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#4633292)

No, there isn't - in fact a great many countries are queueing up to join.

Many EU countries have had anti-hate-speech laws since, ohh, the end of World War 2. It only tends to bother the maniacs who think we should go for a third attempt, since the first two obviously didn't finish the job (what 'the job' is depends on the group, but ethnic cleansing is usually a pretty good bet).

I am bothered by the fences that are appearing on the web - blocking certain ports by certain countries, automatic filtering of content at national borders, all that is inherently evil. I am not at all bothered by an attempt to outlaw the publication of the vile thoughts of the neo-nazi's. And FYI: I do not believe this is a slippery slope we are on.

Honest advice: try visiting the EU sometime. It is unlikely to get you killed, and you might learn that it is actually not all that different from the USA.

E.U. strategy to limit scary ideas. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#4633114)

"If European countries adopt the (anti-racism) amendment of the European Council in their legislatures, they'll also be able to block websites from the U.S.A., despite the First Amendment."

If you shut your eyes, they will disappear!

Censorship (5, Insightful)

wkitchen (581276) | more than 11 years ago | (#4633119)

Even though racial, sexual, national, religious, and other kinds of bigotry disgust me, I still think that censorship is a bigger threat than the speech it's supposed to protect us from. The same freedom of speech that lets the KKK spread it's evil ideas lets the rest of us oppose them.

I HATE... (0)

Ballresin (398599) | more than 11 years ago | (#4633126)

I absolutely cannot stand those anti-hate laws.

So much, that I HATE them!

Ugh.... A Bad Idea, With Only Bad Alternatives. (5, Insightful)

Bowie J. Poag (16898) | more than 11 years ago | (#4633127)



While I wish hate groups would dry up and piss off as much as the next guy, enacting a law like this is probably a bad move... As it leaves the definition of "hate speech" wide open, to be dictated by people in a position of power, rather than leaving it up to individual ISPs. Its a slippery slope, kids. Before you know it, anyone who has anything even remotely objectionable to say, right or wrong, will end up having a government-issue sock shoved in his mouth.

Fuck that.

Cheers,

Re:Ugh.... A Bad Idea, With Only Bad Alternatives. (2)

Fnkmaster (89084) | more than 11 years ago | (#4633217)

Well, you are right that this is not good legislative practice, but I disagree on the slippery slope side. In general the "slippery slope" is considered a logical fallacy, and for good reason. There is no such thing as absolutely unfettered free speech in any functioning society, and not every society that restricts free speech ends up like Iraq or North Korea. Even in the US we have restrictions - it's just that in my opinion, our restrictions are well developed in years (centuries) of jurisprudence. Things like slander, libel, fraud are all forms of illegal speech, shouting "fire" in a crowded theater and other forms of speech that serve not for the purpose of argument or discourse but to cause immediate, direct harmful results to people (i.e. they are legally considered "action" rather than "speech") and so on and so forth.


Leaving it up to ISPs is nice, but the only reason any ISP would ever restrict anything is fear of civil or criminal lawsuits and preserving bandwidth. They don't give a rat's ass about social responsibility for its own sake. And there are things that SHOULDN'T be legal to publish on the web or anywhere (for example, hit lists of abortion providers that encourage murder and provide names and addresses to assist in the commission of a crime).


If Europe wants to make "hate speech" illegal, they should make clear what the exact standards are and how they still allow for reasonable debate and discussion of all issues. If the public feels those standards are appropriate for all forums of discussion, then they are within their rights to ban European servers and ISPs from carrying material in violation of their laws. Democracy is tyranny by the majority. I don't like it either, which is why I don't consider myself a democrat (little D).

Should we ban phone books? (2)

DAldredge (2353) | more than 11 years ago | (#4633243)

Well?
They "provide names and addresses to assist in the commission of a crime".

Re:Should we ban phone books? (2)

Fnkmaster (89084) | more than 11 years ago | (#4633268)

Yes, of course that's the same thing. When you put words along the lines of "Hit List" or "Top Ten Most Wanted Baby Killers" and have blood spattered images and check marks next to deceased doctors, don't you think the _context_ is a bit different? In the same way, yelling "Fire!" when you are alone in a forest is the same verbal intonation you might make in a crowded theater, yet one is an illegal act due to the context. Context is sometimes more important than content when it comes to first amendment jurisprudence, as it should be, since the same words can mean different things and result in VERY different consequences depending on when, how and where they are used.

This a good thing (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#4633132)

Hate speech is illegal out side the internet and should be applied on the internet.

CoE != EU (5, Informative)

jas79 (196511) | more than 11 years ago | (#4633133)

The article talks about the council of europe and not about the european union. They aren't the same.
The EU has less members than the Council of Europe and got more policitcal influence.

Catch 22 (4, Insightful)

freeweed (309734) | more than 11 years ago | (#4633139)

You just have to love laws like this. It's impossible to even question them - any website which argues against them is just further hate literature. After all, who wouldn't want this type of speech banned, unless they were going to be doing it themselves?

Sometimes, at the end of the day, I still think that at least the US has it sort of right - free speech is free speech. No ifs, ands, or buts. (I realize in practice that this isn't always the case).

Re:Catch 22 (1)

praxim (117485) | more than 11 years ago | (#4633177)

I wouldn't want this kind of speech banned, but not because I intend to practice it myself. I just don't think it's good to let a government dictate what individuals can and cannot say (yes, I know there are many laws which do this for other types of speech).

Re:Catch 22 (1)

Draigon (172034) | more than 11 years ago | (#4633251)

Quote from article:
---
Specifically, the amendment bans "any written material, any image or any other representation of ideas or theories, which advocates, promotes or incites hatred, discrimination or violence, against any individual or group of individuals, based on race, colour, descent or national or ethnic origin, as well as religion if used as pretext for any of these factors."
---

The definition of the law makes the law itself illegal if it entices you to hate Council of Europe and the religions that support the law. Right? :P

Re:Catch 22 (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#4633253)

You're right, if I put a website saying those laws are unfair, they'll close it and maybe arrest me on the grounds that I spoke in favor of hatred.

Europe has never - and will never - have free speech. On the other hand, the USoA has little to argue about it. Since 9/11 your freedom of speech has been reduced dramatically.

Blame the left (2, Interesting)

ArchieBunker (132337) | more than 11 years ago | (#4633140)

See what happens when things move too far to the left? Now you can't call anyone in europe a nigger/honky/kike etc etc. I wonder if you are still allowed to buy Tupac's "for my niggaz" cd.

Re:Blame the left (1)

csmorris (610681) | more than 11 years ago | (#4633241)

Shhhh, such speech is doubleplus-ungood. Here, have a goodthink *offers pill*

such specific guidelines.... (1)

tx_mgm (82188) | more than 11 years ago | (#4633142)

so, according to the article, from now on sites cannot deny, play down, praise or justify the holocaust.
for all you europeans out there, cut and paste this sentence into your website so that you dont get arrested. (remember, not saying anything at all is denial):
the holocaust happened and it was a bad thing.

That Sucks for Me (1)

cs668 (89484) | more than 11 years ago | (#4633146)

I hate Everyone!!!

Think about the children! (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#4633150)

So no more Microsoft bashing? But what are we supposed to do in our free time?

Re:Think about the children! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#4633271)

Fortunately, technology is not a ground from which hate speech will be banned.

Specifically, the amendment bans "any written material, any image or any other representation of ideas or theories, which advocates, promotes or incites hatred, discrimination or violence, against any individual or group of individuals, based on
race colour, descent or national or ethnic origin, as well as religion if used as pretext for any of these factors."

(emphasis mine)

Unless you consider technological preference == religion, of course, :-)

First amendment. (5, Insightful)

red5 (51324) | more than 11 years ago | (#4633153)

they'll also be able to block websites from the U.S.A., despite the First Amendment.

Of course they will be able. Why should the first amendment carry any weight outside the US. Are americans really that arrogant as to assume the US constitution applies to every country in the world?

Re:First amendment. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#4633245)

Yes. Yes they are.

Think about it. American media constantly props up the United States as being the most powerful country in the world..which may very well be true, but is beside the point. Most Americans are so arrogant that yes, they believe that their way is the only way..that anyone who opposes them is either insane or asking for, and deserving of, trouble -- whether that be through the starvation of their people through bullying sanctions, or through the more simple and clear-cut slaughter of their armies, their citizens, and their way of life. The American government and people would like nothing more than the whole world at their fingertips -- or on their knees, depending on your view -- looking just like them, living just like them. No diversity, no culture save for their own bastardization of the word.

Re:First amendment. (2)

sconeu (64226) | more than 11 years ago | (#4633297)

Actually, while I think they're stupid for banning stuff like that, that's fine.

If they want to block US web content, so be it, so long as THEY do it. Don't make US ISPs or websites censor themselves to fit your stupid censorship.

Re:First amendment. (0, Flamebait)

jxs2151 (554138) | more than 11 years ago | (#4633319)

Why should the first amendment carry any weight outside the US

Yeah, you're right. We'll just sit back and watch those who aren't fortunate enough to be protected by a constitution that guarantees the right to object to the constitution wallow in the shithole they are headed toward.

You just keep sitting over there worrying about the 'arrogance' of Americans while the walls crumble around you. It sure looks like to me you should be more worried about your own house instead of whining about the 'unilateralism' of the US.

OTOH, the EU continues to provide Americans a scary glimpse into what we could become if we aren't careful. Thanks!

Now we know what the root DNS atttack was for. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#4633155)

The root DNS attack was likely a test to ensure the root DNS servers could be shut down if the US doesn't comply with this new EU law. After all, if the choice is between the first amendment, and the internet itself, the US will likely choose the internet. After all, if the EU can effectively shut the internet down, and cause lots of economic damgae (lost sales, mostly), how long would the US last before finally giving in to the EU.

Re:Now we know what the root DNS atttack was for. (1)

ensjoeski (209876) | more than 11 years ago | (#4633189)

That's the stupidest thing I'ver ever heard in my life.

legislation exists to subvert this... (5, Informative)

joebeone (620917) | more than 11 years ago | (#4633157)

With the newly proposed Office of Global Internet Freedom [wired.com] , we may actually end up spending taxpayer dollars to subvert any kind of filtering that the EU enacts on US hate sites (which are roughly 63% of all hate sites on the Internet according to the EU).

I hate... (1, Redundant)

Istealmymusic (573079) | more than 11 years ago | (#4633163)

...anti-hate laws.

This could be fun (1)

Loco3KGT (141999) | more than 11 years ago | (#4633166)

U.S. Constitution vs the EU.

Who would win?

What if the Constitution was named Ditka?

Re:This could be fun (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#4633288)

Who would win?

Nobody, as the US constitution affects only US citizens and this EU law would affect only EU citizens. You can still upload your KKK fan page, you won't be held accoutable by EU law.

Good. (-1, Troll)

SexyKellyOsbourne (606860) | more than 11 years ago | (#4633167)

I'm sorry, but racists, sexists, and homophobes are outright scum! If someone actively goes out of their way to tell people that 90% of the world's population should be enslaved or that the best thing they can do is kill someone because of their skin color, religion, ethnic background, immigration status, sexual orientation, disability, etc., they have forfeited their rights to free speech.

They deserve no rights to spread their violence-inducing propaganda against the most disadvantaged of society through sites such as Stormfront [stormfront.org] .

There is no positive aspect to hate speech, and many of its defenders are closet racists themselves. Those who would claim the supremeacy of "free speech" obviously believe that James Byrd or Matthew Shepard deserve no legal protection against racists and homophobes, and such vile hatemongers should be tolerated. Hate speech is an abuse of free speech and that people's lives are more important than the right of someone to publicly encourage others to target certain groups for a campaign of murder, rape, assault and terror.

Words may not hurt, but when people begin acting on the words of hate speech spreading like cancer on the internet, then the damage is done. Free speech shouldn't endanger people's lives. One can't yell "Fire!" in a crowded theatre, because people will probably get hurt trying to get out.

Hate speech acts in the same way - by trying to make certain kinds of people seem less than human and by glorifying violent acts against them - it's just a matter of time before a follower or supporter of a hate group puts words into action.

Re:Good. (3, Insightful)

mickwd (196449) | more than 11 years ago | (#4633226)

You used Stormfront as an example of the sort of hate sites out there. If we follow that link, and go to the site, we can see the sort of crap they're trying to peddle.

However, if this measure is passed, we in Europe will no longer be able to go to that sort of site to see what they're talking about. We won't be able to see the sort of hate they're peddling. We'll just have to accept the vague words of whoever banned the site: "Oh, it's nasty stuff, and you don't want to be looking at stuff like that - so don't worry, we're protecting you from it".

By providing a link to an example - a link which this law will outlaw - you've proved just how silly the law is.

Re:Good. (2)

Shelled (81123) | more than 11 years ago | (#4633227)

Sorry (if you really are) Kelly, if everyone thought as you did your dad would never have been allowed on stage or your family on TV. He was considered satanic in the seventies and by definition hateful. The same freedom of expression rights that protect the white power example protected Black Sabbath. The only proper way to counter harmful ideologies is with argument and education.

Re:Good. (4, Insightful)

praxim (117485) | more than 11 years ago | (#4633230)

I have to defend hate speech precisely because I don't agree with it and think it is completely valueless; I wouldn't want anyone restricting my right to free speech because they think what I say is valueless. The most important factor in a society where freedom of speech is widespread is education, though education can only go so far- I know plenty of educated idiots.

I grew up in Virginia Beach and New York City. Everyone I knew- all of my friends and neighbors- was black. Then I moved to N.E. Pennsylvania and was exposed to an awful lot of racism. Did it cause me to become racist myself? No, I knew better. Exposure to hate speech does not guarantee the development of racist attitudes, and banning it on the web doesn't mean they won't hear it at home or from their friends.

Screaming "fire" in a crowded theater is quite different, because it causes nearly anyone who hears it to believe there's an immediate danger. Writing hateful web sites only causes those who are dumb enough to believe what's being said to adopt the views presented.

Re:Good. (2)

dubious9 (580994) | more than 11 years ago | (#4633244)

Sure they are scum. I have no doubt in that. But if they can't be free to express their opinion, how do I know who to becareful of? How do I know not to like them and keep my children away from them?

They expose themselves to the world this way, and thus we can keep tabs on them. Yes they use this to spread their hate, but wouldn't you rather know who was behind hate acts, then have some secrative society which nobody can point out?

The KKK didn't advertize much and thus were one of the sucessfuly evilest organizations in the nation. I say if they can speak, then I can here them, and that's the way I want it.

Re:Good. (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#4633254)

Words may not hurt, but when people begin acting on the words of hate speech spreading like cancer on the internet, then the damage is done.

So, I shouldn't be allowed to voice hateful words towards a government, because it may cause people to act on these words and do violent acts against the government. No more badmouthing your government, because somebody can get hurt.

I probably should stop saying negative things towards Ford, because other people on the Internet may read my anti-Ford thoughts, and stop buying Ford. While not a violent act, Ford employees may get laid off, and that'll hurt them and their families. Then they may act violently towards me and my anti-Ford followers. So, I guess no more negative speech towards Ford, because somebody can get hurt.

Yes, racists and homophobes and sexists and pedophiles and etc, suck -- but free speech is an all or nothing game. Either give it to everybody, no matter how disgusting you find their speech to be, or don't give it to anybody at all.

Oh yeah (2)

teslatug (543527) | more than 11 years ago | (#4633172)

Well, I hate the EU Anti-Hate Laws

A Matter Of Perspective (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#4633180)

As I read this, it occurs to me that Europeans might simply have a different concept of freedom than Americans do. In this case, they would rather be free from hate speech, as opposed to being free from censorship. Likewise, they would rather be free from millions of accidental shootings each year than be free to own firearms.

Re:A Matter Of Perspective (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#4633247)

I wish to be free from Jews rather than let Jews be free.

- Adolf Hitler 1935

anti-hate laws (1)

DigiBoi (139261) | more than 11 years ago | (#4633183)

wouldnt that mean the EU is against hate laws?

$0.02

EU citizen speaks out (1, Insightful)

ma11achy (150206) | more than 11 years ago | (#4633185)

My view as a European citizen (in Ireland) is that this is one step closer to a totalitarian super state.

Our vote on the Treaty of Nice was one aspect where people were concerned that we were giving central states in the EU too much power and thus allowing them, with the council of ministers, to pass on, or create some of the laws seen here.

Is this it - or is the tip of the iceberg?
The council of ministers who pass these laws are NOT representative of Europe as a whole. If these laws are to be passed - why not ask the people first?

Hrmm.. (1)

Metallic Matty (579124) | more than 11 years ago | (#4633219)

I'm not a big fan of hate groups and messages, but I do believe in freedom of speech and I find this offensive.

Ban Themselves? (2, Funny)

AaronGeek (599931) | more than 11 years ago | (#4633221)


If the European Union's Council of Europe hates hate sites, should they ban themselves?

Lets just ban everyone!

Arrrggghhh... such flawed logic. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#4633228)

I hate "head in the ground" legislation, no pun intended. The fact is, hate speech will NOT go away just because you make it illegal. It will just get pushed underground and spread like mold. (this is a good analogy - hate, like molds and fungus, grows best in the dark) And all the while the stupid will feel all happy and shiny, since they have no idea how much of a threat is out there.
Look at it this way: If someone hated YOU and wanted to kill YOU personally, would you A)want it out in the open so you know who is gunning for you, or B)want it hidden so you have no idea that someone even wants you dead? Which actually increases your safety?
Furthermore, if these groups publish on the Internet, it goes both ways. It also opens them up to being brought back into the light. Ultimately, it's easier to be apathetic than to hate. But with no one able to find them and show them this, there's far less chance of them getting over their hatreds.

So, yep, this is just a GREAT idea, EU. Let's pretend everyone is happy and friendly when they are in fact, not. Always better to ignore reality than face it, huh?

US sites (2)

zogger (617870) | more than 11 years ago | (#4633265)

--this will sure knock the world wide web on it's assets:

Specifically, the amendment bans "any written material, any image or any other representation of ideas or theories, which advocates, promotes or incites hatred, discrimination or violence, against any individual or group of individuals, based on race, colour, descent or national or ethnic origin, as well as religion if used as pretext for any of these factors."

--I can think of several large US sites off the top of my head that advocate genocide against muslims on a daily basis, just for one of many examples. There's lots more, just those stand out from their knee-jerk vileness. I got no use for the opposite either,insane ranting mad jihaders can byte my shorts. I don't like either of them, but they can have "their say", I say. That's their privelege and right far as I am concerned, I believe in "born with" rights for every human being, no matter what country they are in, and freedom of speech is a big one of those rights.

I promise to keep railing against the UN, globalism and goons in general, with am emphasis on US goons, as I live here. I don't know if they-the EU- class that as "hate speech" or not, I don't discriminate based on religion,color or whatnot. If you are a totalitarian goose stepping goon, whether you wear robes or a western suit or some "uniform" or jeans and sneakers, well, you can officially "get stuffed". You suck, bigtime. "You" is anyone who fits that description

--wonder how they will block sites, the europeans? Will this lead to at least three big nets now, the basic world wide net, an europaen-union net and the fascist goon mainland chinese net? What are they gonna do, cut the cables under the ocean?

No idea really, pretty weird concept, but governments mostly exist to perpetuate their own bureaucracy and their cash benefactors and patrons, so I guess they will keep restricitng it as far as they can with advanced tech. Big shame so many geeks will work for them and take the blood money.

What A Difference It Can Make (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#4633274)

Tell you what boys and girls. Pack you bags and take a little trip over to Germany. Visit one of the former Nazi death camps. Or take a little trip down to the Bosnia area, maybe via a mass grave or two (Having done it, I can tell you its a life altering experience).

Then come back and tell us all how this is bad, this is trampling on your rights. You fat Linux Hippie bastards, cocooned behind your monitors and keyboards.

Assholes

Re:What A Difference It Can Make (1)

SugarKing (315423) | more than 11 years ago | (#4633317)

Ah yes. Maybe we should give them a few more rights, that surely will stop it from happening again.

Right.

Hmmm... (2, Interesting)

Quaoar (614366) | more than 11 years ago | (#4633276)

Does this ban hating Europeans, or just hating in general?

Hate Speech is still Speech (2, Funny)

Draigon (172034) | more than 11 years ago | (#4633279)

Hate speech made me a better person. Thanks to all the fools who use racial slurs I know where I stand. All I had to do was listen to good reasons for hating blacks and good reasons for loving blacks and came to my own conclusion.

So word to all tha brotha's :)

Newsflash (2)

*xpenguin* (306001) | more than 11 years ago | (#4633290)

Newsflash: US plans to ban negative thoughts

European Council != Council of Europe (1)

hokanomono (530164) | more than 11 years ago | (#4633296)

The same mistake appears in slashdot headlines again and again.

The Council of Europe [coe.int] is not EU's [eu.int] Council [eu.int] . All the members of the European Union just happen to be members of the Council of Europe too, but that's two different organizations, though they cooperate.

The Council of Europe has 44 member countries [coe.int] of which 15 countries [eu.int] (probably soon 25 countries) are members of the European Union.

thaaaats right (1)

the_2nd_coming (444906) | more than 11 years ago | (#4633305)

stop people from seeing hate speech so that some one cannot see who to avoid or so that groups cannot find the groups they need to focuse on in order to help them become more tolerent...lets ust let people live in there psycosis and wait until they do some deplorable act before we try to help them.

oh yeah...lets not forget about fredom of speech...I Europe is still working on that since they never realy had it.

What about metalinks? (2)

TheSHAD0W (258774) | more than 11 years ago | (#4633311)

Does that mean a website in Europe can't link to Google [google.com] , since that search engine will have links to hate speech? And what about linking to other web sites that link to Google?
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