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Crackdown On Internet 'Hate' in Canada

timothy posted more than 9 years ago | from the more-laws-are-surely-the-answer dept.

Censorship 51

Baldrson writes "CanWest is reporting that 'The federal government is preparing to introduce a sweeping round of legislation that would combat the "explosion" of hate sites on the Internet.' A priority of this legislation is more international enforcement under the Council of Europe's protocol on hate speech. The hate-speech legislation is tied to a bill to reduce trafficing in women and children."

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Just remember... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10513241)

We're Canadian. We're polite. Our definition of a 'hate site' is some 12 year old posting about the c4mp1ng fagz00rs in Counterstrike.

Re:Just remember... (1)

Zangief (461457) | more than 9 years ago | (#10513290)

Campers are people too!

Wait. No, they aren't.

threat to freedom of speech? (2, Interesting)

BigChigger (551094) | more than 9 years ago | (#10513255)

Interesting to see how the /. community receives this. If you can't say even unpopular things, then you have no freedom of speech. This will also eventually be used to persecute religious speach.

this is doubleplusungood.

BC

Re:threat to freedom of speech? (1)

Zangief (461457) | more than 9 years ago | (#10513318)

In fact, most probably will be used to protect religious speech, and ban criticism.

Re:threat to freedom of speech? (1)

crimethinker (721591) | more than 9 years ago | (#10515040)

In fact, most probably will be used to protect religious speech, and ban criticism.

Here goes my karma; I know I'll get modded down for saying this.

"Hate speech" laws have already been used in Canada to persecute religious speech. Churches have been threatened to stop preaching that homosexuality is a sin, because "that's hate speech." Basically, anything that the ruling party doesn't like you to say becomes hate speech. A man was fined $1500 CDN (what's that, 35 cents US?) for expressing a similar opinion in a letter to the editor published in a newspaper.

Expanding these laws to cover the internet is a VERY bad mistake.

I'd post as Anonymous Coward, but I'm not afraid of you, Mr. Moderator With An Axe To Grind. Fuck you.

-paul

Re:threat to freedom of speech? (1)

Zangief (461457) | more than 9 years ago | (#10515242)

Well, I guess you are right. However, the bad thing is to limit the free speech, not on which side are the stablished religions in this.

Re:threat to freedom of speech? (2, Interesting)

crimethinker (721591) | more than 9 years ago | (#10515614)

Yes, I agree with you that limits of free speech (except for the pathological "yelling 'fire' in a crowded theatre" cases) are a bad thing. What I disagree with you about is that this law wil lbe used to protect religious speech. I submit that, based on recent cases in Canada, it most certainly will be used to oppress religious groups who speak out against "politically corrrect" beliefs.

It's one thing to say "homosexuality is wrong, and we should execute the sodomites! Let's all go home, grab our guns, and get to work." What I am claiming, backed by items in the news, is that a church which simply said, "homosexuality is a sin, and we should not pretend that it is simply another 'life choice'," was threatened and/or fined under anti-hate speech laws.

With such regulations apparently coming to the internet (as far as the site or its owner are in canada), things will only get worse. They are creating a nation of thought-criminals through silly laws like this.

-paul

Re:threat to freedom of speech? (1)

darthwader (130012) | more than 9 years ago | (#10519243)

I wasn't aware of that (and I try to stay informed about the current anti-and-pro-gay debate going on in my country).

Can you provide specific references? I'd love to read more about this church that was fined for preaching against homosexuality.

Did the crown actually bring charges against the church, or was it just someone who disagreed with the chuch yelling "I'm gonna sue!"?

Re:threat to freedom of speech? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10519616)

See here [slashdot.org] .

-paul

Re:threat to freedom of speech? (1)

scowling (215030) | more than 9 years ago | (#10518760)

Churches have been threatened to stop preaching that homosexuality is a sin, because "that's hate speech."

Bullshit. This claim has been made repeatedly by people with an axe to grind. No church has ever been threatened or charged by any legal authority for the above.

Cite a major media source or fuck off.

The $1500 was for an advertisement, not for a letter to the editor, and was not endorsed by any church.

Re:threat to freedom of speech? (1)

crimethinker (721591) | more than 9 years ago | (#10519599)

The $1500 was for an advertisement, not for a letter to the editor, and was not endorsed by any church.

It's important to admit when you're wrong. I made a mistake, and you are correct; it was a paid advertisement that got the guy fined. So "Freedom of Speech" only matters when you express a popular viewpoint? That's not freedom at all.

Cite a major media source or fuck off.

"A British Anglican bishop, for instance, who suggested that homosexuals seek psychological counseling was the target of a police investigation" [zenit.org] Oops, that was England, not Canada. Same thing - "hate speech" used to persecute a religious group. The bishop's quote is in the article. You decide if that's "hate speech." At least they dropped the charges. They still accomplished the point of making people worry about being prosecuted for expressing their religious beliefs.

"The first conviction under the Swedish law" [religioustolerance.org] at the bottom. While he said some very unkind things about homosexuals, he still did not cross "the line" into advocating violence. Some people like their religion with a little more fire and brimstone than others. Who are you to judge?

"Swedish Pastor Sued For So-Called Hate Speech" [lifesite.net] . A different pastor, same result.

Oh wait, I'm still not coming up with examples in Canada. I think I might not be able to find any. The references I was remembering were in opposition to C-250 [religioustolerance.org] which was eventually passed. While it was being debated, people raised their concerns that this law would be used by homosexuals as a weapon against churches. The provisions in the bill to "protect" pastors have all sorts of wiggle-room in them which can allow the crown to threaten pastors all the same.

I could go on, but I'm stopping at the first page of google results for "church hate speech homosexuality."

I don't care whether you are gay or not; leave me alone to live my life, and I'll leave you alone to live yours. Don't flaunt your homosexuality in my face, and I won't tell you to your face that I think it's wrong. But don't ever expect me to actually approve of your choices. I have my standards, and no amount of whining or legislation is going to change my mind.

-paul

Re:threat to freedom of speech? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10519753)

right wing wackjob....go hug fred phelps

or is that too gay for you?

Re:threat to freedom of speech? (1)

crimethinker (721591) | more than 9 years ago | (#10520079)

Fred Phelps does a great disservice to Christianity in general. I can't find one example in the entire New Testament where Christ uses the word "hate" to refer to His feelings towards someone or some group. In fact, refer to hate the sin, love the sinner [thecharlotteworld.com] .

Just because I try to have a Christ-like love for people who do wrong things (and I'm certainly not perfect myself, far from it), does not mean that I have to call their wrong things right. To paraphrase C. S. Lewis, I will not uproot my rose garden for the sake of someone who prefers the smell of manure.

-paul

Re:threat to freedom of speech? (1)

scowling (215030) | more than 9 years ago | (#10519770)

I'm not gay. I'm very much in favour of C-250.

And you couldn't even find one Canadian example to support your point.

Frankly, I think it'd be good for tha law to punish churches who preach hate against gays. Hasn't happened yet, but I hold out hope that it will. Society advances. It always does. Progress is inevitable, and Bronze Age morality will go the way of the dodo.

Freedom of speech isn't absolute anywhere. To say that if a freedom isn't absolute that it isn't freedom is a red herring.

Re:threat to freedom of speech? (1)

sgant (178166) | more than 9 years ago | (#10513321)

I would say let them post them...so that everyone can point and laugh and ridicule...but this IS in Canada, so I don't know if they have a right to free speech up there that we (for the most part, as long as no one hears you on the airwaves and you say a "dirty word") here in the USA have.

Which brings up a point...you can say anything you want on the airwaves...really, you can say you hate someone, you can say you hate a certain group of people even (listen to talk radio sometimes and see what I mean)...but you can't say just certain words! I mean, as the great George Carlin pointed out you can talk about fucking, they've got fuck experts on talking about fucking and how to feel after you fuck...but they just don't call it "fucking". The word is banned...but they can talk about it using "sex" or a number of other terms (like "The Hunka-Junka").

Isn't that kinda idiotic? Also, you can't say certain words, but you sure as hell can have all types of hate mongering web sites to your hearts content!

Double standard...thy name is America!

Sounds like 2 unrelated matters on the same law... (3, Interesting)

Zangief (461457) | more than 9 years ago | (#10513262)

Why this "hate-speech" is tied with slave traffic?

I think the politicians are just trying to make the two problems like one, so they can pass a law to cut on free-speech, because, you know, nobody can support slave trade...

I get that impression from RTFA...maybe I shouldn't read before giving my opinion.

I am glad there is such a thing (1)

xutopia (469129) | more than 9 years ago | (#10513276)

Humans are way too manipulative to have all kinds of hate mongering online. Just look at all that "Hate the French!" on American TV. It's just so easy to make you hate someone (think Golstein) so that you don't see what is wrong with the war.

It pissed me right off when I saw CNN and FoxNews cover the story of about 12 people pouring French wine down the gutter but not covering the millions of people pouring through the streets in support of the French view of not invading for stupid reasons.

I'm glad hate speeches are being actively pursued. Most times it is easier to blame people than to fix the issue. That is what hate speech laws try to change.

Re:I am glad there is such a thing (2, Interesting)

Zangief (461457) | more than 9 years ago | (#10513340)

It pissed me right off when I saw CNN and FoxNews cover the story of about 12 people pouring French wine down the gutter but not covering the millions of people pouring through the streets in support of the French view of not invading for stupid reasons.

That's very good, and all, but I fail to see how such legislation would prevent CNN and Fox to present only one side of the story.

Re:I am glad there is such a thing (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10513374)

People pouring French wine down the gutter is a sign of good taste not political position.

Re:I am glad there is such a thing (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10513460)

Sounds to me like your heart is filled with hate towards people you disagree with.

Re:I am glad there is such a thing (1)

david duncan scott (206421) | more than 9 years ago | (#10514228)

Well, I don't know about "millions", but certainly I've seen CNN cover anti-war demonstrations, and I suspect you have too (unless those demonstrators were marching past your window, I'm thinking somebody had coverage or you wouldn't have known about them.)

Actually, I still think the wine-dumping and yes, the renaming of French fries and toast, were entirely appropriate. These were peaceful actions of civilized people who disagreed with other civilized people and chose a symbolic response. No Frenchmen were harmed in the making of this protest. This is pretty much how this sort of thing should go, which is why I also support flag-burning -- angry people should express themselves in angry, yet peaceful, ways.

(Besides, I'll bet that all 12 of those people turned around and replaced those bottles of wine about 15 minutes later, so ultimately it slightly stimulated wine sales.)

Re:I am glad there is such a thing (1)

xutopia (469129) | more than 9 years ago | (#10514786)

I saw the protests on Canadian and British news. Sure CNN had a segment on it but it didn't take nearly as much time as the dozen people emptying wine bottles in the gutter. Why shoudl 12 people take up as much time as that when millions were in the street?

"Actually, I still think the wine-dumping and yes, the renaming of French fries and toast, were entirely appropriate."

My question to you is why? France told you it was wrong to invade because a) Saddam was not a threat, b) there were no WMDs (except small missiles that could reach 150kms and were being destroyed with the help of UNMOVIC) and c) there were no links between Saddam and Al Quaeda. As far as I see the French were right on all counts. Furthermore it later was proven that the Bush administration lied. Perhaps that is why they didn't accept that the French disagreed with their lies. Because they couldn't prove they were right they preffered to insult their historical allies.

Character assasination is used when there are political asses to protect. In this case France was right to point out that the Bush administration lied to Americans and the world. It was easier for the Bush administration to dismiss by insulting than to try to prove its own lies.

Re:I am glad there is such a thing (1)

stanmann (602645) | more than 9 years ago | (#10515003)

If you believe that France told you not to invade for any reason other than It would hurt them financially [usatoday.com] Then you are a fool. And possibly a troll.

IF you believe the book is closed on the existance of WMDs you are un-informed

ANd if you believe there were no links between the Baathists and Al Qaeda you need to read the 9/11 report.

Re:I am glad there is such a thing (1)

david duncan scott (206421) | more than 9 years ago | (#10515326)

I think you're missing my point. I didn't dump any wine, and I enjoyed my burgers with French fries. Aside from the occasional teasing comment, I have nothing but respect for France.

My point is that people will disagree, and that when they do so, their responses can range from dumping wine bottles to, well, flying airplanes into office buildings. I prefer the former, and I think it should be encouraged. If you disagree with me on this, please burn me in effigy.

Re:I am glad there is such a thing (1)

raider_red (156642) | more than 9 years ago | (#10517105)

Humans are way too manipulative to have all kinds of hate mongering online.

Yes, because we're far too stupid to think for ourselves. Don't you think that it's best to let everyone say what they want and then decide for themselves what is proper? Or do you think we should have a government agency which filters everything to insure that people come to the "correct" conclusions.

So... (2, Insightful)

GypC (7592) | more than 9 years ago | (#10513382)

...speech is free only as long as it is politically correct in Canada.

Some freedom.

You have to take the good with the bad, otherwise you are not free.

Re:So... (1)

jjhlk (678725) | more than 9 years ago | (#10513638)

The Internet isn't public, so it's not too terrible.

Re:So... (1)

Dr Caleb (121505) | more than 9 years ago | (#10514160)

speech is free only as long as it is politically correct in Canada.

Speech has always been free in Canada, so long as it does no harm. As soon as your speech is directed at a particular group (based on, Race, Religion, Sexual orientation or Physical Handicaps as defined in the 1980 constitution) then it becomes hate.

Example: "The holocaust of German Jews was a hoax" will get you deported, because it is hatred based against a religious group. By Saying "People who believe that Ballistic Missle Defence is a viable weapons system are stupid" you are not basing your opinion against any one group.

Political correctness has nothing to do with it. I have heard news anchors say 'shit' during the 6 O'Clock news. No problem. I've seen 'soft porn' in movies broadcast over regular airwaves after 9 PM, including all the bad words.

It's all about tolerance of minorities and even majorities. It's all about tolerance.

Re:So... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10514895)

Example: "The holocaust of German Jews was a hoax" will get you deported, because it is hatred based against a religious group. By Saying "People who believe that Ballistic Missle Defence is a viable weapons system are stupid" you are not basing your opinion against any one group.

Political correctness has nothing to do with it

Political correctness has everything to do with it! "Hate crime" only apply to groups that we as a society like, not groups that we as a society condemn.

Consider the irony of the example you cited. It's not a "hate crime" to hate the Nazis, because Nazis are a group we condemn. According to you, it's a "hate crime" to claim that the evil Nazis did not torture six million innocent people to death.

Personally, I think the "holocaust" did happen. However, it's certainly a loaded term, and there's at least a theoretical possiblity that the Allied governments generated propoganda around real events, or fabricated some or all of the evidence. It would certainly be in their interests to do so: by painting their opponents as villians, they look like heros. Is this conspiracy theory actually true? Probably not.

However, can we objectively prove the matter fairly, without considering the issue from all sides? No. I think we need to debate both sides to find the truth.

Has the matter of the holocaust been objectively debated, and proven to be valid? In my opinion, yes, but only by ignoring the potential threat of "hate crime" legislation, and
by systematically debunking all the opposing arguments one by one.

Fortunately for the people who did so, the end results were polically correct, and hence, allowable. Had they objectively reached the opposite conclusions, and published them, they would have become criminals. I see that as a problem for democracy.

"Hate crimes" are just a enforcement of prevailing cultural belief, founded or unfounded.

Is it a hate crime to hate Afganistan? Nope, not at all, we just went to war with them. We can hate "the enemy" all we like.

Iraq? Iffy. We're not at war with them, but their leaders did commit atrocities, or so the newspapers say. Can we hate Jews? Other minorities? No, definately not. But Nazis? Commies? Sure! They're the bad guys! Hate away!

It's all about tolerance of minorities and even majorities. It's all about tolerance.

I submit that it's as much about placating the offended than it is about any form of deep understanding of the issues, let alone "tolerance". It seems to me that it's a simple matter of politics, as usual.
--
AC

A particularly perverse example... (1)

Baldrson (78598) | more than 9 years ago | (#10515556)

A leftist Canadian whose name escapes me at the moment, has been promoting the "propaganda" that the 1932-1934 Ukranian famine was largely a hoax of fascists and certainly nowhere near 8 million Ukranians were starved to death by Stalin's kommisars.

He has not been prosecuted although others have been held without charges in Canada as "national security threats" due to their questioning the "6 million Jews" figure of the German National Socialist period.

It is arguable that the Ukranian famine resulted in the hysterical reaction of the German people -- and that therefore it is more important to the public peace to remember that famine than the subsequent deaths of Jews under National Socialism.

Re:A particularly perverse example... (1)

Dr Caleb (121505) | more than 9 years ago | (#10515994)

Ernst Zundel.

Re:So... (1)

belmolis (702863) | more than 9 years ago | (#10520200)

"The holocaust of German Jews was a hoax" will get you deported, because it is hatred based against a religious group.

No, it isn't. To begin with, Jews are not a religious group either under Jewish law or from the Nazi perspective, but that isn't my main point. It is probably true that most people who claim that the holocaust of German Jews was a hoax are Nazi apologists, but there is nothing intrinsically hateful about the statement or the belief. Someone who had no animosity toward Jews could hold this view. He or she would be wrong, but holding silly views and making silly statements isn't, and shouldn't be, a crime.

I am strongly opposed to the Canadian hate crime laws as well as other such laws, for three reasons. First, they're subjective and easily abused to silence unpopular points of view. Second, the right of free speech is fundamental - we should be extremely cautious about interfering with it. Hurting people's feelings isn't a sufficient reason to interfere with freedom of speech, and I simply find no evidence that "hate speech" of the sort that can be controlled causes more serious harm. Finally, attempts at suppressing speech are counterproductive. They confirm the person whose speech is suppressed in his views - he is likely to think that people suppress his speech because they aren't able to counter it by facts and arguments. Other people are likely to come to the same view. The best response to wrong speech is always more speech, not suppression.

And lest anyone trot out the lame response that I'd think differently if I were involved, I am a Jew and a Canadian citizen.

Re:So... (1)

superyooser (100462) | more than 9 years ago | (#10518365)

You're exactly right. And the censorship goes all ways.

The problem is that Canadians are too nice. They want to be ultra-neutral, so they tend to want to prohibit anti-anything. Saying something bad about anyone, even a terrorist, is frowned upon.

Human trafficking obviously should be prohibited. I don't know what its connection to "hate speech" is.

Re:So... (1)

scowling (215030) | more than 9 years ago | (#10518825)

Your right to swing your fist ends where my face is. Does this mean that you don't have freedom of travel?

There is no absolute right to free speech anywhere on this planet, including in the US. Can you yell "fire" in a crowded theatre? No? Do you have laws against incitement to riot in the US? Yes? Then you're not free, either.

Hate speech is speech which has incites hatred or promotes genocide. Hate speech is, in essence, a form of incitement to riot; no actual assault is required to occur for the charge to stick.

This isn't a difficult concept.

Re:So... (1)

kzadot (249737) | more than 9 years ago | (#10521182)

Hahaha, I dont know if America was the best example to use. Countries like North Korea, America, and China still have quite a way to go in these regards.
Why not use Holland or New Zealand as an example instead? I know in New Zealand speech is free.

Re:So... (1)

scowling (215030) | more than 9 years ago | (#10521272)

Speech is free in New Zealand? Then what about David Irving being barred from speaking there just in the last month? The shutting down of anti-APEC protestors in 2000? The Broadcasting Act of 1989? New Zealand is by no means a free speech zone.

Nor is The Netherlands, where hate speech is just as illegal as it is in Canada, under Article 137 of their Criminal Code.

This doesn't help too much. (2, Insightful)

FooAtWFU (699187) | more than 9 years ago | (#10513395)

This will just get the people who would like to start a hate site even more upset and more liable to hate the person/group in question... then they get some offshore hosting and you still have the hate sites.

Heck, if you were a Nazi and thought that the Jews had an evil conspiracy to control the banks and the government, this kind of legislation wouldn't exactly make you change your mind.

Hopefully it doesn't harm (1)

temojen (678985) | more than 9 years ago | (#10514937)

One Canadian site, Nizkor [nizkor.org] , documents (and refutes) the claims of holocaust deniers. In documenting the claims, they might fall afoul of the act (I've not read it yet), even though that is the exact opposite of their intent.

Reason? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10513418)

Maybe the reason you've got hate speech bursting on the internet is because everywhere else, it's being squashed. Let's be realistic - some people just don't like other people/things/places. You can't make this world a happy, soft, padded place without turning us into machines. The more you cut off hate the more it will build up somewhere else - at least on the Internet you can release it in a fairly harmless way. Better than beating the snot out of someone when hate boils over.

Another way to look at it (1)

Mstrgeek (820200) | more than 9 years ago | (#10513430)

There several ways people could look at the idea of hate speech on the internet I have located a write up done by Brooke Stewart that makes some very good points. Your can read Brooke's write up at

http://gsulaw.gsu.edu/lawand/papers/su01/stewart/

What is your take on his ideas? Hope you enjoy reading it as much as I did

Only one way to look at it: UK sucks all over (1)

poptones (653660) | more than 9 years ago | (#10520287)

How is this any worse than, oh I dunno, a prisoner writing thoughts on paper, sharing them with another inmate, and being convicted on child pornography charges [theage.com.au] ?

Quite frankly, this just looks like more of the same [bbc.co.uk] we've been seeing

I must thank you folks. Seems like just when I'm feeling my most curmudgeonly about our own government I get snapped right out of it by seeing just how fucked up you people keep things back in the old world.

Maybe they should start here.... (1)

mattboston (537016) | more than 9 years ago | (#10513620)

Maybe they should start here... http://boston.craigslist.org/rnr/

This is going to come back and bite 'em in the ass (1)

DesScorp (410532) | more than 9 years ago | (#10513893)

In an era when any pissed off group cries "Hate Speech!" when someone says something they don't like, Canada is creating a serious freedom of speech situation.

Re:This is going to come back and bite 'em in the (1)

raider_red (156642) | more than 9 years ago | (#10517077)

Don't you think that's the point? They're starting with hate speech, then they'll progress to unpopular speech, and then they'll go after anyone who says something which is against the will of the government. Ultimately, they'll create a society where speech is totally free, as long as they agree with what everyone else says.

Except ... (1)

gstoddart (321705) | more than 9 years ago | (#10527629)

Canada is creating a serious freedom of speech situation.


Canadian law doesn't provide you with an unfettered right to free speech. It provides you with a law that says "as long as you're not inciting violence and hatred, you're protected, but if you do suggest those things, you're screwed."

The specific definition can be found here [justice.gc.ca]

It tries to strike a balance between saying you have a right to say what you want and others having the right to not have you say "kill all the Cats/Blondes/Tall People/People with Freckles".

It makes you accountable for what you say instead of merely saying "well, gee, when I said 'kill all the people with freckles' how was I supposed to know someone might? That was just freedome of speech." Anyone advocating those positions is deemed to be on the wrong side of a line.

As opposed to the US which is the land of Liberty (except when we say not) and freedom from Oppression (except when otherwise needed) and government intrusion (unless we need to). Sadly, it doesn't sound as if one can hold up the US as a free and fair government anymore; they're trying hard not to be.

Slow down... (2, Informative)

alexo (9335) | more than 9 years ago | (#10514004)


The operative words here are "preparing to introduce". So far it is a declaration of intent by the minister, no such legislation has been introduced yet (as you can find out on the Canadian Parliament [parl.gc.ca] site.) Don't panic just yet.

Meanwhile, you can check the existing legislation on "Hate propaganda".
There is a good article [parl.gc.ca] explaining the issues, an overview [ic.gc.ca] of the applicable law, the relevant statutes and regulations [justice.gc.ca] of the criminal code and a recent amendment [justice.gc.ca] .

Also see the Internet Content-Related Liability Study [ic.gc.ca] on the applicability of the existing legislation to the internet.

Speed up... (1)

Baldrson (78598) | more than 9 years ago | (#10514844)

The earlier in the process the easier it is to have an influence on the legislative language resulting from it. Its obvious, for example, that this legislation should be separate from the human trafficing legislation regardless of the merits of either.

Secondly, the article you claim offers a "good" explanation of the issues doesn't cover some of the central issues about such legislation. One of the more obvious issues is what principle is used to select which "identifiable groups" are protected and which are not protected from "hate propaganda". As it stands it smacks of a kind of inverse bill of attainder more than anything principled. If I can somehow get my favorite group protected under this umbrella but you can't get yours protected, why should your group not "hate" my group?

What when people start saying, "Kill all the lawyers."?

Re:Speed up... (1)

alexo (9335) | more than 9 years ago | (#10516176)


> The earlier in the process the easier it is to have an influence on the legislative language resulting from it.

We should at least wait until we have better information sources than a newspaper article. The bill text will be nice.

> Its obvious, for example, that this legislation should be separate from the human trafficing legislation regardless of the merits of either.

I agree, in principle, that "riders" are abhorrible but in this specific case I would wait for hard facts before going off half cocked.

> what principle is used to select which "identifiable groups" are protected and which are not protected from "hate propaganda".

The article says: "Section 318(4) of the Criminal Code defines an "identifiable group" as any section of the public distinguished by colour, race, religion or ethnic origin."
The amendment (Bill C-250, Assented to 29th April, 2004) changes the definition of "identifiable group" thus: "In this section, "identifiable group" means any section of the public distinguished by colour, race, religion, ethnic origin or sexual orientation." (so if you like iguanas, for example, you're protected.)

What when people start saying, "Kill all the lawyers."?

They've been saying that for over 400 years. In fact, that should be the first thing we do [shakespear...rature.com] .

Restricting the expression of thoughts is dumb (1)

egarland (120202) | more than 9 years ago | (#10514375)

Someone who commits a hateful violent act is expressing hateful violent thoughts in a very bad way. Someone who writes about hateful violent thoughts is expressing them in a much better way. Why in the WORLD would you want to forbid people from doing the right thing?

People have bad thoughts. People have bad ideas. No law can change that. Allowing people to express their bad thoughts to other people is called "venting" for a reason. When people can't vent and explode, things get ugly. We don't want that. Only when hate is drawn out into to the light of day can it be properly death with. This law makes it illegal to do exactly that.

Censorship is not about controlling the words; it's about controlling the thoughts behind them. Trying to control people's thoughts by controlling their ability to express them is a disastrous plan. Serial killers are an example of what happens when people who have bad thoughts can't express them to anyone. They lose the ability to identify with other people. They feel cut off and angry so they strike out in awful ways. We like to think of these people as evil but give a potential serial killer a web site where they can connect with other people who have the same types of feelings and they won't turn into a serial killer.

People's ability to speak their minds, no matter what they are thinking, is a cornerstone of a fair free society. The founders of the US understood this and put rules in place to forbid censorship right into the constitution (which unfortunately, doesn't seem to influence the behavior of the government much).

The arguments to forbid free speech are just like the arguments against violent video games and just as misguided. The people who create these laws are noticing a correlation between the expression of hateful or violent ideas and the commission of violent crimes but are forgetting the cardinal rule:

CORRELATION DOES NOT IMPLY CAUSALITY

Repeat that 3 times so we remember. Someone who really wants to run around their school with a gun killing people is probably not going to choose the Care Bear Movie over Fight Club. Someone who wants to blow up all the people who have hurt them, is probably going to choose Quake over The Simms. People who shop at prosthetic limb stores are more likely to have lost a limb. Correlation does not imply causality.

Re:Restricting the expression of thoughts is dumb (1)

macz (797860) | more than 9 years ago | (#10514550)

That is ridiculous, the Simms is just as violent and terrible as Quake, the weapons of choice are just different.

Don't believe me? Read this article and tell me this guy isn't a serial killer. [somethingawful.com]

Oh, and in absolute systems, your are correct: Correlation does not imply causality. However, in a more probabilistic model (like reality or quantum physics), there is an interconnectedness to systems which raises the likelyhood that correlation does in fact imply causality. If this were not true then the scientific method would be pretty much dead in the water since it relies heavily on the idea of "normal" or "natural" distribution.

That being said, it is very difficult to "prove" that a system is behaving in an absolute or probabilistic manner. Go down one path and you have Chaos math and the "butterfly effect." Go down the other and you are arguing a Calvinistic pre-destinarian model [wikipedia.org]

Don't agree with me? Go blow, I am protected by the 1st ammendment, or was that your point?

Are the Governments (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10517917)

Most likely to enact hate crime laws the governments most out of step with their own people?
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