“The only figure as capable as Donald Trump of spinning up an instant and frantic media cycle these days is Mark Zuckerberg, whose ubiquitous company can’t manage not to trend on its own platform,” Antonio García Martínez writes for Wired. “This time the trigger was a long and enlightening interview with the probing Kara Swisher, in which Zuckerberg defended Facebook’s refusal to censor Holocaust deniers. His full-throated defense of free speech triggered a tizzy of debate among journalists — many of whom were rather less enthused with the idea of granting anti-Semites a globe-spanning platform.”
“This tangled and expansive Facebook free-speech debate actually comes down to one core issue: There are two definitions of “hate speech,” one legal and the other more vernacular. Which one we accept is the question,” Martínez writes. “Hate speech, much like insider trading, is a concept with a narrow legal definition, though it comes loaded with moral meaning and a common understanding that’s considerably broader.”
“In the US, hate speech is defined by relevant case law as speech ‘inciting imminent lawless action’ (Brandenburg v. Ohio, 1969),’ Martínez writes. “The key point is that free speech can be abrogated only when someone will suffer real (not imagined) violence as a result. In the United States of America, you are free to scream racial epithets or float conspiracy theories until you’re blue in the face, but the moment you organize a mob, down comes the rough hand of the law. Land of the free, indeed (and then some).”
Read more in the full article here.
• I disapprove of what you say, but I will defend to the death your right to say it. ― S. G. Tallentyre (Evelyn Beatrice Hall)
• The concept of “microaggression” is just one of many tactics used to stifle differences of opinion by declaring some opinions to be “hate speech,” instead of debating those differences in a marketplace of ideas. To accuse people of aggression for not marching in lockstep with political correctness is to set the stage for justifying real aggression against them. ― Thomas Sowell
• If we don’t believe in free expression for people we despise, we don’t believe in it at all. — Noam Chomsky