Category Archives: Freedom of speech

Man charged with defamation for clicking ‘like’ on Facebook post

A man is facing a charge of defamation for clicking “like” on several Facebook posts, which accused another man of being a racist, according to court documents in Switzerland.

Prosecutors claimed that the defendant acted with intent to cause harm without a justifiable reason.

They further claimed that by clicking “like,” the defendant caused the defamatory posts to be seen by a larger group of people.

Professor accepts award, slams PC schools, thanks his teachers for ‘not giving a damn’ about his self-esteem

Syndicated columnist and professor, Walter E. Williams, chastised today’s college snowflakes and the “academic dishonesty” of educators using classrooms to push their political views.

Williams, a Distinguished Professor of Economics at George Mason University where he has taught for 36 years, commented on the differences between his academic experience and those of today’s generation at an award ceremony in Washington, D.C. on Thursday, according to TownHall.

Defiant conservatives invite Coulter to Berkeley after riots

Ann Coulter plans to brave the “anti-fascists” who trashed campus earlier this year to deliver a talk on illegal immigration at the University of California, Berkeley.

The Berkeley College Republicans chapter is hosting the event, describing it as a chance for the school to redeem its reputation as the “Home of the Free Speech Movement.”

Europe’s Out-of-Control Censorship

Germany has formally announced its draconian push towards censorship of social media. On March 14, Germany’s Justice Minister Heiko Maas announced the plan to formalize into law the “code of conduct”, which Germany pressed upon Facebook, Twitter and YouTube in late 2015, and which included a pledge to delete “hate speech” from their websites within 24 hours.

Melting snowflakes work to ban free speech on college campuses

So, what happens to a society when it raises children to care more about their feelings than what they need to know about life? You create a generation of hyper-sensitive “snowflakes” who believe that sticks and stones may break their bones, but offensive words and dissenting opinions cause certain death. In college, these censorious crybabies have created safe-space zones on campuses across America where they are protected from hearing things that don’t agree with their politically correct attitudes about culture and so-called values—particularly when it pertains to LGBT issues.

New Scientist: We need more censorship because free speech is censorship

From Sally Adee at New Scientist:

For people like Cerf and many American companies, who view online speech through the lens of the US First Amendment, Germany’s approach may look like a heavy-handed suppression of the right of free expression. However, it may be a necessary first step in re-establishing a shared moral reality. In the age of bots, misinformation, and anonymity, free speech itself may be used to enact a kind of censorship.

There are many good reasons to be wary of outsourcing the policing of moral beliefs to private corporations, even if they are only tasked with implementing a country’s national laws, as would be the case with the draft German proposal. But we should focus on the problems of relying on multinationals with corporate interests to police our moral consensus, instead of misguidedly hiding behind the old defence of free speech.More.

Reality check: We should stop reading New Scientist. The internet empowers everyone except gatekeepers. A pop science gatekeeper like New Scientist cannot possibly like that. If they can’t market gatekeeping, they can at least market gloom and doom. There’s always a market for that, especially among people wh can no longer force others to listen to them and not to listen to others.

See also: Why free speech infringes on “liberty” It is easy for the naturalist prof to dispense with liberty of the mind because she does not accept the existence of the mind.

New Scientist author supports Popular Science shutting down comments.

Part I: What is fake news? Do we believe it?

Part II: Does fake news make a difference in politics?

and

Part III: What can we do about fake news that would not diminish real news? Diminish real news? Critics of ‘fake news’ should go to China — only the government has the right to post fake news.

Why free speech infringes on “liberty”

It depends on how we define liberty. From Tom Knighton at PJMedia:

…. professors at Wellesley College are claiming that non-politically correct speech is an abridgment of liberty:

In a faculty listserv message obtained by the Foundation for Individual Rights in Education, the two-year-old Presidential Commission on Race, Ethnicity, and Equity said the recently invited Laura Kipnis and previous controversial speakers were exhausting students with their offensiveness.

The six faculty on the women’s college commission cited the left-wing historian Jelani Cobb’s theory that certain ideas “impose on the liberty of another” if the person hearing those ideas is “relatively disempowered”:

There is no doubt that the speakers in question impose on the liberty of students, staff, and faculty at Wellesley. We are especially concerned with the impact of speakers’ presentations on Wellesley students, who often feel the injury most acutely and invest time and energy in rebutting the speakers’ arguments. Students object in order to affirm their humanity. This work is not optional; students feel they would be unable to carry out their responsibilities as students without standing up for themselves.

Apparently referring to campus reactions to Kipnis — the subject of a two-month Title IX “inquisition” at Northwestern University, where she teaches film — the commission members said “dozens of students” have told them “they are in distress as a result of a speaker’s words.”

What the professors should have done was tell these children to shut up and deal. Not everyone in life is going to give a flying fig about how they feel about things. More.

Reality check: Those students do not belong at a traditional university, but Wellesley is no longer a traditional university. It is, like many others today, a training camp for Orwell’s Outer Party. Except that the proles whose lives the graduates will rule, are not useful. The graduates will be marketing the proles’ wounded identity, helplessness, and grievance to government. To fully understand the new proles, Wellesley students must become like them, must in fact be them, except for having a position of some power.

At heart, two definitions of liberty collide here. Naturalist vs. non-naturalist. The naturalist does not believe in the reality of the mind. Thus, traditional ideas of liberty are not only meaningless but offensive.

On the naturalist view, humans are just another animal, and consciousness is an illusion. What animals need is the liberty to indulge their natural feelings unhindered. Claims about intellectual “liberty” just maintain an illusion, with risk or harm to others.

Anyone who contributes to the system that entrenches this point of view deserves the outcome. The rest of us must look to our defences.

See also: Power, not reason, rules at Yale, and that’s just fine with the profs

Power, not reason, rules at Yale, and that’s just fine with the profs

From John Miltimore at Intellectual Takeout:

We have written a lot about the suppression of free speech on campuses and touched on some of the things that have gone on at Yale.

The new documentary explores Yale’s infamous attempt to tell students what types of Halloween costumes were appropriate for students, and the fallout that ensued when one faculty member asked if such a policy was really necessary.

One thing becomes apparent when watching the video, a point the documentary’s narrator makes succinctly: “These are moves of power, not of reason.” More.

Reality check: Who to blame? First, the alumni, for continuing to give. Second, the prospective employers who do not take into account that they may be hiring baby fascists to police their colleagues, with the anticipated results for creative thinking. One can’t blame the admin because they re just cowardly minions.

Or the profs who back all this, except to suggest that neither they nor their graduate students should any longer be thought of as working in a scholarly discipline. Especially not one that bills itself as a “science.”

At least the prospective employers will be punished for making themselves a Target. .

See also: Another fake hate flyer hoax?: Quit playing their game

UN Human Rights Chief: ‘Legal Obligation to Stop Hate Speech’

United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights Zeid Ra’ad Al Hussein declared last week that the nations of the world “have a legal obligation to stop hate speech and hate crimes.” This comes just as Muslim countries are planning to demand that the UN explore “legal options” to stamp out “blasphemy” on social media.

And so the jihad against the freedom of speech is looking to heat up considerably in the near future.

A tax on free speech

Universities are censoring controversial speakers by demanding students pay for added security

Imagine if a controversial politician finds he needs more security at his public appearances than less controversial ones.

Now imagine we charge this controversial politician a security fee every time he speaks, because of these increased costs.

Does this seem acceptable?

The politically correct mob is trampling free speech

Freedom of speech is a core principle of our free society. But everywhere we look, there are signs this freedom is being suppressed.

Our Parliament just passed a controversial Liberal motion to condemn the loosely defined “Islamophobia,” despite a lack of consensus amongst Canadians about what the term even means.

One of Canada’s top universities caved to the perpetually-offended mob and accepted the resignation from one of its scholars. The reason? Professor and former journalist Andrew Potter wrote an article that was too critical of Quebec.

Islamic stoning caricature pulled after Quebec premier complains

Charles Montpetit (Montreal) has told the Book and Periodical Council’s Freedom of Expression Committee that

On March 8 (Women’s Day) in the weekly Courrier du Sud, caricaturist Jean-Marc Phaneuf drew Quebec PM Philippe Couillard in a djellaba, about to throw a stone to former Liberal MNA Fatima Houda-Pepin while yelling “Happy birthday, Fatima” (thereby summarizing the ambivalent attitude of the government toward this prominent Morocco-born woman).

There may have been a financial motive:

The cartoon might have gone unnoticed if a La Presse reporter hadn’t asked the PM’s office to comment five days later, and if the office hadn’t phoned the Courrier’s owner (TC Transcontinental) to complain about this “poor-taste” depiction of a “murder.” Unwilling to antagonize the PM in the midst of a widespread protest against a proposed bill that would free municipalities from the obligation of buying ad space for their public notices, Transcontinental’s direction expressed its “agreement” with the goverment and pulled the caricature from the paper’s website, even though this action hadn’t been requested.

Here’s a link to the offending cartoon at the Montreal Gazette (for now).

Couillard was, of course, a “Je suis Charlie” poseur.

New French word daily: “stoning” = lapidation

Reality check: Just for once, the government has found a way to get the public interested in at least one type of art and, predictably, not by funding it. And just think how much better off we’ll all be when the government’s job includes policing this kind of thing for “Islamophobia.”

See also: Anti-Islamophobia legislation is just the beginning, of course.