The sudden, unexplained removal of a research paper on private equity firms buying dermatology practices has raised questions about corporate influence.
— Read on www.nytimes.com/2018/10/26/health/private-equity-dermatology.html
A new decision from the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) confirms the all-out assault on free speech that has taken hold of Europe. In a chilling decision, the ECHR upheld a fine levied against an Austrian woman who called Muhammad a pedophile for his arranged marriage with a young girl while in his 50s.
Source: European Court Upholds Prosecution Of Woman For Comparing Muhammad’s Marriage To A Six-Year-Old Girl To Pedophilia
Now the Police are advertising the fact that they are thought police who will implement controls on people. This probably has good intentions, but is way to much control for the government to wield over people.
We have previously discussed the alarming rollback on free speech rights in the West , particularly in France ( here and here and here and here and here and here ) and England ( here and here and here and here and here and here and here and here and here and here ). Much of this trend is tied to the expansion of hate speech.
Source: British Police Department Calls On Citizens To Report Non-Criminal Offensive or Insulting Comments
Ron Wyden, a senior U.S. Senator from Oregon, argues there should be consequences for internet companies that refuse to remove hate speech from their platforms. An anonymous reader shares an excerpt from a report Wyden wrote via TechCrunch:
I wrote the law that allows sites to be unfettered free speech marketplaces. I wrote that same law, Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act, to provide vital protections to sites that didn’t want to host the most unsavory forms of expression. The goal was to protect the unique ability of the internet to be the proverbial marketplace of ideas while ensuring that mainstream sites could reflect the ethics of society as a whole. In general, this has been a success — with one glaring exception. I never expected that internet CEOs would fail to understand one simple principle: that an individual endorsing (or denying) the extermination of millions of people, or attacking the victims of horrific crimes or the parents of murdered children, is far more indecent than an individual posting pornography.
“Social media cannot exist without the legal protections of Section 230. That protection is not constitutional, it’s statutory. Failure by the companies to properly understand the premise of the law is the beginning of the end of the protections it provides. I say this because their failures are making it increasingly difficult for me to protect Section 230 in Congress. Members across the spectrum, including far-right House and Senate leaders, are agitating for government regulation of internet platforms. Even if government doesn’t take the dangerous step of regulating speech, just eliminating the 230 protections is enough to have a dramatic, chilling effect on expression across the internet. Were Twitter to lose the protections I wrote into law, within 24 hours its potential liabilities would be many multiples of its assets and its stock would be worthless. The same for Facebook and any other social media site. Boards of directors should have taken action long before now against CEOs who refuse to recognize this threat to their business.”
In an interview with Recode, Wyden said that platforms should be punished for hosting content that goes against “common decency.” “I think what the Alex Jones case shows, we’re gonna really be looking at what the consequences are for just leaving common decency in the dust,” Wyden told Recode’s Kara Swisher. “…What I’m gonna be trying to do in my legislation is to really lay out what the consequences are when somebody who is a bad actor, somebody who really doesn’t meet the decency principles that reflect our values, if that bad actor blows by the bounds of common decency, I think you gotta have a way to make sure that stuff is taken down.”
— Read on tech.slashdot.org/story/18/08/23/228259/the-consequences-of-indecency
Senator Wyden is just wrong and is basically threatening internet companies into censoring users. The people with common decency need to simply ignore the idiots. There is no reason to silence them. Silence does not mean the thoughts don’t exist. Instead they need to be confronted and exposed.
Opinion Supported by If We Silence Hate Speech, Will We Silence Resistance? “Hate” is a dangerously elastic label. And it has long been used to demonize unpopular expression, particularly among people of color. By Erik Nielson Dr.
Anne Frank Center asks Facebook to remove Holocaust denial pages
— Read on www.engadget.com/2018/08/09/anne-frank-center-facebook-remove-holocaust-denial-pages/
The Anne Frank Center for Mutual Respect is calling out Facebook for allowing Holocaust denial pages on its site. And the center is doing so through a petition in which it’s requesting Facebook and CEO Mark Zuckerberg take them down. “When these pages spread lies and untruths, it is veiled hatred and anti-semitism designed to cast doubt on facts,” the center says in the Change.org petition. “There is a difference between providing a platform for free expression and knowingly spreading false information and lies. Denying the Holocaust causes harm.”
Though Facebook has attempted to stem the spread of misinformation on its site in various ways since acknowledging its fake news problem, the issue still persists. In some cases, that’s because Facebook has made an active decision to leave misinformation on its site.
It’s truly ridiculous to say that denying the Holocaust causes harm. It proves you’re an idiot, but it causes no harm. Whatever happened to the idea that exposing idiocy and bad ideas through an open exchange was a good thing? Are they truly afraid many people are going to suddenly deny the Holocaust because some idiot says it didn’t happen? Isn’t that one of the reasons we have the Anne Frank Center – to expose those that deny the Holocaust?
Op-ed: Alex Jones is a crackpot—but banning him from Facebook might be a bad idea
Facebook and YouTube both have strict rules against posting content that is hateful, pornographic, or violates someone’s privacy. But what if someone posts content that is just egregiously false? Right now, neither Facebook nor YouTube have rules banning this kind of content. And critics say that’s a problem.
In recent weeks, the issue has come to a head over online provocateur, pundit, and conspiracy theorist Alex Jones. Jones gleefully flouts the rules of journalistic ethics, regularly making outrageous claims without a shred of evidence.
“When I think about all the children Hillary Clinton has personally murdered and chopped up and raped, I have zero fear standing up against her,” Jones said in one YouTube video.
— Read on arstechnica.com/