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France: Twitter gives information on anti-gay group to police following court ruling

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  1. Bill Cameron 12 Jul 2013, 10:12pm

    I have to confess I am somewhat conflicted about this:
    – firstly, I don’t think anything should be done to inhibit free speech, however offensive some views expressed are;
    – secondly, and if it could plausibly be asserted that these offensive tweets were a genuine incitement to violence against categories of people, rather than just ‘sounding off’ against people the tweeters disliked, then there is certainly a case for revealing who they are and possibly punishing them for such incitement.

    However, at a broader level, I dislike intensely the whole idea of tweeting/blogging or using the internet generally in an anonymoous way, with the idea one can ‘slag people off’ with impunity. I have always been open about my identity on-line and have never resorted to pseudonyms; if people want to express odious thoughts through twitter or blogs, then they should have the intellectual honesty to defend their views openly – so in summary, reveal their names and let them accept the consequences.

    1. I think there should be a line drawn somewhere between general unpleasant views, which could include homophobic, racist, sexist, anti-Semitic etc etc, and legitimate hate speech, speech designed to rally up violence.
      As much as I may despise some of what they say, I am a strong advocate for free speech, even speech intended to be offensive towards me, It’s a fundamental component of what makes the western world a free and desirable place to live in. The free exercise of expressing views, which are always offensive to someone. People on the right are probably offended by many comments I make regarding religious doctrine. As am I with their ‘god made marriage for one man and one woman’ remarks, but I wouldn’t want to ban them from expressing their opinion.
      However, speech to rally up hatred and violence is a different matter.

      1. concluded…
        I think the UK has gone too far in punishing some speech deemed to be ‘hate speech’. The US never used to be, but right now, a nineteen year old is sitting in jail for making a stupid joke, and literally stating it was a joke, at the end of said joke.
        The joke was immature, sure. But he’s now looking at a nine year prison sentence, for A JOKE, a joke he made clear in the same comment. This type of overreaction is going too far, IMHO.
        People shouldn’t be penalized for their views, but their actions based on those views, if they conflict with the rights of others.
        The right for you to throw a punch at me, ends at the tip of my nose.

    2. “firstly, I don’t think anything should be done to inhibit free speech, however offensive some views expressed are…”

      That is the reason America has people like Fred Phelps while european countries don’t. But who cares if people can call someone the spawn of hell, baby killers or pedophiles? Who cares if some preacher cites bible verses that advocate the murder of gay people under the cover of religion? At least we have have Freedum, amiright?

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