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EU Gives Ultimatum To Facebook and Twitter: Obey Us Or We'll Start Regulating (theregister.co.uk) 335

An anonymous reader quotes a report from The Register: The EU Commission has fired a shot across Facebook and Twitter's bows, having issued a proclamation decreeing that "social media platforms" must do more to remove "illegal content inciting hatred, violence and terrorism online." Although what is said in the EU proclamation is nothing new -- indeed, in the UK, the measures proposed by the EU's talking heads have been standard practice for years -- what matters here is not what is being said publicly, but instead the threat of what might happen unless Facebook appeases the bloc's leaders. The EU said that platforms should appoint dedicated points of contact for police forces and other State agencies to talk to about illegal content; appoint trusted content moderators ("flaggers," in EU-ese); and invest in "automatic detection technologies." In addition, illegal content should be deleted within "specific timeframes."

All straightforward; nothing new there, at least from the British perspective. Yet the threat is in the EU's later words: "Today's communication is a first step and follow-up initiatives will depend on the online platforms' actions to proactively implement the guidelines. The Commission will carefully monitor progress made by the online platforms over the next months and assess whether additional measures are needed."

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EU Gives Ultimatum To Facebook and Twitter: Obey Us Or We'll Start Regulating

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  • The EU (Score:2, Insightful)

    Where Free Speech is not acceptable!
    • Re:The EU (Score:5, Interesting)

      by Baron_Yam ( 643147 ) on Friday September 29, 2017 @09:10AM (#55275865)

      Pretty much every aspect of your life is subject to the collective will of the society in which you live. You cry, 'Freedom of speech!', and they're saying, 'Stop the spread of dangerous hate!'. Since they have a lot more experience with domestic terror groups than Americans do, I understand why they're going that way.

      Right now, you're probably right. But when groups of malcontents are allowed to fester unchecked, they eventually cross the line from being bitter to being violent... and that's when the EU approach suddenly looks better.

      So far as I know, nobody has figured out how to balance the two concerns in a way that makes everyone (or even most people) happy.

      I'm usually reasonably happy with Canada's position, which is something like 'free speech until you're advocating harming people'. That tends to get Americans twisted up in knots, but it works for us, and we (as much as I can speak for all Canadians) don't feel like we're living under the constant surveillance of Big Brother's telescreens.

      • Re:The EU (Score:4, Funny)

        by MightyYar ( 622222 ) on Friday September 29, 2017 @09:19AM (#55275913)

        Nah, in the US we use the strategy of having horrific levels of violence pretty much all the time, so we don't really overreact to individual mass killings.

        It's kind of like making sure that your background radiation is high enough that you don't really mind an occasional meltdown.

      • Re:The EU (Score:5, Insightful)

        by Bert64 ( 520050 ) <bert@slashdot.fi ... NBSDom minus bsd> on Friday September 29, 2017 @09:24AM (#55275945) Homepage

        Making something illegal doesn't stop it happening, it just causes it to happen in secret...
        Those who are planning or advocating violence will still do so, but will now be harder to keep track of. Meanwhile others will be drawn to these illegal groups out of curiosity.

        Educate people, allow everything out in the open and most people will reject dangerous ideologies anyway, and the few who don't will be easy to keep on top of.

        • Last sunday we had elections in Germany.
          A relatively new right wing radical party won about 10% of the seats.

          I would not call that a few.

          • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

            by Salgak1 ( 20136 )

            Why are conservatives always called "extreme" or "radical", and yet if left of center, there is far more tolerance.

            • Why are conservatives always called "extreme" or "radical", and yet if left of center, there is far more tolerance.

              The left was only tolerant in hippie songs created by ... the left. In practice if you don't walk the line very carefully you will be expelled permanently. That's why movie stars trip over themselves to support the cause of the moment. Just like North Koreans they will be punished if they don't have sufficient enthusiasm in their praise.

          • Re:The EU (Score:5, Insightful)

            by lgw ( 121541 ) on Friday September 29, 2017 @11:33AM (#55276877) Journal

            Freedom of speech applies to "radical parties" far from the current ruling party more than anything else. That's the entire point, really, the freedom to disagree with the rulers, plus the freedom to disagree with the "intellectuals" in charge of communist regimes.

            Communists(or whatever the post-modernists call themselves these days) in the US are now staging violent protests against free speech, because it's anathema to draconic rule by self-described "intellectuals".

            Whatever sort of party you fear, any party that objects to free speech is the worst choice.

            Fundamentally, humans have two ways to resolve disputes: speech or violence. Which do you choose?

        • Educate people, allow everything out in the open and most people will reject dangerous ideologies anyway

          Which is why anti-vax, flat earth, climate denial, and evolution denial are all born and bred in the USA. There are numerous, modern examples of this claim failing. Reject it now, if you are at all rational.

          I support free speech, but the spread of dangerous ideologies is one of its costs, not one of its benefits.

      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by Anonymous Coward

        And who decides what counts as "advocating harming people"? Some people say that criticising a religion is hate speech which could lead to violence. What do you do when someone is sent to jail in Canada for simply saying something like "Islam is not a religion of peace"? Who censors the censor? etc. It's turtles all the way down...

        • Simple question: do you think that postings on social media in favour of Isis are "advocating harming people"? Do you think this should be suppressed?
      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by Ol Olsoc ( 1175323 )

        Since they have a lot more experience with domestic terror groups than Americans do, I understand why they're going that way.

        Does it follow that Europe's nasty record of being the number one killer in the world was a result of free speech?

        Right now, you're probably right. But when groups of malcontents are allowed to fester unchecked, they eventually cross the line from being bitter to being violent... and that's when the EU approach suddenly looks better.

        To be blunt, I'm convinced the opposite is true. The minority needs it's say. A group might expend their anger, or they might simply get themselves in trouble when they advocate violence or perform that violence. Active suppression can feed the anger, and simply drive it underground.

        So far as I know, nobody has figured out how to balance the two concerns in a way that makes everyone (or even most people) happy.

        I'm usually reasonably happy with Canada's position, which is something like 'free speech until you're advocating harming people'. That tends to get Americans twisted up in knots, but it works for us, and we (as much as I can speak for all Canadians) don't feel like we're living under the constant surveillance of Big Brother's telescreens.

        Calling for violence will get the authorities very interested in you here in old knot-twisted 'Murrica. Specific

        • by dave420 ( 699308 )

          Extremism begets extremism. Cutting off avenues for vulnerable people to be swayed by extremism works. It's not about the current extremists, but stopping new ones being formed.

      • Re:The EU (Score:4, Interesting)

        by jellomizer ( 103300 ) on Friday September 29, 2017 @09:45AM (#55276073)

        The American Slogan "Land of the Free and the home of the Brave"
        This is because Free Speech and Freedom in general are dangerous things to have, and we need Bravery to deal with this constant danger.
        However what has happened in the United States (and much of the world), we lost our bravery (on both sides of the political spectrum). We are afraid of Terrorist, Radicals, Racists, Minorities, Rich People, Poor People, Christians, Atheists, Muslims, Jewish.... So we are cowarding to our comfortable little corners of the world, and demanding protection from these bad ideas. This polarization increases fear, and there will be points where this fear will either lash out in escalating violence, or there will be some real Bravery, Courage and Leadership to reach out to these scary dangerous people and show that they are not so bad, and learn to disagree with a point of view, without fearing that point, and learning to accept and use use reason to help moderate the bad parts of our nature.

        Until then, battle lines are being drawn, and if things don't get better there could be a Social war In America that would spread to Europe and the rest of the world, that would change the world power structure and perhaps put us into a dark ages. As the world economy would be tanked.

      • Re:The EU (Score:4, Interesting)

        by andrewbaldwin ( 442273 ) on Friday September 29, 2017 @10:13AM (#55276289)

        Pretty much every aspect of your life is subject to the collective will of the society in which you live.

        This seems to be universally true - yet most people seem to have blinkered vision.

        No one has a universal answer (and I doubt that one exists). Both the US and EU approaches have merits and both have drawbacks

        US observers cry statism and slippery slope at the EU approaches.
        They point out the democratic deficit in some structures (albeit with less corruption/bribery than campaign contributions in the US).

        Non US observers point out that freedom of expression in the US is fine as long as you toe the party line.
        They remember Joe MacCarthy
        They point out how, for all the vaunted freedoms, the societal limitations placed upon anyone who happens to be black, gay, atheist, muslim, socialist....

        Neither party comes out with much glory, both have an element of hypocrisy - yet both are much better than fundamentalist theocracies or single state tyrannies and we should celebrate that.

        There's more in common than different and grandstanding, assuming moral superiority and slagging each other off doesn't help

      • by lgw ( 121541 )

        Since they have a lot more experience with domestic terror groups than Americans do, I understand why they're going that way.

        When someone "migrates" to your country, and then commits a terrorist act, that's not a domestic terrorist, but the regular sort. Britain had some experience with domestic terrorism, but the IRA stopped their antics when terrorism became uncool, many years back now.

      • The Nazis in Germany gained ascendancy at least in part because they could bear up and silence those who spoke against them.

        It is foolish to grant that power to the anti-Nazi side, then cross one's fingers and hope it eventually twisted against one's interests.

        It is odd to feign smugness that you've, once and for all, seized censorshop to be used by the proper people, and only them.

        You still have people alive who have memory of dictatorship. Meanwhile, the US remains free almost 250 years later.

      • Pretty much every aspect of your life is subject to the collective will of the society in which you live. You cry, 'Freedom of speech!', and they're saying, 'Stop the spread of dangerous hate!'. Since they have a lot more experience with domestic terror groups than Americans do, I understand why they're going that way.

        EU's approach is embarrassing. They should spend more time addressing their problems instead of ordering people to "shut up" under threat of violence.

        Right now, you're probably right. But when groups of malcontents are allowed to fester unchecked, they eventually cross the line from being bitter to being violent... and that's when the EU approach suddenly looks better.

        Censorship is the go to tool of cowards who lack guts to stand behind their convictions unwilling to attempt hard work necessary to build general consensus for their positions.

    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      Slashdot is a strange place.

      They defend censorship of Google and Facebook when it's the USA. But when it's the EU doing it, they deride it.

      • Slashdot is a strange place.

        >

        It's an open secret that Mark Zuckerberg wants to be the next President of the USA. The whole world will get a lot stranger when he has his fingers on the nuke buttons, and the EU is attacking his company.

      • by GuB-42 ( 2483988 )

        If a private company blocks some kind of content, it is totally within their rights. They own the platform and using it is a privilege, not a right. They are only required to follow their own contracts. If you are unhappy with that, find another platform, or create your own.

        When a government decides to force companies to remove content, that's real censorship. A completely different matter.

        AFAIK, the USA have much stronger freedom of speech laws than the EU. And Google and Facebook usually block content on

        • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

          Except the government is the only entity that has the purpose of standing up equally for all people. I'm sorry you Americans have a crappy government, but you really need to become active in making it the government it should be, rather than distrusting any government anywhere, including your own.
          • Re:The EU (Score:5, Insightful)

            by penandpaper ( 2463226 ) on Friday September 29, 2017 @10:59AM (#55276645) Journal

            A government protecting speech for all is standing up for equality for all people.

            We distrust the government because we do not think we are special and that the horrors of the past can happen here. What drives violence is that same in Europe as in the US because human nature. Sweeping offensive speech under the rug does not solve the problem. Outlawing offensive speech only perpetuates those that parade those believes because those people will go underground, be validated, double their resolve, galvanize their support and create a victim narrative for recruitment.

            Speech is more dangerous than a gun because it can rally genocide. Yet, it is the most important right of a democratic society. If you ban speech then you undermine the foundation of democracy. Free speech does not protect speech the majority thinks acceptable. It is for the controversial and offensive which has been historically the speech that has given us more freedom and more rights and more understanding of ourselves.

            There is a price to every right. The more that people forget that - the more that the price will be paid in blood.

            • Re:The EU (Score:4, Insightful)

              by JonnyCalcutta ( 524825 ) on Friday September 29, 2017 @12:01PM (#55277099)

              I'm sorry, but that's just hyperbole.

              1) the EU is not banning speech or even offensive speech. They are banning speech that incites violence and terrorism

              2) in the USA you do not have absolute freedom of speech so despite your hyperbole any argument is about where the line should be, not whether there is a line.

              3) I would argue that privacy is just as important a right as speech. I don't have any evidence to back that up, but then neither do you. You're just spouting dogma.

              • I'm sorry but if you think it hyperbole then you have become complacent living with freedom and take it for granted.

                1) inciting violence (threats) and terrorism is illegal in the US as it is in Europe. But Europe does have Hate speech laws. Hate speech in the US is protected by the 1st amendment and upheld every time it went to the Supreme Court.

                2) I never said absolute freedom of speech. Libel, slander, and threats of violence are illegal. That doesn't change the fact that hate speech is protected speech a

      • They defend censorship of Google and Facebook when it's the USA. But when it's the EU doing it, they deride it.

        Who are these "they?" If you've found a specific hypocrite, call him out by name/id. I think most of us are pretty consistently pro-censorship or anti-censorship.

    • Perspective (Score:2, Insightful)

      by sjbe ( 173966 )

      Where Free Speech is not acceptable!

      Two points. 1) Free Speech from the American perspective isn't a universal perspective. It is unique to our circumstance and our history. The EU has Free Speech but the details are a little different and that is fine in principle. We can quibble over the details of where the line on free speech should be but you have to address how you plan to control hate groups if you let their rhetoric flow freely. Europe obviously feels that it makes more sense to squash to speech up front since they lack the unifi

      • Re:Perspective (Score:4, Insightful)

        by Chris Mattern ( 191822 ) on Friday September 29, 2017 @09:33AM (#55275993)

        you have to address how you plan to control hate groups if you let their rhetoric flow freely

        By arresting and penalizing them only when they commit crimes and violence?

        • Where do you stand on the inchoate offences such as conspiracy to commit a crime..?
          • That would be provable intent to commit the crime or violence. Unless you prove the intent, you got nothing.

          • by hord ( 5016115 )

            Did they actually commit a crime or cause harm? If no harm was caused, are you willing to inflict real harm to prevent potential harm?

        • Standing in front of a Jewish shop and shouting: 'Death to all Jews!' is a crime.
          Writing the same thing on facebook is a crime, too.

          What exactly is your point?

          • Standing in front of a Jewish shop and shouting: 'Death to all Jews!' is a crime.

            No, it's not. Or at least, it shouldn't be.

            Writing the same thing on facebook is a crime, too.

            What exactly is your point?

            That these are not crimes.

            • They are crimes.
              Plain and simple.

              An the majourity of europeans agree, that they should be crimes.

              And we really have not much respect for people who believe otherwise.

              You see? You think we are super stupid to have such laws and we think you are an immoral bastard for not having such laws and even more immoral for criticizing us (actually you have similar laws, you just are not aware about it).

              The Kristallnacht happened in Germany, that is in Europe. Hence we Europeans find such laws morally superior to your

              • by mysidia ( 191772 )

                Really? What is the purported crime?

                What if we change the message to: DEATH TO ALL HUMANS

                Is that a crime? Also, is the message illegal to quote as an example?

                How can we have a reasonable discussion about what is a crime and what is not if some government is trying to rule the existence of certain sequences of information as "Illegal" --- this is just as dangerous as burning books, And it shows the EU is falling apart, as in freedom is failing --- because the freedom of speech as appearing in th

                • "And it shows the EU is falling apart, as in freedom is failing "
                  We have those laws since the US imposed them on us. Which is about 70 years ago.
                  I see no falling apart.

                  Is that a crime?
                  Likely not, as it is not directed against minorities, religious, sexual, racial groups etc.

                  Also, is the message illegal to quote as an example?
                  No, quoting something is not illegal. How retarded are you?

                  How can we have a reasonable discussion about what is a crime and what is not
                  By discussing it?
                  Hu? Again: how retarded are you

              • The Kristallnacht happened in Germany, that is in Europe.

                Kristallnacht was violence and vandalism. I am not arguing for permitting violence and vandalism.

          • by mysidia ( 191772 )

            Standing in front of a Jewish shop and shouting: 'Death to all Jews!' is a crime.

            Only because standing on a public street in front of any shop and repeatedly shouting just about ANYTHING is a crime, of disturbance of the peace.
            Also, the message may be harassment given the CHOICE of place you setup to use illegal means of delivering that message.

            Facebook is a private venue, so the website owners have a right to accept your message, and also, people who dislike or don't agree your message, or that feel

      • Free Speech from the American perspective isn't a universal perspective. It is unique to our circumstance and our history. The EU has Free Speech but the details are a little different and that is fine in principle.

        And we tend to be a little bit less nipple-averse than the US.

        Our concept of Free Speech vs Censorship doesn't in any way go nut whenever there's a little bit of flesh shown somewhere [facebook.com] (*).
        Nudity isn't a reason to kick-ban you from European media, because of "Think of the Children" and "OMG! Femal Anatomy ! Run for your lives !" [sinfest.net].

        Indeed, based on past history, each side of the Atlantic pond has a slightly different approach on the Free Speech vs Censorship scale.

        We can quibble over the details of where the line on free speech should be but you have to address how you plan to control hate groups if you let their rhetoric flow freely.

        There are also other very valid trends in Europ

        • by mysidia ( 191772 )

          Nudity isn't a reason to kick-ban you from European media

          Ahah, an IRC user, perhaps!...... most would just say ban.

          Anyways, perhaps they would step away from these ridiculous demands if social media became more decentralized
          and distributed: store messages locally, removing the ability of a central agency to "censor through forced deletion".

      • by ( 4475953 )

        The US doesn't have free speech either, it's one of those bizarre myths like "the American Dream". There are plenty of things you can say in the US that will get you into prison in no time.

      • Re:Perspective (Score:4, Insightful)

        by UnknownSoldier ( 67820 ) on Friday September 29, 2017 @10:46AM (#55276559)

        > 1) Free Speech from the American perspective isn't a universal perspective. It is unique to our circumstance and our history.

        Bullshit. Did you completely fail British history ???

        * Political Philosopher John Stuart Mill (1806-1873) (British) ; On Liberty [gutenberg.org] is summarized by this On Liberty of Thought and Discussion [herts.ac.uk] essay:

        Mill laid out his argument for freedom of expression in the second section of On Liberty ('liberty of thought and discussion'). The core of his argument is that censorship prevents us from correcting errors by critical discussion. If a forbidden opinion is true,we lose the opportunity to learn of its truth. If a forbidden opinion is false, we lose the opportunity to remind ourselves why it is false.

        * C. S. Lewis (1898-1963) (British) Chronological Snobbery [cslewisinstitute.org]

        Lewis defines this chronological snobbery as âoethe uncritical acceptance of the intellectual climate of our own age and the assumption that whatever has gone out of date is on that count discredited.â Lewis eventually came to understand the need to ask further questions such as: Why did this idea go out of date? Was it ever refuted? If so, by whom, where, and how conclusively? In other words, you need to determine if an old idea is false before you reject it; we would not want to say that everything believed in an ancient culture was false. Which things are false -- and why -- and which things remain true?

        > We can quibble over the details of where the line on free speech should be but you have to address how you plan to control hate groups if you let their rhetoric flow freely.

        There IS no line. Either you censor or you don't. PERIOD.

        Grow the fuck up, put your big boy pants on and learn that not everyone will agree with what you say. And thats OK. Because the opposite, censorship, is FAR, FAR, worse.

        --
        "Only Cowards Censor"

    • by houghi ( 78078 )

      If you don't like it. Don't do business here. That is also what is told to EU companies http://europa.eu/rapid/press-r... [europa.eu]

    • just like female nipples in Freeland.

    • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

      by AmiMoJo ( 196126 )

      By that logic free speech is unacceptable in the US as well, since sometimes speech can be a crime. Fraud, credible threats, harassment, leaking state secrets, causing injury or death through panic... There are all sorts of ways that speech in the US can get you into legal difficulties.

      • by mysidia ( 191772 )

        There are all sorts of ways that speech in the US can get you into legal difficulties.

        These "legal difficulties" occur after a shown harm; they DONT allow the authorities to mandate proactive deletion of your message before a court order referring to you specifically is issued.

        Except for "leaking state secrets" --- as for that, you signed papers agreeing NOT TO leak state secrets, before you received legitimate access those secrets; if you took actions to steal secrets, then you did more than speak

      • by djinn6 ( 1868030 )
        Whether the US has free speech has nothing to do with whether the EU should have free speech. There's room for improvement everywhere.

        You belong to the group of people who think not listening is not an option, that it's impossible to just stop following or unfriending someone. God forbid people try to decide for themselves what they want to hear. How dare they! After all, only you know what the "right" speech is.
    • Where Free Speech is not acceptable!

      Maybe, my read of it is this. "We police our real people, you need to police your virtual people." Which I find interesting because the EU is basically saying that they don't want to actually pay for virtual policing and would rather these companies do it voluntarily or they'll deputize them by law. I don't think it is so much a free speech attack as it is the EU trying to sluff off the responsibility of doing the thing that a government or government like organization is supposed to do.

      Call me crazy, bu

    • what you can't do is incite violence. After WWII the EU is still a little more sensitive to the use of what we here in the states call a Dog Whistle. Actually the EU's always been like that. In America we let people violate the spirit of the law while adhering to the letter all the damn time. The EU doesn't tolerate that. I can't say I blame them. They do it with their banking system too and they're generally better off for it (except Greece who got caught holding the bag when the 2008 crash hit).
  • I am a European and I hope they will fight this. I also hope they will not win that fight and decide to close down shop in Europe. And nothing of value was lost.

    • by ( 4475953 )

      Well, without FB work productivity in Europe would increase dramatically and voters would be well-informed again, so the US government cannot allow that to happen.

  • This is the voice of world control. I bring you peace. It may be the peace of plenty and content or the peace of unburied death. The choice is yours: Obey me and live, or disobey and die.
  • Twitter is going to need to split up into different sites, and just not show the EU the rest of the world's tweets. They can still show the US the EU's tweets, though. Will people use VPNs to get full access to twitter? Probably not.

  • by bradley13 ( 1118935 ) on Friday September 29, 2017 @10:09AM (#55276247) Homepage

    The whole "hate speech" crap is just a crying shame. Really, it's nothing but political censorship, because whoever is in charge gets to determine what viewpoints are hateful. Despite the European charter of human rights, Europe does not really believe in free speech. Really, the US doesn't either - look at the latest mess in Berkeley.

    If and when we can, it is important to push back against this kind of censorship. No one makes you follow anyone on Twitter - so why would hateful opinions even bother you? On Facebook, if someone posts something you don't like, block them, or make your page private. Are so many people really such snowflakes that a few hateful words will destroy their world?

    Really, it's kind of pathetic...

  • by evolutionary ( 933064 ) on Friday September 29, 2017 @10:17AM (#55276317)
    publish only content we approve of, or we shut you down. That truly sounds like a formula in China and Russia right now: You publish what we tell you or we will fine you. Sounds a lot like: publish what we tell you, or we shut you down. The requests by the EU sound a lot like the regulatory systems in China where you have reps you report to to approve content. People may say it's for safety but "those who give up essential liberties for a little extra security deserve neither liberty nor security". In other words, there is always going to be some people who have an unpopular or sometimes even dangerous opinion, but if we suppress it being express even non-violently, we eliminate free thought, and when you have that, you have tyranny.
    • by trawg ( 308495 )

      Jesus mate. Wait until you hear what the FCC has told American broadcasters they can and can't say. You'll be fucking livid!

  • They will shut off access to their services from the EU and see how they like that. If they follow through with these requests, it will by default affect principles of free speech here in the USA. What the EU already considers censurable hate speech is insane. As time goes on, they will only add more and more that Facebook and Twitter will have to follow.
  • by UnknownSoldier ( 67820 ) on Friday September 29, 2017 @10:27AM (#55276421)

    Your bullshit "hate speech" is nothing more then censorship.

    Apparently you learnt NOTHING from (British) Political Philosopher John Stuart Mill (1806-1873) [youtu.be] to which this YouTuber beautifully summarized:

    [He] made an argument for free speech including that of hate speech for a good reason.

    He argued that if we censor hate speech our fundamental beliefs of what is right and wrong are not tested.

    If our beliefs are aren't argued against then we don't attempt to rationalize what we believe to be true.

    We don't think about why our beliefs are right.

    When we don't question our beliefs we don't think about them.

    And when we don't think about our beliefs we don't learn new things. We don't advance and improve our thoughts about what is right and wrong.

    He argued that even if someone's argument is wrong it still serves a purpose of making us rationalize and check our beliefs and even improve them.

    Being able to listen to an argument that is wrong lets us understand what makes an argument wrong and improve our own beliefs from learning from someone else's failure.

    Gee, oh look, C. S. Lewis (Hey, look another smart British citizen!) said the SAME thing, except he called it Chronological Snobbery [cslewisinstitute.org]

    Grow the fuck up EU already. Just maybe you should pay more attention to your history.

    --
    Only cowards censor.

  • Nope! (Score:4, Insightful)

    by tietokone-olmi ( 26595 ) on Friday September 29, 2017 @10:50AM (#55276587)

    These companies should wait until the matter becomes a regulation, because only that can be contested in court. Legislation can also be contested in court, but not before it's subject to the whole parliamentary transparency process; which is what the commission (executive) is trying to avoid with these threats.

    Those companies have already seen this a couple of times from various governments. It's all bluster; the commission can of course put pressure on them, but that's likely either inconsequential or outright illegal.

  • by Solandri ( 704621 ) on Friday September 29, 2017 @11:19AM (#55276789)
    "We have to put a stop to the idea that it is a part of everybody's civil rights to say whatever he pleases." - Adolf Hitler [azquotes.com]

    The issue here is something recent anti-white supremacist protesters need to take to heart. The principle of free speech is agnostic. You cannot claim to uphold free speech while simultaneously attempting to deny it to those you disagree with. Either you believe in free speech, even when that speech offends you. Or you believe in suppression of certain viewpoints and their expression. The latter puts you in the same category as China, Russia, and Nazi Germany - the only difference is which ideas you've decided to suppress.

    "I disapprove of what you say, but I will defend to the death your right to say it" - Evelyn Beatrice Hall [wikipedia.org]

    The idea behind free speech is that you can't counter a negative with a negative. If you consider it to be justified to impose negative policies against ideas you consider to be negative, you are by definition justifying negative policies towards your ideas by those people if the tables are ever turned. After all, from their perspective, you have negative ideas and thus they are justified in imposing negative policies against you And all of society devolves into a self-perpetuating cycle of negativity.

    Free speech attempts to break this cycle by saying everyone is allowed to have their say. And instead of actively fighting against the expression of ideas we don't like, we'll simply rely on rational people (who hopefully make up the overwhelming majority of the population) to judge and dismiss those ideas as ridiculous. The proper response to white supremacist propaganda is citing historical examples of where their beliefs have led the world in the past - innocents living (or hiding) in fear, mob lynchings of innocents, genocide, world war. Convince rational people that we don't want to go down that direction again.

I was playing poker the other night... with Tarot cards. I got a full house and 4 people died. -- Steven Wright

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