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Thread: Why America needs a hate speech law

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    Why America needs a hate speech law

    Wow. Where to begin. Is it from the hypocrisy of a former Time editor now championing censorship? Is it from the lack of faith in the marketplace of ideas? Is it from the hubris that hate speech can even be banned and if it could, then people would stop hating or something? Or is it from the sinister, "give us this power and, trust us, we'll never misuse it for our own political ends." No one gets to define what I think, or what I say. If that bothers you, then those other countries that have don't have free speech beckon.

    We already have laws that prohibit speech likely to cause imminent violence. That's enough.

    America does NOT need a hate speech law. And if Richard Stengal thinks otherwise then he's an idiot.

    Why America needs a hate speech law

    By Richard Stengel
    Oct. 29, 2019 at 5:20 a.m. PDT

    Richard Stengel, a former editor of Time, is the author of “Information Wars” and was the State Department’s undersecretary for public diplomacy and public affairs from 2013 to 2016.

    When I was a journalist, I loved Justice Oliver Wendell Holmes Jr.’s assertion that the Constitution and the First Amendment are not just about protecting “free thought for those who agree with us but freedom for the thought that we hate.”

    But as a government official traveling around the world championing the virtues of free speech, I came to see how our First Amendment standard is an outlier. Even the most sophisticated Arab diplomats that I dealt with did not understand why the First Amendment allows someone to burn a Koran. Why, they asked me, would you ever want to protect that?

    It’s a fair question. Yes, the First Amendment protects the “thought that we hate,” but it should not protect hateful speech that can cause violence by one group against another. In an age when everyone has a megaphone, that seems like a design flaw.

    It is important to remember that our First Amendment doesn’t just protect the good guys; our foremost liberty also protects any bad actors who hide behind it to weaken our society. In the weeks leading up to the 2016 election, Russia’s Internet Research Agency planted false stories hoping they would go viral. They did. Russian agents assumed fake identities, promulgated false narratives and spread lies on Twitter and Facebook, all protected by the First Amendment.

    The Russians understood that our free press and its reflex toward balance and fairness would enable Moscow to slip its destructive ideas into our media ecosystem. When Putin said back in 2014 that there were no Russian troops in Crimea — an outright lie — he knew our media would report it, and we did.

    That’s partly because the intellectual underpinning of the First Amendment was engineered for a simpler era. The amendment rests on the notion that the truth will win out in what Supreme Court Justice William O. Douglas called “the marketplace of ideas.” This “marketplace” model has a long history going back to 17th-century English intellectual John Milton, but in all that time, no one ever quite explained how good ideas drive out bad ones, how truth triumphs over falsehood.

    Milton, an early opponent of censorship, said truth would prevail in a “free and open encounter.” A century later, the framers believed that this marketplace was necessary for people to make informed choices in a democracy. Somehow, magically, truth would emerge. The presumption has always been that the marketplace would offer a level playing field. But in the age of social media, that landscape is neither level nor fair.

    On the Internet, truth is not optimized. On the Web, it’s not enough to battle falsehood with truth; the truth doesn’t always win. In the age of social media, the marketplace model doesn’t work. A 2016 Stanford study showed that 82 percent of middle schoolers couldn’t distinguish between an ad labeled “sponsored content” and an actual news story. Only a quarter of high school students could tell the difference between an actual verified news site and one from a deceptive account designed to look like a real one.

    Since World War II, many nations have passed laws to curb the incitement of racial and religious hatred. These laws started out as protections against the kinds of anti-Semitic bigotry that gave rise to the Holocaust. We call them hate speech laws, but there’s no agreed-upon definition of what hate speech actually is. In general, hate speech is speech that attacks and insults people on the basis of race, religion, ethnic origin and sexual orientation.

    more here

    https://www.washingtonpost.com/opini...te-speech-law/
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    Re: Why America needs a hate speech law

    Quote Originally Posted by eman623 View Post
    Wow. Where to begin. Is it from the hypocrisy of a former Time editor now championing censorship? Is it from the lack of faith in the marketplace of ideas? Is it from the hubris that hate speech can even be banned and if it could, then people would stop hating or something? Or is it from the sinister, "give us this power and, trust us, we'll never misuse it for our own political ends." No one gets to define what I think, or what I say. If that bothers you, then those other countries that have don't have free speech beckon.

    We already have laws that prohibit speech likely to cause imminent violence. That's enough.

    America does NOT need a hate speech law. And if Richard Stengal thinks otherwise then he's an idiot.
    People who support hate speech do so because they feel entitled to hate speech. They do not do so because they support free speech. Otherwise they'd be first in line to defend the rights of feminists, civil rights activists, trans rights activists, etc. when they speak out.
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    Re: Why America needs a hate speech law

    Quote Originally Posted by eman623 View Post
    Wow. Where to begin. Is it from the hypocrisy of a former Time editor now championing censorship? Is it from the lack of faith in the marketplace of ideas? Is it from the hubris that hate speech can even be banned and if it could, then people would stop hating or something? Or is it from the sinister, "give us this power and, trust us, we'll never misuse it for our own political ends." No one gets to define what I think, or what I say. If that bothers you, then those other countries that have don't have free speech beckon.

    We already have laws that prohibit speech likely to cause imminent violence. That's enough.

    America does NOT need a hate speech law. And if Richard Stengal thinks otherwise then he's an idiot.
    After the war, Europe's civil institutions were systematically purged of right-wingers. This enabled the passage of "hate speech" laws, which allowed prosecution of political dissidents. At the same time, American leftists were actively defending free speech because they did not yet have control of our country's institutions.

    The American left has now reached the same level of institutional hegemony that the European left had after the war. It is natural that they would seek to cement their power in the same way.
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    Re: Why America needs a hate speech law

    Communist propaganda is hate speech. There is a precedent for this given that the US Communist Party was deactivated by law in the 1950s. I would be willing to tolerate hate speech laws if hating your country was included as well as all Communist/Marxist speech/association.
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    Re: Why America needs a hate speech law

    Fine idea doing away with NAZI, white supremacist, orange ape/clown...deplorables, knuckle dragging rednecks, teabaggers, toothless rightwingers...along with all other derogatory hateful terms.





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    Re: Why America needs a hate speech law

    1. The United States of America already prohibits hate speech.

    2. All websites have moderators who ban hate speech.

    3. The First Amendment allows people who wish to use hate speech to buy their own printing press and say anything they want. But their circulation will be miniscule, for no newsstand will sell their publication, and no one wants their postal carrier to know that s/he is a subscriber.


    4. At school and at work, hate speech will result in expulsion or dismissal.


    5. So there is no need to have a de jure hate speech law. There is already a de facto prohibition that 99.99% of Americans know they had better observe.
    Last edited by TheParser; 11-02-19 at 01:58 PM.

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    Re: Why America needs a hate speech law

    Quote Originally Posted by AmNat View Post
    After the war, Europe's civil institutions were systematically purged of right-wingers. This enabled the passage of "hate speech" laws, which allowed prosecution of political dissidents. At the same time, American leftists were actively defending free speech because they did not yet have control of our country's institutions.

    The American left has now reached the same level of institutional hegemony that the European left had after the war. It is natural that they would seek to cement their power in the same way.


    https://www.debatepolitics.com/polls...net-earth.html
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    Re: Why America needs a hate speech law

    Quote Originally Posted by Lovebug View Post
    Fine idea doing away with NAZI, white supremacist, orange ape/clown...deplorables, knuckle dragging rednecks, teabaggers, toothless rightwingers...along with all other derogatory hateful terms.

    The first two describe ideologies so ya got a fail there.


    https://www.debatepolitics.com/polls...net-earth.html
    Quote Originally Posted by Tigerace117 View Post
    Gee you are lucky then James, even if someone did point a gun at your head there isn’t anything in there for a bullet to hurt

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    Re: Why America needs a hate speech law

    I would go as far to say that one can speak more freely in Cuba (at least as a tourist) than one can speak in the USA. The US restrictions are becoming increasingly strict. There are also prohibitions on political contributions and what organizations one belongs to. Face it, freedom of expression/association in the USA is over.

    The next stage is COMPELLED speech, for example mandatory use of "preferred pronouns".

    Quote Originally Posted by TheParser View Post
    1. The United States of America already prohibits hate speech.

    2. All websites have moderators who ban hate speech.

    3. The First Amendment allows people who wish to use hate speech to buy their own printing press and say anything they want. But their circulation will be miniscule, for no newsstand will sell their publication, and no one wants their postal carrier to know that s/he is a subscriber.


    4. At school and at work, hate speech will result in expulsion or dismissal.


    5. So there is no need to have a de jure hate speech law. There is already a de facto prohibition that 99.99% of Americans know they had better observe.
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    Re: Why America needs a hate speech law

    The marketplace of ideas is all fine and good however we should be aware what the currency is within the larger media scape. The currency is unfortunately not good ideas but attention as we see on social media. This is how bad faith actors win and it is how reactionaries have been able to use liberal values of free speech to end it. Lets not kid ourselves, good ideas is not the currency in this marketplace.


    https://www.debatepolitics.com/polls...net-earth.html
    Quote Originally Posted by Tigerace117 View Post
    Gee you are lucky then James, even if someone did point a gun at your head there isn’t anything in there for a bullet to hurt

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