I'm trying to get upset about this, and somehow I just can't manage it. All I'm getting is: "Ox. Gored. Whose?"
Germany is using police and prosecutors against online hate, lies, and insults. The lengths they're going to — raiding homes, confiscating phones, and fining individuals — should trouble you. https://t.co/9g5APqDCIp pic.twitter.com/Uv5440LRw8— Sarah McLaughlin (@sarahemclaugh) September 24, 2022
Because part of me wants to say: "Is Twitter really all that important?"
No matter how wrong or offensive you find the speech, it's chilling to see the measures taken to unmask the speaker. “I try to find out what they do in their normal life...If I find where they live or their relatives then I can get the real person. The internet does not forget.” pic.twitter.com/dQ5dQXDo7N— Sarah McLaughlin (@sarahemclaugh) September 24, 2022
Well, there is that; but when someone tries to establish such a law, and it gets past the Supremes (hello, 5th Circuit!), I'll be concerned. And oddly, I don't have to rag on Germany to get there, already.
A number of reasons but the most self-serving ones are that 1) speech restrictions can often become models for other countries to adopt and 2) COVID was a good lesson that when one country restricts speech it can silence the spread of information with global consequences.— Sarah McLaughlin (@sarahemclaugh) September 25, 2022
This is an interesting observation. Except until after the 14th Amendment was passed, the 1st Amendment didn't apply to the states, at all. And 1st Amendment jurisprudence as we think we know it today was formed knottily (Brandenburg finally overruled that "fire in a crowded theater" nonsense, but tout le Twitter thinks the latter is still good law. Go figure.). And that's a lot of it. First Amendment "law" is more honored in the breach than in the keeping, and most of what "free speech" is, is what we think it is.
Countries who do not have the foundation of a 'first amendment' case law cannot really be compared to a country which has a first amendment enshrined in the country's consitution.— Jack Matthews (@JackJmatt) September 25, 2022
Which leads me to say this: Germany has a very recent history of the effects of hate speech on Europe and on Germans. The U.S. does not, and in fact has a short but robust history that encourages even hate speech, on the principle (a good or bad one is another matter) that it will be pushed out of "the marketplace of ideas" (a terrible metaphor) by more non-hate speech. Germany, obviously, does not share that view; and with what they think is good reason, too.
There are a lot of severely uninformed comments, so I'll add to this as someone who lives in Germany.— Jack of all tirades (@misterranty) September 25, 2022
We have freedom of opinion as well as freedom of expression, with a but.
People can be prosecuted for hate speech as well as insults.
Im not condoning it; simply explaining.
I gotta say, that's almost a compelling argument.
I’m fine with this. If the end result is that we turn the internet off, who would argue that we’d be worse off?— Sean Manatee (@new_cartography) September 25, 2022
You’re making me think better and better of that whole “shut down the internet” idea. I mean, that shouldn’t be happening to you, but that’s what the internet is, now.
just another day online bringing shame upon my ancestors because I don’t think it’s great when police raid the homes of people who post insults or falsehoods on social media https://t.co/cgX8CekpMs— Sarah McLaughlin (@sarahemclaugh) September 25, 2022