Timothy Benton | May 17, 2019 | 0
Free Speech Is Under Assault. Social Networks and Much Of Europe Are Leading The Fight.
We all know that Facebook claims it does not censor conservative views, and we also know this is nothing but a boldface lie, I for one can personally attest to their censorship, but will not allow anyone to silence what is needed to be said. But Facebook is starting to run into problems with laws set up with other nations that protect the right to free speech over the internet and how their censorship conflicts with them. Free speech is under attack, sadly many of us don’t see it, others use excuses to cover their attempts to stamp this right out, but we have to guard against this at all cost.
A great example is the latest case in Germany, Marlene Weise was banned from Facebook for 30 days, for posting a set of two pictures: One showed the Iranian women’s national volleyball team from the 1970s, wearing t-shirts and shorts; the other, the current Iranian team, wearing hijabs and clothes that cover arms and legs.
Germany, like much of Europe, seem to favor censorship of free speech when speaking on a street corner, wish to include censorship when posting on sites such as Facebook or Twitter put into effect their censorship law that demands private contracted services ban free speech, something we all know Facebook and others are too often happy to do.
In front of the courts, after they had issued a temporary restraining order against Facebook. Under the threat of a fine of 250,000 euros (roughly USD 300,000) or a jail term, Facebook was obliged to restore a user’s comment that it had deleted. Moreover, the ruling prohibited the company from banning the user because of this comment.
This is the first challenge to this law, is a massive case in Europe, this will decide the direction of this law, and if the courts will allow such infringement on personal freedom of speech. Gatestone stated it best when they said:
As many critics pointed out, this state censorship makes freedom of speech subject to the arbitrary decisions of corporate entities that are likely to censor more than necessary, rather than risk a crushing fine of up to 50 million euros (USD 65 million). According to a newspaper report, Facebook’s censors have just ten seconds to decide whether to delete a comment or not.
This law will put in place the demands that the social networks censor more in favor of risking having a few messages come through that could cause them to conflict with the law; this is causing great concern with many critics of the law.
“One may share the commenter’s opinion or may deem it polemic or unobjective,” Gabor B.’s attorney Joachim Nikolaus Steinhöfel told Gatestone. “The important thing is: The comment is covered by the right to freedom of speech.” He added that before going to court, his law office had sent a written warning to Facebook.
“Facebook partly gave in and lifted the ban but did not restore the comment. Facebook’s lawyers notified us that ‘a thorough reexamination came to the result that the community standards had been applied correctly and that therefore the content could not be restored’ — an assessment we cannot share.”
Steinhöfel, besides being a lawyer, is a renowned journalist, blogger and anti-censorship activist. He runs a website where he has documented countless cases in which Facebook deleted content or banned users; sometimes both. Facebook apparently often bans users because of comments that are critical of mass immigration or specific aspects of Islamic culture. For example, in March 2018, Frank Bormann was banned after he had quipped: “Muslim men are taking a second wife. To finance their lives, Germans are taking a second job.”
|Joachim Steinhöfel (right) is a lawyer, journalist and anti-censorship activist. He runs a website where he documents cases in which Facebook deleted content or banned users. (Steinhöfel image source: Hilmaarr/Wikimedia Commons)|
Sometimes, Facebook seems to object even to implicit criticism of terror organizations. In April 2018, Christian Horst was banned for three days after he had posted a picture of members of the Palestinian terror organization DFLP delivering the Hitler salute.
Sometimes, users are banned for no apparent reason at all. In March 2018, Marlene Weise was banned from Facebook for 30 days, for posting a set of two pictures: One showed the Iranian women’s national volleyball team from the 1970s, wearing t-shirts and shorts; the other, the current Iranian squad, wearing hijabs and clothes that cover arms and legs.
Steinhöfel explains that courts usually do not give reasons for a restraining order. The court could, however, grant a claim if the deleted content in question was deemed lawful and legitimate after all:
“This is a landmark decision and the first such court ruling in Germany… Eventually, users can act against the untransparent business practices of a corporation that assumes its responsibility as if it were dealing with second-hand bicycles.”
A lot of times these type of cases for us in America may not seem significant, but America has a habit of the left watching Europe and pining for what they see them doing, then when they get in power, they move to try to implement the same thing here. We have had laws already introduced where speaking out against Islam was pushed to be made illegal, in Canada, they have already made such speech illegal.
We have also seen bills introduced, not that they have passed yet, laws that would be forced on all members to do the same, they have tried time after time to push this law through. In 2009 this was brought before the UN, it failed, but since then we have seen even the great stalwarts of free speech, nations like England, Sweden, put into law protection of Islam from any criticism, yet for some reason, you never hear of this returned when Muslims attack Christianity or Judaism.
Sadly these aren’t the only nations that have this law in effect. This has been led by the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation (OIC), a group that is active both in Europe and the US, they have led the fight to criminalize any mention of Islam, sadly many European nations are enacting their laws to support this, we have heard calls from the left here to do the same.
There was an article from Huffington Post a couple of years back before they fell so deep into the left’s delusions, it showed different cases of persecution by Muslims enforcing anti-blasphemy laws. Cases are as follows:
- Ahmadis and Baha’is are persecuted as “insulters” of Islam. Saudi journalist Najeeb Kashgari was recently charged with apostasy following three tweets considered heretical by Saudi clerics. He fled the country but was arrested in Malaysia on the way to New Zealand and extradited
- Christian Egyptian Naguib Sawiris faces trial for insulting Islam, after tweeting images of a bearded Mickey Mouse and veiled Minnie Mouse.
- In 2007, Egyptian blogger Kareem Amer was jailed for articles criticizing Al-Azhar university and calling then-president Hosni Mubarak a dictator. He was sentenced to three years in prison for “contempt of religion” and one year for “defaming the President of Egypt.” Liberal Egyptian theology professor Nasr Abu Zayd was declared an apostate and ordered to divorce his Muslim wife. Both fled to the Netherlands.
- Since President Zia-ul-Haq instigated the death penalty for blasphemy in 1986, more than a thousand cases were registered in Pakistan. There were no authorized executions, but Islamist vigilantes killed some of the accused. In January 2011, Salmaan Taseer, the Muslim governor of Punjab, was murdered by his bodyguard for opposing capital punishment for insulting Islam and also defending Christian Pakistani woman Asia Bibi against a blasphemy charge. Taseer’s killer received widespread support. Shahbaz Bhatti, Pakistan’s Minorities Minister, and a Christian were killed in March 2011 for opposing the blasphemy laws.
- Earlier attacks on free speech have included the fatwa against Salman Rushdie, the murder of Dutch filmmaker Theo van Gogh, and the bloody riots associated with the Cartoon Intifada in 2005.
- Since 1999, resolutions on defamation of religions have been introduced repeatedly on behalf of the OIC in the UN Human Rights Council, and from 2005, in the UN General Assembly. These were aimed at criticizing Islam an international crime. Limitations on freedom of speech were already manifest in 1990, when the OIC adopted the Cairo Declaration on Human Rights in Islam, which declared, in Article 22, that everyone had the right to free speech as long as it was not contrary to sharia (Islamic law).
We have seen the steady erosion as Islam has set foot in Europe forcing out freedom of speech to legitimately criticise them, now it is coming to America, we need to be ready to fight this, and do so at all cost, when free speech fails, we have lost. Today we see attacks already in colleges against what they see as improper speech, in the same way, the Islamist have channeled the right for their attacks, they justify their attacks as against Fascism, but then act like fascist while attacking free speech.
I have said before; free speech was never intended to protect speech we agree with, rather protect what we don’t. If speech is wrong, you don’t fight it by silencing it; you fight it by exposing it to the truth, using the same freedom the person saying lies exercises. Sadly what we see is not this, this is an assault by the liberal left and Islam to silence any speech they find offensive while exempting themselves from this same censorship.