Thursday, January 10, 2013

Twitter and Hate Speech

Defiantly a complex and timely issue.

So let me get this right, a twitter user in France logs onto a server in the USA writes up to 140 characters of text which are then stored as + & - charges on a hard disk in a US datacentre. Then at some point later another French twitter user comes along and willingly logs on to the twitter server in the USA and requests that server to reformat those +/- charges into readable text, then downloads that text to say their phone in France and is offended by what they read. What if they are so offended that they show their phone's screen to a friend or even worse capture an image of the offending text and publish that image on a French hosted website or in a French newspaper. Who is guilty of the "hate speech" in France, the guy who wrote a few lines of text on a US server or the guy who downloaded that text and disseminated it in France? What if the the offending text had been written in Australia, by an Australian, but downloaded and disseminated in France, would the Australian be charged and extradited to face hate speech charges in France even though he never published the said text in France and wasn't even aware such laws existed because gee he doesn't speak French?

Hey I have an idea to solve this problem for good, why don't we take the route of the Communist Party of China and just firewall Twitter, like they do to this blog, and then we could live in a perfect world where only AK-47s and iron bars can hurt us but words will never offend.

From AlJazeeraEnglish

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