“We are seeing a criminalization of speech that wasn’t there before,” said Kirsty Hughes, chief executive of the London-based nonprofit group Index on Censorship. “It’s seriously worrying.”
I continue to find really disturbing stories out of Great Britain about it’s citizens being jailed for posting negative comments on Facebook or other social media. It’s definitely an ominous trend. If people were jailed here in the states for the same petty offenses, almost half the nation’s youth would be sitting in jails, as Twitter and Facebook are both littered with the detritus of user’s sour comments about celebrities, other users, society at large, political figures, the media and just about every other topic.
It would appear the Brits are going to have to put up a real fight to keep their free speech. Or maybe they will get to keep posting to Facebook, as long as what they post does not offend anyone or any group.”Thought Police” patrol the UK web. When they find a comment they don’t like, they literally show up at the doorstep of the person who posted it and cart them off for a week or two in jail, behind bars. It’s not only a disturbing development, I’m not altogether sure it’s even a legal development. Great Britain is supposedly one of the world’s oldest democracies. So what is happening to democracy in Great Britain? The trend has been documented as far back as 2008. I found citizen reporting which documented suppression of free speech from October of 2008, along with several other very bothersome incidents caught on video – see below.
First, have a look at this news story:
Related video from 2008 incident in the UK:
In August of 2010 in Jonesboro Arkansas, a local resident ‘name called’ a visiting police officer a “Nazi” who had pulled a motorist nearby his house. He was videotaping the police interrogating the motorist from his garage with the door open. He was arrested by the police officer while he was still standing in his own garage on his own property, asking the officers to leave and get off his property. If you don’t believe this happened in the US, watch the video below.
Threatened with a police taser for videotaping the Walmart sign? Yep, that what happened in southwest Houston this past March 2012. Watch this off-duty police officer come unglued and nearly tase this Houston teenager for videotaping the “Walmart” sign in the store parking lot:
Documenting the ongoing fight for American citizens to keep the right to bear arms in Pennsylvania:
Do you know your constitutional rights?
Related sites links and articles
- You: Britain’s crackdown on Web comments sparks free-speech debate (latimes.com)
- Social media prosecutions threaten free speech in the UK – and beyond (newstatesman.com)
- Britain’s crackdown on Web comments sparks free-speech debate (latimes.com)
- UK rights campaigners defend internet trolls (nzherald.co.nz)
- U.K. man jailed over Facebook status raises questions over free speech (cbsnews.com)
- UK government to develop social media laws that protect freedom of speech (itproportal.com)
- Activists leaping to the defense of online ‘trolls’ in the UK (engineeringevil.com)
- What Exactly Is Freedom of Speech and How Does It Apply to the Internet? (lifehacker.com)
- Brendan O’Neill on Britain’s High-Tech Thought Police (reason.com)
- Angela Merkel warns UK will struggle alone if it turns against EU (guardian.co.uk)