Outrage over group’s use of Toronto library threatens freedom of speech

Outrage over group’s use of Toronto library threatens freedom of speech

The Globe and Mail

Free speech is the cardinal right – the right that underpins all others. Yet how casually we brush it aside.

This week in Toronto, a small group held a memorial service at a public library branch for a lawyer who had defended Holocaust deniers and other figures on Canada’s far-right fringe. Spokesmen for Jewish groups said they were outraged that the Toronto Public Library would provide a platform for such a gathering. Mayor John Tory was “deeply concerned.” Members of city council said they were shocked. “Those tied to hate and bigotry have no place in our libraries,” Councillor James Pasternak said.

They seemed entirely oblivious to the threat to freedom of expression. If the library takes it upon itself to decide who has the right to speak, where does it end? If it denies space to a far-right group, what happens when a far-left group comes along? What would it say to the many Canadians who suffered under communism if someone who denies the crimes of Stalin or Mao wanted to hold an event and was denied? What would it say to Toronto’s large Tamil community if extreme Sinhalese nationalists were not permitted to hold a study meeting at the library about the crushing of the Tamil separatist movement in Sri Lanka?

Opinion: We need to protect free speech on campus

It is precisely to avoid making these judgments that the library takes a neutral approach to those who book its spaces. It doesn’t demand to vet their opinions in advance. As long as they follow basic rules of conduct, they get the space. So it is absurd to suggest that the library is somehow endorsing or countenancing the views of those who held this week’s memorial.

Critics of the event seem especially upset that it took place in a “public space,” under the roof of a publicly funded institution. It is not hard to see where that dangerous argument could lead. If people whose opinions are deemed beyond the pale are to be kept out of the public libraries, why not the public parks, the public squares, the public streets? Who gives them the right, some might say, to wave their nasty placards where all can see, or publish their rank opinions where all can read? Surely public spaces are where free speech, however outrageous or obnoxious, should be allowed to flourish. That is the principle behind the famous Speakers’ Corner in London’s Hyde Park, where people of every opinion and background get the chance to sound off in public. No one says that because the authorities allow it they are giving their stamp of approval to what is said.

Libraries, in particular, should be havens for free expression. They are the places citizens go to learn about the world in all its complexity. Librarians are always facing pressure from one group or another to ban books that they say might corrupt morals or spread hate. They are right to fend off such attempts. Librarians are guides to the world of knowledge, not arbiters of it. They should be equally impartial about who meets in library spaces.

Banning objectionable speech short of direct incitement to violence is always a mistake. Those who object to this week’s event and gatherings like it have other ways to respond. One is to protest. If a hate group holds a rally, hold a rally condemning hate and praising tolerance. Another is to correct. When deniers spout nonsense about how many died or didn’t die in the Holocaust, fight back with the undeniable facts.

The last option – perhaps the best when it comes to the tiny, miserable group of cranks who are Canada’s white nationalists and Holocaust deniers – is simply to turn away. They feed on publicity like this week’s fuss. Instead of fulminating against them or attacking the library for giving them space, ignore them. They don’t deserve even a minute of our time, much less all the air time and headline space they got this week.

No matter how we choose to respond to offensive opinions, it is important to remember the danger of suppressing them. Even in a blessed place such as Canada – a strong, stable democracy with a respected Charter of Rights and Freedoms – freedom of speech can be a fragile thing. We saw that just recently, when three editors left their jobs after an angry pile-on over the complicated issue of cultural appropriation.

In a 1945 essay on free speech and the profusion of it in Hyde Park, George Orwell wrote: “The relative freedom which we enjoy depends on public opinion. The law is no protection. Governments make laws, but whether they are carried out, and how the police behave, depends on the general temper of the country. If large numbers of people are interested in freedom of speech, there will be freedom of speech, even if the law forbids it; if public opinion is sluggish, inconvenient minorities will be persecuted, even if laws exist to protect them.”

On the evidence of the library affair and other events lately, public opinion in the Canada of 2017 is sluggish indeed.

Delete Hate Speech or Pay Up, Germany Tells Social Media Companies

Photo

A new law in Germany will require companies including Facebook, Twitter and Google, which owns YouTube, to remove any content that is illegal in Germany — such as Nazi symbols or Holocaust denial — within 24 hours of it being brought to their attention. CreditTobias Schwarz/Agence France-Presse — Getty Images

BERLIN — Social media companies operating in Germany face fines of as much as $57 million if they do not delete illegal, racist or slanderous comments and posts within 24 hours under a law passed on Friday.

The law reinforces Germany’s position as one of the most aggressive countries in the Western world at forcing companies like Facebook, Google and Twitter to crack down on hate speech and other extremist messaging on their digital platforms.

But the new rules have also raised questions about freedom of expression. Digital and human rights groups, as well as the companies themselves, opposed the law on the grounds that it placed limits on individuals’ right to free expression. Critics also said the legislation shifted the burden of responsibility to the providers from the courts, leading to last-minute changes in its wording.

Technology companies and free speech advocates argue that there is a fine line between policy makers’ views on hate speech and what is considered legitimate freedom of expression, and social networks say they do not want to be forced to censor those who use their services. Silicon Valley companies also deny that they are failing to meet countries’ demands to remove suspected hate speech online.

“With this law, we put an end to the verbal law of the jungle on the internet and protect the freedom of expression for all,” Mr. Maas said. “We are ensuring that everyone can express their opinion freely, without being insulted or threatened.”

“That is not a limitation, but a prerequisite for freedom of expression,” he continued.

The law will take effect in October, less than a month after nationwide elections, and will apply to social media sites with more than two million users in Germany.

It will require companies including Facebook, Twitter and Google, which owns YouTube, to remove any content that is illegal in Germany — such as Nazi symbols or Holocaust denial — within 24 hours of it being brought to their attention.

The law allows for up to seven days for the companies to decide on content that has been flagged as offensive, but that may not be clearly defamatory or inciting violence. Companies that persistently fail to address complaints by taking too long to delete illegal content face fines that start at 5 million euros, or $5.7 million, and could rise to as much as €50 million.

Every six months, companies will have to publicly report the number of complaints they have received and how they have handled them.

In Germany, which has some of the most stringent anti-hate speech laws in the Western world, a study published this year found that Facebook and Twitter had failed to meet a national target of removing 70 percent of online hate speech within 24 hours of being alerted to its presence.

The report noted that while the two companies eventually erased almost all of the illegal hate speech, Facebook managed to remove only 39 percent within 24 hours, as demanded by the German authorities. Twitter met that deadline in 1 percent of instances. YouTube fared significantly better, removing 90 percent of flagged content within a day of being notified.

Facebook said on Friday that the company shared the German government’s goal of fighting hate speech and had “been working hard” to resolve the issue of illegal content. The company announced in May that it would nearly double, to 7,500, the number of employees worldwide devoted to clearing its site of flagged postings. It was also trying to improve the processes by which users could report problems, a spokesman said.

Twitter declined to comment, while Google did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

The standoff between tech companies and politicians is most acute in Europe, where freedom of expression rights are less comprehensive than in the United States, and where policy makers have often bristled at Silicon Valley’s dominance of people’s digital lives.

But advocacy groups in Europe have raised concerns over the new German law.

Mirko Hohmann and Alexander Pirant of the Global Public Policy Institute in Berlin criticized the legislation as “misguided” for placing too much responsibility for deciding what constitutes unlawful content in the hands of social media providers.

“Setting the rules of the digital public square, including the identification of what is lawful and what is not, should not be left to private companies,” they wrote.

Even in the United States, Facebook and Google also have taken steps to limit the spread of extremist messaging online, and to prevent “fake news” from circulating. That includes using artificial intelligence to remove potentially extremist material automatically and banning news sites believed to spread fake or misleading reports from making money through the companies’ digital advertising platforms.

YOU TUBE CENSORS JAN LAMPRECHT`S VIDEO `SOUTH AFRICA FACES RACE WAR: 1ST BATTLE BETWEEN BLACKS& WHITES`Part 1

YOU TUBE CENSORS JAN LAMPRECHT`S VIDEO `SOUTH AFRICA FACES RACE WAR: 1ST BATTLE BETWEEN BLACKS & WHITES` Part 1

Prissy You Tube censors assign a `’strike’. The censors are for free speech but not ‘hate speech’ whatever that is.

 

Hi #TeamWhite,

As you may know, our Community Guidelines describe which content we allow – and don’t allow – on YouTube. Your video “SA Race War: 1st Battle Between Blacks & Whites – Part 1” was flagged for review. Upon review, we’ve determined that it violates our guidelines. We’ve removed it from YouTube and assigned a Community Guidelines strike, or temporary penalty, to your account.

Video content restrictions

We encourage free speech and defend everyone’s right to express their points of view, even if unpopular. However, YouTube doesn’t allow hate speech. Sometimes there’s a fine line between what is and isn’t considered hate speech. If you’re not sure whether or not your content crosses the line, we ask that you don’t post it. Learn more here.

The impact of strikes

This is the first strike applied to your account. We understand that users seldom intend to violate our policies. That’s why strikes don’t last forever – this strike will expire in three months. However, it’s important to remember that additional strikes could prevent you from posting content to YouTube or even lead to your account being terminated.

How you can respond

If you believe this was a mistake, we’d like to hear from you. Please follow both of these steps as simply deleting the video won’t resolve the strike on your account.

  • The next time you sign in you will be asked to acknowledge this strike on your account.
  • If you would like to appeal this strike, please submit this form. Our team will thoroughly review your appeal and will contact you again very soon.

We value your opinions and feedback. Please take a few minutes to fill out our survey.

Sincerely,
– The YouTube Team

©2017 YouTube, LLC 901 Cherry Ave, San Bruno, CA 94066, USA

Readers’ Comments — But Only If We like Them

Readers’ Comments — But Only If We like Them

To gauge the pulse of public opinion, look at the comments after news stories in the online editions of newspapers or radio/television news. The level of anger at Canada’s Europeans-replacing immigration policy, the endless coddling of minorities and other issues hardly ever appears in news stories or commentary. As in the U.S., there is a huge gap between approved opinion preached in most of the media and what a huge section of the population is thinking.

 

The dissident ideas have some of the guardians of approved opinion worried. They seek to cut off or strictly limit this venue for public opinion. Even the normally pro-free speech Globe and Mail is worried. Sylvia Stead its Public Editor. In an article “Online comments — is there a fix?” (Globe and Mail, July 30, 2016), she  supported a crackdown: “But too many [comments] do go too far — becoming personal, racist and bordering on hate speech. The end result can be so toxic that several news outlets, including The Toronto Star, have simply dispensed with comments altogether.” The fear of “racist” comments invites the response, “So what?” “Racism” is such an open-ended term that it is used to silence criticism of immigration or minority pretensions. Donald Trump was roundly denounced by his opponent and the compliant press on both sides of the border as a “racist” and he’s now President of the United States.SYLVIA STEAD

Stead continues: “Editors around the world will tell you they have problems with the same subjects: immigration, the Middle East, Moslems, indigenous people, women’s rights and the LGBTQ community. … As part of its crackdown on dissent, the Globe “will exclude certain stories from comments — usually ones about legal matters, criminal trials and potential criminal charges. Also, comments on stories about a specific basket of topics that are known to attract hate must be approved by a moderator before the can appear. I would advocate tighter rules for certain topics such as race, immigration, religion, sexual identity, women’s rights, indigenous people — and that extra effort be made to protect minority groups (and women) from abuse. That would mean more screening and, as necessary, closing comments more often.”

Presumably, it’s still okay to abuse and criticize Christians and White people and you may still be allowed to have intemperate opinions about the weather!

 

Raychyl`s Answer to Latest Liberal Party E-Mail Fundraiser

Raychyl`s Answer to Latest Liberal Party E-Mail Fundraiser
….’Wonder if the Libtards will get me arrested for this. LOL.
On Saturday, October 22, 2016 2:44 PM, Raychyl Whyte <raychyl_whyte@yahoo.com> wrote:

“One year of real change”…. FOR THE WORSE.
Immediately discontinue sending me your unsolicited, audacious, sickening requests for donations.
 
I never voted for your government.
 
Your government’s inane policies are destroying hard-working, law-abiding, working poor, born & raised Canadians of European ancestry- such as myself.
 
You have been rolling out the red carpet to backward, extremely anti-West people who hate women, hate Caucasians, hate traditional Western/Christian values, who want to butcher the genitals of all females and behead anyone who does not practice their religion or ‘dare’ criticize their barbaric religion. You are dolling out billions of tax dollars from hard-working, struggling Canadians who never even were granted a referendum as to whether the majority approved of forking out so many billions of OUR funds to those human leeches. You evidently couldn’t care less about unemployed Canadians, veterans, or the working poor.
 
And those- such as myself- who speak out against the destructive insanity your government has demonstrated so far are accused of “hate speech” and “racism”. There have even been numerous free speech advocates in Canada who have been sued and/or arrested for daring to speak out.
 
As a woman who has been working since the age of 12 and has survived ongoing abuse + deliberate poverty from my next-of-kin, there has been zero assistance or compensation for my plight. I toil away day in, day out year after year and dead-end jobs where I am poorly treated, work like a dog, yet am only paid minimum wage. I was never able to afford post-secondary education. I am also a survivor of vaccine damage, and continue to suffer frequently from the effects of highly toxic vaccines that I was conned into receiving up until 10 years ago when I finally learned the truth about them, which prompted me to immediately decline any further vaccinations. Otherwise, I guarantee you that I would be dead by now. Although will invariably be sent to an early grave due to vaccine damage. I also cannot afford to take any sick days off work, so I haul myself to work regardless of how exhausted or ill I am.
 
Ontario Liberal Premier Kathleen Wynne (Ontario is my province of birth and residence) is perhaps even more demented (than the current Prime Minister) with her bizarre, destructive policies which directly harm people such as myself. But apparently those of us who resent her deranged forthcoming severe taxation on basic survival items are classified as “homophobic”.

You are intentionally destroying my country, people of my ethnicity & culture, and my province.  
 
This is insidious Stalinist Communism all over again, just with different names: “Liberals” and “Globalists”.
 
Trudeau Jr.  and Wynne can take their destructive Libtard insanities and go to hell, although I wouldn’t like to be in their company. i.e.- I’m already in hell, thanks to circumstances evidently beyond ‘my’ control.
 
So are you going to have me arrested etc. because I candidly spoke out against your demented government??
 
Signed, 
 
 
A very hard-working, born & raised, law-abiding Caucasian Canadian who YOU are gradually killing.


On Tuesday, October 18, 2016 6:06 PM, Liberal Party of Canada <info@email.liberal.ca> wrote:



 

White Nationalist Videographer Èvalion`Stalked by Zionist Operative and Hassled by Canada Border Services

White Nationalist Videographer Èvalion`Stalked by Zionist Operative and Hassled by Canada Border Services

EVALION THE JEW THATS HARASSING ME : Free Download & Streaming : Internet Archive
ARCHIVE.ORG
Evalions site evalion.orgEvalions twitter @veronicaevalion

You Tube Bans Report on Day 2 of Topham Constitutional Challenge to 20 Countries
 
Whew, if you reside in any of 20 countries, including Germany, Austria and France (the land of liberte?), the Zionist censors at You Tube will block my report (reproduced below) on Day 2 of the Arthur Topham challenge to the constitutionality \of Canada’s “hate law”> The report coverage Tuesday, October 4 and also introduced another censorship victim Monika Schaefer who provided a report on the suspension without pay of Professor Anthony Hall for the non-violent expression of his political views.
 
Inline image 1
 
We see the desperation of the New World Order followers to stifle the growing dissent and torrent of information that counters decades of lies and managed news. Even more people will join the dissent as they learn about others like them out there  fighting for the same ideas. Hence, the latest efforts to close down discussion of important current issues.
 
 
Today Brian Ruhe who produced and hosted the show received the following notice from You Tube.
 
 
Paul Fromm
Director
CANADIAN ASSOCIATION FOR FREE EXPRESSION

Regarding your account: Brian Ruhe

We have received a legal complaint regarding your video. After review, the following video: B.C. man convicted of promoting hate on web challenges law in court. – Day 2has been blocked from view on the following YouTube country site(s):

Austria, Switzerland, Czech Republic, Germany, France, French Guiana, Guadeloupe, Israel, Italy, Martinique, New Caledonia, French Polynesia, Poland, Saint Pierre and Miquelon, Reunion, French Southern Territories, Wallis and Futuna, Mayotte

YouTube blocks content where necessary to comply with local laws. Please review our help centre article on legal complaints //support.google.com/youtube/answer/3001497?hl=en-GB.

Yours sincerely, 
The YouTube Team

You Tube Bans Report on Day 2 of Topham Constitutional Challenge to 20 Countries
 
Whew, if you reside in any of 20 countries, including Germany, Austria and France (the land of liberte?), the Zionist censors at You Tube will block my report (reproduced below) on Day 2 of the Arthur Topham challenge to the constitutionality \of Canada’s “hate law”> The report coverage Tuesday, October 4 and also introduced another censorship victim Monika Schaefer who provided a report on the suspension without pay of Professor Anthony Hall for the non-violent expression of his political views.
 
Inline image 1
 
We see the desperation of the New World Order followers to stifle the growing dissent and torrent of information that counters decades of lies and managed news. Even more people will join the dissent as they learn about others like them out there  fighting for the same ideas. Hence, the latest efforts to close down discussion of important current issues.
 
 
Today Brian Ruhe who produced and hosted the show received the following notice from You Tube.
 
 
Paul Fromm
Director
CANADIAN ASSOCIATION FOR FREE EXPRESSION

Regarding your account: Brian Ruhe

We have received a legal complaint regarding your video. After review, the following video: B.C. man convicted of promoting hate on web challenges law in court. – Day 2has been blocked from view on the following YouTube country site(s):

Austria, Switzerland, Czech Republic, Germany, France, French Guiana, Guadeloupe, Israel, Italy, Martinique, New Caledonia, French Polynesia, Poland, Saint Pierre and Miquelon, Reunion, French Southern Territories, Wallis and Futuna, Mayotte

YouTube blocks content where necessary to comply with local laws. Please review our help centre article on legal complaints //support.google.com/youtube/answer/3001497?hl=en-GB.

Yours sincerely, 
The YouTube Team

https://youtu.be/7e06mqtpQmw

https://youtu.be/7e06mqtpQmw

BRIAN RUHE VICTIMIZED AGAIN: CENSORED IN THE NAME OF “DIVERSITY”

BRIAN RUHE VICTIMIZED AGAIN: CENSORED IN THE NAME OF “DIVERSITY”

I just got this email. Mary approached me a couple of months ago to teach a one hour mindfulness meditation class for $50 at UBC because she met me 10 years ago. This is minor compared to the six jobs I was fired from a year ago.

Brian

Image may contain: 1 person , people smiling , closeup


——– Forwarded Message ——–

Subject: Re: info
Date: Sun, 7 Aug 2016 12:57:01 -0700
From: Mary Stern <marziehstern@gmail.com>
To: Brian Ruhe <brian@brianruhe.ca>

Hi there Brian,

 
I am really sorry to have to tell you that the meditation will be cancelled this Thursday. As a volunteer elected by the community to serve on the association for Acadia park, I have to represent the diverse needs of those how have elected me, and unfortunately, some of those who were interested in coming to meditation are uncomfortable with some of the views on your web site. I apologize for having to cancel, and wish you all the best in continuing your good work. I hope you understand that my group is very culturally diverse, and I need to be accountable to them and support their wellness foremost.
 
Take care and all the best,
 
Sincerely,
 
Mary

Eaton’s Centre Censors WiFi – – CAFE Protests

 Eaton’s Centre Censors WiFi – – CAFE Protests

Using the Eaton ‘s Center mall wi fi in Toronto,American Renaissance labelled hateful and racist ,same for VNN

Inline image 1
Many in corporate Canada are only too eager to impose politically correct censorship on their customers. Many Tim Horton’s WiFi outlets are notorious for this. Talk to the managers and say you don’t appreciate their being the thought police.
 
Paul Fromm
Director
CANADIAN ASSOCIATION FOR FREE EXPRESSION