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Yeah the recent anti free speech movement and fall of free speech in Europe has given me a much greater appreciation for America than I used to have.



What fall of free speech in Europe?

By aggregate score about every EU country ranks ahead of the US in the Freedom House Freedom index:

https://freedomhouse.org/report/fiw-2017-table-country-score...

The US comes in at 48th. That's not because it's score is particularly bad, it's because freedom is highly valued and strongly protected in many countries.

The only countries with a perfect score are Finland, Norway and Sweden.


And in the latest press freedom index ranking, 8 out of 10 countries are in Europe. The U.S. is #43. https://rsf.org/en/ranking



Online sources suggest that Finland, Norway, and Sweden all have strong blasphemy and/or hate speech laws (the subject of TFA, you may note). While Norway seems to not enforce their laws, Sweden and especially Finland do.


Not sure about this law but in my experience at least, in Sweden (where I live), talking critical about religion in public conversations is way more the rule than (in my experience) elsewhere (I can compare with Germany and the U.S.). Most Swedes are either not practicing religion or are atheists.


Actual hate speech laws, laws against holocaust denial, getting arrested for saying offensive things on twitter, that kind of thing.


How has free speech in Europe fallen exactly? Things like college non-platforming are happening in the U.S too. It's true that there are some laws regarding things like Nazi propaganda, but there's still very much free speech in most European countries.


No-platform is a policy within certain organizations of refusing to provide a platform to, or share a platform with certain other individuals and groups. It only becomes a freedom of speech issue if the organization adopting the policy is a government or holds a monopoly on a certain kind of platform.

Lobbying universities to not invite, or to rescind invitations from certain people is a bit different. Universities aren't obligated to provide a platform to everyone who might want one. They're educational institutions and probably shouldn't invite speakers whom a majority of their students find offensive unless there's substantial educational value in doing so.


In France an atheist activist has been recently condemned to 3 months of prison for saying 'Islam Kills' in public. And that's just one of the most recent cases.


As always, single cases really don't say anything about how widespread a phenomenon is statistically, and they don't allow for comparisons with other countries.


Conceptually such a thing isn't possible in the US (currently). You would never even be arrested for saying that, let alone sentenced to jail. So the existence of even a single incident in other countries does say something, I would argue. Look at https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Snyder_v._Phelps - they went to the funeral of a soldier who was killed in Iraq, whose father happened to be gay, and held up "GOD HATES FAGS" signs and proclaimed to the world, at his son's funeral, that he had been killed because the father is gay. Pretty much the most offensive thing imaginable and the supreme court sided with them 8-1 that they couldn't even be sued for intentional infliction of emotional distress.


>As always, single cases really don't say anything about how widespread a phenomenon is statistically,

For every guy you put in prison, a hundred will self-censor.


Yeah it's gross here too but at least all the "hate speech isn't free speech" signs here are wrong from a legal perspective. I also also don't like the nazi exception.




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