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The EU Terrorist Content Regulation – a threat to the ecosystem and user rights (blog.mozilla.org)
116 points by Vinnl on Nov 21, 2018 | hide | past | web | favorite | 87 comments

This proposal is very bad. But luckily it is only a proposal. The council and parliament will still vote for this, before it becomes European law. Both bodies will likely oppose, and the proposal will be significantly amended. I honestly don't see the commissions reasoning on why this is a good proposal. But I don't see how the EU as an institution is bashed for this. This is a similar process as occurs in any other member state and other democracies. Not to mention the US, with it's secret laws and national security letters.

My personal opinion is that illegal content (CP, inciting violence) should be moderated quickly, where failure to act has big consequences. What I don't like about the proposal is that it is enforced by governments, and not some judiciary body. I hope the council and parliament will amend the proposal in such a way this is reflected in a final law.

Yes, in fact, that's why it's good that Mozilla's on top of this early in the process. Let's hope they manage to remove the problematic parts they outline in this post.

When you say "quickly", do you also mean "within the hour"? If so, what about a small webhost that gets abused?

I think the shortest period that's considered quick enough and would at least make somewhat sense is "before something manages to spread widely", but that's still murky and still has many problematic practical concerns.

It is normal political procedure to have an aweful initial proposal so that amendments seem like a lesser evil, while still being bad.

I doubt we really have a need to act on these issues in the first place and that was explicitly not the goal of those who initiated this proposal. You just need to take a look at who proposed it.

So the question about illegal content is completely misplaced.

That's why we need tools to permanently ban politicians from law making if their proposal is awful enough.

Kind of "[X] No and don't ask again", democracy version.

Having thought of it, the main problem here it's no longer "Political party versus political party" when speaking about law making, but "Parliament versus public". For some reason they have shared agenda instead of competing on it. They all unanimously want to sell us to copyright holders and secret services so bad, it's only our stupid resistance is what's holding them. Hence, proposal adjustments tricks.

> Both bodies will likely oppose, and the proposal will be significantly amended.

They want to pass a few laws that are very bad. They create a horrible proposal and they amend it so that it becomes just very bad, and they've achieved what they wanted, with other politicians feeling good about themselves because they didn't give in into the opposition's horrible requests.

I use the same tactic with my stepdaughter: she wants ice cream for dinner, I want pasta. I propose broccoli, we agree on pasta (like I wanted).


Many countries in the EU have already passed or are in the passing of local similar legislation including Germany: https://www.bmjv.de/SharedDocs/Gesetzgebungsverfahren/Dokume...

> I don't see how the EU as an institution is bashed for this.

I think people are seeing a general trend of internet laws and bashing their creators. One could argue that this stage of the process is where bashing should occur. When it did with other ridiculous legislation, on both sides of the Atlantic, nobody excused the institutions making the suggestions. To many, myself included, this trend has to stop and sadly there isn't enough bashing to curb it, especially as there are so many cheering it on.

Law enforcement is is routinely conducted by government agencies, including on these issues, nothing new here.

E.g., in most EU countries with relevant laws, 'illegal content' in public spaces may be removed (with your being arrested) by the police. Then the courts are involved.

Same here, it seems. Courts would be involved, and not only re. penalties: " Effective judicial remedies will also be provided by national authorities and platforms and content providers will have the right to challenge a removal order."

(from: http://www.europarl.europa.eu/legislative-train/theme-area-o... )

> Not to mention the US, with it's secret laws and national security letters.

Don't even need laws or national security letters. Just keep inviting the CEO's of leading social media platforms to congressional hearings and demand they do more to fight "terrorist propaganda and child pornography", for a more current context "Russian election interference".

Then these platform holders will kickstart a whole content-moderation industry on the other side of the planet, all properly outsourced so nobody could claim they are censoring themselves.

The result is a surface web that has been sanitized for years already, but with barely anybody noticing or caring.

In a system like that the notorious "Vietnamese Napalm girl" gets deleted because it's childporn. A painting depicting a nude Donald Trump with a small penis? Deleted, that's pornography. A US soldier intimidating a tied and gagged prisoner with a dog in Abu Ghraib? That's a known torture method by Al-Qaeda, deleted.

Note: I made none of these last examples up, they all happened like that and very likely keep happening on a daily basis [0].

That's why I think it's dangerous to throw the term "illegal content on the Internet" around as haphazardly as many people often tend to do.

[0] https://www.abc.net.au/news/science/2018-09-29/the-cleaners-...

I don't know. Extreme proposals have a history in EU. the gdpr is extreme in its measures, and it was written by a green leftist. yet it passed

The bigger question is: Who asked for this?

> and it was written by a green leftist

What do you mean by this? How is this relevant?

That it didn't come from the larger political groups which means it's more likely to express the positions of a vocal minority. Which is important, considering that eu regulations are barely if at all debated as part of national politics, and most people become aware of them only after they are voted ^1. In the case of GDPR for example i am not aware of any kind of debate with local (e.g.) IT or engineer unions or groups before it was finalized.

^1 https://yougov.co.uk/topics/finance/articles-reports/2018/03...

Everything I know about isis, I got from the bbc and politicians.

They used to publish their own newsletter https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dabiq_(magazine)

No more Israel criticism then or we labelled antisemitism, On what basis they trying to define terrorism? because where i live what USA is doing with their drones is considered terrorism.

Where do you live and why are US drones a reason to criticize Israel?

You're right that the term is a bit nebulous, but this isn't a new problem. E.g. criminal law already treats terrorism differently in many countries. As is often the case in law, courts would have to figure what should be considered terrorism. Courts in your country could decide differently than in mine, which can be a good thing or a bad thing depending on your point of view.

> Where do you live and why are US drones a reason to criticize Israel?

Sorry, those were intended as two different examples.

Most EU countries already have similar legislation.

The EU has never had freedom of expression, so these regulations are anything but surprising. They just extend what already existed to the digital era.

Source? I am a EU citizen, My freedom of speech is only inhibited when I incite to violence or discriminate. That is because it is illegal to do, seems fair.

Saying that your freedom of speech is only inhibited when you want you say things that are illegal is almost a tautology. Based on your reasoning, it's also "fair" for gay rights activists in Uganda or critics of the king in Thailand to be punished. There are probably thoughtful defences possible of the speech restrictions that exist in EU states, but "suppressing speech is fair because the speech is illegal" isn't one of them.

I disagree. Acts that you do can be powerful and dangerous therefore your acts should be within the law. This includes your speech. If the law inhibits your free speech too much, you should target the law, and not free speech. If you can kill people with your comments, it should be against the law, no question. The tautology you mention, is only when you take the word free literally. The law defines how free you are. You are also not allowed to kill somebody in the freedom paradise of the US.

> If you can kill people with your comments, it should be against the law, no question.

You can't, though. You can call for violence, and that is already against the law. The conflation of words with violence is dangerous.

>You can call for violence, and that is already against the law.

That's mostly what he was talking about, though. The differences between freedom of speech in the US and in the EU are minimal, mostly just the result of different legal traditions and the US paying more superficial lip service to freedom of speech.

Put up some ISIS propaganda on the web and in your front yard, though, and you'll be arrested in the US very quickly. Do the same with classical 3rd Reich Nazi propaganda, and they'll be more lenient in the US.

Speech is prohibited in most EU countries mostly for direct, intentional, and credible calls for violence, especially if they actually result in actual violence.

In more restrictive countries like Germany, direct calls for acting against the constitution as well as overt intentional discrimination against whole groups of people are also restricted but generally dealt with in a more lenient way. The hurdles are high, except for the clear-cut cases like showing Nazi symbols and Holocaust denial, because in these cases the judge doesn't have to deliberate a lot about the intentions of the delinquents and whether they support the German constitution or not. It's much harder to prosecute less clear cases. (But e.g. symbols of certain rocker gangs and the gangs themselves have been successfully prohibited in the past.)

>The conflation of words with violence is dangerous.

That's a bit of a strawman. Of course, ordering and encouraging a crime can be punished, not just actually committing the crime, or else almost every mob and gang related crime boss would remain free forever. There is no significant difference in that respect between US and EU.

I personally believe that membership in a group should never be reason for punishment, and there was an extensive debate about this in the 70s when Germany introduced such "guilty by association" laws in an attempt to fight terrorism by (mostly) the RAF.

I think we're kind of talking past each other.

In a comment a few levels up, the user said s/he's free to speak as long as it doesn't incite violence or discriminate. Inciting violence is illegal in all western countries I'm aware of.

When questioned about it, the user gave the response I quoted from. S/he either didn't address why discriminatory speech shouldn't be free, or is equivocating it with calls to violence (in that s/he believes it leads directly to violence).

I can't speak for the user, but I have seen numerous examples of people who justify banning "discriminatory speech" (or "hate speech") as equivalently calling for violence. And these same people often have a very low bar for what qualifies as "discriminatory" (e.g. "I disagree with what this person is saying").

Nobody's questioning whether or not direct calls to violence should be illegal, but my point is that we should be very clear that other kinds of speech (even if abhorrent or reprehensible) cannot be hand-waved away as being in the same category.

>Acts that you do can be powerful and dangerous therefore your acts should be within the law.

Absolutely not. A lot of the law is written by the bourgeois elite who don't want the staus quo they benefit enormously from to be shaken up. Change is done outside of the law and the majority populace if decided necessary has every right to break those laws in the circumstance that those bourgeois elite will not help them out or give them the change they want.

Like asking for a permit for a protest after your government & police force has been oppressing you for decades or centuries. You don't ask for a permit to protest anything serious.


(I would like an explanation to my GP's comment being flagged other than "I would like this to not be true")

Regarding your original comment, I can't say with certainty but it was probably flagged because it's misleading.

You stated that the EU doesn't have freedom of speech, but your link shows is specifically about Austria and how the ECHR isn't going to overrule it on this case. Pretty much every EU country has some form of free speech, and the ECHR sets a baseline on what's expected from member countries. It seems like Austrian law is running pretty close to that baseline but, as much as I'd personally prefer that case went the other way, supranational institutions need to draw a line between what they can and can't do.

She was not convicted after appeal right? She retained her right to free speech, and the Austrian courts should not convict somebody on these counts. Weird that you link that.

EDIT: It's the total opposite, I apologize. She was convicted for her speech, but the courts found her speech to disrupt the religious peace, and not freedom of opinion. Turns out disrupting religious peace is illegal in Austria, which is a stupid law.

From the first line in the article:

> The European Court of Human Rights has ruled a woman convicted by an Austrian court of calling the Prophet Mohammed a paedophile did not have her freedom of speech rights infringed.

Now, I don't particularly like the Daily Mail, but given that you are expressing the exact opposite of the situation described in the article I would expect some sort of argument. It appears you misunderstood the article's title?

No, everything you say here is incorrect. The case being described in that article IS the appeal to the ECHR, which upheld her conviction.

The time for the EU has passed. Its too decoupled from the real world, too draconian in its approach. It was created for the sole purpose of making cross-border dealings easy within the EU but on it's own initiative its grown into a monster that regulates everything from the amount of cinnamon on buns to blogposts written online.

The EU was created to prevent further wars in Europe. Nowadays it is also seen as necessary for European countries to represent their interests in the world.


I spend a lot of time in central and eastern europe and I have not once heard this comparison, certainly not from anyone who actually lived through the USSR. I'm a staunch EU skeptic, but this comparison is just ridiculous.

The people in EE do not have a habit of telling their political, religious, etc views to random strangers. It is not only due to lessons by USSR or Comecon, but also during the previous regimes (tzarist Russia, Austro-Hungarian empire, or those unfortunate enough under Ottomans) it was equally dangerous.

And comparing Brussels to Moscow is the nice one. The not-so-nice ones compare Brussels to Mordor ;).

Nice try. I'm not a tourist on holiday or a random stranger. Most real people just have enough sense not to compare brussels to murderous autocratic regimes, especially if they've lived through the latter.


Being snarky doesn't do your opinions any favours.

If you can actually defend your position that "people" in eastern europe routinely compare the EU to the USSR, by all means. Otherwise, have a nice day.

I was born there, I live there, I know what the people around me are talking abut. No, there is and will be no press release about that.

If it were anything more than casual banter, you wouldn't need a press release.

That's the popular quote, but presumably something was preventing war in Europe prior to the creation of the EU in 1993.

The European Coal and Steel Community (grandfather of the EU) was created in 1952 to regulate production of these materials, and address the risk of massive re-armament. I'm not convinced how relevant that is after the US detonated the first atomic weapon in 1945.

IMHO, NATO has been the factor in preventing war in Europe during the last 70 years.

The European Economic Community was founded in 1957, following in the ECSC's footsteps (ECSC was later merged into the EEC).

In 1993, the EEC was renamed to European Community and merged into the EU.

So there's direct lineage back to post-war times, and without the "baby steps" of creating close ties between significant parts of the economies (steel and coal were kind of a big deal back then) of countries that considered each other arch-foes until then (Germany and France in particular), the later initiatives might have failed, like the attempts to form the European Political Community and the European Defence Community did in the 1950s.

You were downvoted but you're obviously correct. This idea that the EU is responsible for preventing wars on the continent just doesn't stand up to any reasonable examination.

agreed that argument doesn't make any sense. EU countries were severely weakened post-war, to the point that they are unable to wage war today (plus they rank lowest in the world in "i would fight for my country"). The whole "Peace" argument wasn't even brought up in the 90's anymore, EU was all about mixing cultures and having fun during Erasmus programmes. The argument has been revived recently, but i m not sure anyone is buying it. Besides, any kind of such danger is from outside EU. E.g. greece , cyprus and finland. In the case of Greece and cyprus, the presence of US, NATO and UK navy bases are what guarantees peace.

> NATO has been the factor in preventing war in Europe during the last 70 years.

NATO was significantly involved in the most recent European wars (the Yugoslav Wars). Now you could argue they were "peacekeeping" (and of course there were many atrocities that occurred during the Yugoslav Wars) but that's what a certain country claimed about "Operation Iraqi Freedom".

I would contest that NATO prevented any wars in Europe, they definitely were involved in at least one.

You are confusing the EU with its predecessors such as the EEG.

I'm pro Europe and thought I'd always would be. If this takes off I'm gonna jump ship and join every anti EU camp and would even cheer for fascists just so that the empire gets struck back. That's the level of pissed I am at this empire building shit on all sides.

The rise of outspoken fascists and racists is precisely what makes me question whether "free speech at all costs" is a wise political stance, especially when it is patently obvious that the creators of that content are not everyday people, but an entity intent on inciting hatred and violence. None the less I do recognize the danger of limiting free speech.

That is even more of a reason to oppose it in my opinion as an American. The last thing you want to give fascists is a preboxed mechanism for control to say label those who call death camps unconsciousable "hate speech against native citizens". Since they /will/ twist laws every way they can and ignore them against themselves.

thank you. this is exactly my point. the only reason this is implemented is to shield those in power further and allow them to hunt down anyone who they deem in violation of what constitutes their version of free speech.

Note that this is not yet implemented.

However, the main point is that "would even cheer for fascists" includes "would even cheer for people hunting down anyone who they deem in violation of what constitutes their version of free speech", which doesn't seem like a very effective way to fight exactly that.

if you have a radical group on the left that would remove these people from power then these would automatically be labeled fascists. fascists are automatically terrorists if their ambition is to overthrow the status-quo.

So if I had instead originally written "I would cheer for terrorists", would have made it more sense? I wrote fascist because it seemed to capture our times better. I could have also written "criminals". It would not made any difference.

A good example of where this may impact us is the Catalan government wanting to split from Spain. Will blogs from these people be deemed of terrorist nature then? So even it is not yet implemented, putting this forward as a proposal is pretty outrageous.

You don't have to convince me that this proposal is bad - I agree with you. I'm pointing out that your alternative (supporting terrorists, fascists, or whatever) is even worse. If you support terrorists that terrorise those trying to get this passed, that support will also help terrorists that, say, want to terrorise people who campaign for Catalan independence.

The rise of fascists is EXACTLY WHY we should make sure such values are protected, not an excuse to abandon them. Do you really think you can prevent the rise of fascism by forbidding speech? How would that work?

It's based on the observation that what counts as a 'viable position' is based on social control and totalitarianism is put into place by replacing these social control mechanisms with fear and terror.

In case you didn't get the memo, here is a primer on how to turn a democracy into a totalitarian system:

1. Invent an external scapegoat ('the enemy')

2. Polarize: Either you're with us or with them. Mediating center positions and compromises belong to 'the enemy'. Argue that you're for the simple, honest-working men and against the elites, who belong to 'the enemy'.

3. As part of point 2, push radical radical positions into the public discourse to erode social control mechanisms. ('Why can't I say X' where X is something despicable, like being a racist, being for for genocide, etc., but dressed into a seemingly legitimate 'arguments' and 'concerns'.)

4. Instil fear of the external enemy and, as much as possible, terror against the internal enemy on the streets. Ideally, there should be bands of people on the streets who mug or kill perceived enemies (e.g. the S.A., Bürgerwehren, death squadrons, etc.).

5. As a result of 3-4, once a certain threshold is reached, public discussion has been radicalized and mediating center positions have been quenched. Voting will become a false dilemma between us and them.

6. Seize power by vote or coup, eradicate the remaining control mechanisms, eradicate free media and put them under state control (in a fight against 'fake media'), eradicate remaining political opponents by abusing the justice system (anti-corruption laws work well).

The idea behind limiting freedom of speech is to prevent 2-3 from reaching a critical threshold that enables 4 & 5.

"Why do you look at the speck of sawdust in your brother's eye and pay no attention to the plank in your own eye?"

"Fascists", "racists" and other wonderful terms are the same scapegoats, but used by other ideological movements for their own benefit. Everything you describe can be attributed to them as well. What's funny is that they basically give fascists and others power because they use these terms to discredit everyone who opposes them, thus making descent human beings be silent, while the common population slowly becomes angry and the only support among politicians they could find are before mentioned "fascists" (of which many aren't actually fascists at all, they just see potential benefits of expressing such ideas). Don't try to rationalize censorship. Don't paternalize common population. If you limit freedom of speech, you don't limit it for dishonest people, they will always find a way to express their position. Would I open your eyes if I say that Europe just copies the same laws used by authoritarian regimes to suppress opposition? I am not exaggerating. They literally copy Russian and Chinese laws. Do you think their laws say "expressing any critics of the regime is forbidden and is punishable with 3-4 years of jail", etc.? No, they say that "justifying Fascism, terrorism is forbidden". They just label everyone as "Fascist", "terrorist", "radical". If you do believe that Europe does this with good intentions for people, you are naive.

Totalitarianism is well-defined and there is no problem discerning it from a working democracy. I deliberately used the term to make it clear that it's completely irrelevant to the discussion which brand of totalitarianism is involved - it ranges from communism to the Nazi movement of the 3rd Reich.

To reply to the unjustified sentiments in the rest of your post and the ad hominem attack: I didn't justify anything, I tried to lay out the reasons that are given as the motivation of limitations of freedom of speech in existing EU countries.

These reasons are part of a much larger puzzle, and there are many more considerations to take into account - especially legal an procedural ones, but also democratic division of power issues - before a meaningful discussion of a particular measure of limiting freedom of speech could even begin.

Your reply is the typical example of the frequent use of false dichotomies in public discussions of such matters. It's resting on the obviously false dichotomy that either there is no free speech at all or absolute, totally unrestricted freedom of speech otherwise. Implicitly, it is probably also on the fallacious slippery slope argument that if you limit freedom of speech in some specific, highly controlled way (e.g. under direct judicial oversight with high hurdles), then the restrictions will still invariably worsen over time. That's highly doubtful, too, and at least you'd expect an argument for it.

Returning to the particular case: Yes, I do believe that Europe does this with good intentions. It's absolutely stupid to think anyone in the EU Parliament or in the EU commissions has bad intentions in general. There is no reason to attribute bad intentions to everyone who disagrees with you. As they say, the road to hell is paved with good intentions. No, I don't think this particular proposition is good in any way whatsoever, pretty much for the in my opinion correct reasons laid out in the mozilla blog.

Yeah, but unless you're going full totalitarian, I don't see how it can work. It will just add additional legitimacy to the speech which is 'suppressed'. So unless you want to do a china style great firewall, and punish people for speaking out, maybe it's better to actually defend freedom, instead of limiting freedom in the name of protecting freedom?

Sorry if I sound frustrated. But I just think all this anti-free speech is a knee-jerk reaction to the symptoms of the rising far-right, not a well thought-out strategy of preserving liberal democracy.

One of the most effective tools of propaganda ist repeating falsehoods until they "feel true". Limiting speech probably works against that.

"probably works" without any evidence is not the standard I feel should be set for taking away the most basic freedoms.

> The rise of outspoken fascists and racists

Do you have any data to backup "rise", because it sure looks like increased media coverage of fringe groups and not any sort of actual rise in these things.

If you want to protect "everyday people", "free speech at all costs" is the way to do it. Otherwise the people in power will decide what speech is allowed and what isn't.

>and would even cheer for fascists

I'm lost for words to describe the stupidity of this

(S)he is probably touching the problem when all parties that are supposed to be normal would vote for this extreme legislation, and only extremist ones would oppose it; i.e. the problem will be the lack of choice in that matter, caused by parties themselves; a situation similar leading to the election of current US president where many people just voted "in jest" due to not being heard and not having any means to voice their concerns. I am frankly not sure how to address this beside starting an own party and gaining required % support to get into parliament.


While I agree with your general point, I think it's wrong to characterise this as "not being able to post your dick pic to Facebook or whatever". This isn't about posting memes; it's about freedom of expression. It's about preventing, say, the Hungarian government labelling George Soros as a terrorist, and subsequently prevent you from making statements online that agree with him.

Sure, suppressing freedom of expression is not a good way to suppress freedom of expression - but this is a serious issue.

(Though, as mentioned elsewhere, it's still early in the process, and hopefully the regulation can be altered before it is passed.)

A charitable reading of this would be that the grandfather is sharing Voltaire's view: "I may disagree with what you have to say, but I shall defend to the death your right to say it."

you possibly misunderstood the difference between anger and intelligence? a system that uses technology to increase surveillance and a fear mongering language (seriously "terrorism"??) needs to be stopped with every means possible. Especially if they're sneaking it in so that you can't legally fight it. How else are you going to fight them? Buttons and a leaflet campaign? Come on!

> needs to be stopped with every means possible

Nothing needs to be done by every means possible. This isn’t worth vaporising cities over, for one example. Or fascism, for another.

When people start thinking that the ends justify the means, they forget that outside of maybe death, and people still argue about that, ends are just narrative conveniences and there is only means. And you can't very well have means justifying means, can you?

> you can't very well have means justifying means

Yes you can. They’re called instrumental values and goals.

Things like this are clear steps on a road. Article 13 was the camel nose through the tent. One could call it drastic at the time but shooting every loser involved in the Beer Hall Putsch for treason would have saved the world a lot of trouble. A lot of them were purged anyway.

Sure, but "every means possible" is a very clear shortcut directly to the end of that road.

> needs to be stopped with every means possible

... such as groups that want to increase surveillance and use fear mongering language, and will make it so you can't legally fight it.

Yeah, that makes total sense. No better way to deal with authoritarians reaching for power than to elect authoritarians into power so they can deal with the wannabe authoritarians in their authoritarian ways.

as I said elsewhere, I'm not talking about electing anyone into power. I'm talking about not condemning the action when somebody will come along and start strategically taking people in power out (this happened before and will happen again as long as the world stays on this trajectory it's only a question of time). I tend to cheer for the Stauffenberg personalities - even it's illegal. Sorry if that offends so many of you that you have to downvote the fuck out of me.

No, what you actually wrote in the other posts - such as "I would cheer for fascists" - is what got them downvoted, not what you now claim to have meant, because the voters are not clairvoyant.

> would even cheer for fascists

That is what you said.

Would you really cheer for people happy to physically assault minorities just because there's an ineffective limit put in place on what you can post on the internet? Do you want to take a moment to look in the mirror and think about the difference in scale between those two things?

of course not. I would morally support any group that comes up and starts assassinating key people who commit crimes against social justice. The RAF had a lot of supporters from all parts of society. I'd never condemn anyone who does that which is my personal way of "cheering"

I think politicians ought to be scared of their populace, and they are the ones that need to be under constant surveillance. And not vice versa.

I don't fully accept your premise, but if granting some leeway to people with less than scrupulous ideals is what it takes to get rid of legislation that could have severe consequences for the freedom of speech then I'd be in favour.

I don't accept that this means condoning any action those people might take.

> I don't accept that this means condoning any action those people might take.

That's because you turned "cheer for fascists" into "granting some leeway to people with less than scrupulous ideals". Even just playing such word games is lending support, and that's even more than condoning something.

I'd consider mere wordplay closer to granting leeway than actual support. Either way I don't see how either would force me to condone actions taken in their name.

I have to admit I'd have difficulty to decide between voting for them (which I'd consider actual support) or accepting laws as described in this post. Thankfully I haven't had to make such a choice, yet.

That support bit was snarky, I must admit. But the original comment still says they'd "cheer for fascists" because this proposal is so bad. Because that means they hate the EU, and just want to see it hurt.

You instead are talking about how not restricting speech would also allow fascists freedom of speech, which is something else. That makes sense on the top level or attached to other comments, but in this "timeline", the boat has sailed, and "cheering for fascists" in preference to this proposal is what is on the table.

Fair enough, but I still don't agree with your position that 'cheering for fascists' is that extreme an action in the face of legislation that infringes on free speech. Especially since as you've noted, being in favour of freedom of speech already means you need to grant fascists leeway (cheering them on is different, that much we agree on).

Of course cheering on fascists is unlikely to to lead to more freedom of speech, so in that sense I don't think it's a truly worthwhile course of action.

Please can you post the link to the proposal that you've read?

Are you sure EU already isn't being run by fascists? Sure seems like most of the world is slipping into Fascism right now, and I wouldn't doubt for a second that the internet censorship proposal in OP is to censor left wing ideaologies that would bring prosperous conditions to the working class and poor of the EU.

Keep in mind that during the rise of Hitler, the USA never did the things to Fascists and Nazi's that they did to leftists during the Red Scare & McCarthyism. Having workers rights and socialized health care is a big threat to the ruling class.

The bourgeois elite are very very scared of people like Jeremy Corbyn, but fascists will certainly keep those borgeois safe, rich, and profiting off of war against brown people and homeless people.

>A person who believes that there is a hierarchy of personhood — that some people are more human than others, and some fall below the threshold of being people entirely — and furthermore, that that hierarchy should be institutionalized, is a fascist. A movement composed of such people is a fascist movement. A government managing such a project is a fascist government. (The natural moral logic of such a hierarchy is that violence must be done to the weak by the strong, since they are not human beings at all, but parasites and predators.)

Is this not what the world elite are doing right now? UN Special Rapporteur this week came out with new reports of rampant poverty in USA and UK. What the US & EU allies did to the middle east? Does none of this qualify as fascism?

I think by the time the world wakes up to the fact that they're currently living in at least some form of fascism or close to it, it will be too late.


Edit: Care to comment with reasons why you're downvoting and even flagging? I'm always open to changing my mind.

You're probably being downvoted for posting handwavey flamebait without much to learn from, and you've been doing this a lot. It's not substantive enough and doesn't lead to the kinds of intellectually gratifying discussions that readers come here for.

> Please don't use Hacker News primarily for political or ideological battle. This destroys intellectual curiosity, so we ban accounts that do it.


How did you think the EU would end? I mean, really. It always ends the same way, no exceptions.

Please, let's not get hyperbolic here. No fascists are coming, and let's not support any such for any reason.

Having said that, the most pressing problem with authoritasianism and empire building is the EU itself. For the sake of an example, consider this (2011) rant by Guy Verhofstadt, on how member states must give up their sovereignty:


Apologies for the meme format; can't seem to find the original while on the go.

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