Monday, December 05, 2016 by Mary Wilder
To members of the Regressive Left, free speech really means freedom from seeing or hearing anything that upsets or offends them. They only want their opinions to be heard and for everyone else to be silenced.
In reality, however, free speech means that everyone should be allowed to express whatever opinion they choose, regardless of how disgusting it may be. Evil people have just as much right to state their opinions as the kindest people on earth.
That’s what liberty is.
We allow people to express themselves regardless of what that entails. Unfortunately, not everyone abides by that belief, especially in Germany, where some now want Facebook to be held responsible for the kind of content that their users are posting. The German government is now demanding that Facebook remove pro-Nazi rhetoric from its site, claiming that it is against the law to allow such content to be published.
James Rothwell of The Telegraph writes, “Under German law, Facebook is legally obliged to remove racist or Nazi-themed content as soon as it becomes aware of it. However, Facebook has dismissed the allegations, saying they ‘lack merit,’ and insists that none of its employees have broken any laws. The country’s government has already threatened to hit social media websites such as Facebook and Twitter with hefty fines if they fail to delete racist content.”
While we can all agree that people posting pro-Nazi ideals are despicable and deserve to be treated like the human garbage that they are, Facebook is still a private company that reserves the right to choose what kind of content it desires to have posted on its website. The second the government begins to interfere in the business practices of private citizens is the second we should all get worried. They have no right to do this, and it’s dangerous for them to believe that they can.
One of the biggest issues facing the world today is the infringement of free speech and the pressure put on social networks to police negative comments and what is perceived to be hate speech. While comments related to actual Nazism certainly qualify as being just that, the leftists have destroyed their legitimacy by claiming that innocuous comments are also “hate speech.” There needs to be a firm distinction between the two, and the overreaction by the Left isn’t helping anyone.
So, should Facebook remove content promoting Nazism? Yes. Should the government be involved in any way, shape or form? No. Not at all. Never.