MPs condemn social media giants over illegal content

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  • Social media firms are "shamefully far" from tackling illegal and dangerous content, says a parliamentary report.

    Hate speech, terror recruitment videos and sexual images of children all took too long to be removed, said the Home Affairs Select Committee report.

    The government should consider making the sites help pay to police content, it said.
    This is of course a subject I worry about as I run this forum, but I don't see how this can ever be fully resolved. One person's hate speech is another's freedom of expression. I think our laws on this subject are out of date and irrelevant and either should be scrapped or at least rethought.

  • I agree that the time for controlling certain individuals on the internet has been far too long in arriving. People have been forced to endure the most despicable bullying and ridicule, libel and threats, plus a good bit of stalking and cyber sexual assault for as long as the internet has held the notion that this is fine as long as you're anonymous and online, as though the culprit wasn't a real person and what he or she said wasn't of any significance. And this has added the unacceptable claim that the victim is also just a chimera.

    This situation has lead to many children being abused, to some being murdered and to many suicides. and a whole lot of unnecessary misery.

    I don't think anyone with a forum need worry about people having debates. I don't think free speech is in any danger from the control of delinquent cyber personas who use the online community to vent their own inadequacies and psychoses and to stalk or commit commercial crimes.

    This is just my opinion, but I speak from experience as one who ran full tilt into this gaggle of scum and so if they can be unmasked I and many others like me will no doubt be pleased to know that sanity has finally prevailed.

    The vagabond who's rapping at your door

    Is standing in the clothes that you once wore

  • I wonder how they propose to fine non-UK companies with no assets in this country? As for "illegal" content that may only apply to the UK. I'm sure there are countries that are quite happy to have this stuff on their internet. What so many people fail to understand is that the internet is world-wide. If a site server is connected anywhere on the planet then a computer anywhere else connected to the internet can access it no matter how hard the authorites try to prevent it. An example being in the UK there is a court injuction for the last three years on all ISP's to prevent their users from accessing The Pirate Bay. I can get there in seconds without even needing a VPN!

    History is much like an Endless Waltz. The three beats of war, peace and revolution continue on forever.


    If my post is in this colour  it is moderation. Take note.

  • I don't think anyone with a forum need worry about people having debates. I don't think free speech is in any danger from the control of delinquent cyber personas who use the online community to vent their own inadequacies and psychoses and to stalk or commit commercial crimes.

    We can't really have free speech, though....:(

    Heero, The problem is what is illegal? Are you aware of the man who said terrible things about the murdered MP Jo Cox. He was arrested for threatening her, but she was dead, how can she have been threatened?

    Related, someone "threatened" another MP:…-to-jo-cox-mp-anna-soubry

    I fear things may go too far. LW misunderstood my OP as being for a call to reform laws policing the internet, whereas in some cases, I am actually calling for the opposite.

  • No, I didn't misunderstand you. I realise that in the UK you have become oppressed when it comes to expressing opinions and that political correctness is a form of social oppression now.

    If you want to put the case for freedom of speech, you will need to lay out what you think this means and how it may be expressed and when it may be violated. You cannot ignore the factors of fake news, libel, criminal intent and offence, because they exist and many a lawsuit will bring that home to anyone who thinks saying whatever they like is not flouting the rights of individuals and groups to their basic integrity. But then, you'd have to thrash out with a good argument what you think the rights of individuals and groups should be in the case of free speech.

    It's basically a philosophical issue so would need a rational argument to seal the debate in the favour of free speech. No opinion can simply be allowable or valid because it is the personal belief or weapon of someone who wishes to tear down someone, or something, else. In order for that opinion to be a case of free speech the opinion would need to be verifiable by means of its argument.

    This can be well illustrated by the issues surrounding recent so-called historical revisionists and the claim that the Nazi holocaust of the Jews is a myth. The proponents of this claim have been silenced by political correctness laws instead of by verifiable data that refutes their claims. Instead, it has become a secular sin as well as a contravention of the law to mention the subject. In fact, the J-word has become taboo, thus lending to an entire ethnic group and its political establishment a sort of immunity from criticism that is beyond the validation or otherwise of a single event in history.

    A similar thing is ongoing with critics of Islam. Those who have anything to say that might be considered derogatory by the believer group are deemed criminal by the legislative oppression of political correctness and secular sin attribution wielded by the incumbent political elite.

    Thou shalt not rock the cradle has become entrenched in law. This is where the problem lies, not in any carte blanche to say whatever one wants to.

    I think the crux of the freedom of opinion and of the right to express that opinion lies in the rights of individuals to have opinions in the first place. If there may be no dissent or difference of opinion, then the civilization is intrinsically bigoted. It doesn't matter who has the opinion or what that opinion might be. If an individual is unable, by dint of the law, to express an opinion then that society is not free and if it isn't free then it is fascist.

    This never goes down very well with the doyens of democracy for some reason, which in turn leads to claims that democracy, as such, has lost some of its definitive meaning and is becoming a byword for political correctness.

    If any free speech merchant would like to put an argument for liberty of expression to the public in the form of a debate and not just a juvenile wish to abuse people and get attention, then this requires a well thought out response to suppression, rather than a petulant foot stamp because some ignorant individual is claiming, for example, that vaccinations are designed to "kill children" or that the earth is only 6,000 years old.

    The refutation of these claims as false simply requires a well laid out counter argument, supported by facts and substantiation. This should hold good for political dissent as well in a true democracy and because it blatantly does not, one first has to question the covert fascism resident in the powers that be and their useful laws for suppressing criticism.

    The media is no longer trustworthy as it has largely become an arena for mouthing platitudes, punting popular ideology and offering as much advertising as it can stuff on a web page. Whether much of this is genuine news, has any degree of veracity or is just the hot air catharsis of some small minded hack who needs to slap what intimidates him or her is a moot point. If the comments section of such a report is blighted by deletions of politically incorrect commentary then that particular media outlet is defending itself against petty litigation, because petty litigation is not summarily dismissed. Genuine freedom of speech and opinion has nothing to do with agreeing or not agreeing with various claims.

    However, abusive opinion, libel, invective, stalking, etc are not aspects of free anything, they are crimes against the integrity of individuals who should have the right to defend themselves. If the culprit can say or do whatever he or she likes but the target is muzzled, then something is fundamentally wrong with the whole concept of liberty.

    So, as no one should be free to instruct the public in bomb making for God or in how to sexually molest children, etc, someone who has an opinion for or against abortion, or the legalisation of recreational drugs should not be muzzled.

    Who does the muzzling and for what reasons is the real sticking point. You can't have freedom of speech unless you can define what it is and where its limits might be. Because everything has limits. Nature doesn't work on a principle of rampant egotism. And neither do any systems that rely on forces, whether these be social or physical. If the envelope is pushed too far, it breaks. If freedom is to be preserved it needs to be defined and respected. No argument for liberty is going to fly based on the mere wish to do as anyone pleases and say whatever anyone likes.

    If whoever is a proponent of free speech is able to formulate his or her opinion on the limits of free speech then the argument for it might gain more traction. Such an argument, if it were sound, could also attempt to demolish political correctness without lending its opposition carte blanche to destroy at will and insult on a whim.

    Some hopeful politicos claim they will tear down political correctness or abolish petty litigation pertaining this, but I've never seen any one of them lay out a workable method and rationale for doing this, so I have to presume it is lip service to a sector of the electorate that includes those who want to cause havoc by running wild. It is no wonder political candidates like this never get anywhere.They do not demonstrate any ability to deal with the things they claim they will confront.

    The vagabond who's rapping at your door

    Is standing in the clothes that you once wore

  • .... that post just reminds me how good you are at political debate, and what a shame you're retiring from most of it. Although I'm lucky that you decide to come here everyday out of the millions of other places you could easily spend your time visiting on the internet.

    As I'm only 4 months into political debate, I will need the rest of the day to digest that LW and will reply later.

  • Long did I study and hard did I fall before I got a reasonable essay going. Best thing I ever did was major in Philosophy. I wanted to learn how to argue because I always lost against bigger, nastier opponents who shut me up with all manner of supercilious commentary. (I'm talking about trying to defend myself against the powers that be in my family here. 8) So I chose Phil as one of my subjects and thus did I step out in little stumbles along the road of debate and argumentation and how to go about it and how not to, etc. Nearly died of boredom a couple of times, but it was worth it in the end. (You emerge with the lessons from ancient Greece to the Modern Age populating your pantry of notions.)

    They are tools for stating your case, defending things and people and for waging war on oppression when simply collapsing like a punctured balloon won't do.

    The vagabond who's rapping at your door

    Is standing in the clothes that you once wore

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