TIL that both the United Kingdom and Canada have banned the Westboro Baptist Church from entering their countries. (en.wikipedia.org)

todayilearned

8391 ups - 6371 downs = 2020 votes

998 comments submitted at 21:21:14 on Jan 29, 2013 by AtheistAgnostic

  • [-]
  • DoodGai1
  • -20 Points
  • 23:33:25, 29 January

I guess the concept of free speech doesn't mean anything.

  • [-]
  • fishanlers
  • 32 Points
  • 23:52:09, 29 January

Canada doesn't have free speech.

It is illegal to promote hate here.

  • [-]
  • GoodGuy04
  • 7 Points
  • 02:15:08, 30 January

Why?

  • [-]
  • FeetOfClay7
  • 10 Points
  • 05:17:59, 30 January

Because a persons right to live their life without being verbally assaulted is more important than their right to verbally assault others.

  • [-]
  • BrienBear
  • 2 Points
  • 08:43:09, 30 January

This is an amazing way to say this. Thank you.

  • [-]
  • fishanlers
  • 5 Points
  • 02:21:57, 30 January

Why doesn't Canada have free speech or why is it illegal to promote hate?

  • [-]
  • GoodGuy04
  • 10 Points
  • 02:25:35, 30 January

Well, I guess both... Especially the second part. I'm curious as to the rationale in granting the gov't the power to restrict speech that promotes hate and offends.

  • [-]
  • fishanlers
  • 11 Points
  • 02:28:31, 30 January

It is illegal to promote hate because then people are going to be hateful and do awful things to people. This includes racism, sexism and even personal attacks

We don't have free speech because the above

  • [-]
  • meatbowling
  • 5 Points
  • 03:10:44, 30 January

But how do government decide what's hate or not? People here in Denmark have been to jail or gotten fined for speaking against the Muslims. It often seem much more harassment of certain political groups than anything else.

  • [-]
  • fishanlers
  • 2 Points
  • 03:18:15, 30 January

People report it and then it can go to trial. It's not perfect but it works reletevly well

  • [-]
  • meatbowling
  • 0 Points
  • 03:22:50, 30 January

I can imagine it works just like it works here: It favors liberal opinions.

  • [-]
  • fishanlers
  • 4 Points
  • 03:25:28, 30 January

It does what's right, having people who promote the extreme hatred of others shut down

  • [-]
  • GoodGuy04
  • 3 Points
  • 02:36:24, 30 January

Yeah but I meant what is the reason for allowing the gov't to censor people saying mean things. Like what's the justification for not allowing people to say mean things to others and punishing people for their expressed opinions?

  • [-]
  • fishanlers
  • 6 Points
  • 02:39:24, 30 January

No it's you can criticize people as much as you want it's when you are trying to get other people to hate them and hurt them

  • [-]
  • GoodGuy04
  • 4 Points
  • 02:43:13, 30 January

Oh I see. So for example racism would be legal while using racism to incite violence would not?

  • [-]
  • neweralt
  • 3 Points
  • 06:15:26, 30 January

No, hate propaganda used against disadvantaged groups is illegal. Inciting violence is not needed at all.

  • [-]
  • fishanlers
  • 4 Points
  • 02:44:59, 30 January

Not just violence but yeah.

  • [-]
  • F4LLOUT
  • 0 Points
  • 02:42:30, 30 January

It's perfectly fine to be a dick. Well, at least it is LEGALLY. However, it is ILLEGAL to incite hatred.

This is because there are people in the world who say shit about others to get the public riled up and attack/discriminate against those people.

The US needs to adopt these laws.

  • [-]
  • GoodGuy04
  • 4 Points
  • 02:50:47, 30 January

Hmm.. That's quite a fine line though, isn't it? I mean, it's gotta be tough to say exactly where assholery ends and hate speech begins. You don't think that it would make more sense to not limit this kind of speech but instead to pass laws making hostile actions illegal instead?

  • [-]
  • F4LLOUT
  • 2 Points
  • 03:27:45, 30 January

Actually, it's not.

You could say you hate black people, but if you were to, say, public shit saying, "Black people can't be trusted, 99% of them are thieves and murderers, they will rape your children, etc.," then I'm pretty sure that would count as "inciting".

  • [-]
  • Nithecraft
  • -10 Points
  • 03:00:43, 30 January

You need to shut the fuck up about what the US "needs" to do. We aren't all pansy-ass commie pinkos like you. We don't need to be protected from exposure to ideas, no matter what they are.

  • [-]
  • F4LLOUT
  • 2 Points
  • 03:26:02, 30 January

This comment is gold. Well done. I really did not think anyone wrote/talked like that in real life.

  • [-]
  • whiskeytab
  • 2 Points
  • 04:12:22, 30 January

haha this must be a troll, if not then its hilarious that you actually exist. you are a living example of your own nations negative stereotype.

  • [-]
  • downtown_vancouver
  • -1 Points
  • 04:55:45, 30 January

It is illegal to advocate genocide. Or to promote hatred that is likely to cause harm to one of the "protected groups".

You can walk down the street saying "I hate purple people". A Canadian citizen could do a WBC type of protest.

  • [-]
  • demostravius
  • 1 Points
  • 08:55:28, 30 January

Yea but when you start saying, 'Kill all purple people', you have crossed the line.

  • [-]
  • DoodGai1
  • -12 Points
  • 00:55:13, 30 January

It's a damn shame.

  • [-]
  • ectoPhysicist
  • 1 Points
  • 04:20:48, 30 January

Yeah, I pretty much hate everything the WBC has to say... but at the same time our country was founded on the idea that anyone should be able to believe, practice, and preach, whatever they want.

That idea has to be put above anything else. Just brush off the stupidity and move on... or criticize them because this is America and we can do shit like that.

  • [-]
  • crassy
  • 5 Points
  • 04:34:39, 30 January

There is a slight difference. People in Canada can worship the way they want, believe in what they want, pretty much say what they want with the exception of inciting hatred. It gets into murky waters when you start dealing with an American group being denied entry into another sovereign nation. They have no right to enter Canada in the first place, no non-Canadian does. They may be allowed entry, but they are not entitled to it. There is a whole list of reasons why someone would be denied entry, inciting hatred is one of them.

We have plenty of hate groups in Canada who do just fine and haven't been really stifled. People are free to criticise anyone they want (within reason, slander and libel still exist).

  • [-]
  • ectoPhysicist
  • 1 Points
  • 04:40:35, 30 January

Being denied entry is understandable. But when you say slander and libel, do you mean someone could be prosecuted just for talking bad about someone? Or does it have to be more serious or something?

The way it is in America is basically you can say whatever the fuck you want, as long as you don't threaten anyone. When things start to get violent is when the law steps in, and that's really the way I would prefer it.

  • [-]
  • crassy
  • 3 Points
  • 05:15:57, 30 January

That is pretty much how it works in Canada, yes, except inciting violence is taken to be the same as actual violence. Slander and libel still exists in the US as well. People sue over it all the time. You cannot say 'whatever the fuck you want as long as you don't threaten anyone'. Defamation laws do exist and have been used in courts. You can't be prosecuted just for saying someone is an asshole. If that was true, I'm pretty sure every Canadian, both civilian and politician, would be in prison (case in point, Peter Stoffer calling Rob Anders a dickhead in the Parliament buildings on national television). We are not a totalitarian regime where people are secreted away for speaking their minds, it is more with the intent of stopping violence before it happens. We still have far right racists, sexist, homophobic, fundamentalist christians, and hate groups who speak their minds with ease without prosecution.

  • [-]
  • Sharpedgs
  • 1 Points
  • 07:35:55, 30 January

They still have to watch the fuck out for counter-protesters though.

  • [-]
  • crassy
  • 2 Points
  • 09:02:53, 30 January

Yup, but that is not legal prosecution, that is just another group voicing their position.

  • [-]
  • Sharpedgs
  • 1 Points
  • 09:25:05, 30 January

This is true. Your point? I'm just saying Canada is awesome and we don't tolerate bigots, legally or socially.

Well, we try anyways.

  • [-]
  • crassy
  • 1 Points
  • 10:57:55, 30 January

I took your comment incorrectly. My apologies. :)

  • [-]
  • Sharpedgs
  • 1 Points
  • 10:59:05, 30 January

No worries! If we can't have civil discourse, we can always have a screaming match. I'm pretty good at the making up sexy times.

  • [-]
  • jonaheim88
  • 0 Points
  • 23:45:26, 29 January

or right to petition? I dont like it either, but that's what happens in a "free" society.

  • [-]
  • iheartbakon
  • 2 Points
  • 07:02:49, 30 January

Harassment isn't legal in Canada.

  • [-]
  • salami_inferno
  • 1 Points
  • 09:15:46, 30 January

In no way are we silencing them, a country is allowed to decided exactly who is allowed entry into the country and we have denied them that.

  • [-]
  • SirJiggart
  • 1 Points
  • 02:55:07, 30 January

We have freedom of speech in Britain I think, but we don't want racist bigot cunts in this country.

  • [-]
  • jakehawney
  • 6 Points
  • 03:10:24, 30 January

But the issue I think the guy above me is bringing up is that when you give the government the power to censor 1 type of speech, eventually they will attempt to use that power to censor other types as well. It is much better to make speech truly free and allow the idiots (WBC) to out themselves as hateful and bigoted. BTW, NO ONE in the USA takes this group of like 20 loons seriously.

  • [-]
  • salami_inferno
  • 1 Points
  • 09:18:05, 30 January

If they were Canadian citizens what they are doing would be very legal, but they aren't Canadian citizens. That's where the issue for them is

  • [-]
  • byronjstevenson
  • -1 Points
  • 03:21:54, 30 January

slippery slope. it's a fallacy for a reason.

  • [-]
  • jakehawney
  • 3 Points
  • 03:23:48, 30 January

But the issue is that Government has NEVER been trustworthy in the past so WHY should we open the door for tyranny?

edit: The fallacy of slippery slope is when you commit category errors taking one step and leading to a completely different step. For example: "Gun registration will lead to gun confiscation" these are two separate categories. Allowing the government to regulate 1 type of speech leaves open the ability for government to regulate all types of speech. For example : Government has the right to regulate hate speech. That means that Government, if so desires, has the legal precedent to argue that it can regulate speech critical of the government (and so forth). These are similar categories and is also consistent with history.

  • [-]
  • byronjstevenson
  • -1 Points
  • 03:35:55, 30 January

a good hair to split on the definition of slippery slope, but the spirit remains. because Canada (maybe the UK) tries to limit speech that incites hate and violence does not mean that it will inevitably attempt to limit other types of speech.

  • [-]
  • jakehawney
  • 2 Points
  • 03:52:14, 30 January

Well you do know that Governments across history have attempted to expand their power over the people in essentially every case. I would like to be one who errors on the side of caution and limit the power of any federal government.

When you "limit" (ban) speech that incites hate and violence, you are making the connection between words and action, which is a very difficult connection to make in a world inhabited by free will agents. Just because WBC says "God hates fags" does not make ANYONE do ANYTHING. Hateful people will do hateful things without any provocation whatsoever UNLESS they are forces by some sort of entity that asserts control over them (usually a centralized federal government).

  • [-]
  • byronjstevenson
  • -1 Points
  • 04:00:57, 30 January

since the advent of true democracy, governments that practice that type of government have a very good track record of not overstepping their bounds to any great degree. there are obvious exceptions, but all those fall into the category of failed democracies, ones which have turned into autocracies or outright dictatorships.

now, while it may be true that making a direct link between hate speech and violent action is difficult, allowing such speech normalizes the thought that violence against one group or another is okay.

in Canada, at least, the laws on hate speech are used extremely sparingly, and no one has ever been sent to jail for such a crime. in fact, i would be hard pressed to think of a case where a person was even censured (or censored) in such a case.

the system in Canada obviously isn't perfect (show me any system that is) but it at least allows for the people, through their elected officials and the police that enforce the crimes passed by those officials, to express the value that some ideas are not worth public airing and are, in fact, detrimental to a free and just society.

  • [-]
  • jakehawney
  • 1 Points
  • 05:24:26, 30 January

But using the argument of speech normalizes hate, isn't that what violent video games and movies do too? Does Canada have laws to censor that?

  • [-]
  • byronjstevenson
  • 1 Points
  • 12:38:27, 30 January

a fair point. i suppose i would have to say that a distinction is made between fictitious portrayal of violence and real-life incitement of violence, but i'm not sure how that works in law (I'm no lawyer).

again, i'm no lawyer, but i don't believe that Canada has any laws that censor video games and movies, with the exception of those that cover child pornography and some very rarely used publication-of-information bans (e.g. the Bernardo/Homolka murders, but even the film "Karla" was allowed to be screened in Canadian cinemas).

  • [-]
  • neweralt
  • 1 Points
  • 06:29:14, 30 January

Slippery slope is not always a fallacy. It's a bit more complex than that and is actually a logical construct if certain conditions are met and steps aren't just glossed over.

  • [-]
  • chrissssssssssssssss
  • 1 Points
  • 03:16:35, 30 January

But you do realize not allowing certain people in your country because you dont like their beliefs technically makes you a "bigot cunt" as well, right?

  • [-]
  • salami_inferno
  • 1 Points
  • 09:16:56, 30 January

But they purposely edge people on to sue them to find their hate speech. It's not as simple as them using their free speech, they take advantage of it to sue people. I think it's justified to tell them to fuck off at the border

  • [-]
  • neweralt
  • 0 Points
  • 06:26:58, 30 January

No, you really don't. You have gag orders on your papers(which include prior restraint), you have people arrested for racist twitter posts. You just recently got rid of your blasphemy laws. You can't say things that discuss the death of the queen, your defamation laws are draconian and criticizing religion -in all but the lightest forms- is illegal.

  • [-]
  • DoodGai1
  • -5 Points
  • 03:10:45, 30 January

Apparently not, since WBC is banned from the UK.

  • [-]
  • _MyDoom
  • -1 Points
  • 01:49:02, 30 January

I guess the concept of hate speech doesn't mean anything.

  • [-]
  • DoodGai1
  • 1 Points
  • 01:53:49, 30 January

It's worth it.