We read on Officialwire about how a certain internet search company deleted a video it was hosting on one of its services because the video promoted holocaust denial. But that's not the end of it. Apparently Officialwire itself has now been censored too. As in totalitarian countries, you are not even allowed to REPORT censorship! That is why I am not using the name of the search company here.
The editor of Officialwire at least got the search company to explain why they no longer index Officialwire. They wrote: "We do not allow articles and sources expressly promoting hate speech viewpoints"
The Officialwire editor comments: "Hate speech? I had to read it a couple times before it sunk in... I mean, I'm a Jew, for Christ's sake! I am fairly confident that I have never written what might be considered "Hate Speech". Hate Speech?"
He goes on: "OfficialWire's dedication to Free Speech requires me to permit even those who's opinion I may disagree with the opportunity to express themselves.... The truth doesn't need to threaten or bully. The truth does not need to jail or denounce.
There is no doubt that some of the stuff on Officialwire is well out of the mainstream and there is heaps on the site that I personally would disagree with but it is precisely such content that needs to be defended on free speech grounds.
Fortunately, however, this particular case of censorship is not government censorship and the company is perfectly within its rights to choose what it allows and what it does not. But readers here might be wise to consider using more comprehensive search engines -- such as MSN Search for their everyday searches.
Leftist Enemies of Free Speech again
How often do people have to tell these Leftists that it precisely unpopular speech that must be defended?
"The Hyatt hotel chain has come under fire for agreeing to host a conference this weekend sponsored by a white supremacist group. The conference in the Washington suburb of Herndon is sponsored by the Oakton, Va.-based New Century Foundation, whose leader says the white race is losing its identity in the United States because of multiculturalism and immigration. Students at George Mason University organized a phone campaign to urge the Hyatt to shut its doors to the conference, which it has hosted in previous years. "We're not taking away their freedom of speech. We're letting people know that Hyatt is supporting these people," student activist Tariq Khan said".
And denial of doing precisely what they ARE doing is SO Leftist! There is no Freudian defence mechanism that Leftists do not use. Though "projection" (seeing their own faults in others) is their favourite.
The Red Ken Affair in London
A free speech issue that is getting heaps of attention on the blogs at the moment is the suspension from office of "Red Ken" -- Kenneth Livingstone, the Lord Mayor of London. Excerpt:
"London's mayor has been suspended from office on full pay for four weeks for comparing a Jewish journalist to a concentration camp guard. The Adjudication Panel for England ruled Ken Livingstone had brought his office into disrepute when he acted in an "unnecessarily insensitive" manner. The ban is due to begin on 1 March and the mayor's deputy Nicky Gavron will stand in for Mr Livingstone. The mayor said: "This decision strikes at the heart of democracy."
Given my loathing for antisemitism, I was at first inclined to say that Red Ken got what he deserved but that is a gut reaction. Red Ken is undoubtedly antisemitic, like the far-Leftist he is, but he WAS democratically elected. Surely it is only the London voters who should be able to remove him.
And even if he had been merely fined (for instance), should he be punished for exercising his right to free speech? My own feeling is that what he did was personal abuse and defamation rather than an exercise of free speech but I am going to leave it to readers to discuss it in the Comments section without my saying anything more. I am going to be a bit wishy-washy on this one.