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Kurshok
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You see? Make the law and they'll make some tricks to bypass the law thanks to another law.....and the state itself - in the officer person - does it!

Freedom is really pointless if there's the state. A giant hoax to appease people 😛

Edited by lowenz

Task is not so much to see what no one has yet seen but to think what nobody has yet thought about that which everybody see. - E.S.

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16 hours ago, OrbWeaver said:

I think we're basically in agreement then. Speech that directly and explicitly advocates violence should not be, and generally isn't, protected as free speech.

Linking other forms of speech to violence is too unreliable to form the basis of legal action, for the reasons you mentioned. Removing speech after the violence has happened is too late to protect the victim(s), and prosecuting the person who made the speech would be unjust because you would be punishing them for the behaviour of somebody else. Trying to censor speech in advance, on the other hand, involves guesswork and speculation about what might cause violence, which is unprovable and subject to the particular biases and prejudices of the censors.

Indeed. This is why correlation fallacies are so dangerous. It's often the case that A happens before B but B could still have happened without A, which is why a mere sequence of events can never prove a causal relationship.

Even using the claims of the violent criminals themselves are not reliable, because criminals very often try to blame other people for their actions. I've seen this before with anti-porn campaigners, who sometimes talk to convicted sex offenders who say "the pictures made me do it", then the campaigners accept this as fact and use it as justification for more censorship, without ever considering whether people in jail for sex crimes might have a strong motivation to find somebody else to blame.

Yes, I think we are in agreement here. I would still say that there is one case, in which the person giving such a speech should be liable: if malicious intent can be proven for the person that gave the speech. However, it is very difficult (if not impossible) to prove malicious intent, if the person is not stupid enough to admit to it himself. But there may be people whose egos are so inflated that they get overconfident and to do so.

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Bad intentions are equally relative and not necessarily the main reason for rejection. Hate speech in most cases has 3 main reasons, ignorance for being based on false information (foreigners take our bread and homosexuals are a bad influence on children), fanaticism because of their own fears and lack of self-confidence and an education in intolerance of what is different. All this reinforced by interested media ('This is not fake news, they say exactly what I think').

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20 hours ago, OrbWeaver said:

Trying to censor speech in advance, on the other hand, involves guesswork and speculation about what might cause violence, which is unprovable and subject to the particular biases and prejudices of the censors.

A strong link between speech and violence can be demonstrated by performing an interventional study. This would mean selecting a number of comparable towns and generating hate speech in half of them, i.e. by sponsoring inflammatory articles in the local newspapers and hiring troll bots to post in local communities, then observing to see how incidents of violence against specific groups develop.

This would be highly unethical given the possible consequences, so the next best thing may be to observe the effects of an existing hate speech campaign in certain towns, which may be carried out by far-right political parties/organisations or foreign governments. You don't have exact control over the input in that case, but should still have quite good results.

A further method may be to systematically analyse public communications, i.e. demonstrating that whenever a local newspaper, politician or organisation publishes an inflammatory speech directed against a group, there's an increased risk of violence in that area in the period thereafter.

As you imply, a sequence of events is not enough to infer causality on its own. But you are already a good part of the way there if you demonstrate a strong, temporal association; that the greater the exposure to hate speech, the greater the rise in violence; and that your results are reproducible and consistent across a variety of settings and modalities of hate speech. This would further be backed up by demonstrating plausibility through mechanistic studies, such as an experiment in which participants are given two versions of an article making the same arguments about a minority, but in which one is written in an inflammatory way, and comparing how it affects the participants' agreement with statements pertaining to the rights of minorities.

So it's indeed possible to build a good case that hate speech causes violence. Furthermore, given enough power, studying the link could also identify which parts of the speech are problematic, giving a scientifically validated basis for defining hate speech. By extension it could be developed further into a classification system, ideally reducing human involvement to determining which characteristics are present, just as is done with speech that explicitly calls for violence.

There are of course flaws to taking a scientific approach, such as that its conclusions are always subject to revision by later research and are by definition never 100% certain. But then, isn't this the fundamental problem of asking for proof that a law is likely to be effective? You don't seem to be asking for such evidence concerning speech that directly calls for violence, presumably because it seems more obviously plausible to cause violence and necessary to forbid, as well as for practical reasons, such as that it seems easier to identify it as well as prove malicious intent?

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49 minutes ago, Dragofer said:

So it's indeed possible to build a good case that hate speech causes violence.

 

 

If that work had been done, and if it did show that certain types of hate speech can cause violence, then we would at least have something to discuss.  But that work hasn't been done, and there are too many examples of "hate speech" that have no rational connection to violence whatsoever (even examples posted in this very thread) to make me think that is a likely conclusion.

But, even if it were, it still wouldn't immediately follow that hate speech should be banned.  We already know that religions can cause violence (at least according to the people committing it in the name of that religion) but because it is only a small percentage of the population committing that violence, we don't ban religions or religious texts.  When Democrats demonize Republicans and then someone shoots a bunch of Republicans at a baseball game, we don't ban harsh political criticism. Nathaniel White said Robocop had inspired him to kill one of his victims.  We don't ban violent movies.  There was plenty of violence at the BLM protests last summer, but no one dreamed of banning the anti-police rhetoric, even after two police officers were murdered in their car.   I could go on.

 

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8 hours ago, Destined said:

Yes, I think we are in agreement here. I would still say that there is one case, in which the person giving such a speech should be liable: if malicious intent can be proven for the person that gave the speech. However, it is very difficult (if not impossible) to prove malicious intent, if the person is not stupid enough to admit to it himself. But there may be people whose egos are so inflated that they get overconfident and to do so.

I can't say 100% about the common law system, but generally malicious intent as part of the subjective element of crime does not require a confession. Even if one pleads not guilty, malicious intent can still be found if evidence points at it.

3 hours ago, Springheel said:

 

If that work had been done, and if it did show that certain types of hate speech can cause violence, then we would at least have something to discuss.  But that work hasn't been done, and there are too many examples of "hate speech" that have no rational connection to violence whatsoever (even examples posted in this very thread) to make me think that is a likely conclusion.

But, even if it were, it still wouldn't immediately follow that hate speech should be banned.  We already know that religions can cause violence (at least according to the people committing it in the name of that religion) but because it is only a small percentage of the population committing that violence, we don't ban religions or religious texts.  When Democrats demonize Republicans and then someone shoots a bunch of Republicans at a baseball game, we don't ban harsh political criticism. Nathaniel White said Robocop had inspired him to kill one of his victims.  We don't ban violent movies.  There was plenty of violence at the BLM protests last summer, but no one dreamed of banning the anti-police rhetoric, even after two police officers were murdered in their car.   I could go on.

 

There's many studies:

https://www.europarl.europa.eu/RegData/etudes/STUD/2020/655135/IPOL_STU(2020)655135_EN.pdf

https://tile.loc.gov/storage-services/service/gdc/gdcovop/2014360654/2014360654.pdf

https://scm.bz/wp-content/plugins/pdfjs-viewer-shortcode/pdfjs/web/viewer.php?file=https%3A%2F%2Fscm.bz%2Fwp-content%2Fuploads%2F2021%2F04%2FHate_Speech_Report_EN_03.pdf&download=true&print=true&openfile=false

https://cloudflare-ipfs.com/ipfs/bafykbzacedzqth56hl3l2t7vfj6bvc2layq4g5kvcjerkf7iqnsbag6uibwlg?filename=Anne Weber - Manual on Hate Speech-Council of Europe Publishing (2009).pdf

https://link.springer.com/content/pdf/10.1007/s10677-019-10002-0.pdf

 

Banning hate speech helps both parties of the conflict. Otherwise the voices of those who commit, spread and encourage violence are amplified.

There was violence against police and there was police brutality. It happens every day, especially at almost every riot.

So, what's bad about defunding the police?

Edited by Anderson

"I really perceive that vanity about which most men merely prate — the vanity of the human or temporal life. I live continually in a reverie of the future. I have no faith in human perfectibility. I think that human exertion will have no appreciable effect upon humanity. Man is now only more active — not more happy — nor more wise, than he was 6000 years ago. The result will never vary — and to suppose that it will, is to suppose that the foregone man has lived in vain — that the foregone time is but the rudiment of the future — that the myriads who have perished have not been upon equal footing with ourselves — nor are we with our posterity. I cannot agree to lose sight of man the individual, in man the mass."...

- 2 July 1844 letter to James Russell Lowell from Edgar Allan Poe.

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4 hours ago, Zerg Rush said:

Bad intentions are equally relative and not necessarily the main reason for rejection. Hate speech in most cases has 3 main reasons, ignorance for being based on false information (foreigners take our bread and homosexuals are a bad influence on children), fanaticism because of their own fears and lack of self-confidence and an education in intolerance of what is different. All this reinforced by interested media ('This is not fake news, they say exactly what I think').

Problem is: in a market-driven world this kind of dynamic is hard to fight an politician exploit it exactly because of that.

Market+Tribal Nature= nearly unstoppable force

Edited by lowenz

Task is not so much to see what no one has yet seen but to think what nobody has yet thought about that which everybody see. - E.S.

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4 hours ago, lowenz said:

Problem is: in a market-driven world this kind of dynamic is hard to fight an politician exploit it exactly because of that.

Market+Tribal Nature= nearly unstoppable force

Yes, unfortunately, this is a thing that goes on for a long time, changes starting with education and leaving the current savage consumerism.
Society does not change with revolutions, but it is always an evolutionary process, as society matures, this can always be observed throughout history.
All the revolutions that took place, yes, they have changed the rulers, but not the people, with which they always failed, relapsing only into another form of oppression. Background changes were always generational over many years.

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8 hours ago, Anderson said:

So, what's bad about defunding the police?

Who the hell is gonna enforce the law and stop criminals if the police officers quit because they aren't being paid? If police are corrupt, fire them and give them an appropriate punishment instead, and if there's a police shortage, have military personnel fill in instead until another police officer is available to take the spot left.

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6 hours ago, Kurshok said:

If police are corrupt

Just make a law declaring police is uncorruptible so there is no curruption there 😛

Edited by lowenz
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Task is not so much to see what no one has yet seen but to think what nobody has yet thought about that which everybody see. - E.S.

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4 hours ago, lowenz said:

Just make a law declaring police is uncorruptible so there is no curruption there 😛

Don't need a law for that. As it is now, evidence about police brutality is just ignored. It works fine as long as the judges are corrupt too... 🧐

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I suggest to put money into guaranteeing that it's illegal for police to use expired tear gas, electroshock weapons and resort to torture or inhuman, degrading treatment. Give them mental and psychological check ups. Lots of police become biased when working in the field too much. To the point when they don't see innocent people anymore - dumping innocents into party wagons and breaking lives every day.

The way police currently operates, makes them barely more tolerable than criminals. Sometimes organized crime wins since they try to maintain at least some principles - otherwise organized crime wouldn't survive. Despite that, there isn't anything good about organized crime. The reason this comparison comes up in general is because both worry more about their image than what they're actually up to.

Edited by Anderson

"I really perceive that vanity about which most men merely prate — the vanity of the human or temporal life. I live continually in a reverie of the future. I have no faith in human perfectibility. I think that human exertion will have no appreciable effect upon humanity. Man is now only more active — not more happy — nor more wise, than he was 6000 years ago. The result will never vary — and to suppose that it will, is to suppose that the foregone man has lived in vain — that the foregone time is but the rudiment of the future — that the myriads who have perished have not been upon equal footing with ourselves — nor are we with our posterity. I cannot agree to lose sight of man the individual, in man the mass."...

- 2 July 1844 letter to James Russell Lowell from Edgar Allan Poe.

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On 7/17/2021 at 1:49 PM, Dragofer said:

A strong link between speech and violence can be demonstrated by performing an interventional study. This would mean selecting a number of comparable towns and generating hate speech in half of them, i.e. by sponsoring inflammatory articles in the local newspapers and hiring troll bots to post in local communities, then observing to see how incidents of violence against specific groups develop.

Indeed, that would be the scientific way to do it, and very interesting if it ever happened, but I wasn't going to suggest it because there's no way it could ever be done given the ethical concerns you mention.

Which does unfortunately lead to one of the fundamental paradoxes with social science research — "We can't test whether X is dangerous because we'd have to expose people to X which might be dangerous, therefore the experiment would be unethical. As a result, we just have to assume X is dangerous without ever knowing the truth!".

On 7/17/2021 at 1:49 PM, Dragofer said:

This would be highly unethical given the possible consequences, so the next best thing may be to observe the effects of an existing hate speech campaign in certain towns, which may be carried out by far-right political parties/organisations or foreign governments. You don't have exact control over the input in that case, but should still have quite good results.

The problem with this is that there is no way to separate cause and consequence. It might be that speech campaigns by far right organisations cause violence, but it might also be having a large number of far right individuals in a town causes both "hate speech" and violent attacks in parallel without an actual causal link between the speech and the violence (they are both consequences of a common cause).

So unlike the interventional study, this "observational study" would not yield valid results.

On 7/17/2021 at 1:49 PM, Dragofer said:

A further method may be to systematically analyse public communications, i.e. demonstrating that whenever a local newspaper, politician or organisation publishes an inflammatory speech directed against a group, there's an increased risk of violence in that area in the period thereafter.

As you imply, a sequence of events is not enough to infer causality on its own. But you are already a good part of the way there if you demonstrate a strong, temporal association; that the greater the exposure to hate speech, the greater the rise in violence; and that your results are reproducible and consistent across a variety of settings and modalities of hate speech.

You are right, although this wouldn't be definitive proof (it is technically a post hoc fallacy), it would provide evidence if there was a consistent and widely reproduced temporal link in a large number of settings.

If event B happens almost every time A happens, and there is no other obvious reason for the temporal correlation, it does point to a possible causal link between A and B which is worthy of investigation. But you'd need to be careful to distinguish between a causal relationship and just an "informational" one — did the speech cause the violence or was the speech just an indicator of some upcoming violence (perhaps by the same people who published the speech)? Are we looking at cumulonimbus clouds which cause thunderstorms or altocumulus castellanus which merely indicate they are likely?

On 7/17/2021 at 1:49 PM, Dragofer said:

This would further be backed up by demonstrating plausibility through mechanistic studies, such as an experiment in which participants are given two versions of an article making the same arguments about a minority, but in which one is written in an inflammatory way, and comparing how it affects the participants' agreement with statements pertaining to the rights of minorities.

That would be interesting background information, but it's important not to extrapolate from "agreement with statements" to actual violence. There is a huge difference between somebody reporting that they have a different view of someone's rights, and actually committing violence against those rights.

On 7/17/2021 at 1:49 PM, Dragofer said:

There are of course flaws to taking a scientific approach, such as that its conclusions are always subject to revision by later research and are by definition never 100% certain.

I wouldn't consider that a flaw at all. I would much rather see actual evidence-based policy making which changes in response to new evidence, rather than dogmatic faith healing which is assumed to be true no matter what.

We should of course point out that even if we did all these experiments and gathered proof that speech could cause violence, this would still only be half of the puzzle — it would also be necessary to prove that laws against speech are effective at reducing violence. Even if you do, after all, prove that X is dangerous, you also need to prove that your laws will actually reduce the incidence of X, rather than increase it (by psychological backlash), drive it underground where it is even more difficult to keep track of, or just be widely ignored.

On 7/17/2021 at 1:49 PM, Dragofer said:

But then, isn't this the fundamental problem of asking for proof that a law is likely to be effective? You don't seem to be asking for such evidence concerning speech that directly calls for violence, presumably because it seems more obviously plausible to cause violence and necessary to forbid, as well as for practical reasons, such as that it seems easier to identify it as well as prove malicious intent?

Good catch. I never really thought of it like that, but I guess it is inconsistent not to demand evidence for restrictions on direct calls for violence. I suppose I'm not so bothered about this because specifically calling for violence is easy to identify, not likely to be confused with anything else, does not have any fundamental value in terms of discussion[1], and laws against it cannot so easily be abused to forbid dissent from an ideology in the same way that generic "hate speech" so frequently are.

But there are forms of expression which could literally be interpreted as calling for violence (e.g. "#KillAllWhiteMen") which I don't think should be criminal acts, so perhaps it is better to keep an open mind even in this category.

[1] Although this is a dangerous argument to make — some people would argue that dirty jokes and porn don't have any value in terms of discussion, but that isn't a good reason to outlaw them.

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2 hours ago, OrbWeaver said:

Good catch. I never really thought of it like that, but I guess it is inconsistent not to demand evidence for restrictions on direct calls for violence. I suppose I'm not so bothered about this because specifically calling for violence is easy to identify, not likely to be confused with anything else, does not have any fundamental value in terms of discussion[1], and laws against it cannot so easily be abused to forbid dissent from an ideology in the same way that generic "hate speech" so frequently are.

But there are forms of expression which could literally be interpreted as calling for violence (e.g. "#KillAllWhiteMen") which I don't think should be criminal acts, so perhaps it is better to keep an open mind even in this category.

[1] Although this is a dangerous argument to make — some people would argue that dirty jokes and porn don't have any value in terms of discussion, but that isn't a good reason to outlaw them.

I think here we need another distinction according to intent of a speech/medium, etc. Dirty jokes and porn do not have value in terms of discussion, because their intent is to entertain. They never claim to contribute to anything like a public discourse. A call for violence (at least in the context of a public speech) does not intend to entertain, but tries to reach people and get them to act. It is similar for other media. Your example #KillAllWhiteMen can be meant as a provocative way of advertising, but looking at what is happening in South Africa right now (where they literally are killing white farmers), it could also be seen as a literal call for violence. I think this is similar for "hate speech". In a calm situation, it will not do much. Maybe be seen as provocative or as someone simply venting. But in an already tense situation, it will pour oil into the fire and may have negative effects.

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"I really perceive that vanity about which most men merely prate — the vanity of the human or temporal life. I live continually in a reverie of the future. I have no faith in human perfectibility. I think that human exertion will have no appreciable effect upon humanity. Man is now only more active — not more happy — nor more wise, than he was 6000 years ago. The result will never vary — and to suppose that it will, is to suppose that the foregone man has lived in vain — that the foregone time is but the rudiment of the future — that the myriads who have perished have not been upon equal footing with ourselves — nor are we with our posterity. I cannot agree to lose sight of man the individual, in man the mass."...

- 2 July 1844 letter to James Russell Lowell from Edgar Allan Poe.

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Another useful reference - The Rabat Plan of Action

https://www.ohchr.org/en/issues/freedomopinion/articles19-20/pages/index.aspx

"I really perceive that vanity about which most men merely prate — the vanity of the human or temporal life. I live continually in a reverie of the future. I have no faith in human perfectibility. I think that human exertion will have no appreciable effect upon humanity. Man is now only more active — not more happy — nor more wise, than he was 6000 years ago. The result will never vary — and to suppose that it will, is to suppose that the foregone man has lived in vain — that the foregone time is but the rudiment of the future — that the myriads who have perished have not been upon equal footing with ourselves — nor are we with our posterity. I cannot agree to lose sight of man the individual, in man the mass."...

- 2 July 1844 letter to James Russell Lowell from Edgar Allan Poe.

badge?user=andarson

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On 7/29/2021 at 2:08 PM, Anderson said:

Another useful reference - The Rabat Plan of Action

https://www.ohchr.org/en/issues/freedomopinion/articles19-20/pages/index.aspx

In theory. But despite many countries with an Islamic majority in Southeast Asia IN THEORY have blasphemy be outlawed for all religions, in practice their asshole imams curse other religions with impunity from the law, whilst the slightest criticism of Islam results in riots that see temples burned and innocents lynched. The only way to get things right is to legalize blasphemy and apostasy, and get rid of this theocratic bullshit.

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