Freedom of speech and censorship : an European point of view.

@topffer (36123)
Svalbard And Jan Mayen
March 29, 2018 6:43am CST
I read today with some amazement the last administrative advisement of @GoAskAlice. In Europe, there is not something like a first amendment permitting to tell any stupidity on very controversial topics without risking to be sentenced by the justice. Let me give you a very recent example. A few days ago, after the attack of a supermarket in Southern France where a gendarme was killed, a far left politician who had been a candidate at the last election of our National Assembly, twitted : «Each time a gendarme is taken out, and it is not every day, I think at my friend Rémi Fraisse (an environmentalist militant killed accidentally by a grenade from a gendarme in 2014], here it is a colonel, awesome ! Incidentally, it is an elector less for Macron.» It is never right to be happy of the death of a soldier, and in this case, this one, who worked for the GIGN, the equivalent of the SWAT in the French gendarmerie, worked in the Republican Guard, and got a medal as a paratrooper in Iraq, acted like a hero : he asked to replace a hostage in the hope to neutralize the terrorist ; his phone was opened, transmitting information to the police. Sadly, his colleagues did not managed to save him on time. He received a national tribute yesterday. The leader of his party said about the author of the tweet «This stupid harms us terribly. It is a pain for us to see somebody using our name to tell nonsense like this.» Since 2015 we have had 250 persons killed or harmed by terrorists, and being happy when an army officer is killed by a sick Muslim terrorist is even worse. The justice decided that the tweet was an apology for terrorism, and he was sentenced yesterday to a one year suspended prison sentence. He would have got a similar if not stronger sentence in Germany, Spain, Italy... In UK such a tweet would have been borderline, but probably legal as long as he was not asking to kill. My opinion is that any stupid telling ignominious words just deserves to be sentenced like this one. And that GAA had not to issue an administrative advisement to justify himself. I trust completely the administration of myLot and know that they are doing their best to regulate this place and maintain it healthy. No justification needed ! Photo : The Republican Guard waiting for the car of President Macron on the garden side of the Elysée Palace yesterday morning. I asked their authorization to take this picture. Bad that a drop of water felt on the camera lens at this moment, it was raining cats and dogs on Paris yesterday.
19 people like this
15 responses
@MALUSE (43655)
• Uzbekistan
29 Mar
A voice of reason from Europe. Very good.
5 people like this
@topffer (36123)
• Svalbard And Jan Mayen
29 Mar
Thank you. Our view about freedom of speech is more moderate than in the US, and it is all good for our democracies.
3 people like this
@MALUSE (43655)
• Uzbekistan
29 Mar
@topffer Quite a lot is more moderate in Europe than in the USA. Think only of religiosity! I'm very happy to live in a country where people don't tell me about their religious beliefs all the time without my showing any interest in them. Believe what you like but don't tell me about it and, above all, don't preach to me.
3 people like this
@topffer (36123)
• Svalbard And Jan Mayen
29 Mar
@MALUSE I understand that. I am also pleased to live in a lay state where a fence has been put between religion and politics.
1 person likes this
@JohnRoberts (63222)
• Los Angeles, California
29 Mar
In your history, you must know the Dreyfus Affair where Zola was convicted of libel because he accused the government of various acts.
3 people like this
@JohnRoberts (63222)
• Los Angeles, California
29 Mar
@topffer I have been to the Pantheon!
1 person likes this
@topffer (36123)
• Svalbard And Jan Mayen
29 Mar
@JohnRoberts I do not know what you thought of your visit, but it is something emotional for a French. Zola has been put in the Panthéon in 1906.
1 person likes this
@JohnRoberts (63222)
• Los Angeles, California
29 Mar
@topffer It was rather cold and austere place.
1 person likes this
@LadyDuck (176861)
• Switzerland
29 Mar
I have read about the killed gendarm and I have read that stupid declaration. I am very glad that we have Laws in Europe to prevent people to spread stupid rumors and news. Freedom of speech should not be freedom of badmouth, say stupidity and spread fake news, surely with a meaning behind.
2 people like this
@topffer (36123)
• Svalbard And Jan Mayen
29 Mar
This one would have a chance to get a medal if there was a championship of stupidity : he did not realized how his reasoning was wrong, and did not realized that it would harm his party if he was posting it... And the words he used. I translated "quel pied !" by "awesome" as I do not know a slang expression in English to translate it accurately. I am happy that we have not something like a 1st amendment in European countries that could be invoked by stupids like him against "censorship".
1 person likes this
@LadyDuck (176861)
• Switzerland
29 Mar
@topffer I am glad that we have Laws to stop this kind of stupid people. In Italy there is a teacher (a young woman) who participated to several communist march shouting that she is happy when a carabiniere is killed. Well, she has lost her job and now she will need to pass in front of a Judge. I am very happy, because stupid people like her must not be allowed to teach.
1 person likes this
@LadyDuck (176861)
• Switzerland
29 Mar
@topffer She repeated the phrase many times, she posted on her FB page. The parents of the children asked to have another teacher and I would have done the same. Kids do not go to school to learn to hate and to disrespect those who risk their lives to protect the population. Catholic schools had communist teachers, I remember one in our school. We knew he was, but he was a very good teacher and never talked about politics. This was something that teachers never did in the early 60s.
1 person likes this
@vandana7 (67684)
• India
30 Mar
America is weird...
2 people like this
@topffer (36123)
• Svalbard And Jan Mayen
30 Mar
They have given up to regulate their herd of stupid people with this amendment. We have another one sued now, a vegan woman who wrote on FB that she was pleased that a butcher was killed in this supermarket. Some vegans are extreme sectarians.
1 person likes this
@vandana7 (67684)
• India
30 Mar
@topffer It is like we can tell when American has spoken LOL.
1 person likes this
@topffer (36123)
• Svalbard And Jan Mayen
30 Mar
@vandana7 Lol, fortunately all Americans do not abuse of the 1st amendment.
1 person likes this
@dodo19 (33674)
• Beaconsfield, Quebec
29 Mar
Honestly, I do think we have to be careful with what we say and how we say it. Words can be hurtful.
2 people like this
@topffer (36123)
• Svalbard And Jan Mayen
29 Mar
Indeed words can hurt and we have to assume what we said, so it is better to not tell any stupid words that we will regret later, reprehensible or not.
1 person likes this
@dodo19 (33674)
• Beaconsfield, Quebec
29 Mar
@topffer Agreed. We never know how our words or actions may impact someone and it's better to keep certain things to ourselves, as we may regret it.
1 person likes this
@topffer (36123)
• Svalbard And Jan Mayen
29 Mar
@dodo19 It is not always an easy task. In a job context I am always careful to not hurt people, but some people are very sensitive and you can hurt them without wanting to do it
1 person likes this
@GardenGerty (102593)
• United States
30 Mar
It seems we have world wide stupid, but in some places there is some correction for it.
2 people like this
@topffer (36123)
• Svalbard And Jan Mayen
30 Mar
I do not think you have more or less than us, but you have decided to not regulate your herd of stupids.
@Madshadi (8921)
• Brussels, Belgium
29 Mar
Some people are just rude and insensitive. Good there are laws against that kind of speech
2 people like this
@topffer (36123)
• Svalbard And Jan Mayen
30 Mar
It was very insensitive and I am glad that we had a law permitting to sue this stupid.
1 person likes this
@kepweng (18622)
• Waikoloa, Hawaii
29 Mar
i Wonder why france is Always Attacking by ISIS??
2 people like this
@topffer (36123)
• Svalbard And Jan Mayen
29 Mar
Because we are a lay country with strong values when it comes to freedom and liberties, it is exactly what ISIS hates.
2 people like this
@YrNemo (14719)
29 Mar
Glad to hear that that politician who tweeted in bad taste, got his comeuppance. Re: mylot admin and his explanation, the guy was real polite wasn't him (If it were me, I wouldn't be that nice.) I like that gate, very pretty. (It made me think of the gate of heaven .)
1 person likes this
@topffer (36123)
• Svalbard And Jan Mayen
29 Mar
I also thought that GAA was too nice in this post. I doubt that there is a Gallic cockerel at the top of the gate of heaven. It is supposed to be "a symbol of combativeness, aggressiveness, acrimony, valor and pride." These are not very Christian values.
1 person likes this
@YrNemo (14719)
29 Mar
@topffer hmm, perhaps St Peter needs to be reminded of his denial of Jesus, and that Jesus did predict this at the Holy Thursday Feast, 'Before the rooster crows today, you will disown me three times?' (I just explained to some little kiddies the meaning of Holy Thursday several hours ago . THAT, to distract them from expecting magic bunny hopping by our place to drop some fancy Easter Eggs!)
1 person likes this
@YrNemo (14719)
29 Mar
@topffer Ouch, I thought being Santa Clause and Tooth Fairy was enough for most parents, and that the task of arranging the hunt for Easter Eggs belong to teachers at schools or big stores. When I was asked if some Bunny would come leaving special Easter Eggs here, I was truly horrified (we have heaps of chocolates here (expensive brands as well as cheap brands), why do we need more Easter Eggs?)
1 person likes this
• Pamplona, Spain
29 Mar
Similar kind of problem here. Very sorry about the Gendarme and the feelings that are running so high at the moment over here cause some silly people to say very silly things that is all I will say. There are Laws for that too but it seems they are never implemented in the right way like they should be that I will say.
1 person likes this
@topffer (36123)
• Svalbard And Jan Mayen
29 Mar
This gendarme was deserving the national tribute he received : he saved the life of a hostage, knowing that he was risking his life to try to neutralize the hostage taker. Heroic ! I think you have the same laws in Spain than in France when it comes to sue apologists of terrorism, and I am sure that everybody would agree when it comes to sue a Muslim terrorist. For separatists, it may be different : we had the same problem with separatists from Corsica, a part of Corsicans were not agreeing.
1 person likes this
@topffer (36123)
• Svalbard And Jan Mayen
29 Mar
@lovinangelsinstead21 At least they really want to be independent. When it comes to Corsican "independentists" they are a bit like Brexiters, they want the butter and the money from the butter together. I mean they know that they would not survive easily if they were becoming independent, so they ask for even more autonomy and even more money from us, without forgetting to blast regularly their tax offices. I dream to have a national referendum about Corsica, I am sure that a large majority of people would give them gladly their independence, but it will never happen.
1 person likes this
• Pamplona, Spain
29 Mar
@topffer Alas from this end I reckon that there is a lot more to all this story than meets the eye. Its sort of like reliving the Basque thing all over again but without the murders and the bombs which was no joke. Just around the corner from where I once lived is still a huge crater a grass covered one where three policemen lost their lives. Its a natural memorial to them very sad.
1 person likes this
@pgntwo (22577)
• Tripoli, Libya
29 Mar
I wonder can anyone truly define the term "free world"? It seems far from it, from my point of view. Good post, @topffer, even with the raindrop on your camera lens!
1 person likes this
@topffer (36123)
• Svalbard And Jan Mayen
30 Mar
There are a few pages of Victor Hugo seeing it as a world without borders where the only fights would be spirit fights that I like. Not his speech about "the United States of Europe" which is full of references to the gospels and the virtues of colonization, but something he wrote later about Nadar and the Giant, Nadar's hot-air balloon. We have already this world without borders with internet, but we have probably less great minds today than at the time of Hugo, and the main fight turns to be a fight against stupidity.
1 person likes this
@pgntwo (22577)
• Tripoli, Libya
30 Mar
@topffer Not so much stupidity as ignorance, I think. People have short memories, or selective memories...
1 person likes this
@much2say (40204)
• United States
1 Apr
What a sick thing to say - and in a public tweet at that! Do they not understand what they are saying (well, the problem is they know exactly what they are saying ). I know out here some will take that First Amendment "a little" too far . . . yes, free speech, but it does not mean you can shoot your mouth off however you wish. Like you said, no justification was needed the other day, but I guess that's sort of the way we have to work it out here . . . things have to be made loud and clear - spelled out - because stupidity is out there (not to say any of us on this site are that way ) - and those who take advantage will do so!
1 person likes this
@topffer (36123)
• Svalbard And Jan Mayen
1 Apr
It is a far left party where many people have a big mouth. As we have not something similar to your first amendment, people with a big mouth need also to have a brain here, or they are at risk to have a problem like this one. I am not sure that he realized that he was supporting an act of terrorism by tweeting that. Now, he knows, and he has been fired from his party as a bonus.
@JESSY3236 (7294)
• United States
30 Mar
that's terrible of what he said. I do think our free speech has been taken out of context sometimes.
1 person likes this
@topffer (36123)
• Svalbard And Jan Mayen
30 Mar
That was completely wrong. I hope he did not realized that he was supporting terrorism when he wrote it.
1 person likes this
@Freelanzer (9498)
• Canada
29 Mar
With every freedom cones Responsibility' but people often forget the responsibility part. Same here in Canada, we have freedom of speech but saying stupid things can net you a hate crime conviction. All rights here come with responsibilities.
1 person likes this
@topffer (36123)
• Svalbard And Jan Mayen
29 Mar
It is a good way to broach the subject I fully agree : everybody should feel responsible for what they say, including politicians.
1 person likes this
@Bluedoll (17052)
• Canada
29 Mar
What is a one year suspended prison sentence? Without touching on the subject at all, I'm really being informed here that the computer user of a "tweet" can be made libel for what they tweet?
1 person likes this
@topffer (36123)
• Svalbard And Jan Mayen
29 Mar
It means that he will do his sentence in jail if he does another public apology of terrorism in the next 6 years. In France any public apology of terrorism can be sentenced. Twitter is a public platform.
1 person likes this