A leading European Union bureaucrat predicted that the United States would soon have “hate speech” laws.
Vera Jourova (vice president of the European Commission) claimed that the United States will soon have laws against “illegal hatred speech”, as she spoke on a panel moderated at the World Economic Forum by Brian Stelter, former CNN host.
She stated that “We need people who can understand the language and case law of the country” because hate speech is illegal hate speech. This will soon be the case in the U.S.
She added, “I believe that there is a strong reason we have this in criminal law.”
Jourova spoke at a forum on “The Clear And Present Danger of Disinformation.” Rep. Seth Moulton, D-Mass. Arthur Gregg Sulzberger (chairman of the New York Times Company) was also present. Jourova spoke specifically about the importance of social media platforms working together with governments to enforce speech code against hate speech.
The First Amendment bans government from restricting freedom of speech. The Supreme Court ruled that speech can be restricted, including against “true threats”, incitement, and harassment. However, “hate speech” cannot be banned.
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Moulton, who spoke on the panel was quick to correct a common misconception regarding free speech laws in America.
“The idea of preserving public safety even though it is promoted as free speech has been accepted by us for a long period of time. He stated that you are taught in grade school that free speech is allowed, but that it’s not okay to cry ‘fire’ in a packed theater.
Greg Lukianoff, a lawyer, says that this is false.
“Anyone who claims ‘you cannot shout fire’ is lying! Lukianoff stated that anyone who says ‘you can’t shout fire!’ in a crowded theater is demonstrating their ignorance of the principles or law of free speech — or history. This old cliché, which is a favourite of censorship apologists should be retired. It is used in an inappropriate way to justify speech restrictions.
Lukianoff explained that the phrase was a misquotation from a 1919 Supreme Court opinion which upheld the imprisonments of three people, a newspaper editor and a pamphlet publishers, who had argued that military conscription is wrong. “The Court stated that anti-war speech during wartime is similar to ‘falsely screaming fire in a theatre and creating panic’. It justified the ban using a questionable analogy to the long-standing principle of the First Amendment not protecting speech that incites to physical violence. The Supreme Court discarded the logic of this case over 50 years ago.