Tuesday, November 30, 2010

The Free Speech Shield

Pearl Eliadis exposes the right's argument of free speech. There should be some exceptions to free speech, such as hate speech or defamation. It's obvious why defamation is not legal: because it's not fair to people when false claims are made against them. Hate speech too. It incites violence against certain groups. Speech like this should not be tolerated and that's why we have the courts: to remove the  "rights shield" for hate speech and defamation. And it's not censoring: these are fair limitations on free speech. As long as you don't accuse someone without any basis and with false information or promote violence against a certain group, you're free. That's fine with me.
This does not make the Superior Court of Justice a "censor." What it does is to remove the "rights-shield" from defamatory speech, thus protecting Vigna's rights and, for that matter, the rights of anyone similarly situated. The point, to borrow a phrase, is that people's reputations and rights should not become roadkill on the path to free speech.
Read more at the Ottawa Citizen.


  1. I thought it was a pretty weak article. Seems like semantics to me to call it removing a "rights shield" rather than "censorship". It has the same outcome--justified or not.

    Then she goes on to not only conflate advocating genocide with advocating hate (not the same things), but opponents of hate speech restrictions under the Human Rights Act with "free speech extremists" and in turn free speech extremists with Ezra Levant. So it seems that shes as guilty of painting with a broad brush as her opponents.

  2. We should keep limits on any words liberal or liberal voters say. That will fix the problem.


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