The Government's proposal to update Irish Hate Speech laws

Kevin Parlon

Well-known member
Joined
Dec 4, 2008
Messages
12,941
Twitter
Deiscirt
In a beautifully Irish way, our government is using SurveyMonkey.com to canvass the public on how "Hate Speech" (I'll explain the sneer quotes momentarily) laws should be updated. It is doing this as part of a public consultation in the lead up to a review of the legislation that is due to take place in the new year. Bear in mind that incitement to hatred or violence is already prohibited. Bear in mind that whilst Ireland has not bothered its hole updating the law on terrorism (to enable for example the prosecution of terrorists who leave Ireland to enter war zones to join groups like ISIS) it sees increasing restrictions on speech as being a priority. The survey itself is interesting for a number of reasons. Firstly, it uses the term "Hate Speech" instead of the more neutral and accurate "incitement" which is a term that has been popularized by people in favor of placing more restrictions on free expression. Secondly, it is clear from the way the questions are posed that there is an implicit assumption that the law is inadequate and needs to be made more restrictive. It's kind of saying "Tell us how we should increase restrictions" rather than "Why do you feel the law needs changing and how should it be changed"? Thirdly, it makes no effort to explain why the law is inadequate. It has taken on the narrative of the Irish wokerati and just jumped straight to the "How do we further restrict speech" without pausing to ponder whether speech should be further restricted. The survey looks like something drafted by progressive activists; not government.

It has been claimed on here numerous times that the law is inadequate because it doesn't take into account online speech. If this is true (and I've asked numerous times for resources that show this claim to be true never receiving anything back from those advocating change) then I am in favour of filling those gaps. With the existing legislation. To sum up my take on this in a sentence then, my concern is that change is being proposed without any effort to explain the current deficiencies that are to be addressed. Fianna Gael is supposed to be a centre-right, conservative party. I am having difficulty distinguishing its legislative priorities from those of the progressive left.

A question I've posed to those advocating change which I have posed often and have never had a response to is the following:


Here's the survey: Hate Speech Consultation
 


Kevin Parlon

Well-known member
Joined
Dec 4, 2008
Messages
12,941
Twitter
Deiscirt
Why should it be a crime to openly hate people?

If a practising catholic states that he despises gays because his religion opposes homosexuality, what gives the state the right to deprive him of that?
Then he'd be a very confused Catholic. Hating people isn't illegal. Inciting others to hatred is. And I think that's fine. We're being told the law is inadequate but I've still to hear a coherent, solid argument as to why. I think for many people, they don't really know or care what it might entail but they kind of like the idea that some opinions might be made illegal and so support it.
 

Golah veNekhar

Well-known member
Joined
Dec 16, 2018
Messages
3,519
Then he'd be a very confused Catholic. Hating people isn't illegal. Inciting others to hatred is. And I think that's fine. We're being told the law is inadequate but I've still to hear a coherent, solid argument as to why. I think for many people, they don't really know or care what it might entail but they kind of like the idea that some opinions might be made illegal and so support it.
There is a difference between inciting to hate and inciting to harm- it is an important distinction to make.
 

Kevin Parlon

Well-known member
Joined
Dec 4, 2008
Messages
12,941
Twitter
Deiscirt
There is a difference between inciting to hate and inciting to harm- it is an important distinction to make.
Not in a conversation about what's illegal and what's not under Irish law. They are different but they are both covered by legislation.
 

roc_

Well-known member
Joined
Dec 5, 2009
Messages
6,628
It's always problematic trying to legislate against stupidity, which is what we're largely talking about here.

The kind of people who are incapable of properly analysing and understanding how the world actually works always ended up blaming conspicuous minority groups for their problems.

Like immigrant groups, "globohomo", "neocons" (Jews), Muslims, "libtards", and so on and on.

The fact is the data clearly shows these kind of narratives are giving rise to hugely increasing actual attacks on minority groups. And attacks like breivik et al on "libtards" etc.

And of course there is a link between incitement to harm and incitement to hate. For that matter, and as set out in the position paper, incitement to prejudice is clearly a part of the chain too - and they are correct in their position - they may as well define the crime as incitement to prejudice as incitement to hate, taking account of all circumstances etc.

No doubt these kind of laws are objectionable, but the actual harm and increasing attacks on our streets, children picking up ideas from their idiot parents and acting on these ideas, is much more objectionable. Meaning something must be done about it.

Before the internet the kind of stupidity and the idiots we are talking about had no platform. Which tended to help manage any potential fall out from their stupidity. The problem we have now however is they have been given a platform.

So one suggestion would be to come down very heavy on those intently providing a platform for and facilitating these kind of people, facilitating hate speech against Jews, gays, immigrants, Muslims, and other minority groups. Imprisonment and huge fines. Go after them in the same way you go after the drug dealers not the unfortunate users etc.
 
Last edited:

Orbit v2

Well-known member
Joined
Dec 8, 2010
Messages
12,444
I heard Charlie Flanagan on about this yesterday evening. Never has a politician gone down in my estimation so rapidly. How did I not realise how clueless he is before now?

He actually said he wants to ban offensive speech and partly because there has been so few prosecutions under the existing law.

He's obviously never heard the saying "when all you have is a hammer, your problems all look like nails" but someone needs to tell him that a small number of prosecutions under the criminal law is not itself or necessarily a bad thing. There needs to be other/good reasons to bring in legislation than a lack of prosecutions.
 

blinding

Well-known member
Joined
Jul 1, 2008
Messages
23,779
Will this be used to shut down legitimate Free Speech To Criticise whatever we Please to Criticise ?
 

Kevin Parlon

Well-known member
Joined
Dec 4, 2008
Messages
12,941
Twitter
Deiscirt
It's always problematic trying to legislate against stupidity, which is what we're largely talking about here.

The kind of people who are incapable of properly analysing and understanding how the world actually works always ended up blaming conspicuous minority groups for their problems.

Like immigrant groups, "globohomo", "neocons" (Jews), Muslims, "libtards", and so on and on.

The fact is the data clearly shows these kind of narratives are giving rise to hugely increasing actual attacks on minority groups. And attacks like breivik et al on "libtards" etc.

And of course there is a link between incitement to harm and incitement to hate. For that matter, and as set out in the position paper, incitement to prejudice is clearly a part of the chain too - and they are correct in their position - they may as well define the crime as incitement to prejudice as incitement to hate, taking account of all circumstances etc.

No doubt these kind of laws are objectionable, but the actual harm and increasing attacks on our streets, children picking up ideas from their idiot parents and acting on these ideas, is much more objectionable. Meaning something must be done about it.

Before the internet the kind of stupidity and the idiots we are talking about had no platform. Which tended to help manage any potential fall out from their stupidity. The problem we have now however is they have been given a platform.

So one suggestion would be to come down very heavy on those intently providing a platform for and facilitating these kind of people, facilitating hate speech against Jews, gays, immigrants, Muslims, and other minority groups. Imprisonment and huge fines. Go after them in the same way you go after the drug dealers not the unfortunate users etc.
Judging by what I'm reading on Twitter most people supportive of the changes do not know what the current legislation is, do not know what needs to change and seem to think that creating more restrictive speech laws will automatically mean people like Gemma O'Doherty and Peter Casey won't continue to say the things they say. My position is, outside of updating the laws to include online (if in fact it doesn't cover online which I cannot establish) the current laws are fine. My attitude to tinkering with free speech is that we better know what we're doing by interfering with it.

I note you're saying above that in Ireland, "these kinds of narratives" are "hugely increasing actual attacks". I also note you have not provided any references to data/articles supporting this. Where is your evidence that speech is causing actual attacks on people?
 

Orbit v2

Well-known member
Joined
Dec 8, 2010
Messages
12,444
Will this be used to shut down legitimate Free Speech To Criticise whatever we Please to Criticise ?
If what's happening in the UK is anything to go by then yes.


Doubtless, people will chime in with "Flora is a private concern, free to sponsor whoever they want" etc.

But, the point is this action was taken by an organisation called "Stop Funding Hate" and while the connection between mumsnet and "hate" is indirect and tenuous, to say the least, the main problem here is the broad definition that many people have of "hate speech" and you can expect criminal complaints at the very least, which have to be investigated.

The irony is (and this is what gob-smacked me about Flanagan yesterday). We had a case here last week of actual hate-crime, physical violence against someone because of their sexual orientation, yet here he is waffling about silencing people because of their beliefs.
 

Kevin Parlon

Well-known member
Joined
Dec 4, 2008
Messages
12,941
Twitter
Deiscirt
I heard Charlie Flanagan on about this yesterday evening. Never has a politician gone down in my estimation so rapidly. How did I not realise how clueless he is before now?

He actually said he wants to ban offensive speech and partly because there has been so few prosecutions under the existing law.

He's obviously never heard the saying "when all you have is a hammer, your problems all look like nails" but someone needs to tell him that a small number of prosecutions under the criminal law is not itself or necessarily a bad thing. There needs to be other/good reasons to bring in legislation than a lack of prosecutions.
Here's how this calculus has run:

1. Start with a conviction that racism is a huge problem in Ireland.
2. Notice that there are very few actual racist incidents (literally double figures per annum) reported and thus even fewer prosecutions.
3. Something must be wrong. 1 cannot be false, so start websites where anonymous reports are collated and use these instead.
4. Find out that a couple of years after starting this crusade, you're still left with a couple of hundred reported incidences, most of which are people being dicks online.
5. Conclude that the reason so few episodes are reported is because the law is too narrow. Advocate that uncomplimentary talk about immigration/ethnicity is racism and push for legal changes.

Yes, Flanagan is a two-bit windsock, totally out of his depth. Yes, racism is not a major problem in Ireland or anywhere in the West. The West in fact is objectively the least racist place on the planet.

3FG5DK4CBIZN7L5OBU4DPR7L5Y.jpg
 

cunnyfunt

Well-known member
Joined
Apr 16, 2015
Messages
7,690
Then he'd be a very confused Catholic. Hating people isn't illegal. Inciting others to hatred is. And I think that's fine. We're being told the law is inadequate but I've still to hear a coherent, solid argument as to why. I think for many people, they don't really know or care what it might entail but they kind of like the idea that some opinions might be made illegal and so support it.
This hysterical crap emanating mainly from the left is infesting society. It results in BS scenarios like this.....


Extreme views! LGBT have decided the business' donor recipients are LGBT "friendly" enough (which of course is subjectively biased)
and have practically run the business out! (contract wont be getting renewed).

Maybe its just another gaycake Christian bashing frenzy?

Note the LGBT are happy to target this Christian business for very dodgy elasticated concepts of homophobia, whilst utterly ignoring the Birmingham school protest by a vast majority muslim activists?
 
Last edited:

benroe

Well-known member
Joined
Jan 29, 2011
Messages
14,106
In a beautifully Irish way, our government is using SurveyMonkey.com to canvass the public on how "Hate Speech" (I'll explain the sneer quotes momentarily) laws should be updated. It is doing this as part of a public consultation in the lead up to a review of the legislation that is due to take place in the new year. Bear in mind that incitement to hatred or violence is already prohibited. Bear in mind that whilst Ireland has not bothered its hole updating the law on terrorism (to enable for example the prosecution of terrorists who leave Ireland to enter war zones to join groups like ISIS) it sees increasing restrictions on speech as being a priority. The survey itself is interesting for a number of reasons. Firstly, it uses the term "Hate Speech" instead of the more neutral and accurate "incitement" which is a term that has been popularized by people in favor of placing more restrictions on free expression. Secondly, it is clear from the way the questions are posed that there is an implicit assumption that the law is inadequate and needs to be made more restrictive. It's kind of saying "Tell us how we should increase restrictions" rather than "Why do you feel the law needs changing and how should it be changed"? Thirdly, it makes no effort to explain why the law is inadequate. It has taken on the narrative of the Irish wokerati and just jumped straight to the "How do we further restrict speech" without pausing to ponder whether speech should be further restricted. The survey looks like something drafted by progressive activists; not government.

It has been claimed on here numerous times that the law is inadequate because it doesn't take into account online speech. If this is true (and I've asked numerous times for resources that show this claim to be true never receiving anything back from those advocating change) then I am in favour of filling those gaps. With the existing legislation. To sum up my take on this in a sentence then, my concern is that change is being proposed without any effort to explain the current deficiencies that are to be addressed. Fianna Gael is supposed to be a centre-right, conservative party. I am having difficulty distinguishing its legislative priorities from those of the progressive left.

A question I've posed to those advocating change which I have posed often and have never had a response to is the following:


Here's the survey: Hate Speech Consultation
I can see post catholic Ireland becoming a fertile ground for progressives, there's certainly plenty of self righteous sanctimonious twats around and no shortage of progressives to take advantage.
 

owedtojoy

Moderator
Joined
Feb 27, 2010
Messages
53,037
I think the Incitement to Hatred law has been in place for 30 years or so, so a review is timely. I do not see why anyone should be against that. There are clearly some who see no reason for such a law at all. And there is public ignorance about Irish law on hate speech.

AFAIK, there have been over 18 prosecutions under the law, and the rate is much the same as the UK, which has similar legislation. The only two I know about involved people being publicly accosted and told "Go back to your own country!", one being preceded by a racial slur ("Hey! N**ger!"). These are deemed to be "stirring up hatred" capable of leading to violence, which seems to have happening (mildly) in one case.

Issues that have been pointed out are
  1. Better Garda training to implement it.
  2. Outreach about the law, like a citizen's helpline.
  3. Any necessary updating for the increased use of social media.
These may not need a rewriting of the law, or only some amendment. Some discussion here, if you go to the link, and read the document at footnote 42. Hate speech - Wikipedia

There is a public concern about hate-speech. In the age of grooming and radicalisation on-line, we cannot be too careful. A law that was written before the Internet Age, and is to be used in it, needs review.

The trouble with hate speech is that account has to be taken of context, and possible outcome. "Stirring up hatred" are the words used in both the British and Irish acts, and words calculated to evoke strong emotions have to be carefully chosen.
 

roc_

Well-known member
Joined
Dec 5, 2009
Messages
6,628
... I also note you have not provided any references to data/articles supporting this. Where is your evidence that speech is causing actual attacks on people?
You don't have to look very far. E.g.

Reports of racism in Ireland | January–June 2017 | ENAR Ireland Report

Afrophobio in Ireland | Racism against people of African descent | Report


You find attacks in this country are proportionate with how conspicuous a minority group is. Obviously after the venemous "anti-Zionism" we are experiencing the majority of Jews here (and they are relatively few) tend not to wear their kippahs or other identifying apparel. But obviously in the case of those of African and middle eastern descent they can't change their skin colour. And those of conservative Muslim communities are under edict to dress a certain way, so they remain conspicuous.

I think as well you have to acknowledge that some things are hard to measure. That doesn't mean what you are trying to measure, but struggle to, doesn't exist in reality.- I'm referring to sentiment. - And what we might term incipient or latent aggression and hostility... For example you visit a site like politicaloirish.com and you know what's right in front of your face. One can see exactly what's in these people. And if you know the world well enough, then you know that the abominableness that's in them must eventually find its outlet somewhere.

But how do you measure that? Doesn't mean it doesn't exist just because you can't measure it.
 

roc_

Well-known member
Joined
Dec 5, 2009
Messages
6,628
Where is your evidence that speech is causing actual attacks on people?
Again, no doubt it is hard to measure something like this.

As they say, "correlation does not imply causation, but it usually does".

There are some studies like say this study: - Hate speech on Twitter predicts frequency of real-life hate crimes | NYU researchers turn to artificial intelligence to show the links between online hate and offline violence in 100 cities

But the best indication is to look towards the historical record and observe how a mass propaganda of stereotyping and hostile portrayals of the target minority inevitably preceded actual atrocities committed on them. E.g. German Propaganda Archive (Guide Page)
 

elbart

Active member
Joined
Mar 8, 2019
Messages
153
Naturally, Racism will grow in Ireland as more and more Immigrants enter the country.

How many racist incidents are made by Irish people or made by immigrants themselves against other immigrants?

Facts remain that Ireland has a very low number of racist incidents, this law is more likely to protect ministers like Charlie who complained about being questioned about his policies at the recent plowing championships. He actually claimed he should not be approached and this was a legitimate reason to introduce hate speech laws!

 

Golah veNekhar

Well-known member
Joined
Dec 16, 2018
Messages
3,519
Ireland’s Jewish population rises by almost 30%

Also getting accurate figures about not just Jewish populations but also to a lesser extent Shia Muslim and Christian Staroobryadtsy figures is notoriously problematic because you are talking about groups who are a best deeply uncomfortable with the idea of censuses. You know as well as I do that the Jewish population in England is at least double the official figure. I suspect that this is not the case with the official Irish figures though because the Republic of Ireland has taken so long to catch up with Britain in terms of "hate speech" laws.
 


New Threads

Popular Threads

Most Replies

Top Bottom