Battle Against Hate Speech?

Bob Pearson, co-author of Countering Hate and CIO of W2O Group says that AI is able to identify hate speech today.

All human beings follow patterns online.  You can see what language, content, channel, and people matter to them. You can see which words trigger information seeking, which language is most associated with hate topics or sites, which people are the most important influencers and you can see a range of behavioral characteristics.

A Judicial Miss

Recall the Marquette University case wherein a graduate-student instructor, Cheryl Abbate, shut down debate on the subject of gay marriage, arguing that views that didn’t accept such things were “homophobic and unwelcome in her classroom.”  Tenured Political Science Professor John McAdams objected, in blunt terms, to the evident bigotry demonstrated by Abbate in a personal post on his personal blog.  Marquette disciplined him for disagreeing—that’s a violation of Marquette “speech” policy.  McAdams demurred and took Marquette to court.

Milwaukee County Circuit judge sided with the university. The judge, David Hansher, wrote that academic freedom “does not mean that a faculty member can harass, threaten, intimidate, ridicule, or impose his or her views on students.”

Free Speech

The Supreme Court has taken up the case of National Institute of Family and Life Advocates (Nifla) v Becerra, whose proximate subject centers on abortion rights but whose real subject is freedom of  speech.

California’s Reproductive FACT Act, the law in question in NIFLA, requires pro-life centers to advise their clients of the availability of abortion centers.  This is forced speech, and it destroys the 1st Amendment’s protection of freedom of speech, since speech cannot be freely spoken if it cannot also be freely not spoken.  This is as true for factual speech as it is for opinion speech.

Progressive-Democrats and Free Speech

The DoJ and several States are moving to protect free speech on college campuses, with three States moving to pass legislation explicitly for the purpose, and ten others with legislation already pending.

Liberals and their Progressive-Democrats object.

Many Democrats say the Constitution already protects free speech, and that states have no need to micromanage how colleges handle student demonstrations and speakers.

This is just cynical, though.  Or, 8th-grade Civics wasn’t a safe space for them, and they were triggered into not listening.  These Progressive-Democrats are ignoring the fact that the mere existence of our Constitution is no protection at all; it must be actively enforced.

Distraction

Top Democrats are calling on Facebook and Twitter to investigate and release information behind potential Russian-linked accounts pushing for the release of a sealed congressional memo allegedly containing details on US government surveillance abuses.

It couldn’t possibly be that there really is a broad public hue and cry to that information released.  Us uninformed voters, denizens of fly-over country, couldn’t possibly know enough to demand the release on our own.

No, Senator Dianne Feinstein (D, CA) and Congressman Adam Schiff (D, CA), the two “top Democrats” in the quote, are desperate to have a distraction.  Us uninformed might find out too much.

Free Speech Turkey-Style

Enes Kanter, a Center for the New York Knicks, has expressed his opinion of Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, and a Turkish prosecutor has indicted him in absentia for this heinous crime and wants Kantor jailed for four years.  Among other things, Kantor has said that Erdogan is the “Hitler of our century,” in the aftermath of the Turkish government’s revocation of his passport and its having forced his father, still in Turkey, to disown him—and then was thrown into jail, anyway.  All because Kanter supports the equally Erdogan-hated Islamic preacher Fethullah Gulen.

Here’s Kanter:

PRC Censorship

…is reaching into other nations to deprecate their free speech.

Clive Hamilton, Professor of Public Ethics at Australia’s Charles Sturt University has written a book, Silent Invasion, that details the breadth of influence the People’s Republic of China has achieved within Australia.  His publisher, Allen & Unwin, has decided to “delay” release of the book because the PRC is threatening “defamation action” against the publisher.

What defamation, exactly (and how does a private citizen defame a foreign government, anyway)?  Hamilton says his book is

“very factual, very deeply researched,”…the “first comprehensive national study of Beijing’s program of exerting influence on another nation.”

Cornell Professors

apparently support racism and racist stereotyping.

Recall that George Ciccariello-Maher, Associate Professor of Politics and Global Studies at Drexel University, routinely says it’s whiteness, white victimization, all things white that are at fault for mass shootings and violence generally. For instance, this in an interview with Democracy Now!

Whiteness is never seen as a cause, in and of itself, of these kinds of massacres despite the fact that whiteness is a structure of privilege and it’s a structure of power, and a structure that, when it feels threatened, you know, lashes out.

What makes white men so prone to this kind of behavior?

Frightening the Snowflakes

It seems a Cambridge University professor had the effrontery to warn new students of a class of his—Physical Sciences—that life is hard and that it’s harder when you’re stupid.  For instance, this in an email that he sent to his incoming students:

Remember that you are NOT at any other uni, where students do drink a lot and do have what they regard as a ‘good time’—and you are NOT on a course, as some Cambridge courses sadly are, where such a behaviour pattern is possible or acceptable.

Oh, the wailing and bodice rending that resulted.

Free Speech, Left-Style. Again

The UC Berkeley student newspaper, The Daily Californian, accused Alan Dershowitz, in black and white, of having “blood on his hands” and of being “culpable for…Israeli atrocities”—of blood libel.  The Harvard law professor emeritus wanted to respond, but

The Daily Californian “absolutely, categorically” refused to print his reply to the op-ed.

As Dershowitz put it in a Fox & Friends segment,

The Daily Cal, as many college newspapers today, are totally one-sided.  You can say whatever you want about people like me if I’m pro-Israel. I don’t get to respond.

Free speech, indeed.