We do more than our share of griping about suppression of unpopular speech here at Popehat. We gripe not only about local First Amendment violations, but about excesses by our fellow beneficiaries of the common-law heritage of freedom, including England, Australia, and America's fecklessly censorious hat Canada.
Vigilance against censorship, even in societies that generally protect free speech, is a good thing. In fact, its an obligation of responsible citizens. But now and then, it's also good to reflect on how lucky and (comparatively) free we are.
The blog Index on Censorship is a fantastic resource for such reflection and thanksgiving — and for reminding us what lies at the bottom of the slippery slope, and what people are willing (and eager) to do if they can get away with it. Follow it. Here's some recent stories to remind us of the freedoms we enjoy:
Tunisian journalist sentenced to four years in prison, a sentence affirmed on appeal, for "spreading news likely to harm public order" by reporting on trade union protests.
Palestinian authorities ban three newspapers (which were also recently banned by Israel) from distribution in Gaza, demanding that papers agree not to criticize Hamas.
Iranian blogger prosecuted for "working with 'hostile' states, propaganda against the Islamic regime, propaganda in favor of anti-revolutionary groups, insulting religious sanctities, and launching and managing 'obscene' websites."
They do good work. Check them out.
Last 5 posts by Ken White
- Hate Speech Debate on More Perfect Live - September 5th, 2017
- Popehat Goes To The Opera: Un ballo in maschera - August 19th, 2017
- Department of Justice Uses Search Warrant To Get Data On Visitors to Anti-Trump Site - August 14th, 2017
- America At The End of All Hypotheticals - August 14th, 2017
- Lawsplainer: Why John Oliver Is Anti-Diversity Now - August 11th, 2017