Diversity_15_Hate-speech

It’s very easy to say there should be ‘no limits’ to freedom of speech. However, most people would agree it should be illegal to publish a person’s address along with instructions on the best ways to rough them up. Almost all countries have laws against harassment, or incitement to commit crimes, as well as restrictions on libel or slanderous speech.

But where should the ‘red line’ be drawn? If hate speech legislation is overly-strict, can it impinge upon the right to freedom of expression? Who should decide where the limits lie, and what is acceptable?

To give you some examples of high-profile hate speech cases and legislation in Europe, we’ve put together the infographic below (click for a larger image).

HATE_SPEECH_02

So, where should the limits be set? We had a comment sent in by Leo arguing that the limits to freedom of speech should be restricted to explicit calls for physical violence and libel against other individuals.

To get a response, we spoke to Paul Coleman, Senior Legal Counsel for the Alliance Defending Freedom (ADF) International. What would he say?

PaulColemanBroadly speaking, I would agree with Leo, and agree that there are of course always limitations on various different rights and freedoms that we enjoy in society. But we have to be very careful where we place those limits, and not regulate or prohibit speech too easily or quickly. So, if we want to have a standard for when restrictions or limitations should come in, then I think calls for incitement to imminent violence and unlawful acts should be where we put those limitations. But a racist comment in and of itself, while we would disagree with that comment and not want it said, we shouldn’t be invoking the criminal law to ban it.

For another perspective, we also spoke to Valentin Le Dily, Chief Legal Officer of the French anti-racism organisation SOS Racisme. How would he react?

le-dilyJust because somebody is making racist comments or general hate speech without explicitly calling for physical attacks does not mean that their speech won’t lead to physical attacks. Incitement to racial hatred includes racist or anti-Semitic comments that create an atmosphere of general hate in a society. Because it’s that atmosphere of hatred that will lead to physical attacks and assaults in the street, even if the person that made the speech in the beginning didn’t intend violence, that’s what hatred leads to. And we have a lot of cases of that happening in Europe historically.

We also had a comment sent in by Diogo, arguing that “verbal abuse is not ‘just’ words [because] words can hurt as much as physical damage.”

To get a reaction, we asked Paul Coleman if he agreed that violence could be psychological as well as physical:

PaulColemanI think we have to be very careful before we decide that a harm has been committed, and psychological violence has occurred that can then be penalised within the criminal law. I know this is one of the arguments in favour of hate speech laws, but as soon as you start trying to regulate what can and can’t be said it then becomes incredibly difficult.

Can we then say that somebody who makes an offensive or insulting comment is breaking the law based not on what they’ve said but on the view of the person who has received the insult and had their feelings hurt? I think once we go down that route then we put the emphasis of the law onto the subjective feelings of the person who has been insulted or offended, and then we find ourselves in a very difficult area to regulate.

Finally, we had a comment sent in by Inês, who thinks that if we start limiting free speech now for the ‘right reasons’ we open up a precedent. She is concerned about what will happen in the future and who will decide what is acceptable to think and say. Are her concerns justified?

To get a response to Inês, we spoke to Bridget O’Loughlin, Campaign Coordinator of the No Hate Speech Movement for the Council of Europe. What would she say?

O'LoughlinI think this is an extremely pertinent question, and it’s certainly one that many people have been grappling with for some time now… Clearly, you have to be very, very careful because repressive governments have been known to use issues like hate speech to shut down social media and websites without just cause… This is something we need to guard against, and is why we need to look to instruments like the European Convention on Human Rights, and the way it’s been interpreted by the European Court of Human Rights, which has a lot of jurisprudence, a lot of case law, on the limits to freedom of speech in terms of hate speech, or incitement to criminal action or racism, etc.

As soon as you’re speaking or writing in the public domain – be that speaking on a soap box in the street corner, or writing an article in a newspaper, or writing a blog which is sent out to millions of people on the internet – you’re in a public area and there have to be some limits on what you are or are not allowed to say… But, clearly, we also have to protect freedom of speech and not let this fight against hate speech be used as an excuse, which I think it is sometimes, to limit freedom of expression.

Where should the limits to freedom of speech be set? Should hate speech be banned? Can violence be psychological as well as physical? Let us know your thoughts and comments in the form below, and we’ll take them to policymakers and experts for their reactions!

IMAGE CREDITS: CC / Flickr – Thomas Leuthard


556 comments Post a commentcomment

What do YOU think?

    • Archon

      So you don’t believe in free speech. OK.

    • Vytautas V.

      You do understand that your sentence is direct call for discrimination on people based on their opinion limiting their access to virtual public places, and your comment could be classified as hate speech and removed from this board?

  1. Myron Kanakis

    no limits…I may disagree with what you day but i will fight ti ll the end so you can say it free…

  2. Petty David

    Free speech is a fundamental right, if you don’t like what i say then move on or argue your point

    • VictorToks

      Hate speeches are abusing of people fundamental human rights. Hate preachers and Religious fanatics are the 90% trouble makers in the 21st century. Should some people under the impression of expressing their human rights start to call people unacceptable names?
      Should people be calling others pigs, Black monkeys in the name of human rights?
      Your rights have to be limited in the interests of the sovereignty of the state. Seriously injured are done to people reputation, security of life’s a and protect of people matters

  3. Eberhard M. Bartelmess

    Big brother should ban it (joke).
    Well it has to be tackled – but obviously there is a fine line: free speech is also very important – so it is key to strike the right balance.

    • The Debating Guy

      Yes, exactly, it’s just a matter of perspective of which is hate and truth. when someone did a mistake, we tell him that he did a mistake, in his perspective it might be a hate speech, but in our perspective it’s a truth speech and we meant to correct him.

    • Corvus

      What if you tell and then ban the oposite, later only to find out you banned the truth because you were wrong? There is no problem if you dont try to be fascist and limit free speech. Unfortunately fascism and totalitarian attempts at other peoples freedoms are alive and well, and they are not most promoted by some social outcast neonazi, but by well meaning idiots who want protection from their feelings getting hurt, the “social justice” feminist types… the regresives…

  4. George Titkov

    Hate speech should not be allowed but don’t confuse criticism with hate speech, which is what I see is happening.

    • Corvus

      Who decides whats hatespeech and whats criticism? and why that moron should be able to tell me what im allowed to say? Hatespeech is just freespeech you want to prohibit. Theres no authority to decide whos allowed to express what views. With free speech we have an open market of ideas in which the bad ideas get eaten by the stronger better ones, censorship is only a tool to keep the bad ideas to grow in a protected environment untill they can thretten the better ideas with shear volume.

      If at any point you find yourself for hate speech laws, you unironicaly use hatespeech or toxic behaviour terms to blanketly neglect someones opinion then you are the coward with no argument and you should never be allowed to dictate who says what, nor should anyone else for that matter. To do so is fascism

    • Anza

      Yes…totally. ..I agree….

  5. Nando Aidos

    Hate speech has no place in a civilized society. My freedom stops where yours starts. I do not go around insulting my neighbors neither do I accept their insults. So, stop hate speeches, yes!

    • Dana

      Hate speech occurs when you are brought up in a society with limited opinions and where you are told what to think and not allowed to question everything you are subjected to. It is up to everyone to take their own responsibility; which fight they believe is worth fighting for and which opinion they need to express to change something but you can’t stop people from expressing an opinion just because it is going to be insulting. If it is coming on to you; 1) you walk away if you feel it is rubbish and you are aware of your own ideas 2) you fight it and fight it with facts and trying to shut down. A lot that people say in this world is offensive and humiliating but you can actually move on and not bother because people think differently, they are from different places of the world with different mind sets. But you can NEVER ban someone from expressing an opinion; either if it is completely racist or “hate speech” as people call it because if it offensive. Then you meet it with facts and shutting it down

    • Phil Eggtree

      That is absurd. I should not be allowed to yell in public “death to jews, Hitler was right!”

  6. Matthew Gwynn

    No. There are already laws against violence promoting speech so we don’t need any new legislation

  7. Maxime Bdn

    Si on ne pouvait dire que ce qui va bien alors il n’y aurait plus de liberté d’expression

  8. Gatis Gailitis

    No. Hate speech should have the limits of verbal assault but disagreeing with someone’s principles and beliefs is a fundamental right.

  9. Bastian

    In Continental Europe “freedom of speech” is in the center of constitutional and civil law since the 19th century. However, with the arrival of the EU (not so much the EEC), other international actors and immigration from outside Europe, the practicing of this basic right is more and more dangerous, not any more so much different from dictatorial regimes.

    • catherine benning

      @ Bastian:

      This link tells us we have the right to freedom of speech via the UN. Although many countries do not follow the direction.

      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Freedom_of_speech_by_country

      Which causes one to question the ‘ awaiting moderation’ addition to this forum.

  10. Richard Osborne

    Everything must have a balance, hating something or someone is part of that. To prevent hate speech destroys that balance and doesn’t solve the problem

  11. John Flerianos

    “Hate speech” is what a political wing defines ideas that go against their beliefs. It’s a new political tool that gets to make exceptions to what a person can and cannot say. If I want to shut you up, I can just claim you are engaging in “hate speech” and I have won by default. I cannot believe that there are citizens who have fallen for this nonsense. Are you so weak-minded that you feel the need to shut people up? Did you grow up feeling like a little flower who can be destroyed by someone uttering a word? Are you so empty-headed that someone telling you something new totally paralyzes you? No wonder Europe is the land of pussies.

    Really, how can you be running a page called “Debating Europe” and propose that SPEECH should be banned? Do you want to debate with yourself? Do you even know what a debate is?

    • Phil Eggtree

      Hate speech is speech which attacks a person or group on the basis of attributes such as gender, ethnic origin, religion, race, disability, or sexual orientation. I can’t go to a public area and yell about my hatred of Jews simply because it’s “my right”

    • Morag Josephine Grant

      According to the UN Committee for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination racist hate speech is “a form of other-directed speech which rejects the core human rights principles of human dignity and equality and seeks to degrade the standing of individuals and groups in the estimation of society”.

    • Corvus

      “in the estimation of society” define estimation of society and how would you gauge it?
      Hatespeech is just freespeech you want to prohibit because you are a fascist.
      Dont be a fascist.

    • Phil Eggtree

      Hate speech is speech which attacks a person or group on the basis of attributes such as gender, ethnic origin, religion, race, disability, or sexual orientation.

    • Harry Drew

      Hate speech is speech that attacks a person or group on the basis of attributes such as race, religion, ethnic origin, sexual orientation, disability, or gender.[1][2] The law of some countries describes hate speech as speech, gesture or conduct, writing, or display that incites violence or prejudicial action against a protected group or individual on the basis of their membership of the group, or because it disparages or intimidates a protected group, or individual on the basis of their membership of the group. The law may identify a protected group by certain characteristics.[3][4][5] In some countries, hate speech is not a legal term[6] and in some it is constitutionally protected.[7]

      In some countries, a victim of hate speech may seek redress under civil law, criminal law, or both. A website that contains hate speech may be called a hate site. Many of these sites contain Internet forums and news briefs that emphasize a particular viewpoint.

      There has been debate over freedom of speech, hate speech and hate speech legislation.[8]

      Contents
      Hate speech laws Edit

      The International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR) states that “any advocacy of national, racial or religious hatred that constitutes incitement to discrimination, hostility or violence shall be prohibited by law”.[9] The Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination (ICERD) prohibits all incitement of racism.[10] Concerning the debate over how freedom of speech applies to the Internet, conferences concerning such sites have been sponsored by the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees.[11]

      Enforcement Edit
      Laws against hate speech can be divided into two types: those intended to preserve public order and those intended to protect human dignity. Those designed to protect public order require a that higher threshold be violated, so they are not specifically enforced frequently. For example, in Northern Ireland, as of 1992 only one person was prosecuted for violating the regulation in twenty-one years. Those meant to protect human dignity have a much lower threshold for violation, so those in Canada, Denmark, France, Germany and the Netherlands seem more frequently enforced.[12]

      Hate speech laws by country Edit

      Australia Edit
      Main article: Hate speech laws in Australia
      Australia’s hate speech laws vary by jurisdiction, and seek especially to prevent victimisation on account of race.

      Belgium Edit
      Main articles: Belgian Anti-Racism Law and Belgian Holocaust denial law
      The Belgian Anti-Racism Law, in full, the Law of 30 July 1981 on the Punishment of Certain Acts inspired by Racism or Xenophobia, is a law against hate speech and discrimination that the Federal Parliament of Belgium passed in 1981. It made certain acts motivated by racism or xenophobia illegal. It is also known as the Moureaux Law.

  12. Toni Muñiz

    Who is going to say what is and what isnt hate speech? I dont like islam for what it stands, against homosexuals, intolerant of other religions etc. etc.. So, hate speech or not?

    • Phil Eggtree

      Hate speech is speech which attacks a person or group on the basis of attributes such as gender, ethnic origin, religion, race, disability, or sexual orientation.

  13. Björn Eric Ingemar Grahn

    But the society is for some reason getting more and more sensitive for some reason. Things that was not seen as a problem before is getting it now. Like cheated shower room for boys and so on.

    • GrahamTurner

      Guatama Buddha “pain is certain, suffering is optional.”

  14. Mike Kourouklaris

    Thank you for invading my land, killing my people, displacing 40 % of indigenous population, ignoring all established fundamental human rights, sponsoring injustice, and rewriting history, replacing fact with your myths and lies. Why should I retaliate with words of hate ? I should make vocal sounds of gratitude and affection.

  15. Yordan Vasilev

    The freedom of the speech ought to be defenced, but the verbal violence should be banned.

  16. Aleksandros Ho Megas

    Forbidding “hate speech” is another way to implement censorship and to ban freedom of speech, expression, and thought!

  17. Susan Willis

    Right. The populace must be educated enough to engage in intelligent discourse, debate, and higher level thinking. ;)

    • Corvus

      It should not be prohibited in any form. If someone lies to you, check your facts, lying is legal precisely because sometimes you cant tell whos right and wrong and sometimes you can think the person whos speakign the truth is wrong and lying which is why it should be legal to lie and to speek freely in any form… And its your responsibility to stop yourself from being duped, not hte responcibility of others. For all you know they may not be malicious, they may simply believe they are right or they may actualy be right and you are the one living a lie.

      Research, theres no shortcut to truth and understanding. And arriving at the truth requires free market of ideas.

    • Harry Drew

      Keep it PG clean

  18. Roxanne Julie

    No, it shouldn’t. Banning it can reinforce it. No. Instead, debate, debate, debate. Let’s be calm and listen, then try to prove them haters wrong. I think people nowadays get so easily hurt by anything others say, we tend to be comfortable, like we have the right not to hear uncomfortable things?! This is silly and counterproductive. For ex. I am all for women being empowered, but I won’t put a imaginary fist in the mouth of someone that thinks women should just procreate and stay at home preparing meals for the alpha man. I won’t ignore it either, I’ll try to make my point and maybe, one of ten will change his opinion. If we ignore hate speech (on Fb/ other forums, saying “huh stupid trolls”) or if we isolate it by banning it, we help it. Hate is nurtured by ignorance: ignorance of the people talking and ignorance of the people who should be listening.

    • Prince du Sang

      Who are the haters exactly? The “haters” truly believe that the people opposed to them are the “haters”, therefore, everyone is a “hater” by default. “Haters” is a stupid American phrase anyway. There is no scientific evidence for what is “right’ and for what is “wrong”, the idea is as abstract as religion. Anger is an essential part of the arc of emotions that all humans possess. No matter how hard governments and institutions try they can’t destroy anger, it is like destroying sadness or happiness. It is easy to be self-righteous, but just because you truly believe in something does not mean everyone else will or should, that is arrogance-a splinter of anger. Buddhist monks spend their entire lives isolated, meditating in the mountains to absolve anger, and even they have a hard time controlling themselves. Also, suppressed anger only breeds more intense and vehement anger. And to much debating leads to political stalemates, thus making governments inefficient.

    • Himanshu singh

      Gr8 !!!!I agree with uuh!!

  19. Alex Borg

    Agree totally with famous Voltaire dictum about freedom of speech including satire, but blatant hate speech & insults is not freedom of speech but freedom of insult.

    • Brutus

      Freedom of insult. Hahaha. Maybe insulters should be shipped off to a Gulag, eh? A nice little concentration camp for anyone that says something you don’t like?
      Sounds good to me! Let’s see… Alex Borg has hurt my feelings with his insulting hate speech! Off to the Gulag/re-education camp with him!
      See how it works?

  20. Paul Moldovan

    Freedom of speech is one of the fundamentals in civilised Europe. Unfortunetely some people do abuse of this right and uses it to propagate agresivity, intolerance, manipulations, etc. I think everyone should have the right of expresing himself by speach but everyone should be responsible for the things they speak in public.

  21. Luis Prenda

    Freedow is democracy and never crime ! Let’s to respect Human Rights in the world…

  22. Tony Kunnari

    Words have value if only we deem them to have it. This is not a matter of words, but how they are spoken. The effort to ban speech as abstract as that which is spoken in agony and despair is like trying to hold fireworks in a closed fist. It just makes it even worse.

  23. catherine benning

    How can speech that is claimed to be ‘free’ have’ limits.’ This is an oxymoron. And how many times has this issue been raised here on this forum now?

    What is really being wanted here is consent by the people of Europe to curtail their right to speak about issues the EU does not want discussed. For example, take piece I wrote on the other thread yesterday, that obviously was not wanted to be put out in the open, and I wonder why?

    I, and millions of other British people, believe giving Tony Blair a position in Europe, on any matter, is a betrayal of the European people as a whole. He should be facing trial in the Hague for his illegality on Iraq, not being set up for office to lead us on issues he has no understanding of. And who is at the back of this choice for our important question on political union? Blair is a big believer in sanctions against ‘free’ speech. He fears it will put a noose around his neck. How can a man who led a war on a concoction of lies be selected for a post in the EU on reconciliation? When he cannot reconcile his action with that of our public view?

    http://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2015/jun/04/tony-blair-tolerance-reconciliation-european-council

    And now this morning we read this same failure of a man is proposing to lead the UK on the ‘in/out’ issue of union for us Brits to be within this club. Which, if Europeans are smart, indicates those at the top, including the yanks, as he is a man of the Bush brigade, want GB out of Europe. Just read this article in our todays morning papers..

    http://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/politics/eu-referendum-tony-blair-regarded-as-least-trustworthy-politician-to-lead-campaign-for-uk-to-stay-10298489.html

    And if this event is, once again, not allowed to be read by the people of the world, we will have to wonder what free speech really means to those who set this question for us all to answer on this forum. Does it not?

  24. Daniele Laganà

    The freedom of speech has to be defended always! Only deliberate istigations to commit crimes have to be punished! ;)

    Offensive words can be immoral, but they cannot be considered illegal!

  25. Knut Arne Langås

    No, that it’s also a part of the western democracy. If you can’t say such things- we are not a democracy anylonger in my opinion!

  26. Rui Correia

    It depends on what is considered “hate speech”.
    Is it wrong to say what you really think, especially if you’re defending your own “house”, your country, or your Europe?
    Freedom of speech (and thought) is a fundamental right of our societies, and it took us Europeans centuries worth of time and evolution pains to develop and mature our colective values and social principles.
    If one doesn’t agree, or doesn’t like what I say… tough luck, life is not a popularity contest. We can always agree to disagree, and go separate ways. Europe is big enough for all Europeans.
    I know where this is going…
    But if “more than half” of the world population wants to move to Europe… come on… it has nothing to do with “hate” or “racism”… it’s all about numbers and sustainability!
    Hate ACTIONS must be banned.
    But “hate speech”… err… well… what is that, again??? ;-)

  27. Prince du Sang

    “Hate speech”, happens when you remove the value of respect from your culture.

    If a culture values obscenity, intense criticism, and freedom of expression that is exactly what they will get.

  28. catherine benning

    People in my country, who are innocent, are starving today. Are we allowed to expose it? If we were to trust politicians who want to forbid us to speak by curtailing what they don’t want said, you will never be able to discuss this situation we presently have in the UK. Are the BBC doing documentaries on it? No, but they do a nightly programme on the nasty benefit street Britians.

    http://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2014/dec/08/starve-benefit-sanctions-unemployed-hungry-government

    My understanding is, Europe offerred help for our starving people and it was rejected by our government because they want to end the lives of those who are unable to work. This morning we are being told by our politicians that the UK is now a workers paradise. All of it lies, there is no stable work in my country to help those who are being forced to starve and if there are limits to ‘freedom of speech’ we will become a third world Europe.

    http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-3113085/Vindication-IDS-Claims-work-benefit-hit-35-year-low-2-1-controversial-welfare-reforms.html

    Would we ever be able to know what is really taking place in our society and across Europe without the freedom to speak out? For example, none of our media, including the BBC report on discontent, marches and riots in Europe over the various issues they have in common with us. They pretend we are alone. And does the political opposition speak out? No. Not one word on Greece, Germany, Sweden, France and on and on. No matter the subject, we in the UK hear nothing of European hardship and discontent, except the downfall of Greece. And if you try to alert the public, it is removed from the political websites or internet as soon as they realise it is up there and being looked at.

    That is what this question of ‘freedom of speech’ is really all about, not simply a call on hate speech. Hate speech is a cover used to soften us up to more sinister motives.

  29. bert van santen

    For me there are already growing fears growing that the freedom of speech will cause a very large discussion in my country around “zwarte piet” !
    Especially by grown-ups, otherwise known as adults who are forgetting it`s ment for CHILDREN.

  30. Tarquin Farquhar

    @DEBATINGEUROPE
    Is the following paragraph ‘hate speech’ or just pure and simple f’actual speech’?:

    I am aware of an alleged prophet that had sex with persons of a young age, made, kept and sold slaves, killed serially and en masse, lied, robbed, made homophobic and racist remarks, extorted discriminatory ‘taxes’ against non-believers [FTR Euronews calls said ‘hate taxes’ – ‘targetted taxes’ LOL!] and dyed his beard red.

    If I named the alleged prophet, would that be considered ‘hate speech’?

  31. EU reform- proactive

    As long as the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR) is not truly ‘universally’ accepted & applied, but e.g. overridden by Sharia law in Islamic states- the global struggle (of tolerance) will remain an uneven one & deservedly exposed to “extreme” criticism.

    As long as the EC/EU e.g. ignores these realities and subjects & exposes all it’s citizens to such a risk with a probable tragic outcome- through whatever reasoning- “extreme” criticism is warranted.

    As long as the EU e.g. removes all sovereignty from its Members & humanly floods Europe with strangers in an uncontrolled manner- changing the basic nature of Europe forever- “extreme” criticism is warranted.

    As long e.g. “FIFA’s” (& EU) conditions can override any country’s legislated laws- “extreme” criticism is warranted. Only to be resolved until everyone accepts either the former or latter dispensation. Attempted “extreme” intolerance and moderation by any party only cements this point. Quote:

    “No one should be penalised for statements which are true.”

    “No one should be penalised for the dissemination of hate speech unless it has been shown that they did so with the intention of inciting discrimination, hostility or violence.”

    “The right of journalists to decide how best to communicate information and ideas to the public should be respected, particularly when they are reporting on racism and intolerance.”

    “No one should be subject to prior censorship.”

    “Any imposition of sanctions by courts should be in strict conformity with the principle of proportionality.”

  32. Za

    I deeply regret hate speeches and all the ideas they highlight, although I do not think we should prohibit them. By prohibiting them, we do not have the means to see their impact anymore, and then problematic situations happen without anyone who noticed that things were going wrong

  33. Bubach Kurt

    They are only asking this becase of Islam, we will not submit to Islamic Laws!

  34. blugalf

    “It’s not harmful if you can ignore it with impunity”

    “Hate speech” is 1% of an issue and 99% certain people trying to milk the ethical standards of others to gain advantage for their own goals and agendas.

    Your freedom ends where my nose begins, but nowhere before. And vice versa.

  35. Toni Muñiz

    Yes, I believe hate speech should be banned. Start with banning Islam in Europe, as the Qur’an is nothing but hate speech, intolerance, xenophobia and misogyny.

    • Zenah

      Did you even read it to claim so?

  36. Thomas Beavitt

    I believe that hate speech “should” be defined. If it could be defined, then, of course, it could subsequently be banned. However, of course, such a thing is linguistically and legally impossible. Incidentally, this is also true for most “liberal” values to which the modal verb “should” is typically applied.

  37. Gabe Freire

    As long as it doesn’t meddle with the lives of minority and it doesn’t go beyond the speech, I can’t see why it couldn’t be allowed

  38. Marijus Stasiulis

    Hatting Jews in now tolerated in EU because of Islam.
    Why? Well Islamic countries are rich in oil and that’s why muslims have special treatment. If you hate ideology similar to nazies are you a bad person.
    Look how Islamic countries are treating minorities and also women.
    What if you hate corrupt politician?

    • Yvetta

      That is begging the question…

  39. Matthew Gwynn

    There are already laws in place against hate speech promoting violence, anything else is fair game

  40. Matthew Gwynn

    There are already laws in place against hate speech promoting violence, anything else is fair game

  41. Stanka Kristic

    Then we are going to have a group of ppl who will define what should or not be said. Like back in USSR ;) or elswhere in ex communist countries

  42. eusebio manuel vestias pecurto

    Freedom of expression and the rights to vote supported by our right together and make the European social-democratic sustainable liberal values in europe

  43. Mário Baptista

    Those who are against the truth about ISIS should go fight them first and see how they are tolerant and then come to EU talk about reason and hate speech.

  44. Aleksandros Ho Megas

    No limit, we either have freedom of speech or we do not!

    Forbidding “hate speech” is another way to implement censorship and to ban freedom of speech, expression, and thought!

  45. Santens Frederik

    Hate speech should not be tolerated nothing 2 do with freedom of speech !! Freedom of speech must be with respect 2 everyone if the respect is lost theire is no need for speech …

  46. Célia Grimaneza

    Yes it should. The so called freedom of speech, must be based on tolerance and aceptence, there can’t be freedom when there is hate and intolerance.

  47. عادل م.

    Speech cant be banned and should have no legislative limits, but yes social limits its a social issue, the societies have to draw he’s limits becouse some socities consider somthing good that others societies consider it bad.

  48. Rick Wilmot

    There is no such thing as freedom per se! We enjoy certain ‘freedoms’ but unlimited hate and intolerance will undermine the freedoms we have. Therefore, on balance I think ‘hate’ speech should be banned. But then again, ‘Quis custodiet ipsos custodes?

  49. Ioanna Geor

    I think when speech is used as a means to insult and humiliate somebody , yes it should be controlled

    • Ad Seelt

      Maybe they should learn not be personally offended by what someone else thinks and says?

  50. Tímea Kocsis

    Unfortunatelly it is trend, mostly at young kids, that they threaten, humilate, abuse others by words, and the result is a suicide. It MUST BE forbiden. The freedom of speech is NOT unlimited. The limit is where the speech hurts others human righs to dignity, or even life. Just think about adof hitler’s mein kampf. DO NO HARM!

  51. Jokera Jokerov

    What about the freedom ov views and expression of oppinions, that is one of the pillars of democracy? Oh, yes. democracy is not very popular inside the EU.

  52. Buj Alex

    freedom of speach is unlimited !!! any wrongdoing will be paid by trial, in a particular instance … it is a very subjective matter what is or what isn’t hateful speach … and in some sense, a society tends to select its own members … in other words the laws should be set from within. if a society has haters that is because it is organized in such a way, speaking out just makes it obvious, and that is ok for the quality of its members. Shure that means bad education for the little ones, do something about that … but shuting up more people will only make them hate in silance … !!! and that is worse …

  53. Buj Alex

    create a better society, don’t oppress it, that is absolute hatred … this constant need for acceptance, that is what it has come too … and that is a result of lack of expression(because of lack of freedom), and lack of human interaction and … as a result everybody turns to social media and social fobia!! that is why kid kill themselves !! …

    • Yvetta

      This is getting VERY banal…

    • Ad Seelt

      No, they didn’t, they had tribal wars over stupid words and a lot of fighting over religious matters…

  54. Steve Olis

    If we lose our freedom of speech … we become slaves … I suppose we are already considered slaves with all these new laws being introduced on a daily basis under the guise of terrorism….

    • Ad Seelt

      I don’t consider freedom of speech the same as freedom of insulting

  55. Yvetta

    According to the laws and social norms of each individual society. People need to respect those of the country they live in. Simples.

  56. Prince du Sang

    I hate everyone!

    Ban me please!

  57. Gerasimos Laios

    Banning any kind of “speech” , enforced by goverment agencies is censorship. Most european constitutions are against the practice of censorship. Any offended party can go to trial before a court of law against anyone who offends them. Let’s not grant to governemnts more power over us.

  58. Ad Seelt

    The real question here is why do people react violently to what other people say, they seem to feel personally attacked by general statements, being insulting or not. Feeling insulted is a personal judgement. There is no rule to measure or define that. A line to be drawn could be when others try to make someone follow their rules or religions by force.

  59. Nando Aidos

    I think “banning” is a hideous word and not enforceable. Can you stop people from using “hate speech”? Should we then “ban” assassinations? That would be great! Or “ban” driving on the wrong side of the road? That would be very helpful!
    Why not make it a “felony” or a “crime” such as “slander” or “libel”?
    And for that I vote “yes”.

  60. Flavio

    No, “hate speech” should not be banned. You cannot ban stupidity. Speech should be as free as possible.

  61. Lyubomir Sirkov

    There is no need to set any limits to freedom of speech: whatever one thinks, one should feel free to express it in speech. Because if one is not allowed to express it in speech, one would find another way to express it – in actions, when words are not allowed.

  62. Lars Lynge Nielsen

    “Unlimited tolerance must lead to the disappearance of tolerance. If we extend unlimited tolerance even to those who are intolerant, if we are not prepared to defend a tolerant society against the onslaught of the intolerant, then the tolerant will be destroyed, and tolerance with them.” Karl Popper in “The Open Society and Its Enemies” (1945)

  63. Toni Muñiz

    I find it amusing how in your propaganda panflet you have examples of people against Islam and migration and try to make it as Europeans are using hate speech against them. Yet I see not one example of the many examples available of hate speech against non muslims and against Europeans. Does this not happen? Is hate speech a one way road for you?

    You have Geert Wilders as an example, while he is speaking the truth, things you can easily verify. Yet I see nothing of Anjem Choudary and the continuous hate and violent speech, at times terroristic, on there. No one ever speaks of the hate speech Islam and muslims in Europe openly profess against non muslims, other religions, homosexuals, women etc. etc. etc.

    Like I said above. Seems we turn a blind eye and deaf ears and pick and choose what is hate speech. Are we afraid of offending muslims if they are called out for spreading their hate? Seems so. Seems to me we are trying to silence only one view, the view critical of Islam and mass migration.

    Is my post considered hate speech? Just come out and say it, it is not hate speech you want to ban, it is opinion that differs from yours and from your agenda. You want to ban freedom of speech plain and simple. You don’t want people to point out the obvious. Basically, just fascism. A political tool to silence opponents. A way to stop Europeans from expressing their concerns.

  64. Dean McIntosh

    Banning words only works when you want to create an Orwellian state (yes, folks, it takes a grown-up mind to realise that Nineteen Eighty-Four is about malicious language-modification, not surveillance). If you want people to stop using a word in a hateful way, you have to address the hate. That means sometimes you have to use the words and discuss the origins and context.

  65. Max Berre

    As an american (and ethnic minority), I’d like to propose a common-law style answer to this question. There should be few limits in a hard law sense….BUT….it should be relatively easy for me to sue and collect damages in the case of overtly bigoted speech. That way a much more honest and evolving dynamic would emerge, whereby I can get away with saying almost anything as long as nobody actually gets offended enough to sue.

    I’ve noticed that as a result of this kind of dynamic, the commercial and media sphere in the US is considerably less overtly racist than here in Europe. It would never occur in america that a monkey in a commercial would ever say “I am barack obama”, nor does anything like the 2013 De Morgen scandal on the same.with major mainstream press

    • Ad Seelt

      Can you sue the policefor any kind of harassment? Is there a way to get a free lawyer? America is now one of the most violent and racist counties in the world. This system failes in all ways because you need a lot of money to hire a lawyer to sue anyone. It is almost feodal. Justice for all who have a lot, shit for all who have nothing.

  66. Ÿänn Hidalgō

    Agressivity logically have to be controlled by selfcontrol because agressions was voted as crime in 2002 just sayin’

  67. Tomasz Mazurek

    Everyone should has right to speak whatever he wish. This is called fredoom of speach :) Learn it – socialist from EU

    • Ad Seelt

      People should learn to speak out their opinion without forcing it upon others and not to be offended by somenone elses opinion.

    • Ad Seelt

      No, I consider this wisdom….

  68. Inês Beato

    No. People should be judged by their actions, not their ideas. Not all people who might agree with things considered hate speech will necessarily commit a crime.
    It was nice that what I said last time was addressed but my concerns are still the same. People talk too much about banning but at the same time things are still very vague about protecting freedom of expression.
    Especially now with the issues of net neutrality and other kinds of information control, there is a fine line between protecting people and censoring and controlling public speech.
    The best way of fighting hate is fighting ignorance and for that we need to engage and debate people with different opinions, not punish them and stop them from talking.

  69. Aleksandros Ho Megas

    Again this?!
    Will You repeat this nonsense till You brainwash people!

    NO!
    Freedom of speech is one of basic natural human rights.

  70. Vinko Rajic

    NO , you can’t ! That is the Holy Bible : If a man also lie with mankind, as he lieth with a woman, both of them have committed an abomination: they shall surely be put to death; their blood shall be upon them. Lev.20:13 Death to Followers of Other Religions
    Whoever sacrifices to any god, except the Lord alone, shall be doomed. (Exodus 22:19 NAB) Kill Nonbelievers
    They entered into a covenant to seek the Lord, the God of their fathers, with all their heart and soul; and everyone who would not seek the Lord, the God of Israel, was to be put to death, whether small or great, whether man or woman. (2 Chronicles 15:12-13 NAB) http://www.evilbible.com/Murder.htm

    • Yvetta

      Perhaps start from learning some grammar: the word “true” does not take modification. Something either is true or isn’t. It can’t be more true or less true. Grammar is also part of philosophy.

    • Ad Seelt

      The old testament has been replaced at the tome of the birth of Jezus, then ‘God’ changed his attentionspan from the israelian people, because they would never really devote to him allone, to all the people in the world and the commandments where replaced by a simple rule, above all love your god, and love all others as you love yourself. When you use the bible, please use it complete not only the old stuff?

    • EU reform- proactive

      @Yvetta

      ………if it was as true as EU law is- of course, nothing’s TRUER than them.

      “It is often said that men are ruled by their imaginations; but it would be TRUER to say they are governed by the weakness of their imaginations.”

      I have no problem with any mind being precise about small things- only wrong about big things by small minds.

    • Ad Seelt

      Yes and this hate is based on fear, misjudging and misunderstanding.

  71. Erich Scheffl

    Do you really want answers? It would be better when you generate conditions for the people that they can feel well. http://www.WWSEEP.com . Proof, that you go for a welfare Vision of the people. Then you also will become accepted.

    • Ad Seelt

      Europe, nor any other economic organisation, cannot create such conditions, people will have to do so themselves, but that is a spiritual effort most are not able to make yet.

  72. δημητρης τακος

    Of course it shouldn’t! Lets not forget though, speech is not synonimous with swearing or offending people. Is about arguements ans widening perspective of minds.

  73. δημητρης τακος

    Of course it shouldn’t! Lets not forget though, speech is not synonimous with swearing or offending people. Is about arguements ans widening perspective of minds.

  74. Mike Chambers

    Freedom of speech means that sometimes people will say things that you don’t agree with. It you don’t agree then you should argue against them.

  75. Mike Chambers

    Freedom of speech means that sometimes people will say things that you don’t agree with. It you don’t agree then you should argue against them.

  76. Matthew Gwynn

    The laws are fine as they are- just enforce them. Free speech but violence inciting speech is already an offence

  77. Matthew Gwynn

    The laws are fine as they are- just enforce them. Free speech but violence inciting speech is already an offence

  78. Costi Ciudin

    Everything has a limit, otherwise it leads straight to anarchy. We do have more or less censorship in each society that is why, for instance, you don’t see Mein Kampf in bookstores

  79. Emil Petkov

    Nowhere, you dumbasses, after all it’s “freedom” of speech, not “restrictions” of speech

  80. Lesley McDade

    In English law – you may not defame, slander or libel – but you can have “fair comment”. You must also not misrepresent or make a mistake and not correct it if knowledge surfaces to the contrary, ie if someone is “knowingly incompetent” you should not blame someone else and if you do when you learn of your own mismanagement you should correct it immediately.

  81. Stella Kontogianni

    Of course there are limits. Talking without limits may harm relationships and desyroy any possibility of progress

  82. Ad Seelt

    basic thing is that people should not feel personally offended or attacked by other people’s opinions. That is what causes the feeling of hate and fear. the fear of others trying to convince you or worse, subject you to their opinions and rules.
    we should let eachother free in what we think and not be afraid other people will force their opinion on us.

    • Yvetta

      Offense is a subjective notion: different people get offended at different things. The law needs to be based on something objective as opposed to someone’s personal opinion at any one given time. But even in the case of offense, again you would have to go with the majority and the majority of people in Europe do not get offended at anything being said or drawn about Mohammed or Jesus.

    • Ad Seelt

      Which one? They all say something different

  83. Vinko Rajic

    YES , on brainwashing and selling scams like this : Is this not a crime ? people are just wasting their time and money . Religious truth , Virgin Mary is going to do big thing , they promise , get believers , make money , nothing is going to happen , they change story and do the same thing again : https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5-FvMvsnttc
    In just 5 years, the “seer” Ivan Dragicevic has bought properties worth a total of 1.566 million dollars, equivalent to 1,470,953 euro (taking into account the appreciation of the euro at the time of the trade).
    An average American, in the 5 years would have earned $ 198,508 gross, gross 195 336 € (taking into account the appreciation of the euro year to year). Figures, gross, are nearly 10 times lower than the amount spent by the “seer”.
    http://abateoimpertinente.wordpress.com/…/inchiesta-esclusi…-«nessuno-dei-veggenti-di-medjugorje-si-e-mai-arricchito-grazie-alle-apparizioni-»-ecco-le-prove-del-contrario/

    • Ad Seelt

      Onviously it is what people want or need

  84. Miguel Cruz

    You are free to say whatever you want, but you are bind by the consequences. For instance, if you ofend someone, that person can prosecute you in the judicial system. As a result you can be arrested or condemn to pay a certain amount of money as compensation. In certain countries, if you publicly incite people to violence, you can be arrested. And then, you can always be smaked by someone or even a crowd that does not share your opinion.

    • Ad Seelt

      Problem here is that now, people or religious groups don’t bother to prosecute but rather throw a bomb somewhere or kill people randomly as a form of revenge….

  85. Ed Cocks

    Very few. The limits should be inciting physical attack and those areas addressed by libel/slander laws. Simply hurting someone’s feelings, espousing falsities or advocating a questionable product are what it is all about. People too stupid to educate themselves on the dangers of listening to the wrong person deserve what they end up with.

  86. Afrim Morina

    Yes! When it comes to white people! We aren’t allowed to be proud of our identity because it offends others!!
    But others are allowed to be racist against us and to even kill us in our streets!!!

    • Ad Seelt

      You are white!?
      Lots of white people get killed in the streets as well…..and discriminated in other countries…

  87. Ferenc Lázár

    It definetly should be some limits! Preaching hate and against your hosting country#nation should be punished with jail…

  88. Tomasz Mazurek

    Nowhere. Freedom of speach is freedom because everybody speaks what they want. Even if they are extreme socialists or far right nationalists – this is their choice. So dear social European Parlament – keep your hands off from our freedom please :)

  89. Xavi Otger Domingo

    FC Barcelona have got a penalty of 30.000 euros due to the expresion of this suporters in Berlin….. There are no freedom.

  90. Steffen Ehrecke

    Of course there are: Vindictive and petty lies just meant to hurt somebody else or cast them in dubious light shouldn’t be spoken…

  91. Vladimir

    Free Speech is definitely an irrevocable right! One can not create limits on it, in any character it is presented. What we can, is debate and improve the education of people. People that received no education or are a product of bad education are more likely to conduct hate speech. In my opinion the focus on education will even reduce the attention on hate (or bad intentioned) speeches, that will eventually represent no interest for them (educated people).

    • Ad Seelt

      Rights are nothing but an agreement, that some people who I (and probably you) have never known or seen. We can change them, or even ignore them as a lot of countries do….it’s nothing solid..

    • George

      meaning as third-world countries do…In Europe people and governments respect the rights that stem from the law, Ad Seelt, that’s the whole purpose of their existence. You are right, rights are an agreement but if you do not agree with the agreement in a specific country, you need to go and live in a country where you do agree with it.

    • Ad Seelt

      George,
      I have to see the first government that respects its own laws yet. You know very well that most governments do not respect their own lawd in many cases. Let alone the multinational companies. Given the TTIP treaty, this sells out european freemarket to american companie policy…

  92. Nikolaos Sotirelis

    You shouldn’t be so worry for freedom of speech in Europe.
    You should be worry about… freedom in Europe!!!

    • Ad Seelt

      Yes!

  93. Antonin Iorgovan

    Libertatea de exprimare înseamnă libertatea de a-și exprima ideea cuiva fara teama de intimidare sau de arestare din partea autoritatilor. Instigator la ură este o manifestare oribil de această libertate, însă, începe să interzică discursul urii, ușa de a limita libertatea de exprimare este aruncat larg deschise. Dacă o persoană dorește să limiteze discursului de ură, ar trebui să facem o normă culturală nu să vorbească în așa fel (astfel încât, dacă o persoană vorbește în acest fel, mama lui l-ar lovi), mai degrabă decât de codificare discursul de ură și crearea unui martir al persoanei (un posibil combustibil pentru grupuri extremiste).
    Instigator la ură este oribil chiar la rădăcinile, dar nu putem deschide ușa pentru a promova reglementarea libertății de expresie, din cauza posibilei pericolul unor persoane care folosesc aceste legi pentru a percepe o persoană cu discursul de ură doar pentru criticarea guvernului (cum se poate vedea în Azerbaidjan sau Belarus)

    Free speech means the freedom to express one’s idea without fear of intimidation or arrest from authorities. Hate speech is a horrible manifestation of this freedom, however, it you begin to ban hate speech, the door to limit the Freedom of Expression is thrown wide open. If a person wishes to limit hate speech, we should make it cultural norm NOT to speak in such way (so that if a person talks that way,his mother would slap him) rather than codifying hate speech and creating a martyr of that person (a possible fuel for extremist groups).
    Hate speech is horrible at the very roots, but we cannot open the door to further regulation of free speech, due to the possible hazard of certain people using those laws to charge a person with hate speech just for criticizing the government (as can be seen in Azerbaijan or Belarus)

  94. Nando Aidos

    Hate speech falls in the “insults” category and as such should be punishable. I cannot go on the streets calling people names and insulting them and so neither should people be allowed to go on the streets (or anywhere else) calling names, making angry accusations, and insulting others, be it poitically, religiously or otherwise.

  95. nando

    Hate speech falls in the “insults” category and as such should be punishable.

    Just as I cannot go on the streets calling people names and insulting them, neither should people be allowed to go on the streets (or anywhere else) calling names, making angry accusations, making provocative statements or insulting others, be it politically, religiously or otherwise.

  96. Ivan Burrows

    .

    The German government has been caught trying to restrict freedom of Speech, the German media are changing the terminology they use regarding Schengen migrants in an attempt to change public opinion and Brussels has tried to make it a criminal offence to criticise the EU.

    It does not matter because these dictates show the European elite do not know or do not care what ‘people’ think, the more they attempt to stifle the will of the people the more the people will fight back.

  97. Davide Crimi

    Blasphemy has nothing to do with freedom of speech. Respect is the first and exclusive condition. After this, you must have the right to say whatever you want

  98. Suzie Szabo Newbury

    Lol! If we have freedom to speak there can’t be any limits otherwise there isn’t freedom! Is it a trick question to find out who’s stupid?!

  99. Aarya Agicha

    There should be a limit but on social media sites but if we tell anything whats the goverments problem we are just joking they can’t arrest us

  100. Christina Kozikopoulou

    An ideology of hatred shows lack of freedom first and foremost for the person who supports it. We should be free to say anything we like. The real bet is eliminating hate ideas rather than silencing hate speech.

  101. Beate Dunn

    this is absurd—present incompetent EU leadership has caused the tragedy in Paris and has severely jeopardised EU culture, tradition and Christian religion and Philosophy (the future of EU) ….All present EU leadership should resign ASAP

  102. Tomasz Mazurek

    Hahaha you lefties thinks that biggest threat are right winged parties. BTW, Geert Wilders told truth :)

    06/03/2017 Koen Vossen, Assistant Professor of Political Science at the University of Nijmegen, has responded to this comment.

  103. lesleymcdade364@msn.com

    You can say or represent whatsoever you like in UK as a freedom of expression under the Human Rights Act 1998 but you cannot also misrepresent, make a mistake without correcting it when you have knowledge of it, defame, slander or libel – these are usually civil law issues and if you do them the defence is honest representation, justification and/or fair comment. Also you don’t need to self-incriminate either so you are allowed to be silent in a criminal court if you want to.

    I represent this: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=G6wb9r568o8

  104. Cotrus Ramona Carmen

    In what respects defending your own rights, freedom of speech should be limitless. In what respects imposing your opinions, ridiculing, or humiliating other people, freedom of speech, like any other freedom, ends where it begins to hurt somebody else.

  105. Martha Rodrigues

    The limit should be set where the freedom of speech is allowing someone to violate someone else’s freedoms.

  106. Gianfranco Schwengle

    The right the give offence, that is at the core of freedom of speech. There are no “BUTS”! in freedom of speech. For without it, we cannot properly challenge or question those in power. For just having a difference in opinion, is already a offence for many. So where does freedom of speech end, and hate speech begin? When somebody threatens you with violence, that is hate speech. Thick skin means you can take offense, and remain civil. Those that cannot are usually insecure and stem from ass backward cultures or ideologies. This debate should not be on freedom of speech. It should be on why are there so many people speaking of violence towards others. Answer they don’t know the definition of freedom of speech, so you can’t expect to know what tolerance is.

  107. Sumaya Shihab

    no limits. your options are: agree or argue your point just as well..or move on.

  108. lesleymcdade364@msn.com

    Truth – honest representation; justification and fair comment – HRA 1998 provides statutory rights to freedom of expression – but that does not mean you can speculate without saying you are doing so, or use impression and suggestion without saying you are doing so eg a raised presumption is … and this is the biggest raised presumption – google ISIS, sub rosa, wiki, Egyptian ideology, pagan, Londinium and what do you get … now watch the spoonfed crap you are all receiving via the TV, the press – notice any drivel – crappy magazines etc full of unofficial photos of people – the HRA gives you a right to privacy and family life – that means you are the “subject” in a photo – so if people in public life take time out of their busy schedule to give an official photo then you should have delightful images in your newspapers and magazines, and if there is an unofficial photo then the publisher should require to get “express consent” to publish it and that would appear to me to be a statutory right as well as any contractual right you may have via privacy terms and conditions etc. This clause in the HRA should specifically be able to protect all children who are British anywhere in the world, because your legal status is determined by your passport and where you have permission to be domiciled which determines your legal jurisdiction for the purposes of the application of the rule of law – so your Passport determines you as a subject/citizen therefore you have a human right because of the human rights statute in the UK to a private and family life. The Human Rights Act 1998 was prior to the Access to Justice Act 1999 there may be a constitutional issue concerning the later Act because it was made from the Despatch Box and not the Woolsack and therefore the latter act may not actually be legal – but I am hopefully getting this investigated as we speak by those who are professional and ethical and intelligent amongst our intelligencia – maybe you could all (as a suggestion, impression and speculation) discuss the reason for a need for a Human Rights Act in your societies – also you could also consider another FACT that many of our global legal systems are based in the 17th, 18th, 19th, 20th centuries and may need some codification to bring them into the 21st century – what is not working, what needs to be ditched as no longer application – the 21st century is about the application of the rule of law – not its non-application or concealment or compromise – that is the issue for Jurisprudence in the 21st century. For information sub rosa is the English Crown / judicial system in England & Wales, it has been corrupted since 1999 and we know who and how and why and when and where. But the English judicial is also the basis of the American system, the Russian system, the Israeli system and others, but the Iraq and Syrian and others are not based necessarily on the English legal system, nor is the Scottish legal system: the primary law of Scotland is Canon law – don’t do to others what you would not want done to yourself. There you are HRA 1998 – google to see the Act as all Acts in the UK are on google – the important feature of the HRA 1998 is the Schedule and Articles – impression, suggestion, speculation – someone who was very very good created this document and it is specific – human beings and the right to be treated as a human being. Regards Lesley

  109. Patrick McDonald

    I think freedom of speech should be completely legal apart from threats,constant harassment to an individual (i.e. People should be able to partly control what they hear) and ( I’m not entirely sure of this last one) releasing someone’s personal details. Hate speech is ok, just ignore it if you don’t like it.

  110. Daniel

    What I find funny about freedom of speech, is in a lot of cases that I have witnessed, the people preaching it, can’t accept it when others have a different point of view.

    This goes for both freedom of speech and freedom of expression.

    Take for example someone who is transgender, they believe that they have the right to express their inner feelings of being trapped in the wrong body, by changing their body. That’s fine. But when someone disagrees with that and says they don’t agree with/don’t like that view point. Then all of a sudden, they are a bad guy. Because they have a different point of view. I would like to point out, that I am only using this as an example as it happens to be something on TV at the moment. This seems (from what I have seen) to occur in other areas as well and does not reflect my personal opinion on the matter.

    I feel that freedom of speech must be accepted in all it’s glory. Both good and bad. If you can’t handle the bad, then you don’t deserve the good.

    I apologise for the poor grammer/spelling.

  111. Nikolay Kosev

    This sounds so stupid. “Limits to freedom of speech”. So how is it free if there are limits?

  112. João Pedro Alves

    no, never, this freedom is fundamental for development of humankind, and affects the freedom of thinking for ourselfs, my liberty ends where the others begin, this is the only restrition respect for the human being

  113. Valentin Rotaru

    Lol never. What are you, fascist, communist? There shall be no limitation, but facebook shall have a dislike button to downvote those stupid comments with quotes from the bible

  114. Andrej Němec

    Stupidity should be the limit. When someone has something smart to say that can contribute to the progress of mankind he/she should speak out loud. When people speak about stupid things of no importance like gossiping about others, a limit to their CO2 emissions should be set…

    • Lesley McDade

      The law as it exists – you may not defame, libel, slander, misrepresent or do a mistake without rectifying it – that is the restrictions in law. The defence to defamation is : fair comment; justified; honest representation.

    • Lesley McDade

      I had a lecture in my first year of my degree – he was telling us that England did not have a Bill of Rights – true. But I put my hand up as I had had a discussion on this topic with a member of my family a few days previous – Scotland implies a Bill of Rights on the English because of the Act of Settlement in 1707 – that the English may not meddle in religion, education or law – true. Anyway the response from my lecturer was “you know an insult when you receive it”. I guess I metaphorically smacked him in the face … – true

  115. Tim Keeble

    Freedom of speech is Important, and everyone should have the right to input their opinion. However many people voice their opinions in poor taste. I think that in order to have a civil debate on matters people need to structure their views and inform themselves with the information of all sides before posting disrespectful remarks with little knowledge or grounds behind them. Politically which ever party leads a nation, I feel, deserves this level of respect whether or not you agree with them. I suppose this is where problems arise, there is a lack of respect on both sides as many politicians use misdirection in response to clear and concise questions so as to favour their electoral standing. I personally would prefer it if people didn’t post these on social media. With some of the ‘passionate’ opinions posted having effect only to vent frustration, perhaps diverting these to political forums would be better? That’s my view anyway.

    • Lesley McDade

      Sometimes Tim, the Government don’t use their good brain cells – there will always be for and against arguments, but when a Government prevent one or the other, then the need for your human rights and freedom of expression become necessary, if that means via social media in the 21st Century when your up against 18th century processes then it is necessary to at least ensure that the government know what you are saying and as many others so that the One Voice is able to apply “informed information” and to “keep its own counsel”. If you are only being fed a particular line of thought, if you cannot see through it or think for yourself then you are being brainwashed – is that what you would prefer. I for one am not “spoonfed” my information, I am able to think and come up with ideas, suggestions, feedback, complaints, compliments as well as being logical and rational – some people can’t even do this. I also do a lot of lobbying concerning the application of the rule of law, but if I dont see the necessary outcomes via that method, ie lobbying, then social media is the answer – but it goes worldwide – but I dont mind assisting the world if I can. The person that moves a mountain starts by taking away the little stones. Consultations are the preferred method for me – I am not into public demonstrations – because I prefer to let my brain do the necessary – the pen is mighter than the sword. http://www.lesleymcdade.blogspot.com – social media.

  116. scott

    #always remember that we are bounded by the laws…we have the limitation in lfe.

  117. Ivan Burrows

    .

    Pro EU fanatics are the most dangerous people in Europe at the moment, their lies & support for an outdated dictatorship as created the most divided continent since the last great European World War.

  118. Winston Zhang

    Freedom of Speech comes with a responsibility. We should abstain from any expression of intolerance. That said, we should also be able to criticise any religion. No religion should be above the law and be free of criticism. No criticism at all can lead to revolution. Freedom of Speech is a balancing act.

  119. Erik Jakub Citterberg

    As long as you are not inciting violence against other you should be able to say what ever you like however uncomfortable ti may be to some people.
    No idea, religion or person should be immune to criticism.

  120. Julia Hadjikyriacou

    A trend I don’t like is government attempts to censure critisism of government, policies or politicians. If they were doing things right all they would hear is praise or silence. It’s people feedback and people defining the line of the ethical code they want their society to be run by. Governments should listen and adjust their policies to give the people what are asking for or change what they do not want.

  121. Vinko Rajic

    Religious groups need limit : Atheist country is superior to religious or communist state . Atheists , liberals and new churches ( like Clinton’s Methodist ) are superior to all others . Simple , they can solve problems in simple ways because they can tell the truth and when you tell the truth they don’t feel insulted. I have no problem with English or Japanese atheists , we can tell the truth and provide evidence , no problem but when you do the same thing with Croatian Catholic , German or Swedish Anglicans or Muslims than you have a bad problem and it sounds like this : “How is going your economy ? How is your sex life , you have girlfriend ? You have something to eat ? ” . Croatian Catholic is going to try to destroy your economy and your relationship just to punish all people that talk the truth about religious dirt . No person should tell the truth about their religion because they have to sell religion to others and make money on it . They should sell their scam and people shouldn’t know the truth :

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=A9zds4U3L4s

  122. Nando Aidos

    Where does one set the speed limits on our roads? At a speed that reduces harm to others.
    Where does one set limits for noise? Similar answer.
    Where does one set limits for our freedom? Where the freedom of others begins.
    What seems to be so complicated with freedom of speech? It should be set where my freedoms start.

  123. Nando Aidos

    The corollary question is – who is worried about losing their so called freedom of speech? Those who would like to abuse it? Who would like to be free to speak out any nonsense that comes to their minds? Those who think their freedom is greater than mine? Then these people are transgressing social norms and have nothing to complain about.

  124. Silvio Bosco

    I suggest to introduce in the European schools once or twice a week the following subject: Learning the silence. ;)

  125. David Petty

    Incite to violence, freedom of thought and speech are fundamental to a free society unless you propose violence.

  126. David Petty

    Incite to violence, freedom of thought and speech are fundamental to a free society unless you propose violence.

  127. Margaret Barahmandpour

    Don’t ask stupid questions and you won’t be told any lies. Europe is fast becoming the biggest dictatorship on the face of the planet

  128. Jason

    There should be absolutely NO limits, whatever the speech might be.-

  129. Alexander Simon

    Free speech is fundamental for societies around the world: It is necessary for identifying and articulating issues, analyse, resolve and finally overcome them. Free Speech therefore also led to the European Union – hence Free Speech is more important than the European Union and any of its institutions and agencies as it can be seen as fundamental for those. Having that said: Speech can be used to propagate crimes, for instance terrorism. It is the courts to judge whether according intention was implied in statements, e.g. on Websites. The benchmark is criminal justice – and not additional policy and additional regulations. The examples that you have given strengthen my opinion in that. Interestingly, there is no example about Isalmist propaganda, facilitating home-grown terrorism and plots executed by returned foreign fighters. I am referring to Internet Magazines such as “Inspire” and “Dabiq”, that can be retrieved from the Web. Instead the focus is on EU skeptical voices – so one could come to the conclusion that anticipated regulations of free speech aim to protect the reputation Pro-European Politicians while banning the Euro-Skeptics. And while not addressing Open Source Jihadism and other propaganda encouraging plots as the one today in Belgium and those in France in 2015.

  130. wx

    The examples of Malta and Czech Republic aren’t Hate speech, they aren’t saying that those traits are inherent to migrants, they’re saying that migrants disproportionally carry them, that’s like talking about Black criminality in the US, it’s a fact that Black murder much more there, it’s not because they’re black and it’s in their nature, it’s because they grow up mostly in broken homes in broken places with crappy economic status and scholarity, that’s why.

  131. John Myrianthousis

    The power and influence of words from a good orator is awesome; and more often than not underestimated. Last year in the US a man was tried and originally found guilty but on appeal released; of assisting (by convincing them) two people to commit suicide and claiming he would join them. We also have the case of the hatred Imams that convince young recruits into becoming suicide bombers, something not new when you consider the Kame Kaze pilots of WWII. Where do you draw the line? Oratory can be used for evil as well as good, so I vote look again at the whole concept of freedom of speech. It is one thing to express your opinion … even if it is negative, and another to incite violence.

  132. Corvus

    There is no hate speech or toxic speech, theres just free speech you want to prohibit because you are afraid of the truth.

  133. JohnMyr

    I was not referring to hate speech but incitement speech. Incitement to violence, injury and crime and the difficulty of distinguishing it from incitement to resistance of oppression. If it is inciting the young to trash a car or throw stones at the police is this freedom of speech. If it is used to incite a lynch mob is this freedom of speech – compared to inciting a mob to resist the army! Somewhere along the line, a judge (or panel) needs to be involved to tell the difference.

  134. Ivan Burrows

    .

    According to the pro EU fanatics everyone who disagrees with EU dogma should be silenced.

    ‘Europeanism’ is the new fascism.

  135. Vytautas Vėžys

    You keep using word “Freedom”. I don’t think it means what you think it means.
    Freedom with limits is not freedom, it’s oppression.
    If dog can run around as much as he wants as far as chain lets him is it freedom?

  136. Hector Niehues-Jeuffroy

    There should be some restrictions. On an individual level, slander/libel should be punishable. On a group level, incitement to commit illegal actions against a societal group should be illegal as well. Perhaps hate speech should be illegal, too. There definitely shouldn’t be any censorship on criticism of politicians, public personalities, minority groups. etc. as long as the criticism is reasoned and factual.

  137. Belamie Versco

    free speech always refers to violent hate speech, but what about data security? i see so many people posting details of neighbours etc. that is violence of privacy and just as serious!

  138. Stefania Portici

    quando l’Unione Europea diventerà uno Stato UNICO DEMOCRATICO allora può intervenire ! . In questo momento l’Unione Europea meno interviene sugli Stati è meglio è ,fa solo danni ! Gli Stati sono regolati da equilibri morali , oltre che civili, interni che la UE non comprende e sono quegli equilibri SANI che mantengono la società in pace . La UE scardinando quegli equilibri interni agli Stati e non dando una giusta direzione perchè non può per diverse ragioni , come ha fatto, crea forte confusione , crea odio , crea razzismo, crea disastri !

  139. Stefano Zuzzi

    Radio is broadcasting that the USA has sent billions dollars to the Iran..
    For what?to give moral support to the
    Hezbollah? For weapons?
    Why not to speak?
    Free speech otherwise Facebook would
    have closed ” marionette&burattini”.

  140. Petra Aldebert Buis

    Hate leads to anger and anger leads to violence, not everybody is able to argue or to debate so this is a sensitive question, we are not allowed to hurt the other, words can bless and provocate violence we saw that more than once in history.

  141. Tomas Mzr

    Publish a person’s address along with instructions on the best ways to rough them up is not freedom of speach but disclosure personal information about somebody. Fredom of speach is when I’m saying “I don’t like muslims because they are lazy bastards and terrorists who don’t respect other cultures and should be eradicated from Europe” … this is my personal opinion and my right to say what I think. :)

  142. Dimitris Orfanoudis

    Principle of Democracy is the free speach and free press and isopolitia=equal rights however lately dmocracy is violated and in the name of the democacy they do actions that are not in accordnace with democratic rules. people with different cultures are not able to understand about democracy because none has told them about the meaning of the democracy and further more they were living in countries where democracy doesnt exists..

  143. Jason Picci

    The ‘old’ world order have been successful in dumbing down education and free thinking by pushing and promoting racism and political correctness. by controlling the media as well as the politicians it’s no wonder most believe the Goebellsian lies.

  144. Enric Mestres Girbal

    One’s freedom should stop where other’s freedom start, but many people (politicians first) don’t garantie that. So lets say …should be set before insult or abuse the others.

  145. Vytautas Vėžys

    “Limits to freedom of speech”? You mean “Censorship”? Or this world don’t fit in your democracy definition?

    • Hector Niehues-Jeuffroy

      Actually, a lot of calls for this come from the nationalist and religious right, e.g. the Tory Councillor Christian Holliday who wanted to prosecute Brits who call for the UK to remain in the EU for treason or Catholic fundamentalists who went against the satirical magazine “Charlie Hebdo” in court.

    • Bódis Kata

      You are mentioning instances that I’ve never heared of in mainsteam media. The big media push to effect some changes regarding free speech did not take place back then, but it is being communicated now, after Clinton had lost to Trump.

    • Jean-Pierre Rosa

      So hate speech and calls for genocide are ok? Are you a jihadist?

    • Vytautas Vėžys

      Jean-Pierre Rosa Yes, calling for genocide is OK. Thats why we have laws against killing, that let us talk about it, but forbid to do it.
      Actions should be punishable, not words. Responsibility for crime fall on shoulder of criminal that actually committed crime, not person who ave him idea.

    • Hector Niehues-Jeuffroy

      @Eugenia Serban: That is just stupid. Anybody’s freedom should necessarily reach its limit when it encroaches on another person’s freedom. Taken to its logical end, no limits to any freedom means the freedom to murder, steal, trespass and bribe. Surely you cannot want that.

    • Jean-Pierre Rosa

      A society needs some basic rules of co-existence

    • Vytautas Vėžys

      Jean-Pierre Rosa what if some basic rules say it’s ok to limit other people freedoms based on their skin color? Suddenly it becomes not OK because you don’t like THOSE rules even society agree to have them?

    • Matthew Wolfbane

      Jean-Pierre Rosa That’s why we have laws and constitutions, to protect the rights of even those whom we may disagree with on an ideological level.
      That includes freedom of speech, whether you like it or not.
      If it’s the ideas you’re worried about: challenge them instead of trying to shut them out of a rational discussion.

  146. Fernando Nabais

    I agree with censorship but only against right wing. Left wing liberals should be allowed to continue its hate speech.

  147. Marko Martinović

    Free speech should not be limited. We should be able to voice our opinions freely. Slander should be challenged tho. Censorship solves nothing

    • Jean-Pierre Rosa

      Does that not open the door to xenophobic speech and religious hate speech?

    • Vytautas Vėžys

      Jean-Pierre Rosa It opens, that’s how we get discussions, and decide what is best for society as whole. You can’t just ignore other opinions and pretend they don’t exist.
      50 years nobody spoke about right wing, and BOOOM, in last 5 years this ideology is exploding all over the world. Why? Where all those nationalists come from?
      They always were here, but they were just to afraid to speak. And now they skipped talking about their ideas and went directly to actions, and suddenly everyone noticed them.
      Or you know, if left and right have discussions all times all opinions would be clear for public and nobody have illusions that opposite opinions don’t exist.

    • Marko Martinović

      You cannot silence people then claim unity. Speech hurts only if you let it. Discussing can enlighten people.

    • Marko Martinović

      People want to speak freely. It is fundamental right. It is a powerfull thing. If you try to take that away, you will have more enemies than you can number, including yourself

    • David Fuzzey

      Obviously Jean Pierre Rosa thinks we should only be allowed to discuss only those things approved by neo leftie liberals…which is why they use the hate,racist,xenophobic card every time someone has a different opinion.

    • Hector Niehues-Jeuffroy

      @Marko Martinovic: Look, you contradict yourself. In one sentence you want limitless freedom of speech, in the next you argue that freedom of speech needs limits, since the right to challenge slander is nothing else than the right to punish somebody making use of his or her freedom of speech.

    • Marko Martinović

      Slander is a lie to attack someones character. It should be challenged. I did not say censure those individuals or imprison them. Slander should be challenged with truth. We have a lot of that going around. Slander is weaponised

    • Faddi Zsolt

      Ne znam što misliš recimo o Vukovaru?

  148. Michael Šimková

    Slander and incitement to violence, or yelling fire in a crowded theatre. I thought we’d solved that one already, so why rehash it? So blasphemy laws can be rebranded hate speech laws and reimposed? Oxi.

    • Thomas Beavitt

      All anti-“hate speech” laws are rebranded blasphemy laws! They just change the name of the god (or secular equivalent)…

  149. JohnMyr

    An ONLINE post states “I know ….. He is a thief. liar and child abuser etc.etc. He lives at …. His name and address have caused hundreds of online abuses against his wife and children. His property is vandalized. His wife demands a divorce and gets one. Meanwhile an official investigation is begun. There are no grounds for the accusation. In fact the originator is a disgruntled employee who is in fact himself the child abuser …. NOW TELL ME THAT ISNT HATE SPEECH OR EVEN … all (specify religion) are an anathema to God! Kill them all and you will be rich and happy! Yes Free Speech … LOL

  150. Zisis Poimenidis

    Freedom has limits. These limits are placed at the exact point that someone else’s freedom begins. Otherwise its not freedom, it is anarchy, with the modern meaning of the word.

  151. Bobi Dochev

    Why should we have limits? Isn’t it censure?
    If I don’t like something I should have the full right to say it! I can’t say anything about homosexual, or have a joke about girls or boy, or say something about black white or yellow people, can’t talk about traditions in different countries… this is not a freedom of speech!!!
    If I don’t like gays I sould have the full right to say – damn you get a f*** out of my way. If I don’t like the politician I should have the right to say the same clearly!
    Nowadays the most discriminated people are the normal one!
    So no, we shouldn’t have limits!

    • Hector Niehues-Jeuffroy

      Actually, you can say everything you want in private. Even in public, you can say pretty much anything you want as long as you aren’t vulgar, make clear that it is your personal opinion and not a fact and don’t call for violence or harassment. You can stand on a public place and rail against gays all day – but don’t come whining about freedom of speech if people vehemently and loudly disagree with what you say. Oh, btw: I find your opinion on that matter grossly disgusting.

    • Bobi Dochev

      No I actually cant, if I tell you joke for a secretary and her boss it would be again “grossly disgusting” for somebody else. If I said my true opinion about the politicians, probably it will be evaluated again as “grossly disgusting” by the Debating Europe team. And again and again! If I was black man anityng said by white will be “grossly disgusting” for me. If I am white it would be vice versa.
      No matter what you say and when you said it it could be harassment for someone – that’s why we shouldn’t have limits!

    • Stefania Portici

      Bobi Dochev la libertà personale ha un limite e finisce dove danneggia un’altra persona .In realtà non siamo mai liberi completamente . Se la mia libertà lesiona qualc’un altro e vengo denunciato , è giusto che ci sia un tribunale che valuta e se ci sono i presupposti , penalizza .

    • Faddi Zsolt

      It depends of which country you observe of

    • Thomas Beavitt

      All freedoms are experienced in terms of limits thereto.

    • Hector Niehues-Jeuffroy

      Flawless logic. Do you also regularly walk into military training areas claiming freedom of movement?

  152. Genc Geci

    Philip Mc Guinness it’s little things like these that are going to put an end to the beloved union!

  153. Hector Niehues-Jeuffroy

    There is and should be freedom of speech; never should just stating facts become a crime. However, there shouldn’t be a freedom to insult or slander someone and there should be firm limits to public hate speech. Many people here seem to believe that populists stoking people’s fear and anger with lies and inciting them to commit violence is not possible or a thing of the distant past. I am German and I know that it isn’t so. Would you like to live in a Europe where leftists steer crowds to ransack the rich, where Islamists preach hatred with impunity and where nationalists call for the harassment of foreigners? I don’t.

    • Yavor Hadzhiev

      I agree. These are good examples.

  154. GonEprata Megarp

    Those limits should stay in saudi arabia, its a shame its not happening, truth has become racist, and racism has become something to be most respected.

  155. Stefania Portici

    ma…..siamo in Europa ??? Ci sono sempre state le le leggi nazionali a tutelare l’offesa , la privacy, la diffamzione, la violenza. Mi sembra strano si chieda quel che già esiste.. Ci sta qualche Paese nella UE che possano offendere come gli pare come fa Charlie Hebdo ?

    but ….. we are in Europe ??? There have always been the national laws to protect the insult, privacy, diffamzione, violence. It seems strange to wonder what already exists .. There are some countries in the EU that may offend as they like as does Charlie Hebdo?

  156. Vinko Rajic

    When they lie all the time like example, Europaparlamentariker Cecilia Wikström

  157. Dimitris Stamiris

    What kind of question is this ?
    Wen you talk about democracy Can anyone put limits ???

    Or you talk about THAT democracy we all have those days ???

  158. Ivan Burrows

    .

    The question is ‘who decides if someone’s point of view is hate speech or not?’

  159. Brian Blair

    THIS COMMENT HAS BEEN REMOVED BY MODERATORS FOR BREACHING OUR CODE OF CONDUCT. REPLIES MAY ALSO BE REMOVED.

  160. Jonathan Thomson

    THERE SHOULD BE ABSOLUTELY NO LIMITS ON FREEDOM OF SPEECH. NONE!! The fact that this needs to be explained to some people, saddens me greatly… :(

  161. P.diddy

    People chill bruh freedom of rights is a cool guy who like swag in his pocket in a rainy day so high all the time to keep me off my mind ohhohohhhh

  162. praveen

    no body are born with their tongue speaking but came naturally similarly right to speech must change naturally

    • Ricardo Santos Marques

      Indeed, people have to remember there is no limit to freedom, actually only one. You’re not free from punishment. You’re free to do what you want but you’ll be punished if it is in contrary of the prevalent view of society.

    • Bart Van Damme

      I think libel is a good example: you get sued for the consequences of what you said, not for what you said itself. It still allows you to say what you want, but if there are consequences, you have to face them.

    • Cormac Begley

      What about the consequences of hate speech like discrimination and incitement to violence?

    • Bart Van Damme

      Same deal: convict people for the consequences instead of slapping the label “hate speech” on anything that doesn’t follow the dogma.

    • Bart Van Damme

      Which can be anything that doesn’t fit the narrative of the current ruler. Mohammed cartoons are also considered hate speech by some.

  163. Elisabeth Sommer

    They are already set (in Germany since decades, since 1949): Regard the existing Law (Insult, Libel and so on)

  164. Akos Tarkanyi

    When homosexualists attack normal people there is no limit – that is free speech. When normal people fight back – that is “hate speech” and they are persecuted for that.

    • Paweł Kunio

      Forgive him, Adriana. He seems to be a Hungarian. LOL.

    • Akos Tarkanyi

      “Forgive him” for his opinion because of Ad Hominem… Yes, THIS IS HATE SPEECH.

  165. Elisabeth Sommer

    I am (as free man and journalist) against Cencorship in any case – because if you start it, you can’t stop it. – What is the difference between Hate-Speech and a polemic Post? Polemic means for me one kind of freedom of Speech. And freedom of speech means not that this speech has to be kind and friendly. Freedom of Speech means to tell free of fear one’s free opinion!

  166. Vicente Silva Tavares

    Let me ask a few questions: When Muslims say that we have to convert or die, it is a use of freedom of speech? When Muslims say that our legs and arms must be cut, because we refuse to join their religion is a speech of hate? When Muslims openly support the Sharia law in Europe attacking our women rights, is it a hate speech? When Muslims support openly pedophilia, is it acceptable? I woul like to see EU define hate speech. I woul like to quote the Quran to see if it is acceptable

  167. Matthew Wolfbane

    It’s a new year already, and Debating Europe is still recycling the exact same questions?
    Come on, throw something new at your audience.
    I know you can do it.

  168. Cosmin Loghin

    if freedom, at the moment, has some boundaries and it’s about to narrow them, then we’re on the very dangerous way of taking away some liberties. and we all know where this is gonna take us, aren’t we?…

  169. Marios Proxenos

    “Hate speech” is an excuse for the political establishment that governs us each time, to punish people with the opposing views. Punishing “hate speech” is for me officially the establishment of an EU dictatorship, that no one is allowed to disagree with their views, because then they will be accused of “hate speech”. It’s opposite of democracy and not the right way to go. Hurting others feelings is sometimes part of criticism. It always was. Accept it.

  170. Daniel Parvanov

    You have freedom of speech or do not have it … It’s as simple as that …

    So let me tell you a story from the end of communism years… Communist believed that west threaten their regime by Ideological Diversion … (western movies and music, shows etc (Forbiden Speech)) so it was 80s when video cassette players become available too in the east … communist secret police start doing checks for ideological diversions by shutting down building electricity so your cassette is struck in the player and then riding apartments and they can check what exactly you watch…

    So I’m wondering if EU is going to policing Ideological Diversion state (as commies do in our past) or we overcome our problems by discussion widely any topic we haver problem for the Union …

  171. Andrew Potts

    None because it will always be used by those in power to silence their opponents and maintain power.

  172. Bobi Dochev

    So I shouldn’t say what I think and shouldn’t discuss problems because people who caused this problems may be offended? What and how is said is my own decision!
    After the limits of the freedom of speech, which is the most accessible, what will be next limits? Limits on voting? limits on social rights? What else – limits who to live and who to die?!!!

    • Tony Muñiz

      What I find offensive or not may not be the same as what you find offensive. Muslims find offensive the criticism of Islam. I’m Catholic, could care less about criticism of Christianity etc.

    • Anatilde Alves

      It’s written it’s not a matter of opinion. I might think that killing a human being isn’t a crime, yet it’s written that it is. Logic.

    • Matthew Griffing

      What objective criteria is used to determine whether the speech is offensive?

  173. Aleksandrs Frederiks Znovs

    Freedom of any kind of speech should have no limits. But, of course, in each case, any person could apply to the court against his opponent – this also is freedom. Simply like two fingers…

  174. Jason Krentos

    breaches of the law like incitement to murder/ defamation etc….but there should be no limits otherwise,

  175. Ivan Čorak

    Hate speech is anything that incites others directly to violence. Saying that X is filthy, dirty and stupid or threatening is not hate speech (though it is distasteful, to say the least), saying that X should be dealt with, that we must rise up against it, that it should be killed is hate speech as it is inciting towards violence.

  176. Elisabeth Sommer

    I am against censorship. – If someone writes a stupid comment, i try to ignore. But i want that he has the right to write all he thinks. This is the only way to see what people feel, what’s going on in world, to get new informations and maybe to realize how crazy our community is. – A comment should be serious, but if not: There are already laws against insult, libel and so on, we need no censorship.

  177. Mario Todorov

    Go away and take with you limits to freedom of speech, stupid liberals. You are fake liberals and true comunists.

  178. Stefania Portici

    Jeroen Dijsselbloem ministro delle finanze olandesi, Presidente dell’eurogruppo e Presidente dei Governatori del MES ha detto dei Paesi del SUD Europa ” Non puoi spendere tutti i soldi per alcol e donne e poi chiedere aiuto ai Paesi del Nord ” . Lui può dire quello che vuole ma rappresenta l’istituzione , ha detto il FALSO e ha offeso . Prima dovrebbe chiedere scusa poi gente come lui non merita di ricoprire ruoli istituzionali.Dutch Finance Minister Jeroen Dijsselbloem, Eurogroup President and Chairman of Governors of the ESM said of the South European countries “You can not spend all the money for alcohol and women and then ask for help from the North” countries. He can say what he wants but is the institution, he said FALSE and offended. First he should apologize then people like him does not deserve to hold institutional roles

  179. Christopher Kealy

    National governments should decide where freedom of speech stops and where the need for discretion and / or secrecy begins.

  180. Outlawzero

    No where at all. Unless you really do not like freedom of speech then go right a head and limit it. Any limitation at all inevitably and always leads to every limitation period every time without fail. We are dealing with 9,000 years of proven history where 2 proceeded 1. Every single time 1 crops up 2 happens every single time in 9,000 years of history rhyming. Its really funny the obvious and never changing patterns humans have followed without fail since someone started writing shit down. Yet people still fall into these traps and are somehow caught off gaurd and are surprised when history repeats its self without fail one more for the unfathonobleteen. All I have to say is duh. Open a book this has all everything happened before your all just willfully blind to it out of the same repeated arrogance of believing a feigned superiority to the preceding generations. Limiting freedom of speech in any way at all will always lead to its complete and utter destruction period no room for debate literally nothing else has ever followed the restriction of free speech but its desolation period.

  181. Brutus

    Amazing how many Fascists (those who want to curtail free speech) are commenting on this thread. Heil!

    • Debating Europe

      Hi Ivan, should we be free to publish your address and personal details?

    • Daniel Parvanov

      Debating Europe you are NGO and should be covered by law for corporations not like a private citizen …

    • Ivan Burrows

      Debating Europe

      Because of the amount of data being sold legally by companies (including facebook) it is already available to anyone that wants it. But good luck finding mine :)

      So the answer to your question is ‘I do not think companies should be allowed to profit from personnel information dressed up as free speech’.

      https://www.mozilla.org/en-GB/lightbeam/

    • Debating Europe

      Александър Михайлов Of course we wouldn’t. We were just pointing out a possible limit to freedom of speech.

    • Ivan Burrows

      Debating Europe

      I’m sorry but you were not, you were asking if it was ok to reveal ‘private’ information which is nothing to do with freedom of speech.

    • Ivan Burrows

      Debating Europe .

      Given the title of your page i’d be surprised if you thought otherwise lol :)

    • Александър Михайлов

      Ok, how about this, just know that if you were to reveal other people’s private information, yours would also be made available

  182. Daniel Parvanov

    Same as USA their First Amendment works good and have proven track record for 200+ years … So whe should use something that works

  183. Wendy Harris

    Individual people should be allowed to have an opinion and to express it freely. Preaching, teaching, or imposing that opinion on others is where the problem lies and media, politicians, teachers, governments, religions and other groups and organisations are all guilty of that.
    Debating forums on social media should be a safe place where opinions can be freely expressed. For whatever cannot be openly debated is forced underground where it festers into hatred.

  184. Любомир Иванчев

    The limits of free speech should be set at the point where it is used to incite violent, unlawful, unconstitutional and criminal acts.
    Free speech should mean that you have the right to share your ideas and constructive criticism about the state’s government. Free speech shouldn’t mean you can slander others, lie and misinform deliberately, or incite others to violence and bloodshed.

    • Constantinescu Florin

      Stalin said exactly the same. But perhaps what is freedom to me could appear as hate speech to you, or vice-versa. Did you think about it?

    • Любомир Иванчев

      What is the exact quote from Stalin please?
      Also, please go back and read carefully again my comment. I am intentionally not using the term “hate speech” anywhere. The term is subjective exactly because of what you said. I am not talking about hate at all – I am talking about speech that openly summons to acts of violence and crime.

    • Rodrigo Zarzuelo

      I don’t know if Stalin said that or not but what your talking about is a dictatorship.

    • Любомир Иванчев

      No. You obviously didn’t make the basic effort to read and understand my point. I am talking about the common sense to have a difference between actual free speech and violent rhetoric. The same violent rhetoric nazis, fascists and communists used and still use to this day. You know, ACTUAL dictatorships who ACTUALLY opressed and killed people for having a different opinion.

    • Rodrigo Zarzuelo

      Yes. Of course. Whatever. Well, as we have seen, some of us have expressed clearly that is your speech the one that provoces hate and oprresion. By the way, saying that you want limits “for good” is saying nothing good. And we are deffending your right to say, and you don’t. That is enough.

  185. António Morais Rodrigues

    People have the right to speack strongly, according to their ideas. Problem is the cunning behind these hate speach prohibitions. One of this days you hate off shores and the enslavement of people and you are acused of hate speach. And yes, about this there are many things to hate. Am I wrong??? Or hating the foreign policies that promote radicalism and terrorism. Or hating the systematic erasing and genocid of a people. Yes, there ate things to hate. And one day,the enslavers and the assasssins and the manipulaters will be victims….of hate speach as they rack havok to milions of people….

  186. Andrew Potts

    yes the liberal media calling for censorship, the EU calling for censorship, sounds like a conspiracy.

  187. Paul from Barking

    Words are just that – words. We all have an opinion. Some of the opinions of other people we will all find more palletable that the opinions of others. But none of us has a monopoly on being right! The important thing to try to remember is that it’s very easy to allow the “freedom” of allowing other people to air views we AGREE with – the hard part is to allow equal freedom to those people with whom we DISAGREE – sometimes 180 degrees of differences in views; but we should all remember that we don’t have a monopoly on always being right and whoever’s views may have upset you won’t always prove to be or have been entirely wrong!

    When you collectively shut other people up by using the law alone, two things happen – the first is that they (and their views) won’t have gone away…. they will still be there, festering to the point that without an outlet to PEACEFULLY air their views, the silenced (no matter how wrong their opinion may be) may erupt into violence…. And secondarily – once you’ve found ways to make it easy to shut other people up, those very avenues which you’ve used to silence others may ultimately be used on you! As Neiemoller said “… and when they came for me there was no-one to speak out for me”.

    So do I agree with the example throughout this thread given about Hitler being right about the Jews – NO, of course I absolutely don’t. But would I restain in law someone who wanted to spout such drivel?? No. I would engage him in dialogue, debate and restrained, respectful argument; because as a rational “reasonable” adult no one spouting such drivel, I believe, would be able to overcome my belief in the values I hold about that particular type of comment. You beat bad arguments with good arguments – not by shutting other people up!!!

    Respect each other, people – and accept that people you don’t like and people you disagree with have every right to have formed the views they hold too. There is far more uniting us as people than what divides us.

    And seeing as I’ve mention Hitler, the Jews and as such inferred back to a dark time in the 20th century can I finish by saying Nie Wieder, Plus Jamais, Never Again.

  188. Marko Martinović

    On calling for violence and slander. There is already law against it. Without freedom to speak you have no freedom at all. EU should copy USA first amendment.

  189. Bódis Kata

    Here’s a classic :)

    The liberal free speech is supersonic. For liberals it’s super, for everyone else it’s sonic.

    :D

  190. Ivan Burrows

    Treaties are used to silence the majority in the EU so the very concept of ‘free speech’ as been corrupted to mean whatever Brussels dictates it should mean.

  191. Daniel Parvanov

    Europe has long history of limiting free speech… For example limited knowledge that Earth is round and rotating around Sun to not hurt that time Christians feelings and believes … So to not get in such silly situation if it is Truth It should NOT be limited no matter which one feelings and believes are hurt

    Blasphemy laws are stupid from point of view of atheists as you cannot be logically punished criticizing something that do not exist and call that justice …

  192. Vytautas Vėžys

    I don’t know. Where limits of women rights must be set? Or rights of black people? Or simply limits in freedom of religion?
    Freedom is freedom as long as it’s free. When you start creating limits it’s no longer freedom…

  193. Andrew Potts

    Seriously what is going on on this page ? In the last few days you have a topic on denying democracy and today it’s limit free speech. Not really a direction I think Europe should head, yet here we have it being promoted by EU money.

  194. Pedro Jorge Lemos

    The limits Merkel laws wants is well ddfined… shut our mouths when about migrants/muslim predators/terrorists… is that the point

  195. Zap Van Der Berg

    Its difficult… The problem is when you start involving metaphysical suppositions such as satanism, still we could make real life comparisons… What about inciting to do hard drugs? Heroin and stuff? That shit fucks you up bad, and at a certain point because of adiction its not possible to consider it a decision, because your compeled to consume, so then you prohibit destructive drugs propaganda(talking heroin not alcohol or weed) your already limiting free speech right? Noe what happens when you involve moral corruption? Isnt that the same? So many people my age addicted to sex, sex toys or pornography, with completely unhealty relationships…. This is the big problem of the “liberal” aspect of the west, some things, like nudist parks, i could even see a positive connotation, (wherent adam and eve nude?) but somewhere, (im not saying i know where) there is a limit dividing a very real good and bad…. Those proposing 100% free speech are moronic and this is one off the big reason in my opinion the US is such a fucked up place, if europe goes that way, goodbye monarchy, goodbye christianity, and slowly but surely goodbye law and order, and i fear, goodbye world… Now im not saying a weird 1984 dictatorship, prohibiting you need to replace it, if they replace rick and morty for the adventures of jesus and moses, that wont roll, but how about something like the last airbender? One piece? Naruto? Asterix and obelix? Pierewiet? The smurfen? Tolkien? Something like this, my allegory is if you ask me, “is a kind of european superstate, similar to china, controlled by the EU elite of like 5 million people in a population of 500 million, a bad thing?” i would say it depends, if you get a sort of joyless military camp, no, but if europe goes the way of germany after reunification, (in the infrastructure and economic sense) gaurantees quality food for its citizens, entertainment, green energy, and stability (a strong and technologicaly advanced police focusing on quality over quantity and in general a union of all military and border forces, (FRONTEX is an awesome concept)) and projects an independent european foreign policy that has a positive effect in the surrounding world, then sure, ill go clean king willem alexanders toilet tomorrow, infact id clean every toilwt in every property he has

    • Zap Van Der Berg

      TLDR: yes, and strict ones, a long long list in the constitution like pedofile talk, blood rituals talk, etc… Strictly enforced, and for this also heavy control of internet content and newspapers and books

  196. Vicente Silva Tavares

    The ex-Muslim writer Ali A. Rizvi says in his book “The Atheist Muslim” that freedom of speech includes the right to offend. I do agree with him. Galileu offended the Catholic Church when he said the Earth was going around the sun. Charles Darwin offended all Christian churches when he wrote his Origin of Species. How would be this world if the right of offend would be punished with jail if not death? How would science develop? And who is defining what is an offense? Or just a joke? Europe is going to an Orwellian way and this is very dangerous. We had already very hard times of lack of freedom of speech during the fascist and communist times. Let people say whatever they want even if we do not agree.

  197. Ivan Burrows

    We know were Brussels want them set, anyone who criticises the EU should be sent to re-education camps.

  198. Zap Van Der Berg

    I can remember a protester from the anti-black pete movement, Being interviewed (Black pete is de helper of sint nicholaas which is also the name of a festivity celebrated in the netherlands, belgium and other parts of the world shortly before cristhmas, on a steam boat with alot of Black pete helpers (depending on the story teller there are from 10s of petes up to thousands) to give sweets and presents to the children, some of the sweets are unique to this festivity, now while i am personally pro Black pete (what not to like about someone Who gives you sweets if your a good person?) i can understand the whole anti black pete movement some what, what with colonization of africa and slavery (though for me in europe slavery is a stupid argument as in That time a lot of countries where slaving from the Mongols to the muslims and even the africans themselves, and nobody talk of the slavery of peasant Serfdom anymore which continues till today in most countries and is also a form of slavery) but i can understand all their arguments, and partially they are right but 2 factors i believe define the difference between free speech and the rest: 1)example: i use glasses and many times iv been called Harry Potter and it bothers me but for That should i protest and have those books forbidden, hit someone in the face if im called That? Its not a negative character, is it ok to get so upset?? 2) so i repeat in this particular case and many others, muslims, LGBT People etc.. Even might i not agree on some points i can really understand and empathize BUT and this is my most important argument and the whole point of this post: when asked by the reporter if she talks or listens to arguments of pro-black pete people, she says “no, why should i talk to racists? ” and cuts of further discussion, meaning in her eyes 70% of dutch People can go fuck themselves.. This is a big problem with all minority groups in europe: intolerancy, free speech should be allowed only if coupled with tolerance and Will to Debate, otherwise you undermine the peace and stability and create conflict, in my opinion this small detail (free speech IF with tolerance and Will to Debate) should be writen in the EU laws Lest we lose free speech altogether

  199. Craig Willy

    In Europe, unlike the U.S., thoughts and speech considered threatening to the liberal order have been criminalized. (A paradox: the official violation of human rights in order, supposedly, to guarantee human rights!) Is this in the public good? Are we censoring the right things? In the past, it was considered normal to censor communist and unpatriotic speech, now something like the opposite prevails.

  200. Jay Tee

    We need an end to “hate speech” laws. I have an innate INALIENABLE right to say what I want. If there is to be a United states of Europe we need a REAL constitution with a 1st amendment. In Europe, the birth place of modern civilization, it is a travesty that we have allowed ourselves to sink to these current intellectual depths where something as basic as freedom of speech is being put into question. We have been here before and we know it doesn’t end well. How many times does humanity have to go down this bloody and shameful road?

  201. Konrad Kowalski

    Freedom of speech ? Please look at the pages in fb as:
    – Stand up for Europe http://www.standupforeurope.eu
    – My country? Europe http://www.mycountryeurope.com

    On these pages, you can join a common choir, only. The commentary is first liked by the administrators, and then it is liquidated by the censor (sic !!!)
    Comments are removed, the authors of comments are blocked.
    The only “crime” are uncomfortable examples from wikipedia and other sentences. Ugly words, assaults on the authors and lies are encouraged. The reason for hate speech is extreme nationalism, and the reason is:
    – falsification of facts
    – falsification of history
    – lack of tolerance

    • Dee O'brien

      Konrad I’m banned off the stand up for Europe page just for having a dissenting voice,they are EU fanatics on the group

    • Konrad Kowalski

      Dee O’brien Pages that give are typical pages of extreme nationalism, lies and hate speech.
      I have dozens of examples from these pages. I kept the print screan of my comments that provoked the furious attack of German colleagues

      My country? Europe is even worse and according to me, only Russian troll’s are written

    • Dee O'brien

      Konrad Kowalski they are guilty of the same type of fanatical behaviour they claim to be against,but somehow it’s right when they do it..

    • Konrad Kowalski

      Dee O’brien They have done badly at least once, but at the same time they tolerate or themselves write extortionate, deceitful and nationalistic comments. There must be one condition:
      The comment must be in accordance with the choir. This is like totalitarian leaders’ meeting room.
      These websites have sponsors that require such behaviors

  202. Arber Kukaj

    I’m with Mill and the classical anarchist tradition on this one and say no limits whatsoever to free speech.

    • Michail Panchev

      Yep,but who should be in charge to define what’s what?

  203. Daniel

    Absolute freedom as in United States… Political correctness made a lot of problematic topic to not be discussed which only made problems bigger and do not solve them …

    • Atanas

      Exactly, the only way to resolve an issue is tho address it and “political correctness” demands from sense and sanity to ingrore facts with the delusional hope that problems will disappear. This is a legitimate path to social madness.

    • Mauricio

      You clearly know nothing of the us.

  204. Christos

    Absolute freedom of o p i n i o n (not of speech in general).

    Lying for example, can very well be forbidden and it should. Facts are not opinions. Judging the facts are opinions.

    • Atanas

      I would say, complete freedom of civil opinion expression and hard penalties for proven intentional lie or fake information by officials and media.

    • Christos

      There are additional limitations of speech needed. Encouraging illegal actions, for example, acts of violence first and foremost.

  205. Jay

    Complete freedom of speech. No limits!

  206. Tim

    No Limits, except for direct threats of violence

  207. Péter

    Complete freedom of speech is a must.

  208. Paul

    The USA set a good example. …contrary to some posts. .it is NOT absolute… but a good model to follow.

    • Mauricio

      The us allows for some level of slander and lying that should be reigned in. But overall it’s a reasonable system in which the courts can reign in some of the abuse.

  209. Ivan

    The fact it’s called ‘free speech’ would suggest no limits should be put on it.

  210. Tony

    Freedom of speech….. needs no explanation, it’s the freedom to express what you want. Best freedom of speech is USA. People may not like what you say, but have the freedom to say it. Funny how ever, example here in EU. In Spain we have laws against the slander of the king. Which I think are absurd. Two guys were prosecuted for burning images of the king/queen. Yet EU tribunal said it was freedom of speech. Where is the same freedom when we criticize Islam? Plenty of people have been prosecuted in EU for it. or at the minimum have paid fines.

  211. António

    Nowhere. Free speech should be absolute.

  212. Bart

    Freedom of speech itself should be absolute. It’s the consequences that should be subject to limitations, and they should be proven first.

  213. Chris

    Dont mind for the dog that barks, mind for the one who bites.

  214. André

    Hate speech is not a freedom of speech problem, is an educational and economical instability problem.

  215. Absolute freedom. There is no true democracy without absolute free speech. You can have limitations but then you are effectively a hybrid between an authoritarian regime and something else.

  216. Mauricio

    As soon as you’ve started calling for the rights of others to be trampled on you’re on the road to dictatorship and repression. Opinions can be had, discrimination and calls for violence are not opinions, they’re delusional and dangerous rants. Slander is also a crime.

  217. Thomas

    There should be no limit on free speech as everyone who has a opinion no matter how wrong it is should be able to say it just as you should be able to refute that speech. As limiting speech puts us on a slippery slope puts us on the same road to weimar germany and all that followed after that.

  218. Michail

    Freedom of speech is already banned through political correctness. Whatever the NWO doesn’t like is labeled as hate speech and we are now living in the era where basic freedoms are suppressed by the ones claiming to know about freedom.

  219. Wendy

    Free speech always carries the risk of incitement to acts of violence but the killing of free speech is an act of violence in itself.

  220. Simon

    That’s a philosophical classic – without a “correct” answer. While I wouldn’t put any laws that bar forms of expressing oneself, I would try to push for acceptance of diversity in early education. Children and the human nature are never hostile to differet appearances and manners, so we should build on that!

  221. quincy

    freedom of speach should stay the same

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