When defending freedom of speech, it’s near impossible to defend the free speech rights to the wackos below, but in order to live in a free society, you must…
In a somewhat unusual court case, the Porvoo District Court on Monday fined representatives of two newspapers, the leftist Kansan Uutiset [the Left Alliance political party's official paper] and the regional publication Uusimaa for incitement of ethnic hatred.
Both papers published a letter to the editor concerning events in the Middle East, which prosecutors say defamed the Jews. The managing editor of Uusimaa was fined for incitement against an ethnic group, while an editor of Kansan Uutiset was fined with neglecting his monitoring duties.
The writer, who had defended the Nazi holocaust in the letter, was also fined for incitement against an ethnic group. The prosecutor in the case said that the article constituted veiled incitement in favour of violence against an ethnic group. The writer had submitted the letter to a number of newspapers. It was published in the two newspapers last summer.
In a truly free society, the situation might work something like this – A newspaper publishes an article defending the holocaust, other media outlets report on this, the citizens are outraged and a group puts together a website, www.boycottkansanuutiset.fi – People stop buying the newspaper, businesses stop advertising in it, the newspaper goes bankrupt. A non-violent boycott, the will of the people, no politicians or state officials need be involved.
But instead in today’s less free society, the group who put together the website could get fined by the state or sued by the newspaper. Freedom of speech works both ways – newspapers have the crazy right to publish articles defending the holocaust, and citizens have a right to encourage others to boycott the newspaper – it’s a beautiful system.