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Censorship Your Rights Online

It's Hard To Run a Blog In Sweden 299

mpawlo writes "Swedish foreign minister Carl Bildt is being investigated by a prosecutor because of his blog. In a blog post, Mr. Bildt states that some 13.000 comments are posted (Swedish link) on his blog and that he and his staff try to erase all inappropriate comments. However, they apparently missed a comment proposing genocide of Palestinians. This prompted a Swedish leftist blogger to report the conservative foreign minister's blog and the comment to the authorities. Now a prosecutor is looking into the matter and the foreign minister will likely be held responsible for the comments due to poor Swedish legislation on freedom of speech relative to the Internet."
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It's Hard To Run a Blog In Sweden

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  • How much... (Score:1, Interesting)

    by MyLongNickName ( 822545 ) on Friday June 22, 2007 @03:33PM (#19612591) Journal
    ... do you want to bet that the leftist blogger is the one who posted the "comment"?
  • Re:How much... (Score:4, Interesting)

    by Sylver Dragon ( 445237 ) on Friday June 22, 2007 @03:46PM (#19612777) Journal
    I thought the same thing. If the law is that broken, a few high profile people need to get nailed with it. Sometimes, the best way to get a law changed, is to enforce it.
  • Re:Tough cookies (Score:3, Interesting)

    by stoolpigeon ( 454276 ) * <bittercode@gmail> on Friday June 22, 2007 @03:51PM (#19612837) Homepage Journal
    you can't legislate intent - you can only legislate action. i know, people try but they are stupid. but even so - this blog post is not going to incite violence - period. there aren't a bunch of swedes waiting to hop on the next boat to the middle east to start shooting palestinians. it's ridiculous to say that there is any real damage done here.
  • by gillbates ( 106458 ) on Friday June 22, 2007 @03:59PM (#19612949) Homepage Journal

    Quote Old Testament scripture with respect to homosexuals... Then he'd be in *real* trouble.

    The interesting thing about freedom of speech is that it's not absolute, not even in the most liberal of countries. In the more liberal countries, you're free to say anything you like, as long as your speech doesn't have the effect of prompting action.

    Which kind of makes the so called "Freedom of Speech" pointless.

    The sad fact of the matter is no matter how much we'd like to believe otherwise, people will be judged by what they say, and even by words of the people with whom they associate. Even though this was probably a smear tactic, the realization of freedom of speech requires that we live in some kind of fantasy world where speech never has an effect on the *actions* of people. In such a world, you could say whatever you want.

    Instead, we ought to consider the consequences of speech before we speak. Speech with political consequences shouldn't be restrained, but speech with violent consequences ought not be protected. Drawing the line between the two isn't easy, because political speech often has violent consequences.

  • by Doc Ruby ( 173196 ) on Friday June 22, 2007 @04:32PM (#19613383) Homepage Journal
    How can you tell the difference between an unacceptable post that was missed by a less-than-perfect process for removing it, from one that was left by an admin who wants to post it, so "missed it" on purpose?

    Government ministers have so much power, the public takes so much risk giving it to them, that they have to avoid even the appearance of wrongdoing. Because it's often so hard to tell the difference, and the difference often doesn't matter to the results
  • by Arthur B. ( 806360 ) on Friday June 22, 2007 @04:42PM (#19613543)
    When I silently point a gun at you in a dark alley, I am making a death threat without speaking. The point is that speech should not be limited *for itself*, for being speech.

    Advocating genocide is somehow a death threat but it is to vague to constitute a crime, you are not involved in the crime. There's a difference between saying "quick, shoot that guy over there" and "death to group X".
  • Re:How much... (Score:1, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Friday June 22, 2007 @04:49PM (#19613633)
    I think you bring up an interesting point as well, in that during alcohol prohibition the Congress actually went through the proper procedure and passed a constitutional amendment. Today they have the arrogance to just pass and enforce laws against drugs without any constitutional authority to do so. And the courts have backed them, because they've become as corrupt as the legislature. It's outrageous.
  • Re:How much... (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Hatta ( 162192 ) on Friday June 22, 2007 @04:56PM (#19613733) Journal
    the only constitutional amendment ever passed that limits freedoms

    What? The 13th amendment limited my freedom to hold slaves. No? Not buying that? Neither do I, but it's the same argument people make when they say the GPL is "less free" than BSD.

    Man I can not stay on topic today. heh.
  • by Iron Condor ( 964856 ) on Friday June 22, 2007 @10:04PM (#19616311)

    Your post is nonsense, of course. Free speech is alive and well in Europe and has been for a long time. Contrary to the American model, however, most (all?) European constitutions consider a couple other things more worthy of protection.

    In most (all?) European constitutions you will find an article guaranteeing the freedom of expression, the freedom of the press and such; but it will usually be article number four or eight or so (since you mention Germany: it's number five there). The first couple are usually about human life, health, freedom - those kinda things. Americans may think that it is OK to have free speech trump all these, but just because you think so doesn't make it so. In Germany, for example, people thought after WWII that maybe it wasn't such a hot idea to let anybody ask for the genocide of every minority thet can think of. Makes for a crummy kind of society.

    The kind we find in the US these days.

    There are countries in Europe that are a thousand years old. The US hasn't made it to 250 yet, and under extremely favorable outer conditions (geography etc). And I'm not filled by much hope it'll make it to 500 at the rate at which it is going.

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