White House Rejects International Agreement Due to Free Speech Concerns– US Voters Place High Value on Free Speech

The Washington Post just reported that “The White House will not sign an international call to combat online extremism brokered between French and New Zealand officials and top social media companies, amid U.S. concerns that it clashes with constitutional protections for free speech.”

The article notes that many European countries are expected to sign on to the accord which was initiated after a shooter in New Zealand city “attacked two mosques in an attack inspired by online hate and broadcast on social-media sites.”

The White House said it supports the goals of the accord, but has legitimate concerns about limitations on free speech. On that, they are likely to find solid support. Last fall, ScottRasmussen.com polling showed that 64% of voters believe it is more dangerous to let government to define hate speech than to allow inappropriate hate speech. Other data found that 76% believe freedom of speech includes the right to say things that others find offensive.

Additionally 74% establish a high standard for defining hate speech–it is speech that encourages violence against a group of people.

Earlier surveys showed that freedom of speech is seen by voters as the most important right confirmed in the Bill of Rights.



Posted in Deeper Currents

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