Elon Musk announced on Wednesday that X, formerly known as Twitter, will be taking legal steps to stop politicians and George Soros-funded NGOs who are falsely claiming that “hate offenses” are on the rise and are demanding that “hate speech” and “hateful material” be criminalized.
Musk was responding to a Public article by Irish journalist Ben Scallan, who noted the difference between actual “hate offenses” and the uptick in reports of such offenses.
Ireland’s Justice Minister, Helen McEntee, claimed last June that Irish police have “reported a 29% increase in reported hate crimes in 2022 compared to the previous year,” according to Scallan.
“However, an increase in the reporting of hate offenses is different from an actual increase,” Scallan wrote.
A “hate offense,” he explained, “is a hate act that is not criminalized.”
For police in Ireland to designate something as a “hate offense,” he said, “no actual proof or evidence is required beyond somebody simply calling it that.”
“In fact, you don’t even have to be the victim of the alleged crime to report it,” Scallan said. “A random bystander who has nothing to do with the event can say, ‘I think it was based on prejudice,’ and it will be categorized as such. Someone could report what was an obvious joke between laughing friends as a ‘hate incident’ to the police.”
According to Scallan, “the increase in ‘hate-based offenses’ is clearly from an increase in reporting, not actual hate crimes or ‘incidents.'”
The police and the government have, since 2019, been encouraging people to report hate incidents, Scallan said.
“In 2021, the police said their goal was to ‘increase levels of reported hate crime,'” he wrote. “The idea was that these hate crimes were already occurring, but nobody wanted to report them for some reason — though there is no evidence to support this claim.”
What’s more, he added, “a large body of research finds that people around the world label more things as ‘harmful’ or ‘hateful’ today than they did in the past.”
“All of this hype about hate is a pretext for the effort by Irish politicians to pass a strict new ‘hate speech’ law, which would make it a criminal offense to possess allegedly ‘hateful material’ — on paper or digitally — on your person or in your home,” Scallan warned. “If police raided your home in search of such content and seized your devices, the law would carry a potential penalty of a year in prison and a €5,000 [roughly, $5,400] fine if you refused to hand over your passwords to authorities.”
“In the words of government politicians themselves, the law is designed to ‘restrict freedom’ and to ‘make it easier to secure prosecutions and convictions,'” Scallan wrote. “What’s more, the bill reverses the burden of proof under law – if accused of planning to distribute alleged ‘hate’ material, the onus is on the accused person to prove their own innocence.”
Soros-funded NGOs and politicians are pushing the misleading data “to justify a draconian crackdown on free speech,” investigative reporter Michael Shellenberger, of “Twitter Files” fame, stated on X.
Politicians & George Soros-funded NGOs say “hate incidents” are rising, but they’re not. The data show the opposite: higher-than-ever and rising levels of tolerance of minorities. The reason they’re spreading hate misinformation is to justify a draconian crackdown on free speech. pic.twitter.com/K1SJFxzaZO
— Michael Shellenberger (@shellenberger) August 23, 2023
As a self-proclaimed champion of free speech, Musk agreed.
“Exactly,” Musk stated. “X will be filing legal action to stop this.”
“Can’t wait for discovery to start!” the billionaire added.
X will be filing legal action to stop this. Can’t wait for discovery to start! https://t.co/ROxXEuO8it
— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) August 23, 2023
It isn’t the first time Musk has threatened a First Amendment lawsuit against NGOs that have falsely claimed that Twitter fails to act on “99% of Twitter Blue Accounts Tweeting Hate.”
As BizPac Review reported, Musk warned that X “will employ any and all legal tools at its disposal to prevent false or misleading claims from harming its users, platform, or business,” after the London-based, left-wing Center for Countering Digital Hate (CCDH) nonprofit and its founder, Imran Ahmed, a former advisor to Labour Members of Parliament, “made a series of troubling and baseless claims.”
— BPR based (@DumpstrFireNews) July 31, 2023
But as BizPac also reported, Musk’s commitment to free speech under X CEO Linda Yaccarino has come under question after the platform advertised two job openings at the company.
The two job positions — “Senior Specialist – Information Operations” and “Civic Integrity / Elections Team Lead” — sent alarm bells ringing among free speech advocates.
Applicants for the “Senior Specialist” position must “have a deep understanding of geopolitical, disinformation, and cybersecurity trends,” according to the job description, and the leader of the “Civic Integrity / Elections” team “will be responsible for analyzing the key parameters of an election, conducting an assessment of the risks, working with the team and stakeholders to mitigate the harms on the platform under relevant policies, and proposing ways we can be more efficient and effective in protecting the integrity of civic conversations on the platform.”
— BPR based (@DumpstrFireNews) August 21, 2023
Still, many on X are willing to give Musk the benefit of the doubt — especially if he’s going after Soros.
“Elon Musk, the champion of free speech, takes on George Soros!” wrote one user. “I support you 1000%.”
Elon Musk, the champion of free speech, takes on George Soros!
I support you 1000%
— Think for Yourself (@PhilipBLee) August 23, 2023
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