Free Speech removed or safety issue?
So in the past week a “famous” influencer has been removed from Facebook & Instagram because his content was violating their standards.
This is a good thing right? One less misogynist online, less hate speech being bandied around and one less asshole to scroll past during your morning wee.
So why then are people popping up EVERYWHERE saying it’s a violation of free speech and are they right?
According to the Human Rights Act 1998 (https://www.legislation.gov.uk/ukpga/1998/42/schedule/1/part/I/chapter/9)
“Everyone has the right to freedom of expression. This right shall include freedom to hold opinions and to receive and impart information and ideas without interference by public authority and regardless of frontiers. This Article shall not prevent States from requiring the licensing of broadcasting, television or cinema enterprises.”
So, in theory, yes banning said influencer is a restriction on their free speech rights HOWEVER the second part of this bill, that seems to be so easily forgotten is:
“The exercise of these freedoms, since it carries with it duties and responsibilities, may be subject to such formalities, conditions, restrictions or penalties as are prescribed by law and are necessary in a democratic society, in the interests of national security, territorial integrity or public safety, for the prevention of disorder or crime, for the protection of health or morals, for the protection of the reputation or rights of others, for preventing the disclosure of information received in confidence, or for maintaining the authority and impartiality of the judiciary.”
So actually those shouting that he’s lost his free speech are actually wrong because it’s written into the Human Rights Act 1998 that all speech will be monitored so as to not to insight hate, create dangerous situations, prevent crime etc.
What Andrew Tate was sharing, was very misogynistic content and had a HUGE following on MASSIVELY influential social media sites. For those who don’t know, algorithms, in social media, work by showing you more content that is similar to that in which you’ve engaged with.
For example, my friend sent me a wedding dress reel on Insta. I now have a feed full of wedding dresses because that’s what Instagram thinks I’m interested in. This is called an “Echo Chamber”, the more I engage with it, the more wedding dresses I will see.
In the case of misogyny, a young boy, for instance, watches an Andrew Tate video, TikTok then provides him more videos along the same vein, and more and more until all this young boy sees is anti-women videos and content. Surely that would begin to alter his views on women and their rights?
In years gone by, before social media, rallies would have been the way people got their messages out. Thousands of people would have attended an event to hear a speaker talk about their interest, nowadays all you need is a phone and you can reach the entire world.
With Andrew Tate’s large social media following, an eye watering 4.7 million people no less, he was inciting hate for women across the world. Daily.
Someone tell me how that isn’t risky?
Someone tell me, if there was another person with a 4.7 million following telling people to go out and buy guns and shoot their neighbour on the internet - wouldn’t we reduce their access to these 4.7 million people?
I keep seeing, well educated might I add, people saying “this is infringing on his human rights”, well actually it’s not. Andrew Tate can continue to say what he’s saying, no one is stopping that. What has been removed is his social media account - which isn't a right. It’s a privilege and if you actually read the human rights legislation all speech can be put under conditions if it’s dangerous.
With women’s safety now being under the spotlight even more than before with cases like Sarah Everard & Sabeena Nessa highlighting the fact that many women can’t even walk through their local park - does the world need more Andrew Tates or should we applying restrictions to speech that could incite more hate towards women?
“According to the latest figures from the Office for National Statistics (ONS), between April 2020 and March 2021, 177 women were murdered in England and Wales, compared to 416 men. Of these women, 109 were killed by a man and 10 by a woman. In 58 cases there was no known suspect. This means that - where the suspect was known - 92% of women were killed by men in the year ending March 2021.” ( https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/explainers-56365412 )
So please, before you say that free speech is being impacted - do your research. Andrew Tate has lost his access to his social media accounts- social media is not a right. Andrew Tate could stand on his doorstep and say exactly the same things and he probably wouldn’t be stopped because he is less of a risk to the public - therefore he can still speak freely.