I should have said this earlier while the issue was hot but I think it’s worth re-visting anyway. When I first heard that companies had withdrawn advertising from Facebook because of the BNP’s presence, I mis-read that Facebook was allowing the BNP to advertise on it [insert old man jokes here]. But after Katy Newton pointed that out the obvious, I dropped my hurriedly put-together petition and deleted the thread on PP.
And I didn’t start a petition against allowing the BNP on Facebook. I think there is a crucial difference here. Organisations should not give the racist/fascist party any prominence, but that does not mean it should not be allowed to exist on any platform (such as the web or Facebook). I support freedom of speech and expression, except when it is used to propagate hateful lies or incite hatred. So, yes to getting rid of the BNP imagery and general hate-mongering against Muslims. But if the idiots want to sit around discussing the death of “white culture”, then they should be allowed.
On Shiraz Socialist, Voltaire’s Priest explains why he won’t be signing the UAF petition and I agree. He does the explanation bit more elaborately than me.
Ethnic minorities have this habit of seeing red when the BNP is mentioned. This is understandable, but when we set precedents on not allowing freedom of speech, the government usually uses them to silence dissenting opinion of powerless and marginalised groups. We need more freedom of speech and expression, not less! Unite Against Fascism should drop the silly petition and the Guardian should stop giving them publicity.
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Filed in: Civil liberties,The BNP