“So what kind of “hate speech” on social media is now leading to Russians being sent to prison? Apparently anyone criticizing Russia’s involvement in Ukraine:
Several months after his arrest, Bubeyev pleaded guilty to inciting hatred toward Russians and was sentenced to a year in prison. His offense was sharing articles, photos and videos from Ukrainian nationalist groups, including those of the volunteer Azov battalion fighting Russia-backed separatists in eastern Ukraine. Among them was an article about the graves of Russian soldiers killed in Ukraine and a video describing Russia as a “fascist aggressor” and showing Russian tanks purportedly crossing into Ukraine.
Less than two weeks after the verdict, Bubeyev was charged again. This time, he was accused of calling for “acts of extremism” and “actions undermining Russia’s territorial integrity.” He had shared the picture of a toothpaste tube and also an article under the headline “Crimea is Ukraine” by a controversial blogger, who is in jail now, calling for military aggression against Russia.
And it’s not like this guy was a widely known individual. The article quotes his wife saying: “His page wasn’t popular — he only had 12 friends.”
So for folks who think it’s a good idea for platforms to become the police over “hate speech,” take a moment and think about what your worst enemy would do if he or she were able to define what “hate speech” meant.”
This is coming for all of us online eventually. The problem with opposing “hate speech” instead of simply allowing for free speech, is that someone, somewhere, has to define what hate speech is, and what happens if you don’t agree?
In Russia, you go to jail. Online, you get kicked off social networks. Eventually, many in the US will help get us to the jail part though. It’s only a matter of time.