September 26, 2015

KEN WHITE: A Few Comments on the UN Broadband Commission’s “Cyber Violence Against Women And Girls” Report.

I don’t trust the UN on free speech issues. You shouldn’t either. In a world where Iran wins a seat on the UN’s Commission on the Status of Women, people who care about women’s rights should also be skeptical. Pro-censorship forces continually pressure the UN for international laws and norms restricting speech — for instance by demanding laws outlawing blasphemy. Allow me some unabashed American exceptionalism: that’s a bad thing. The United States’ vigorous approach to protecting free speech and rejecting blasphemy laws is good, and foreign norms that encourage blasphemy laws often used to persecute religious and ethnic minorities are bad.

My take: “Cyber Violence” is not real violence. People who want you to conflate online misbehavior with physical attacks have an agenda, and it’s a bad one.

Related: Dear UN, There is no epidemic of misogynist threats on social media. Threats are a problem, but mainly for men.

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