ROBERT WRIGHT

Crisis, What Crisis?

More history, less hysteria

Policing Internet Speech

Among Charlottesville's many reverberations is a resurgent insistence that speech on the internet be policed.  NDP stalwart Robin Sears, for example, has invoked the murder of Heather Heyer to demand that ISPs face "tough legislation and sanctions" when they provide a platform for fascists.  There are many flaws in this formulation, not the least of which is that the "incitement to racial hatred, violence and even genocide" that worries Sears is already illegal in the Western democracies.  More generally, do we really want the political left policing the right?  Not if it risks "legitimizing the repressive tactics of governments like those of China and Russia," says the Washington Post.  No, indeed.