Une note aux lecteurs ― A Note to Readers

(English follows) Une petite note à l’intention de mes lecteurs racistes, islamophobes ou antisémites, et en particuliers à ceux qui semblent être devenus mes fans depuis que j’ai publié un billet dénonçant le projet de loi québécois visant à interdire le « discours haineux »: ce n’est pas parce que je défends votre liberté d’expression que j’ai envie de lire des commentaires sur mon blogue. Tout comme, du reste, ce n’est pas parce que je défends la liberté de religion des musulmanes fondamentalistes que je serais le moindrement intéressé à lire des commentaires accusant les infidèles de complot ou de tous les péchés. En fait, le fait de défendre la liberté d’expression dans la société ne m’empêche aucunement de pratiquer une stricte censure sur mon blogue, et je n’hésite pas un instant à ne pas autoriser la publication de tout commentaire que je juge raciste ou tenant d’une forme quelconque de préjudice, d’intolérance ou de bigoterie.

A little note for the racists, islamophobes, and anti-Semites among my readers, and especially those who seem to have become my fans since I posted a denunciation of Québec’s anti-“hate speech” bill: that I defend your freedom of speech does not mean I have any desire to hear from you and read your vile comments. Just as the fact that I defend the religious liberty of fundamentalist Muslims doesn’t mean that I would be remotely interested in reading comments accusing infidels of conspiracy against the faithful or all manner of other sins. Indeed, my defense of freedom of expression does not prevent me from practising a strict form of censorship in the comment section of this blog. I have no hesitation in blocking any comment that I deem racist or otherwise prejudiced, bigoted, or intolerant.

Author: Leonid Sirota

Law nerd. I teach public law at the University of Reading, in the United Kingdom. I studied law at McGill, clerked at the Federal Court of Canada, and did graduate work at the NYU School of Law. I then taught in New Zealand before taking up my current position at Reading.

3 thoughts on “Une note aux lecteurs ― A Note to Readers”

  1. As always, freedom of speech is about the State being heavily restricted in the use of its coercive powers to stifle free expression. That most certainly does not extend beyond the walls of power, and you, Leonid, have as much right as the owner of any private space to remove material you find offensive.

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