Running a globally successful social network such as Twitter can be tricky business. On the one hand, you want people to think you are the ‘free speech wing of the free speech party’, yet on the other hand there are some complicated international laws to navigate.
In case you are one of those tedious types who thinks it’s even remotely interesting to remind people that “Twitter is a private company and they can do what they want”, save your breath. I know.
Now that’s out of the way, perhaps we can talk about the implications of Twitter’s approach to free expression. Private business or otherwise, we should not underestimate the influence Twitter has on politics, news and society. In fact, what is said on Twitter often IS the news. And as a result, we should be able to discuss whether a leading facilitator of global communication supports free expression or does not.
This week on Taking The Myth, Stephen Knight (@GSpellchecker) and Iram Ramzan of sedaa.org (@Iram_Ramzan) discuss the big topics. They cover: The Battle of Ideas conference, consent classes, ‘rape culture’, Rod Liddle’s Sunday Times Comments, Tommy Robinson, Sajid Javid’s ‘Asian paedophiles’ Tweet, Ed Husain and much, much more! Also, the ASLAN Awards!
The European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) has ruled that ‘defaming’ the Prophet Muhammad “goes beyond the permissible limits of an objective debate” and “could stir up prejudice and put at risk religious peace”.
The ruling was passed against an Austrian national referred to as ‘E.S’ in reports. Mrs. S, born in 1971 held two seminars in 2009 entitled ‘Basic Information on Islam’.
Referencing Muhammad’s marriage to 6 year old Aisha, Mrs. S was reported to have said “Muhammad liked to do it with children” and “… A 56-year-old and a six-year-old? … What do we call it, if it is not paedophilia?”
This week The #GSPodcast brings you a panel discussion from The Battle Of Ideas featuring Stephen Knight, Ed Husain, Helen Pluckrose and Simon McCrossan. ‘From Bakers to Burqas: Religious Freedom Today’. Historically, religious freedom was considered an essential right, associated with freedom of conscience, and the eighteenth century saw significant philosophical and practical expansion of the right of individuals to practise different religions as they saw fit. Today, we often see religious freedom pitted against other basic liberties like free speech and gender equality. Can these freedoms coexist? Moderated by Jon O’brien.
I was very pleased to be at the Battle Of Ideas this year to speak about religion. The festival itself consists of many, many, (many!) public discussions and debates with an emphasis on inviting the audience to have their say by challenging the guest speakers.