Viral video blasts Ireland’s proposed hate speech bill

Viral video blasts Ireland’s proposed hate speech bill

A challenge to the proposed Irish ‘hate speech’ law has come from a host of influential voices from across the world in a viral video that has been viewed millions of times.

The video, published by faith-based legal advocacy firm ADF International, features contributions from a number of influential commentators including CEO of the satirical US news website ‘The Babylon Bee’, Seth Dillon, author and journalist, Andy Ngo and Finnish MP currently being prosecuted for ‘hate speech’, Paivi Rasanen.

“In Ireland, parliament could soon pass a law that would put you in jail for inciting ‘hatred’ online or in person. ‘Hatred’, not defined in the law could be anything that the State decides” the video states.

A post accompanying the viral video states that “Now is the moment to act for Ireland,” and asks viewers to join an open letter to Elon Musk asking that he keep X (formerly Twitter) a platform that welcomes free speech.

“It’s incredibly important to exercise our free speech to defend against the degrading of this basic human right, which belongs to everyone. This Irish ‘hate speech’ bill targets free expression with criminal penalties. We must send a clear message to the Irish parliament that censorship has no role in a democratic society. Free speech is broadly protected in international law, and the Government has an obligation to uphold this,” said Irish Barrister and Legal Counsel for ADF International, Lorcán Price.

“In other parts of the world where similar ‘hate speech’ legislation has been enforced, we have seen innocent people dragged through the courts for something as simple as a Bible-verse tweet, or affirming biological reality about men and women. Ireland should be a place where we can have important conversations about issues that matter to us – yes, even about controversial and sensitive topics. When these conversations are shut down, we all lose out,” he said.

The Criminal Justice (Incitement to Violence or Hatred and Hate Offences) Bill 2022 has been described as being intended to combat “hatred”, but offers no clear definition of what constitutes “hate”. The bill is currently before the Seanad.