Hogwash. That is my one word response response to the panicked and childish reactions by Stageleft and other bloggers to Joseph Brean's piece on Marc Lemire's constitutional challenge to Section 13 of the Canadian Human Rights Act. The passage that seems to have set everyone off is:
Anyone who runs an online message board, from the lowliest vanity blogger to the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation, can be charged under federal human rights law if visitors to their site post hateful comments, according to the Canadian Human Rights Commission.
Cue the outrage! Bloggers might actually have to pay attention to their comments section! Well, presumably they are already doing that, aren't they? To make sure any honest to god defamation doesn't occur? No? For them the act of maintaining a blog is, then, the intellectual equivalent of masturbating in public, where one just spews pointlessly and flees?
But lets just see how difficult it would be to spot the kind of material Section 13 is designed to regulate:
...the material for which Mr. Lemire is accused, including 50 to 100 separate messages on his freedomsite.org and another site with which he is associated, is "voluminous," "vile" and "more than offensive."
Boy, that kind of stuff would be sooo difficult to distinguish from the insults and casual racism that can pervade a typical blog's comment section. And, if pointed out to the blog owner, would be sooooo difficult to remove.
I'll tell you what, Stageleft (and Kate, and others) most of the material that appears on your blog is frankly too lame to approach actual hate speech. I, on the other hand, know all eight words for "fuck-head" in !Kung. If I'm not worried about running afoul with the CHRC, why should a bunch of bed-wetters, leaf-eaters, and thumb-suckers be afraid?
...well, I suppose to some extent we all fear taking responsibility, don't we?