|(Photo: Heat Street)|
In a Facebook post the Cheshire Constabulary said that "a large fine of up to two years in prison" could be the punishment for what is perceived to be a controversial message on the site.
Controversial? Who decides that?
This sounds like something the University of California at Berkeley came up with, but it's England and they want Facebook to be a safe space for anyone who can find something to take offense over, and that includes almost everyone one on the left.
George Orwell is rolling in his grave.
The Constabulary wrote: We would remind all social media users to think carefully about what they are saying before posting messages online. Although you may believe your message is acceptable, other people may take offense, and you could face a large fine or up to two years in prison if your message is deemed to have broken the law.
The Cheshire Constabulary contains about a million people in the northwest of England, covering areas outside of Liverpool and Manchester. That's a lot of people for Big Brother to control.
The police later tried to walk it back from its original threat with a "clarification" that jail time and fines were only appropriate punishment for actual crimes, like inciting violence or racial hatred, rather than general "offense."
The dictators wrote: "These crimes are about more than just showing hostility to one person, but about stirring up hatred against a whole group of people, regardless of what platform you use."
The policing of speech has become an ever increasing issue/problem in UK policing.
Some police forces have vastly expanded their definition of a "hate crime" over the past year to include women as a protected group--which is an insult to women.
Race, the disabled and religious minorities are also protected groups because the police evidently believe they can't fend for themselves.
The bigger question is: what authority decides the definition of a "hate crime?" Was it an elected official?
Obviously, the Cheshire Constabulary does not see the importance of free speech and they don't understand what it means. Free speech is speech you don't like, which is why it must be defended legally. We don't need to defend speech we like.
Police in North Yorkshire and Nottinghamshire have made the change not to stop free speech but Cheshire has not implemented a new definition. But they're whining that they are victims of a misunderstanding and say they "recognize the importance of free speech."
"Unfortunately there has been a misunderstanding over our intention, which has led to a number of negative responses to the post.
"As a Constabulary, we would never tell people what they can or can't say, or what they can or can't think. [To even say that sentence is Big Brother banter.] We recognize the importance of free speech and actively encourage engagement and discussion on a range of issues through our social media channels.
"This post was issued specifically in response to those reports we received, and as a police force it is our responsibility to remind people that legislation exists prohibiting the incitement of hatred and violence. This applies to everyone regardless of age, gender, race or religion and we take all reports of this nature seriously, irrespective of who has made the comments."
And to this end, always remember, Big Brother is watching you.