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‘RAIN OF TERROR’: The real threat to free speech
Jan 10th, 2015 by Warren Swil

Self-censorship 

on the rise in wake of

France’s nightmare

Charlie Hebdo doesn’t skewer only Muslims. “Sony kissing the big fat ass of Pyongyang’s big moron and killer” is a rough translation of this cover. Click image to enlarge.

The horrific three-day terrorism spree in France this week has evoked a spirited and widespread debate over limits to offensive speech.
Did the target of the initial attacks – satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo – go too far? Was coverage of its provocative work – especially in legacy US media ­– too timid?
Purists argue the antidote for offensive speech is more speech, not censorship. But the specter of self-censorship arose when many media – even The New York Times ­– found the cartoons of Charlie Hebdo too offensive to republish. Gratuitous provocation was just too hot for some to handle.
It’s a delicate balancing act. Anyone who claims to have a simple answer is simply misguided.


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