Elon Musk: Euro Hate Speech Laws are a ‘Massive Attack Against Freedom of Speech’
Elon Musk has condemned forthcoming hate speech laws in one EU country as being a “massive attack against freedom of speech”.
Tech billionaire and Twitter CEO Elon Musk said that impending hate speech laws in Ireland are a “massive attack against freedom of speech”.
Under the proposed legislation, Irish authorities will be given the power to criminally convict people for a variety of “hate” offences, including the possession of material that could “incite” hatred in others if disseminated.
The proposed law also states that the country’s justice system can simply presume that a person in possession of such “hate” material intends to distribute it if a court deems it reasonable to do so, prompting fear that the proposed law in effect is an attempt by the Irish government to usher in “thought crimes”.
Despite these criticisms being aired during a parliamentary debate earlier this week, Ireland’s progressive government has continued to push through the bill, with it now being only a few steps away from becoming law in the country.
Today the government voted against Human Rights and quite literally for Thought Crime legislation
— Free Speech Ireland (@FreeSpeechIre) April 26, 2023
However, amid concerns posted online about the coming legislation, Twitter head Elon Musk has now waded into the debate, denouncing the proposed Irish legislation as an attack on free expression.
“This is a massive attack against freedom of speech,” Musk wrote on Saturday.
Musk’s denunciation is likely to send ripples through the Irish political landscape, with many of the island’s elite seemingly having a massive dislike for the South African-American entrepreneur.
Even the country’s President, Michael D. Higgins, has taken potshots at Musk in the past, decrying his takeover of Twitter as being a “form of dictatorship” last year.
However, while Ireland’s politicians may not like him, Musk’s opinions are still likely to have some weight in the country thanks to its massive overreliance on U.S. multinationals within the tech and pharmaceutical sectors.
Musk’s very own Twitter even has its European headquarters located in the Irish capital of Dublin, with Ireland’s regulatory bodies having significant control over the activities of the social media giant within the EU.