Kuwait's Decision To Jail People For 'Insulting' Tweets Sets A Dangerous Precedent
from the not-good-for-freedom dept
"We've been taken by surprise because Kuwait has always been known internationally and in the Arab world as a democracy-loving country," Humidi said. "People are used to democracy, but suddenly we see the constitution being undermined."Of course, this is why we were so horrified by a French politician's recent efforts to ask Twitter to help censor tweets for what French government officials deemed "hate speech." Where do you draw the line? Who defines what kind of "hate speech" is being censored. I am sure that the Kuwaiti emir considers the insults directed his way a form of "hate speech," and, from there, you quickly slide into blatant political censorship.
Of course, this seems only likely to backfire in a big way. As more and more people get used to being able to discuss things freely, when a government cracks down on such free speech, they're going to react negatively. Considering that many other countries in that region have used social media as a tool to organize protests and even to eventually overthrow a few governments, it would appear that overly sensitive Kuwaiti officials might want to learn to get thicker skins and learn that the best way to deal with "insulting" speech is to just ignore it.