Speech the British government considers hateful should be outlawed and subjected to ASBOs, or Anti-Social Behavior Orders on Conviction, according to members of the British Parliament.
MPs have called on the “Crown Prosecution Service to examine whether prevention orders similar to those which can be used to restrict sex offenders’ online access could be applied to hate crimes,” the Daily Mail reports.
If convicted of committing a hate speech crime by the government, “determined” perpetrators could be blocked from social media sites such as Facebook and Twitter.
The All Party Parliamentary Inquiry Into anti-Semitism has added its weight to the call to sensor speech on the internet.
The government committee said the search terms “Hitler” and “Holocaust” were among the top 35 key words used on Twitter last summer during the Israeli invasion of Gaza.
Twitter chief executive Dick Costolo recently admitted they “suck” at excluding speech governments consider unacceptable and racist.
In a memo, Costolo said Twitter will redouble its effort to “start kicking these people off right and left.” He said Twitter will make “sure that when they issue their ridiculous attacks, nobody hears them.”
In addition to censoring people the government considers racist or as perpetrators of hate speech, the report issued by the MPs calls for additional public funds to be used to cover the costs of security at synagogues.
The report also calls for “new guidance for teachers on handling the Middle East conflict in the classroom.”
“Britain is proud to be a multi-ethnic, multi-faith democracy. It is something we have built over generations and which generations have given their lives to defend. We will not weaken our resolve now but instead redouble our efforts to stand up and defend the values we believe in,” David Cameron, the British Prime Minister, said after the report was released.
“This report has a vital role to play. There can be no excuses. No disagreements over foreign policy or politics can ever be allowed to justify antisemitism or any other form of racism, prejudice or extremism.
“While I am Prime Minister I promise we will fight antisemitism with everything we have got. Together we will make sure Britain remains a country that Jewish people are proud to call home – today, tomorrow and for every generation to come.”
In addition to anti-semitism, speech the government considers hateful, threatening, abusive, or insulting and which targets a person on the basis of skin color, race, disability, nationality, ethnic or national origin, religion, or sexual orientation, according to the Criminal Justice Act 2003, is criminal.
Britain appears to be moving closer to neighboring France, which has the most punitive hate speech laws in Europe.
In 2008, French actress Brigitte Bardot was convicted numerous times for criticizing Muslims and in 2013 American musician Bob Dylan was placed under judicial investigation for allegedly inciting hatred against Croats.
Last month, following the Charlie Hebdo attacks in Paris, French comedian and polemicist Dieudonné M’Bala M’Bala was arrested for allegedly supporting terrorism after posting a positive remark about Amedy Coulibaly, said to be one of the Charlie Hebdo gunmen, on Facebook.
Prosecutors want Dieudonné to pay a €30,000 ($34,000) fine or face imprisonment for writing “I feel like Charlie Coulibaly.”
In January, 54 people were arrested in France for hate speech and defending terrorism.
The Justice Ministry sent a letter to all French prosecutors and judges urging more aggressive tactics against racist or anti-Semitic speech, according to the Boston Globe. The order did not mention Islam.
The recent moves by the French government and its long history of prosecuting speech are in direct contradiction of Article 11 of the Declaration of the Rights of Man and of the Citizen, established in 1789.
In the late 1800s, however, the government imposed restrictions on freedom of the press.