We were unable to load Disqus. If you are a moderator please see our troubleshooting guide.

Colby Stearns • 1 year ago

Oh boy, that is some real Orwellian shit you're proposing here. If
there's one thing we got right here in America, it's our free speech
laws. Just because you disagree with someone's opinion (no matter
how vile and hateful that opinion is), doesn't mean that you should
censor that person from saying what's on his or her mind. Besides, it
makes it easier to point out and discredit the hateful things people say
when they're out in the open, rather than being pushed underground and
effectively martyred in countries that have hate speech laws. The answer is
always freedom, NEVER censorship.

Youreafaggot • 1 year ago

Whoever wrote this needs to kill themselves. It's retarded people like this that make 1984 esque laws and governing philosophies possible. Please neck yourself

6JimBob • 2 years ago

For the record there is no " Tanya Cohen". This article was a provocation by some guy living in his parent's basement in Florida (really).

Paul Cheng • 2 years ago

I disagree, people should be free to criticize and discuss without fear of punitive measures from the state. Of course many legal precedents have been set that limits what is protected under free speech, obscenity, promoting or encouraging violence, &c. Some of the examples you give do not explicitly encourage people to violence against minority groups and ought to be protected under first amendment rights. I believe the problem is the power we give to media to shape personal opinions. A Duck Dynasty character has no authority, expertise, or any sort of policy/decision-making power that makes his personal opinion any more relevant than anyone else's, so why give him the screen time, or pay him any attention? I believe the greater problem is the mis-education of the electorate, the media circus that misleads us to believe that this cheap form of entertainment is actual trustworthy news.
The first amendment protects all speech, even speech in bad taste, or is poorly informed, because a free environment for dissent is necessary to create the best possible public policies. Without hate speech, people cannot recognize it and form effective arguments against it and ultimately we would be much more susceptible to state-approved hate speech.
Lastly I wish to point out that I limited my criticism to your ideas. Your character, race, &c. are all irrelevant. Hate speech is a very valid concern, I disagree with your linking it to first amendment rights because in my mind there is no doubt that the first amendment must absolutely protect it even if I don't agree with it, up until someone actually preaches harm to others. I criticized your ideas because debate is about discussion of the issue, ad hominem attacks are irrelevant.
Please continue speaking your mind, you obviously care about society and wish to be part of the very important conversations, you presented your arguments well, you took time to document proof, this is on all accounts very well written. It is thoughtful, thought-provoking, relevant, and accessible. Solid work.

Berecca • 3 years ago

Well it's a good thing for Tanya that people aren't prosecuted for psychotic rambling.

Johny Jihad • 3 years ago

Tanya is intolerant. She should be sent to jail for hate speech.

Rachael Mitchell • 3 years ago

You know, never read any articles of hers, and I already find Tanya unreliable. Too many comments saying negative, similar things.

Jay Mort • 3 years ago

If this isn't a work of satire,
Then... is this author really suggesting she has a brain?

paendragon • 3 years ago

"Hate" is only the perfectly natural human response of perpetual anger towards ongoing crimes - without it, we'd never bother to accuse criminals of their crimes, and by doing so, hope to at least attempt to end those crimes.

By trying to make "hate" illegal, by pushing "anti-hate crime laws," simpletons can only ever make it illegal to hate crimes.

I hate crimes and the criminals who commit them.

The real question here is, why doesn't Tanya Cohen?


PS: Islam associates it's SELF with Terrorism, and shows Muhammad was indeed a pedophile. These are facts clearly and openly declared right in their Qur'an itself.

Doug • 3 years ago

"Australia’s human rights courts have ruled many times that it doesn’t
matter whether the comments are “true” or “balanced” or not; if the
comments may offend minorities or incite hatred, then they are against
the law in Australia, as they should be."

We'll have no truth here. Truth is merely oppression. 1+1=3 and that's the way we like it.

What sort of a halfwit is this author?

Thank God that America's founding fathers had the wisdom to forsee this level of idiocy and restrict Government.

Northy • 3 years ago

Wow, a Jew lecturing non-jews about bullshit. What a surprise.

Geee, I wonder why they have been booted from so many places over the millennia... hmmm

Daviddickinson • 3 years ago

Wow. A Jew-hater posing as a Jew and making provocative comments designed to incite hatred against Jews. Geeee, I wonder why Jews have been booted from so many places over the millennia... hmmm.

megatherium100 . • 3 years ago

Yeah, thats why western Europe as a whole is such a wonderful place, full of tolerant people, unless you use badthink, then you should be put in jail and your financial future should be ruin just for having the incorrect opinions... but is just all for your own good, why are not tyrannical, we are progressives!

Daviddickinson • 3 years ago

"America’s northern neighbor Canada has a much deeper respect for fundamental human rights than America does."

Exactly. That's why we scrapped the hate speech provisions in the Canadian Human Rights Act. Cause of our deep understanding of human rights!

Daviddickinson • 3 years ago

Which Constitutional Amendment makes freedom from hatred a right equal to if not greater than the right to freedom of speech?

Eric Sporer • 3 years ago

Bill Maher, right-wing? You must be new here.

Daviddickinson • 3 years ago

I am a right-winger, too, when I'm not arguing for higher taxes a more government services!

amadeus250 • 3 years ago

Thank you very much for this article. This serves as a warning to us in the US as to where we are headed if the tolerant left continues to have its way. The progressive definition of free speech:

"In Australia, you absolutely cannot call yourself a progressive unless you actively work to criminalize all forms of un-progressive speech."

Robbie • 2 years ago

The frustrating thing is that most progressives vehemently disagree with fascist idiocy like this. Freedom of speech is and always should be a central tenet to forward-minded ideology, and the idea of banning the most fundamental freedom as a form of progress is despicable.

antigon • 3 years ago

Given all the hate speech in Mz Cohen's article, t'is clear she should promptly be arrested & sent permanently up the river.

DiJinn • 3 years ago

So we've gone from; "I may disagree with what you have to say, but I shall defend to the death your right to say it."
"Throw them in jail"
Wow if that's progressive I'll stay a neanderthal.

Gwen K. • 3 years ago

I just read this piece again. You started to offer facts to back up your argument, but you didn't focus on that nearly enough. Your argument is rhetorical blanket-speech that obfuscates what could be a meaningful discussion.

Like is violence against the LGBT community higher in areas where it's socially acceptable to hate on them publicly? Yes. Do women have more equality in countries that discourage discussion about inherent differences between genders? Yes. Do the humanitarian benefits of outlawing hate speech, or even the publication of statistics people don't like, outweigh the costs of restricting free speech? Worth a discussion.

I'm speaking as someone with a "trendy" disability that's associated with tech geniuses and the like. In the real world, even most high-functioning autistic people have too many executive functioning issues to hold a full-time job. At the same time, "should autistic people be killed" is one of the top Google searches about it. The public seems to have a lot of trouble viewing the middle ground of mental illness. So maybe some degree of political correctness is helping us. But I still have the feeling I'd rather live somewhere where free speech is allowed.

When you say ALL people outside the USA think free speech should be out of the question you just look ridiculous. Do you know every person in the world? And how is there no meaningful difference between advocating genocide and hurting somebody's feelings? Come on now.

Daviddickinson • 3 years ago

"When you say ALL people outside the USA think free speech should be out of the question you just look ridiculous."

No, you just look like a bigot! This is how stereotyping begins, with black and white statements that aren't true. Still, I don't think the liar should be punished in a court of law or tribunal for being a liar. That's what the Internet is for.

Tweck • 3 years ago

"racist hate speech from Bill Maher recently incited a man in Chapel Hill to shoot three innocent Muslims"

I think Bill Maher is pretty much a free-range bigot when it comes to religion, but honestly that's his right. Also, Islam is not an ethnicity, it's a religion, so I'd advise calling it what it is: Anti-religious hate speech. And it's certainly foul, IMO, but that is his right.

That said, I don't blame Bill Maher for someone else's actions. In the end it is the individual who gets to make the choice - the individual who is responsible for their own actions. The man in Chapel Hill had a choice, and he made the wrong one. That's his fault, not Bill Maher's, whether you like him or not.

Honestly, this article reeks of "say something I disagree with, my feelings are hurt, now go to jail," = free speech. You can call that free speech all you want, but it will never actually be free speech. That's totalitarianism, which is something I'd always thought progressives stood against. I guess I'll have to turn in my progressive card if that's the case.

Tweck • 3 years ago

Way to invert freedom. One good thing about the U.S. is that I'm not thrown in jail for a comment, no matter how stupid or thoughtless my comment may be. According to this article, the U.S. is the only country that actually HAS freedom of speech. It would simply be nice if we toned town the rhetoric and learn to get along better in our pluralistic society... rather than criminalizing people for saying things. Back in the day we had a saying: If you don't like it, turn the channel. I have a new saying: You say what you say, I say what I say, and we love each other anyway. If you don't like it, that's okay.

Tweck • 3 years ago

Also, what I find really amazing is that the author seems to think that only people on the right are flinging around hateful words. I hear many people on my side of the fence (that'd be the progressive left) saying hateful things all the time.

MarylandBill • 3 years ago

So what you are saying essentially is that no ungoodthink will be allowed?

Also, I find it interesting that you keep citing the availability of firearms as evidence of the lack of human rights in the United States. While one can certainly argue that America's gun laws are out of step with the rest of the world and are unnecessary for self protection, I find it a bit of a stretch (to say the least) that allowing one's citizens to own guns somehow restricts the rights of others.

Here is the thing, once you start restricting free speech, you can use it as an excuse for oppression. Also, you ignore the fact that some people who you accuse of inciting hate, only made their views public because they were asked what their positions were. They did not go out of their way to make their views public. Any law that makes answering a question truthfully illegal is not a law against hate.

Final thought, once you ban some hate speech, you constantly have to ban more and more speech. Should the comics of Charlie Hebdo been banned?

Brett Powers • 3 years ago

"Free Speech." "Progressive."

"You keep using those whords. I doona theenk they mean whatchoo theenk they mean."

Robbie • 2 years ago

Thank you. No self-respecting progressive seriously believes that telling people what to think and say is the right way to accomplish your goals.

Chris Travers • 3 years ago

What do you think about the French arresting Muslims for expressing mixed feelings about the Charlie Hedbo killings? Is it not the case that in the end, these speech restrictions will be turned against the very groups they are supposed to protect?

Chris Travers • 3 years ago

Tanya, what you don't understand is that the First Amendment didn't use to protect much of anything. It didn't protect against the argument against the "common good" of raising an army to fight WWI. It didn't protect advocating even in the abstract the idea that eventually violent revolution against the US government would be necessary. It didn't protect much else.

But do you know what happened? The government used such a weak protection to go after dissidents, communists, and so forth, and at first the Supreme Court let them. Slowly though it became evident how much this sort of thing distorts democratic discourse and finally the Supreme Court held that distributing "A Communist Manifesto" was protected speech. This was after all the stuff we went through with Joe McCarthy.

But we have a principle that the same lines apply to everyone. Whether this is a good thing or not, we can decide (personally I prefer the Indonesian model which is that with wealth comes responsibility, so robin hood corruption is encouraged). But the US has a different system. One based on drawing lines that protect everyone.

So the same lines that protected the Communist Party also protect the KKK. Because in the end, courts in the US really aren't very good at deciding what is or is not hate speech. I have no doubt that if the courts tried, the only line drawn would be that of Potter Stewart's line in Jacobellis v. Ohio, declaring that regarding the obscenity exception to the 1st Amendment, "I know it when I see it."

It seems t me you want to ban ideas from public discourse, perhaps the idea that the best way to constrain corporate power is to focus on procreative family units as the economic engines of production (i.e. inherited family businesses). We can't have ideas like that -- that would be bigoted, right?

But everyone is prejudiced. Bigotry is constructed of being prejudiced in the "wrong way" while being unbigoted is being prejudiced in the "right way."

Steve B • 3 years ago

According to this author you're free to speak as long as you don't say anything false and also don't say anything true that might offend someone or might be deemed harmful to society. If this were the law there would be no freedom to speak about politics at all because whenever people debate policy one side has to be saying something false and it's always possible people will be offended by the political speech they hear. This author simply values censorship on an unimaginably grand scale. It's truly Orwellian doublespeak to call such censorship "protection of human rights".

BillClintonsShorts17 • 3 years ago

Everything Tanya says is hateful. So she is guilty of 'Hate Speech'. Ban her!!!!

Jeb! • 3 years ago

"racist hate speech from Bill Maher recently incited a man in Chapel Hill
to shoot three innocent Muslims – in a civilized country, Bill Maher
would be held legally accountable for the shooting"

Absolute BS, I almost have trouble believing that the author is serious when I read things like this. I can understand arguments for European style hate speech laws but they do NOT work like this. Nothing Bill Maher said would result in prosecution, bigoted comments about Muslims, gays, etc are published in Australia and the UK every day that are far worse than Maher yet still not bad enough to be considered hate speech.

Your Not My Authority • 3 years ago

Sadly this is just another article to persecute Bible/Torah believers. Truthphobe, Jesusphobe, Biblephobe. Torahphobe That's Tanya. transmitting hate speech to hurt people. I am offended and harmed by your article. But you can repent and turn and love people. I see no freedom of speech here at all and Canda does not have much freedom.
Well as the darkenss rises so does the Light of the Word of the Lord. Nothing you can do about it.

bobfairlane • 3 years ago

Tanya Cohen is a white-hating kike-dyke.

originalmouse • 3 years ago

you're an inbred, microphallic, simpleton.

bobfairlane • 3 years ago

Go swing a chicken, bald headed pusbag.

bobfairlane • 3 years ago

Nah, jews are so inbred they're suing their parents for not getting abortions.

UncleVladdi • 3 years ago

Re: "One of the most admirable things about Europe is that most (if not all) of the right-wing rhetoric that you hear in the US is explicitly against the law there.

1.) For example, attempting to link Islam with terrorism, "

... and,

2.) "Numerous European public figures have been charged with hate crimes for implying that large-scale immigration is connected to higher crime. In fact, a politician in Sweden was prosecuted for hate crimes for posting statistics about immigrant crime on Facebook.

3.) Assaults on the human dignity of Muslims are simply not tolerated in Europe, and Europe cracks down hard on any attempts to incite hatred against Muslims.

4.) In a notable example, a woman in Austria was convicted of a hate crime for suggesting that the Islamic Prophet Muhammed was a pedophile."


1.) Islam quite clearly and officially links itself to terrorism. Just go read a Qur'an.

2.) Muslim immigrants DO commit most crimes in Sweden, as the statistics prove.

3.) Muslims are enslaved to "allah's" 7th century rules, and so have no inherent human dignity of their own.

4.) Muhammad was - according to all official islamic accounts - a pedophile who married a five-year old, rubbed himself all over her between then and the time he finally penetrated her when she turned nine. He also lusted after a newborn infant just before he died in his fifties.

5.) As for "hate crimes" in general:

These days, the truth needs official protection!

In all these new “hate-crimes laws” it’s illegal to hate crimes and the criminal who commit them. Only criminals would approve of them.

They supposedly “replace” our basic anti-slander laws, which had the defense of the Truth (it’s not slander if it’s true) and where real, actual (not hypothetical) damages had to be proven in court!

These days, you’re slanderoulsy pre-judged as “Guilty Until (Never) Proven Innocent!” BY the government courts, and if you even only might hurt some criminal’s feelings by accusing them of their crimes, and those silly facts that what you’re saying is true, no longer apply!

I hate crimes and the criminals that commit them – don’t you?

Hate is only the perfectly natural human response of perpetual anger towards ongoing injustices (like islam); without hate, nobody’d ever even bother to accuse any criminals of their crimes, and so hope to end those crimes.

In fact, liberals today try to pretend there’s no such things as crime and criminals, because we’re really all only victims anyway! They’d make it “illegal” to accuse any criminals of their crimes, if doing so might hurt their feelings, and so “make” them commit even more crimes!

But when they try to make “hate crimes” illegal, they really only ever end up making it illegal to hate crimes!

And why would anyone even think about trying to do any of this?!

Liberals, having no facts at all on their side, MUST always resort to using all the critical thinking logical fallacies (endless deflections, distractions and evasions) away from that simple fact. hence their preference for the ad-hominem personal attacks, and of course their absolute favorite, the "Argumentum Tu Quoque;" i.e:

"Evil crime isn't evil crime because we (i.e: you) all do it, too!"

(Usually employed in defense of islam and muslim criminals).

Even small children know that merely comparing two or more unrelated wrongs can never make one of them into a right, but liberals seem immune to even the most basic maturation process, preferring to remain infantile delinquents (far worse than the juvenile kind) who insist they have a false right to remain irresponsibly wrong, and to not be offended by having their feelings hurt by the often-painful Truth. They absolutely hate the idea that they might have a responsibility to become right (as in factually correct)!

But that's really all just slander and attempted thought-control extortion:

By abusing people (especially kids) with the silly notion that they’re entitled to not be “offended” or have their “feelings hurt” by the often painful truth of new ideas, these crooks are short-circuiting the most basic thinking and learning process itself – because in humans, all new ideas are initially met with rejection (as has been known since at least Aristotle to Elizabeth Kubler-Ross these days)!

Liberals don't want children to have the right to mature and become self-reliant, responsible adults, but only to remain state-dependent infantile delinquents!

Snertly • 3 years ago

Where the metric for objectively determining just how much hatred any given statement contains? Without a standard measuring schema, what you gonna do? Leave it to someone to thumbs up or down over individual bits of content? Make determinations based on keyword searches?

Censorship by any other name sounds just as bad, when you can hear about it.

ScotchSexAndCigarettes • 3 years ago

You are offensively stupid.

NathanaelCulver • 3 years ago

"Australia has also proposed legislation ... which declares people automatically guilty ... unless they can prove their innocence...."

Up until this point I was still harboring suspicions that the author of this piece was just a misguided fool. But it's simply not possible that a real, live human being with two brain cells to rub together could speak lovingly of state surveillance and re-education camps (see her January posts) and now laws declaring people guilty until proven innocent. Ms. Cohen is simply a blogosphere troll trying to rile up the masses.

"In fact, slurs and insults are a kind of bullying"

You mean, kinda like calling anyone who disagrees with you a "bigot"? THAT kind of bullying?

"Is the US even aware that, by failing to pass and enforce laws against hate speech, it is explicitly violating international human rights law?"

Um, YAY for us! At least there's still one country left in the world that opposes tyranny.

There is but one danger to free, democratic society, and that is people like Tonya Cohen who seem to mistake Orwell for an instruction manual.

The fact that I dare disapprove of Ms. Cohen's opinions in public no doubt makes me a bigot, a hater and an advocate for genocide. So be it. I'd much rather live in a world full of "bigots" like me, than one populated by Cohen-esque totalitarians.

But take heart, freedom lovers. Ms. Cohen cannot possibly be for real. No one is this stupid.

[EDIT:] Aha - Sussed it. Tonya Cohen is actually a sock puppet for Joshua Goldberg, through which Goldberg is repackaging his material in the form of a parody by fashioning a straw man human rights activist into the mouth of which he can place all the most vile and evil anti-speech stuff he's dug up.

Don't believe me? Read Goldberg's articles here at TC -- they cite all the same examples, from Australia's guilty-until-proven-innocent legislation, to hate-speech hysteria sweeping Japan. Right down to the George Orwell quote. The parallels are just too perfect.

Well done, Mr. Goldberg. Well-played, indeed.

Daviddickinson • 3 years ago

"There is but one danger to free, democratic society, and that is people
like Tonya Cohen who seem to mistake Orwell for an instruction manual."

Or those who use Kafka's The Trial as an instruction manual.

The Alex • 3 years ago

I'm offended because this article is poorly written and talks in circles. How can I get this article taken down? The author clearly states: "when freedom of speech interferes with someone else's freedom to not be offended, insulted, disrespected, vilified, or subjected to hatred, it needs to be restricted." In her utopian society, I should be able to have this banned for insulting my intelligence as a reader.

NathanaelCulver • 3 years ago

"Countries like the UK ... allow legitimate freedom of expression while banning bigots, hatemongers, conspiracy theorists, anti-vaxxers, pro-pedophile groups, terrorist sympathizers, harmful media, Holocaust deniers, pick-up artists, climate change deniers, and other forms of expression which damage society and social cohesion."

Ah, whew! Looks like shopping lists are still safe. Next time you're pub-crawling in the East End, however, make sure you don't compliment a woman's appearance. You might get charged with damaging "social cohesion".

Gregory Roach • 3 years ago

The people that actually make this argument are full of shit and give liberals a bad name (just like people that feel the need to compare the right-wing in the US and Israel to Nazi Germany). The US sets very reasonable parameters around the first amendment: I.E. you can't directly threaten someone and plead the first. Hate speech should be allowed to exist not only because it's a constitutional right but more reasonable arguments based in logic can be presented to not only stifle but disprove points that are racist, anti-Semitic and homophobic.

Proud Skeptic • 3 years ago

I would like to thank Ms. Cohen for her excellent work. I have never before seen such a full throated, clear headed defense of the right to free speech as I have seen in these comments.

I have forwarded this article to many friends and to my children. Even my most Liberal friends find this horrifying. It will serve as a wonderful reminder of how precious our freedoms are and how there are people out there who would like nothing better than to see them curtailed.

Thank you, Ms. Cohen you have undone some of the work by many of those of like mind who are more subtle, and therefore more successful, in their attack on our freedoms. Keep up the good work.

Luke • 3 years ago

Once again, it is instructive to point out the difference between historical behavior of "fascist" states and the progressive/communist states.

The fascist states are far more concerned with your public behavior than anything else. As long as you keep the sidewalk clean in front of your house and don't scare off the tourists you can read your banned books, attend your clandestine night clubs and watch your prohibited movies all you want.

In a progressive/communist state: when you are alone at night, in the innermost room of your house with the doors locked and the lights turned out the state wants to control how you think. That is true evil.

john • 3 years ago

I disagree with your initial statement about fascist states. You have not lived in one, I suspect, and I suspect your opinion is based on a poor education in historical fact. Your description of the progessive state is something I agree with whole- heartedly.