WASHINGTON, DC – In an explosive report shielded in the halls of the federal government, the United States Department of Commerce has determined that freedom of speech on the internet does not feed hate crimes.
Freedom of speech on the internet did not lead to a rise in “hate crimes,” according to a report sent from the U.S. Department of Commerce to Congress in January — a report that has yet to appear on any government website. https://t.co/9E2tbwS0rV a través de @JulioMShiling
— Julio M. Shiling (@JulioMShiling) March 4, 2021
Breitbart News obtained a copy of the report, and stated that “sources close to the government say they are baffled as to why it wasn’t released publicly after being sent to Congress.”
The report, titled “Hate Crime on The Internet,” was prepared by the Department of Commerce’s National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA), the agency responsible for tracking issues related to telecommunications and the internet and advising the President on related policy issues.
Freedom of speech on the internet did not lead to a rise in “hate crimes,” according to a report sent from the U.S. Department of Commerce to Congress in January — a report that has yet to appear on any government website.
— DottieSilentNoMore (@DottieFincham) March 4, 2021
The report was a revision of a 1993 report titled “The Role of Telecommunications in Hate Crimes.” The report was prepared during the Trump administration but was requested by the 116th Congress led by a Democratic majority.
According to Breitbart News, sources familiar with the report’s drafting and approval process suspect government officials concerned about keeping the current “hate crimes” panic going, have suppressed the report. Democrats have been pushing a narrative through mainstream media that there is a rise in internet-inspired hate crimes.
Freedom of speech on the internet did not lead to a rise in "hate crimes," according to a report sent from the U.S. Department of Commerce to Congress in January — a report that has yet to appear on any government website. https://t.co/hQEpDSTMNg
— Breitbart News (@BreitbartNews) March 3, 2021
A source who worked closely with the NTIA on the report told Breitbart News:
“Reports like this are typically made public. I don’t know why this report isn’t up on a government website yet. It’s already been submitted to Congress, it’s not a private thing anymore. I suspect the Civil Rights Division might have something to do with it.”
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The same source said that the Civil Rights Division of President Biden’s Department of Justice is “bitterly opposed” to the findings in the report. The source further claimed that the Civil Rights Division “at the forefront of ‘efforts to drum up hysteria’ over white nationalist extremism in the U.S. Despite its opposition, however, the report was approved by the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) and sent to Congress.”
The report has not appeared on any government site, the press had not covered the findings until the Breitbart News exclusive, and no government officials have mentioned it.
Biden White House Wages War on 1st Amendment, 'We Support the Need For Social Media Platforms to Take Steps to Reduce Hate Speech' (VIDEO) https://t.co/cIKBIjnG19 via @gatewaypundit. They want all conservative speech removed while protecting all despicable democrat criminals!!!
— Jery Smith (@copper90000) February 5, 2021
The report states that there was no evidence that the internet caused hate crimes:
“We find no evidence that electronic communications, including the internet, cause hate crimes.
Further, we found no evidence that hate criminals use electronic communications, including the internet, more than any other type of criminals or other types of communication.”
"Many Democrats, as well as some Republicans, want to take on #BigTech with laws and regulations to address issues like market power, data privacy, and disinformation and hate speech. Those ambitions have only grown since the insurrection of Capitol Hill " https://t.co/es6UlggOB8
— Philip Mai – Info Doesn't Put Itself In2 Practice. (@PhMai) January 27, 2021
The report also found that attempts by Democrats to restrict and censor online communications were dangerous, and used former Democratic President Barack Obama’s own words to stress the point:
“We caution that efforts to control or monitor online speech, even for the worthy goal of reducing crime, present serious First Amendment concerns and run counter to our nation’s dedication to free expression.
“To quote President Barack Obama, ‘The strongest weapon against hateful speech is not repression; it is more speech.’”
This is why the US Capitol was invaded. Intentional inflammatory, divisive hate speech from "Democrat Approved" propaganda outlets.
The GOP is Do O.ed for lack of courage. Lack of courage to take on @TheDemocrats
— Emperor Lapses Calami (@jester_60) January 23, 2021
The report did recognize that some terrorist organizations may forward hateful ideologies through social media and other electronic communications, and recommends an amendment to 5 United States Code section 230, which provides immunity to internet providers and social media companies that publish third-party unlawful speech:
“Although hate speech is legal, it is unlawful to solicit hate crime, such as an assault against an individual because of a protected characteristic, or to conspire to commit hate crimes. But platforms that re-publish criminal speech that solicits, conspires, or aids and abets hate crimes face no criminal liability.
Serious enforcement of hate crimes requires reform of section 230.”
Why is the left (Democrats) trying to take away my freedoms?! Free Speech (Hate Speech) guns, the list goes on & on. Y’all are authoritarian nutcases and a clear and present danger!
— Speedy Gonzales (@SpeedyG16896666) December 10, 2020
The report also addresses concerns about how to define the term “hate crimes”:
“To advocate or encourage hate crimes, one must not simply express disdain or even hatred for a particular group. In other words, merely expressing hatred for a particular group cannot be said to advocate or encourage hate crimes.
“Therefore, so-called hate speech, a term that has no consistent or well-accepted definition, cannot constitute advocacy or encouragement of hate crimes without explicitly calling for particular acts to be performed with specific motivations.
“Rather, to advocate for or encourage hate crimes requires advocacy of particular criminal acts as well as advocacy or encouragement that the criminal act of each of such crimes has a particular motivation.”
If Democrats take control, every American would be subject to being spied on, even in our own homes. They will be monitoring for their “hate speech”.
— American Patriot (@AmericaFirst160) October 31, 2020
The report provided four recommendations for how the government could better combat the use of electronic communications in advocating hate crimes. First, the report said the government must “respect the First Amendment”:
“As the Supreme Court has recognized, the social media platforms have become our nation’s public square, and their power to track users and gather and analyze their data exceeds that of the most enthusiastic small-town gossip.
“Too close government collaboration, even with the worthy goal of fighting crime, particularly hate crime, may result in government censorship via corporate Proxy.”
Social media can be a driver of polarization, hate speech, and violence but it can also create positive online spaces for peacebuilding. @intalert released a new report w/ @InsightBritish on how social media can be used by peacebuilders.
— Alliance for Peacebuilding (@AfPeacebuilding) March 4, 2021
The report further recommends that there be a strengthening of collaboration between state, local, and federal officials because of the multijurisdictional nature of online hate crime.
Also, the government should encourage the development of technologies to help users screen and control content and improve platform transparency and disclosure because “very little is publicly known about social media content monitoring and usage.”
Section 230, a key law protecting free speech online since its passage in 1996, has been the subject of numerous legislative assaults over the past few years. The attacks have come from all sides. #SafeTechAct https://t.co/nGtB5EJz0t
— Play the Man Podcast (@PlayTheManPod) March 2, 2021
The report concluded that their findings were consistent with leading scholars and researchers of free speech:
“We found no evidence linking electronic communications to hate crimes. As Erwin Chemerinsky states, ‘There is no reason to believe that censoring hate speech will make hate crime less likely.’
Rather, regulating hate speech on electronic communications platforms, as experts such as Nadine Strossen have concluded, is ‘at best ineffective and at worst counterproductive’ in combating hate crime.”
"The resulting game of telephone has elevated Section 230 from its obscure, but vital, place protecting free speech online to its current position as a favorite punching bag of both political parties" https://t.co/wua2S533dc @detroitnews @senatorshoshana @CanyonBrimhall
— R Street Institute (@RSI) February 12, 2021
The report cautions that government intervention in online communications is a dangerous path:
“Overly complaint private internet firms will marry De Tocqueville’s nightmare of an unbridled democratic tyranny desirous of stamping out nonconformity and minority views to Orwell’s dystopia of an all-seeing state.”
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