Swiss Man Found Guilty Of Defamation For “Liking” Facebook Postings

200px-Facebook.svgWe have yet another example of how free speech is being eviscerated in Europe through an assortment of different legal standards.  An unnamed 45-year-old Swiss man is an example of how the defamation laws can have the same impact on free speech. He was convicted of defamation after simply “liking” posts on Facebook that said bad things about Erwin Kessler, the leader of Swiss vegan group Vereins gegen Tierfabriken.

The posting accused Keesler of being a racist, an anti-Semite and a neo-Nazi.  By liking the posting, Keesler accused the man of repeating the defamatory information.  Apparently, Keesler is suing a variety of people over the posts.

The court described the defendant’s actions as “an affront to [Kessler’s] honour”and imposed a conditional fine of 4,000 Swiss francs (£3,200).

Now here is the irony (and chilling) part.  Kessler was  convicted under Switzerland’s anti-racism law in 1998. His conviction was based comparing shechita, a Jewish religious method of slaughtering animals to Nazi practices.  Yet, as  the victim of speech codes and criminalization, Kessler has now pursued others to punish them for their opinions.  It sums up the free speech disaster in Europe perfectly.

 

 

48 thoughts on “Swiss Man Found Guilty Of Defamation For “Liking” Facebook Postings

    • As a progressive who strongly supports the first and the fourth amendments I’m not sure which progressives you refer to. Please name one national politician who is progressive in your mind and give me one example of how they curb free speech with any legislation they have supported.

  1. Trump pulled out of Paris Evangelical Global Warming Agreement. JT will write a scathing post soon.

    • The point I keep hearing from the talking heads on TV is ok, he wants to continue undoing anything Obama.

      So what is he going to replace it with?

      That I think is the essential Trump paradigm.Let’s do WITHOUT whatever the establishment has created to feed their own while they play pedantic overlords to the masses. Remove any shape or form that perpetuates the overlord’s existence. Trump says can it. We can do without.

      People in the Washington game just don’t get how simple he is.

      He has no allegiance to bureaucracies and I think he revels in making establishment entrenched individuals, like life long Washington parasites, wonder wether they will get to go on playing the game they bought into.

    • autumn

      ‘This case is absurd though.’ This goes without saying but never the less will be said. Your observation about ‘direct democracy’ is of more interest. Switzerland’s system of democracy is designed around their present day existing demographics. This is not so in the US. In Switzerland, in one of these areas where the preponderance of voters express themselves so as to result in a judicial decision as illustrated above, the voters are segmentally represented. They do not necessarily represent or even influence decisions in other segments of the country. This is a successful interpretation of ‘states rights’. It does not, however, represent the advancement of the rights that most people hold sacred. In another segment of Switzerland, the opposite could just as easily happened.

      What should strike one as important here is that reflecting upon our situation, some isolated segments of the US voted in an extreme swing of the pendulum that is affecting us all and will continue to degrade our society. Ruminate upon that. We could learn a lot from Switzerland. The system of lawsuits illustrated by Kessler, would make Trump a happy man.

      • Isaac re: “some isolated segments of the US voted in an extreme swing of the pendulum that is affecting us all and will continue to degrade our society.” couldn’t agree more – Hollywood, MSM and coastal elites who are so far removed from ordinary citizens almost got HRC in the WH. Truly scary.

        • autumn

          If you truly believe that Trump represents the majority’s interest and is not the quintessential oligarch, then???? We are living the horror, a horror far eclipsing anything under Clinton.

        • So Trump’s Chinese and Russian oligarchs are in touch with the American people? What about the Kushners? What about the Trump Goldman cabinet?

          • MK – Obama’s cabinent was filled with Goldman, Citibank, GE, Monsanto execs and we all know HRC was a “golden girl” Rid the swamp of all these people on both sides of the aisle and get $$ out of politics.

        • Autumn, Your Trump elites are having a garden party this afternoon to celebrate the wrecking of the environment.

          • Not my elites – didn’t vote for him. You die-hard Dims should see this as an opportunity – doesn’t even go into effect until 2020 and a lot can happen between then and now – who knows? Trump may regenotiate it. This is your chance to rid your party of all the corporate friendly folks – choose candidates with platforms that actually draws in voters.

            • autumn

              I keep hoping Trump will do something for America. But all he has done thus far is out lie any and everyone, make a fool of himself, and commence a rotting from the inside that will take another Democratic in the White House to clean up. Or, have you forgotten the last Republican Presidency? Regardless of ‘Crooken Hillary’ we got Trump the Liar and Buffoon. Rot, incompetence, and a liar all rolled into one idiot. When you think of megalomaniacs like the Korean goof, you think hair. When you think hair……

              • No, Issac I have not forgotten W’s terms – I remember watching the build up to the Iraqi invasion with horror and marched twice. BUT Obama’s hope ‘n change regime was equally disasterous – that’s when I started paying attention to politics. The MSM was complicit with W and even more so with Obama.

  2. I love Switzerland – great food, culture, scenery even if the people are more tightly wound overall. And they have direct democracy so their lawmakers have to answer to the citizens which is probably why they didn’t join the EU – didn’t want the special interests who control Brussels having any say-so over their laws.

    This case is absurd though.

  3. As long as we’re talking about censorship, I thought you might like to know, Prof. Turley, that I tried to post your excellent piece on my FB page and FB censors wouldn’t allow it. It was blocked!

  4. This is like history repeating itself. Europe has muzzled the speech and opinions of its people…It rather reminds me of the climate in which a band of pilgrims made a dangerous voyage to a new land to start their own country where they could worship how they wanted and be free…

  5. The more our Rain Man Canadian speaks the more we all see what an unhappy man he is. You would think that since he has no friends or allies here would give him pause. But having no friends or allies in his real life as well, he has adapted. No matter how dysfunctional a person’s life may be, I have seen during my professional and personal life, that human nature causes people to seek w/ what they are familiar. This poor man thinks he’s better and smarter than everyone. But that’s on the surface. He actually yearns for companionship, but has no social skills to achieve that. So, negative attention is what he seeks. That is what’s familiar.

        • Maybe. I have always seen her as a Frustrated Freedom Rider who is lost in the 1960’s where decent people like Rosa Parks were made to sit in the back of the bus. But today, a lot of these blacks shouldn’t even be allowed in the bus. They ought to have to hang on to the hood ornament and just try to keep up.

          FWIW, Poor Old Rosa Parks got beat up by the type of people too many blacks have become.

          Squeeky Fromm
          Girl Reporter

          • Squeeky – Rosa Parks’ mythology is much better than the real story. Got the real story from watching Eyes on the Prize. It was all a set-up. She was supposed to get arrested. They had a sympathetic white officer there to arrest her and take her away. She volunteered to be the one arrested. And it all went to plan.

  6. Depends on how you look at it. Switzerland is an extremely conservative country, a Republican like country in many respects, as well as a country that prides itself on being able to cohabit several different peoples successfully. Successfully does not mean perfectly. There is a ranking beginning with the Swiss-German, then German, then French, then Italian. The Italians have mounted the ladder one rung as now there is a Turkish population that has taken their place at the bottom. A perfect description of this can be seen in the movie, ‘Bread and Chocolate’. Historically Switzerland is so conservative so as to outlaw the washing of cars in driveways on Sundays; enforced by police.

    So, Turley, ‘eviscerating’ or old prejudices resurfacing while Switzerland moves forward protecting more and more rights for more and more ethnic groups. It is human nature to swing the pendulum in both directions. But it always makes a bigger splash to visit only one extreme. Visit and spend some time in Berne and then travel to Geneva. It’s like going from Idaho to Berkeley.

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