“Malicious Communications”: Scottish Feminist Criminally Charged For Tweets Opposing Gender Self-Identification, by Jonathan Turley

And you thought the US was getting weird. From Jonathan Turley at jonathanturley.org:

There is a free speech fight brewing in Scotland where a prominent feminist, Marion Millar, 50, has been charged with the crime of “malicious communication” due to tweets criticizing gender self-identification.  We have previously discussed how feminists are being accused of hate speech and discrimination in these debates.  Indeed, Millar is accused of being a “terf” (a trans-exclusionary radical feminist) by critics due to her opposition to allowing males to declare themselves to be females.  She could now face two years in jail.

We have been discussing the continuing erosion of free speech protections in the United Kingdom (here and here and here and here and here and here and here). Once you start as a government to criminalize speech, you end up on a slippery slope of censorship. What constitutes hate speech remains a highly subjective matter and we have seen a steady expansion of prohibited terms and words and gestures. As noted in a prior column, free speech appears to be dying in the West with the increasing criminalization of speech under discrimination, hate, and blasphemy laws.

Scotland has adopted particularly chilling limitations on free speech.  These controversies often involve the criminalization of political or ideological viewpoints.

What is particularly concerning in this case is that Millar was not told which of her tweets were deemed “malicious.” Millar has thousands of tweets and was told that the charge is based on tweets between 2019 and 2020.  She was simply ordered to the police station and told that social workers would be sent to care for her young twin boys, who are autistic.  After she emerged from the station, she quoted the novelist Salman Rushdie: “Nobody has the right to not be offended. That right doesn’t exist in any declaration I have ever read.”

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