Laws may not prevent hate crime, but Facebook might


There’s a bill before Congress called the Matthew Shepard Act. Sponsored by Ted Kennedy, it aims to prevent violence against gays and lesbians. Steve Chapman notes that the Matthew Shepard Act will do little to prevent hate crime – the legislation targets violent acts against various groups which are already illegal, just at a narrower segment of the population.

Meanwhile, there’s a discussion being kicked around about hate groups on Facebook. The call is the elimination of Holocaust denial groups on the social network, but Facebook is playing the free speech advocate. Mark Cuban’s brother Brian chimed in with a salient argument that points the finger at CEO Zuckerberg for being wishy washy on the matter.

In summary…

Laws are being created that do little to prevent hate crime, yet the government is spending time and effort to push it through in the name of symbolism. And a social network is gathering hate group communication, which of course could be used to identify potential hate crime perpetrators as well as garner information about potential targets of said crime, and is being asked to shut it all down.

Yes…one subject is homosexuals and the other is ostensibly a religious contingent. But hate knows no boundary. Whether it is directed at gays and lesbians, Jews…or for that matter heterosexuals, Catholics, blacks, whites, Hispanics, Vietnamese, Cantonese, those people with disabilities, or people who shop at Walmart, it’s all the same. Definitive repugnant behavior.

A little common sense is in order here.

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