US Judge Rules Online Hate Speech is Physical Harassment

A black woman sued and defeated American Nazi groups that had been attacking her online.

The Judge awarded this brave woman over $700K and ruled that American Nazis, even if residing in Lebanon or Russia, are not allowed to “publish any public statements about her that are harassing, intimidating, or defamatory”:

“[2:56] The judgment equated online harassment with physical harassment…”

This echoes other recent rulings by Judges in America that indicate “online campaigns of hate, threats and intimidation have no place in a civil society and enjoy no protection under our Constitution”.

Other recent decisions have cited even higher damages

…a federal judge in Montana decided that Anglin owes real estate agent Tanya Gersh more than $14 million after rallying other white supremacists on his site to inundate her and her family with a barrage of threats and vitriol.

In June, a judge in Ohio awarded $4.1 million to Muslim-American radio host Dean Obeidallah after Anglin posted stories falsely accusing him of spearheading a terrorist attack.

These figures should be placed in context of how a CTO boasted about “executive titles and venture backing”, as well as powerful legal groups, enabling the hate campaigns:

Auernheimer took on the role of chief technology officer for the Daily Stormer, which had launched the year before in 2013. “Well, you know, it’s not – we’re not exactly like a normal company, you know? It’s not like we all have executive titles and venture backing,” he explained in a 2017 interview with NPR, regarding his role at the Daily Stormer.

[…]

Auernheimer went to prison in 2013 and was released the next year after the judgment was vacated on a technicality.

Auernheimer’s case had been extensively covered by mainstream and tech media, and he’d been supported by digital freedom advocates like the Electronic Frontier Foundation.

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