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Further to our previous report on this Bill, the Together Association has has been able to get barrister Francis Hoar to draft and submit written evidence tot eh House of Commons Committee on the Online Safety Bill.

His evidence is forensic, a model of clarity of thought and exposition, and damning.

‘Free speech includes not only the inoffensive but the irritating, the contentious, the eccentric, the heretical, the unwelcome and the provocative … Freedom only to speak inoffensively is not worth having ...’ [7]

"9 Yet the Bill that the Committee is considering will criminalise offensive speech if it might foreseeably cause a person ‘serious distress’ – something that can be expected wherever controversial, unpopular or uncomfortable ideas are expressed and that can have no reasonably clear or foreseeable meaning"

Quite so. In fact, not only "something that might be expected" but something that will be necessarily inevitable in any such public discourse. 

"32 The Bill is a concerning escalation of the power of state. The more the state considers it has a duty to ‘protect’, the more it will – of necessity – increase its power.

"33 The Bill isn’t merely the wrong answer: it is an attempt to solve the wrong problem. The true threat posed by large social media companies is not that they have become the ‘wild west’ of the internet. It is that they have allowed the accumulation of power in a handful of companies and a small number of individuals, all imbued with the power to police speech. This Bill will not only enhance that power but put it on a statutory footing and ensure that it is regulated, in turn, by the state."

Correct, but good luck getting that message across to a government whose default alignment is ever more obviously to the interests of the corporatocracy rather than to the interests of the people.

Well worth reading.