Nick Griffin and the Limits of Free Speech

BNP Chairman Nick Griffin MEP has just caused a bit of a Twitter storm by publishing the address of a gay couple who sued a Christian B&B couple who refused them board.
I spend a lot of time on this blog defending the right of bigots and racists to say horrible things, online and in person.  However, I think this superficially anodyne tweet might actually cross the line into territory I would not defend.
Why?  Well, first, there is an invasion of privacy.  Griffin is a public figure with a large Twitter following.  The couple in question have a reasonable expectation that their address will not be broadcast.
More importantly, the tweet could be considered inciting violence and harassment.  In a followup, Griffin said a ‘British Justice Team’ (whatever that is) should visit to give them ‘a bit of drama’.  If it were my address that had been published, I would feel harassed and terrorised and probably go and stay elsewhere for a few days.
This is the sort of ‘direct’ incitement I have spoken of previously when considering the boundaries of free speech. Continue reading “Nick Griffin and the Limits of Free Speech”