Those of you who follow Slashdot (for whatever reason) have probably heard of this by now: Swedish Foreign Minister Carl Bildt has a blog, someone posted a comment to the effect that wiping out all Palestinians would solve the Middle East problems, and Sweden has anti-hate-speech laws, and it holds “publishers” responsible for the contents of their website, even if it’s created by other people.
The Slashdot article claims a “leftist blogger” reported the comment, and now Carl Bildt is being investigated. Cue the right-wing dogpile in the Slashdot comments.
Of course, it’s not quite as simple as that.
First of all, the article linked to from the Slashdot article isn’t even about this case, and Bildt’s blog post, also linked, is in Swedish, which I don’t speak very well.
It seems to me, though, that the person who reported the comment isn’t identified anywhere, and the comments on Bildt’s post are only speculating that it’s someone on the left. As in, FUD.
Slashdot commenters seem to be latching on to the idea that this is a left-wing conspiracy, though, with the first comment suggesting the hypothetical leftist was also the one who posted the genocidal comment appearing within five minutes of the article being posted.
(Of course, the person reporting it must have been Swedish, and it’s a fair bet to say any given Swede is left of the center. If you look at it this way, then yes, I suppose it probably was a leftist.)
One way or the other, note that Bildt is only being investigated; hate speech laws only apply to incitement to violence. It’s not illegal to just express a goddamn opinion, even in Sweden.
Secondly, it’s very obvious those laws are bullshit, and I don’t think anyone really disagrees on this point. The only way to get them repealed, though, is to challenge them in court. And the only way to do that is by being sued under them.
It’s a shitty system, but that’s the way it works in most of the world.
So, far from this being a vast left-wing plot to undermine a poor conservative, it seems to me that this could just as easily be an attempt to get bullshit laws repealed through a high-profile case.
If it was a leftist, it’s possible Bildt was picked specifically because he’s a conservative with a popular blog, so even if he loses, “it’s not a big deal”, but I really doubt that was the main consideration.
Either way, more quality journalism from Slashdot.