Musk Slams Irish Prime Minister’s Calls For Speech Restrictions

In the wake of an attack in Ireland last week that targeted young children and fueled widespread demonstrations, officials have pushed for new safeguards against hateful speech on social media and in other forms.

“We will pass new laws in the coming weeks to enable [authorities] to make better use of the [closed-circuit television] evidence they collected yesterday, and also we will modernize our laws against incitement to hatred and hatred in general,” Irish Prime Minister Leo Varadkar said.

The action being proposed has already sparked concern from free-speech advocates, including Elon Musk. In a post on X, the social media platform he acquired last year when it was called Twitter, he warned that citizens could face police raids and arrest for simply possessing content deemed hateful under the new legislation.

For his part, Varadkar stressed the perceived importance of building on proposals from 2022 aimed at cracking down on specific types of speech.

“I think it’s now very obvious to anyone who might have doubted us that our incitement to hatred legislation is just not up to date,” he said. “It’s not up to date for the social media age. And we need that legislation through within a matter of weeks.”

His call for legislative action came in response to protests by Irish citizens who denounced the recent attack by an assailant identified in early reports as an immigrant from Algeria.

While Varadkar denounced the attack itself, he went on to criticize protesters for bringing “shame” on the country.

Without defending the destructive actions of some rioters, prominent Irish citizens, including UFC legend Conor McGregor have weighed in on the negative impact that unchecked migration has had on the country.

“I do understand frustrations, however, and I do understand a move must be made to ensure the change we need is ushered in,” he said. “And fast! I am in the process of arranging. Believe me, I am way more tactical and I have backing. There will be change in Ireland, mark my words.”

Even without the stricter speech restrictions recommended by the prime minister, reports indicate that police are already investigating McGregor’s comments “as part of an inquiry into the dissemination of online hate speech.”