Christopher Wolf: Setting boundaries

The anti-Muslim Dutch politician Geert Wilders is testing the limits of the Internet.

Promotions for his film purportedly condemning the Koran, that were posted on YouTube in February led the government of Pakistan to block the site in its entirety.

Wilders also created a stir when he announced that he would premier the film on his Web site,, hosted by Network Solutions (best known for its domain name services). Network Solutions suspended, saying that it did so to investigate whether the site’s content violated its “acceptable use policy.”

Under that policy, material that is “harassing, abusive, threatening, harmful, vulgar [or is] hate propaganda” is prohibited.

Predictably, on the blogosphere in the United States, Network Solutions is being called a censor and a coward, with scores of posts praising the Internet for its “anything goes” culture. Some are arguing that if Wilders’s movie is offensive and prompts violence, so be it – that’s the price of Internet freedom.

But do we really permit anything on the Internet? Of course not.

Read it all.


Posted in * Culture-Watch, Blogging & the Internet, Law & Legal Issues

2 comments on “Christopher Wolf: Setting boundaries

  1. Matthew A (formerly mousestalker) says:

    The company is well within its rights. Unfortunately the author has little interest in defending free speech, only in deterring ‘hate speech’, whatever that may be.

  2. Branford says:

    The company is well within its rights, and as a (former) customer of Network Solutions, I am well within my rights to transfer my domain names to another service, since doing business with a company that suspends a site BEFORE anything is posted (sound familiar? just think the earlier presentment brought against Bishop Schofield before San Joaquin had made any decision) based on fear is not a company I want to do business with.