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VP Of 'Students For Free Speech' Sues Critic For (Among Other Things) Calling Him A 'Free Speech Asshole' - 2019-03-04

F0.png VP Of 'Students For Free Speech' Sues Critic For (Among Other Things) Calling Him A 'Free Speech Asshole' March 4, 2019, Mike Masnick, Techdirt

What is it with these Canadian "free speech defenders" suing their critics for their free speech? We've already covered the ridiculous lawsuits by Jordan Peterson and Gavin McInnes against some of their critics, and now we can add a lawsuit by Michele Di Franco, whose Twitter profile notes that he is the "VP Finance" for the "uOttawa Students for Free Speech" club.

You would think that, as such, Di Franco would recognize that others' free speech might sometimes reflect negatively on him, and be able to take it. But, nope. In January, Michael Bueckert wrote an article on Medium discussing how Doug Ford's government did not appear to consult many actual students in forming a plan to defund many student organizations at universities. Bueckert's article notes that it appears the only students who were consulted were the University of Ottawa Free Speech club, based on a roundtable it held that Doug Ford attended. Bueckert had some significant concerns about this, noting that (1) a club like that is not representatives of students and (2) Di Franco appeared to regularly associate with various individuals and groups whose focus was often on supporting the right to spew bigotry on campus. Bueckert tweeted out his article a bunch, often referring to the "alt-right" and in one case talking about "free speech assholes who are freely giving these white supremacists a paid platform."

Di Franco lawyered up, sending a threatening cease and desist, demanding that Bueckert take down the post, stop referring to Di Franco as anything remotely connected to bigotry or the alt-right, provide a written apology and retraction, and pay $2,000 to the lawyers. Bueckert hired some lawyers of his own to respond. It's a good response:

Wikipedia cite:
{{cite news | first = Mike | last = Masnick | title = VP Of 'Students For Free Speech' Sues Critic For (Among Other Things) Calling Him A 'Free Speech Asshole' | url = https://www.techdirt.com/articles/20190304/17074241733/vp-students-free-speech-sues-critic-among-other-things-calling-him-free-speech-asshole.shtml | work = Techdirt | date = March 4, 2019 | accessdate = May 21, 2019 }}