The Electronic Frontier Foundation is a pretty sturdy defender of free speech rights online. Therefore, in many ways, it is no surprise that EFF decided to take up a case in which PETA alleges their free speech rights were violated when Texas A&M deleted comments by the group about the university lab’s use of dogs in its muscular dystrophy experiments on Texas A&M’s Facebook page.
According to EFF’s press release the group contends:
The school, the nation’s second-largest public university by student enrollment, won’t publish any post containing the animal rights group’s name, or posts containing at least 11 words, including “cruelty,” “abuse,” “torture,” “lab,” “testing,” and “shut.” The censorship started after PETA began an advocacy campaign against Texas A&M for a medical research lab studying muscular dystrophy in dogs for the purposes of finding a cure for the human version of the disease. The lab breeds golden retrievers to develop the illness, and subjects the dogs to cruel and inhuman treatment, PETA maintains. The organization uses social media, including Facebook, to publicize its campaign.
In reality what Texas A&M was refusing to do was allow PETA to lie about the university’s efforts related to its lab experiments (i.e. science denial). PETA is well known not only to lie about medical tests using animals, the living conditions of the laboratories that use animals, and also edits videos they produce alleging animal cruelty and has supported ALF activists who have conducted acts of terrorism.
With all of this in mind, is EFF more interested in being a guardian of a group who knowingly engages in political activities that involve acts of force and fraud or are they interested in truly being a defender of free speech online? Taking into account the group’s press release, it is clearly the former.
EFF’s defense isn’t about defending free speech but being a legal strongman for PETA to conduct its nihilistic activities that result in the suffering and death of human beings. Shame on the Electronic Frontier Foundation!