Mark Meechan is a 30 year old Scots guy, and he just got in some deep shit for taking the piss.
In his own words that set context for a video he made –
Ma girlfriend is always rantin’ and ravin’ about how cute and adorable her wee dog is, and so I thought I’d turn him into the least cute thing I could think of, which is – a nazi.
So Mark trained “Buddha” (his girlfriend’s pug) to respond to the phrase “gas the Jews” (fairly obviously fcking Nazi I’d have thought) and to lift its paw in a Nazi salute when he said “sieg heil.
And he slammed it up as a youtube video.
Yesterday, a Sheriff slapped him with a £800 (NZ$1 560) fine for being “grossly offensive” (that being the verdict previously thrown at him under the “Communications Act”). In relation to freedom of speech Sheriff O’Carroll reckons that – “in all modern democratic countries the law necessarily places some limits on that right”.
Meechan intends to appeal the sentence. As he says, it was a joke that revolved around the “juxtaposition of having an adorable animal react to something vulgar”. In other words, he was communicating humour (or at least attempting to).
Regardless of your sense of humour/ sense of outrage, the more important point might be, as Mark says, that-
A really dangerous precedent has been set for people to say things, their context to be completely ignored and then they can be convicted for it. You don’t get to decide the context of what you said, other people don’t get to, the court gets to – that’s dangerous.
So this guy sets out to rile his girlfriend by portraying her cute little pug as an arse. He wasn’t suggesting that Jews actually be gassed and he wasn’t promoting Nazism. Neither was he a public figure who, arguably, ought to be careful about what they say and/or how they say what they say, because their voices are amplified, and they themselves are held aloft as influential individuals.
The “best” bit is that the guys who do promote and believe in a lot of fascist shite got a free ticket to ride some publicity off the back of this institutional stupidity.
Youtube have disabled a pile of features around the video, and have the following text below the video that requires a two step process to play – In response to user reports, we have disabled some features, such as comments, sharing, and suggested videos, because this video contains content that may be inappropriate or offensive to some audiences.
And I can maybe understand that, given their algorithms would likely link to some pretty vile stuff. But then, that’s not Mark Meechan’s problem to sort out, is it?
Anyway, the video “M8 Yer Dugs a Nazi’ may or may not be behind the link depending on exactly what it is that youtube have disabled. (I think it will be – watch it if you want, and don’t if you don’t)