The conviction of a man for a tasteless video clip on Youtube of a pug raising its paw in imitation of a Nazi salute raises worrying issues.
If a questionable video-clip of a small dog, can result in a criminal record, how can people feel safe to discuss awkward questions or challenge prevailing orthodoxies. Today mass immigration and multiculturalism among other issues are much in need of forensic discussion, but is it safe to do so?
When the general public knows that so much serious crime goes unprosecuted, taking action over a a witless video on Youtube can only serve to undermine confidence in the criminal justice system. For example, FGM has been illegal in Britain since 1985, and yet our police and courts have not yet managed to imprison a single vile perpetrator.
While social media does, of course, need policing of threats, scams and defamation, a poor taste online video that you have to click to play really does not justify the use of police, prosecutors or court time.
We allow well-meaning public servants to destroy freedom of speech at our grave peril.