Ever since I learned about Hitler and Mussolini at school fascism and its advocates always make political alarm bells ring loud and clear. There are few things in politics and life that are as clear-cut and as Linton once sardonically chanted ‘We’re gonna smash their brains in, cos they aint got nothing in them’. The tolerance of fascism and its various tendencies in Cyprus however seems to defy all sense of political and human ethics. Of late a group of people have hidden behind cyber alter egos,. disguising themselves with pseudo heroic names. Same said people created a fake anti-Christofias group, allegedly to watch the President. They also let out the most vitriolic fundamentalist rhetoric against an EU head of state. It’s the kind of stuff that in most countries would get people wound up in jail for conspiracy or treason.

But in Cyprus somehow, and this does baffle many of us, a section of the media, coincidentally most them towing a more conservative opposition line have turned all of this into a charade about free speech and human rights. It’s a bit like a mainstream bookshop declaring Hitler’s ‘Mein Kampf’ as a best seller.

The wonders of democracy and the so-called global village. Online you can be who you want, say what you like and express yourself and please do not get me wrong. I am a virulent net user but the line between expression and repression is not so clear-cut in this case. Freedom of speech is fine as long as we can all tolerate each others views, differences and anxieties. The minute however one over steps that line where expression becomes rabid pointless hatred, then sadly you’ve missed the point. Democracy is not just about talking it’s also knowing what to say, how to say it, with dignity, intellect and solid grounded argument. If you don’t like the President, reason on it. Don’t just hide behind a fake name, thinking that somehow its OK to do so.  Imagine how this would work in other circumstances online. A person commits a serious crime online under a false name, surely if evidence exists that the said person is a say a paedophile or an extortionist, then punitive action is a must as  that’s the way of the world. What do we have regulations for.

So if some one is an out-and-out fascist, that’s their choice but at least  they should be brave enough to use a real name and face the consequences of their views and actions.

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