A YouTuber was fined US$1,100 for posting clips of his girlfriend’s dog giving a Nazi salute
Mark Meechan previously denied any wrongdoing and said he only did it to annoy his girlfriend
By Alexandra Ma
A Scottish YouTube star has been fined £800 (US$1,100) for posting clips of his girlfriend’s pug giving Nazi salutes.
Mark Meechan, who posts under the username “Count Dankula,” taught Buddha the dog how to respond to Nazi statements and posted a video of it in April 2016.
Various clips in the video show Buddha coming to attention and raising its paw when Meechan says statements like “Sieg Heil” and “gas the Jews.”
The original video was viewed more than three million times before it was taken down. Count Dankula’s YouTube channel remains active, with more than 184,000 subscribers.
The 30-year-old was convicted of committing a hate crime last month, and ordered to pay the £800 fine on Monday.
Meechan previously denied any wrongdoing and claimed that he had only made the video to annoy his girlfriend.
Regardless, Airdrie Sheriff Court found him guilty of a charge under Britain’s Communications Act because the video was “anti-semitic and racist in nature,” the BBC reported.
Meechan’s trial has opened up a debate over the principle of freedom of speech, with many of his supporters criticising the court’s decision on his behalf.
After the YouTuber was convicted of hate crime, the comedian Ricky Gervais tweeted: “If you don’t believe in a person’s right to say things that you might find ‘grossly offensive,’ then you don’t believe in Freedom of Speech.”
A man has been convicted in a UK court of making a joke that was deemed "grossly offensive". If you don't believe in a person's right to say things that you might find "grossly offensive", then you don't believe in Freedom of Speech.
— Ricky Gervais (@rickygervais) March 20, 2018
The BBC also reported a gaggle of protesters outside the court rallying on Meechan's behalf.