Mark Meechan, a Scottish Youtuber who goes by the name 'Count Dankula', (link) was found guilty today in court for a YouTube video he made where he taught his girlfriends dog the Nazi salute. The video in question begins with Mark saying, "I wanted to teach this cute dog the most uncute thing I could think of, and that's Nazi's". The intention was to annoy his girlfriend by training her dog to react to his ill-mannered joke.
Here is the original video, posted in 2016.
The court found Mark guilty of a hate crime and could possibly face a year in jail following his sentencing which is set for April 23rd. The 30-year-old Scottish man pleaded his case in court affirming that he is neither anti-semitic or prejudice and that the original video, however, tasteless deserves to be scrutinized in the proper context.
“I don’t actually hate Jewish people and the video was just an insight into the darker side of my humor, a prank to annoy my girlfriend and that I did not intend for people, other than people who knew my comedy, to see the video,” he said, reports the Jewish Chronicle.
Now we do not condone the message of Count Dankula's original video, ( how could we) but we do acknowledge that this case highlights an important distinction of what constitutes free speech and what we consider hate speech. It honestly seems doubtful that Mark Meechan will face any serious jail time but the fact that it is even a possibility should grab all of our attention.
Editors Note: This is an evolving story and information is subject to change.