YouTube video-maker Markus Meechan, better known to most as the ‘Nazi pug man’, was convicted of committing a hate crime after posting a video of his girlfriend’s dog who he had trained to perform a ‘Nazi salute’. The video was judged as grossly offensive for containing menacing anti-Semitic and racist material – he claims it was a joke, made to annoy his girlfriend.
Seized upon by an outraged media, Markus’ video went viral. Millions saw it and the authorities decided to act. He was arrested, found guilty of breaching the Communications Act and fined £800.
Whilst many have condemned his actions – including other comedians on London’s famous stand-up circuit where arguments over online content are being felt just as keenly – Markus has also received some high profile support, including those on the political fringe.
Following a stormy debate on freedom of speech, the programme explores what is OK to joke about, and questions, after all the offence he’s caused and the ramifications that followed, why Markus still stands by his video.
Nazi Pug – Joke or Hate? Monday from 10.00am on BBC III.