New Yorker Decides US Has Too Much Free Speech; Dismisses 'Free Speech Extremists'

from the stop-speaking-so-freely dept

There's something... weird about American publications, which regularly rely on the First Amendment, to argue against those very freedoms. Obviously, part of the joys of free speech is that of course they're allowed to express opinions on why we should have less free speech... but it's still odd. The latest entrant is from the New Yorker, which has a long piece by Kelefa Sanneh, which supposedly takes a look at the "new battles over free speech" and raises some of the usual concerns these days about how there have been a number of high profile (and low profile) situations recently where people have used their free speech abilities to demand that others, with views they disagree with, be silenced.

There are reasonable and potentially interesting debates and discussions to be had around these issues, and how some have really decided that "free speech" can't somehow include any form of "speech we don't like" -- as ridiculous as that concept seems to many of us. However, Sanneh's piece is none of that. It focuses mostly on two recent books, both of which argue that "the left" is looking to stamp out free speech (it's the whole "political correctness debate" warmed over yet again). But, the article itself is oddly... devoid of any actual discussion on free speech, why it's important, or any actual free speech experts. You would think they'd at least check in with a few. But without that, the piece is chock full of just downright false claims.

The good folks at FIRE (the Foundation for Individual Rights in Education) have done a nice takedown of the piece (yay, counter-speech!) discussing ten different things that the New Yorker gets wrong in the piece (over two separate posts), but I wanted to focus on one of the stranger arguments made in the article -- that appears to slam "free speech extremists" as if they're crazy and have no rational basis.
Speech nuts, like gun nuts, have amassed plenty of arguments, but they—we—are driven, too, by a shared sensibility that can seem irrational by European standards. And, just as good-faith gun-rights advocates don’t pretend that every gun owner is a third-generation hunter, free-speech advocates need not pretend that every provocative utterance is a valuable contribution to a robust debate, or that it is impossible to make any distinctions between various kinds of speech. In the case of online harassment, that instinctive preference for “free speech” may already be shaping the kinds of discussions we have, possibly by discouraging the participation of women, racial and sexual minorities, and anyone else likely to be singled out for ad-hominem abuse. Some kinds of free speech really can be harmful, and people who want to defend it anyway should be willing to say so.
Except, nearly everything said there about free speech "nuts" is wrong. Many are more than willing to admit that much of what they defend has absolutely no valuable contribution to a robust debate. But that's the point. Defending free speech is about recognizing that there will be plenty of value-less speech, but that you need to allow such speech in order to get the additional valuable speech.

And, contrary to the claims in the article (note the lack of quotes to support the point), plenty of free speech advocates are quite reasonably worried about the ways in which certain kinds of discussions may be "discouraging the participation of women, racial and sexual minorities." Hell, Sarah Jeong just wrote a whole book about this. Or how about the Dangerous Speech Project, that specifically looks at how some speech can lead to violence, but still looks at it from a free speech perspective. Pretending no one even considers these things is simply wrong. You would think that the New Yorker, with its vaunted "fact checking" department, would have at least looked at these things.

The problem is that you can recognize how some speech may discourage other speech and then not immediately leap to saying censorship must be the answer. It is entirely possible to say that there is some kinds of speech you find problematic, but then look for other ways to deal with it -- such as with counter speech, or with technology choices that can minimize the impact -- that don't involve taking away the right to free expression.

The really ridiculous point underlying all of this is this idea that the best response to speech we don't like -- or even speech that incites danger or violence -- is censorship. That is rarely proven true -- and (more importantly) only opens everyone else up to risks when people in power suddenly decide that your speech is no longer appropriate either. Totally contrary to what Sanneh claims in the article, free speech "nuts" don't believe that all speech is valuable to the debate. We just recognize that the second you allow someone in power to determine which speech is and isn't valuable, you inevitably end up with oppressive and coercive results. And that is a real problem.

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  • icon
    That One Guy (profile), 17 Aug 2015 @ 4:30am

    What's good for the goose

    The New Yorker is expressing a view that I hold to be extreme(ist).

    Extremist content isn't valuable content and doesn't hold any worth.

    Any content that doesn't hold 'worth' can be silenced without any issue or loss.

    Therefore the New Yorker can and should be silenced.

    The proper response to 'bad' speech is pretty much always more speech. Anyone calling for restrictions on speech is basically admitting that they are either too lazy to provide counter-speech, or incapable of doing so.

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    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 17 Aug 2015 @ 6:57pm

      Re: What's good for the goose

      You and I think alike. I had the same response, the New YorkTimrs should be silenced. They and the Anti Free Speech Demon c rats are seriously dangerous.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • icon
        That One Guy (profile), 18 Aug 2015 @ 4:33am

        Re: Re: What's good for the goose

        You seem to have misread my post. I do not personally believe that the New Yorker should be silenced, as I believe that the best counter to 'bad' speech is more speech.

        Rather, I was simply applying the pro-censorship logic that they seem to be defending to them, and showing what it would mean for their paper.

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    • icon
      Hephaestus (profile), 18 Aug 2015 @ 7:28pm

      Re: What's good for the goose

      The New Yorker is expressing a view that I hold to be extreme(ist).
      Extremist content isn't valuable content and doesn't hold any worth.
      Any content that doesn't hold 'worth' can be silenced without any issue or loss.
      Therefore the New Yorker can and should be silenced.


      I agree. The worth of a paper should be determined by the party in power, and anyone expressing an alternate opinion, should be silenced. They should be jailed, their assets seized, and their children forbidden from ever holding a position in government.

      Damn, that sounds like what our government does on a daily basis, to people who do not follow their carefully crafted narrative, or who fall out of favor.

      I wonder if anyone working at newspapers worries about things like that?

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  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 17 Aug 2015 @ 6:15am

    If you can't win the argument, then

    stop your opponent from speaking.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • icon
    Doug (profile), 17 Aug 2015 @ 6:15am

    Buried the lede

    You definitely buried your lede. The argument for free speech is simple. It's your last paragraph.

    Allowing anyone to decide what is and isn't acceptable speech based on it's inherent "value" is not far away from criminalizing thought and those who disagree with the government (i.e. the ones with the weapons).

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    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 17 Aug 2015 @ 6:30am

      Re: Buried the lede

      Allowing anyone to decide what is and isn't acceptable speech based on it's inherent "value" is not far away from criminalizing thought

      It is criminalizing thought, especially as people will act in line with their thoughts.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 17 Aug 2015 @ 6:27am

    I guess if I'm going to be an extremist about something, it might as well be letting people express themselves with words.

    I'd rather people have the leeway to say what they feel, then to have them bottle it up and find new, sometimes harmful, ways to let it out.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 17 Aug 2015 @ 6:30am

    Anyone who thinks that there should be limits to free speech should start by limiting their own.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 17 Aug 2015 @ 11:56am

      Re:

      Unfortunately, there are many who would willfully cast away their own rights if it meant others are forced to sacrifice them as well. It's the largest falling of (constitutionless) democracies.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • icon
    Richard (profile), 17 Aug 2015 @ 6:32am

    technology choices that can minimize the impact

    How are "technology choices that can minimize the impact" different from censorship?

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    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 17 Aug 2015 @ 6:41am

      Re: technology choices that can minimize the impact

      One example that comes to mind: members of a forum having an "Ignore User" button, would be a technological choice that minimizes the impact. It's not censorship, as people can still say their piece. However the other people present have the option to stop 'listening' to them.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • icon
        Richard (profile), 17 Aug 2015 @ 7:20am

        Re: Re: technology choices that can minimize the impact

        Which doesn't stop the trolls from complaining that it is censorship. It was introduced to combat spam - but in its current usage it tends to hide a post but not the counter-speech posts that follow it - rendering the hiding fairly pointless. Personally I think we should limit its use to the hiding of real spam since at present we are giving some ammunition to the trolls.

        So my problem remains - just any technology choice to limit impact has the potential to be portrayed as censorship.

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        • identicon
          Anonymous Coward, 17 Aug 2015 @ 7:30am

          Re: Re: Re: technology choices that can minimize the impact

          I'm not talking about what Techdirt has. I'm talking about genuine forums that require registration. Several of them have an "ignore user" function that is introduced specifically to facilitate users ignoring disruptive posters whose behavior doesn't rise to the level of banning.

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        • identicon
          Anonymous Coward, 17 Aug 2015 @ 12:10pm

          Re: Re: Re: technology choices that can minimize the impact

          >Personally I think we should limit its use to the hiding of real spam since at present we are giving some ammunition to the trolls.

          I think you're throwing out the baby with the bathwater here. If someone makes a daft claim (e.g. "ignore user features are censorship") then the proper response is to refute it. If the claim continues to be made with the same non-arguments, switch to mockery as a response.

          That's not to say there aren't real issues with these types of features. For example, the use of "block bots" that automatically ignore large swaths of users based on (typically poorly) curated blacklists. It's well within people's rights to use these blacklists on social media, but I consider it a dereliction of the duty to expose oneself to the arguments of those who hold opposing viewpoints.

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          • identicon
            Anonymous Coward, 17 Aug 2015 @ 4:12pm

            Re: Re: Re: Re: technology choices that can minimize the impact

            "but I consider it a dereliction of the duty to expose oneself to the arguments of those who hold opposing viewpoints."

            Maybe you meant I consider it a dereliction of duty to NOT expose oneself to the arguments of those who hold opposing viewpoints?

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            • icon
              nasch (profile), 17 Aug 2015 @ 6:59pm

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: technology choices that can minimize the impact

              Maybe you meant I consider it a dereliction of duty to NOT expose oneself to the arguments of those who hold opposing viewpoints?

              It was "dereliction of THE duty to..." not "dereliction of duty to...".

              reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 17 Aug 2015 @ 6:43am

      Re: technology choices that can minimize the impact

      User guided self-censorship, is fine by me. I'm one of those people who'd rather talk things out, but that doesn't mean someone shouldn't have the ability to ignore things they'd rather not listen to for personal reasons.

      Thing is, I'm not aware of any social apps that don't make tools like that availalbe to their users, like blocking. So yes, what is left?

      - "Problematic" keywords that set off automatic trigger warnings?
      - Giving downvotes/negative karma the power to ban accounts after a certain threshold is met?

      I should stop giving the restrained speech extremists a slope to slip down.

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    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 22 Aug 2015 @ 12:58pm

      Re: technology choices that can minimize the impact

      They're not. What is happening here is that, because the First Amendment only covers the government's censorship of speech, the constitution is being rendered ineffective and, dare I say it, obsolete by the privatization -- and, indeed, corporatization of the marketplace of ideas.

      Look at the Reddit apocalypse. The SJW brigading was never addressed. The purging of subs was always against so-called "hate speech" forums -- not just overtly and unabashedly hateful ones like Coontown, but now, subtler forms of "hate speech" which are basically described as anything that the SJW white knights think might be a micro-aggression against a protected species simply for the fact that it exists. They are now going after r/atheism and r/exmuslim -- why? Because those subs offend Muslims by defending Hebdo and Geller and do indeed post Mohammed pictures. Mods at r/politics are auto-deleting anything supporting Trump, because support of Trump is an aggression against Latinos. And so on and so on.

      The whale hunters' biggest goal (after they harpooned FatPeopleHate)? Kotaku In Action, a sub that started out of opposition to the faulty narrative of Gamergate/Gamerghazi and has since expanded to include other criticisms of the arguably one-sided arguments over "discrimination" and "social injustice" in not just gaming journalism but the overarching SJW media narrative. They are also targeting the sister subs Tumblr In Action and the less-frequented Social Justice In Action as well as r/SJWHate and r/SJSucks.

      And as it turned out, this whole purge was less about the admins having a SJW streak themselves (though certainly they do), and more about sanitizing Reddit to be more attractive to VCs and potential advertisers. As usual, follow the money. Offensive speech hurts Reddit right in the feels -- I mean, the wallet.

      But, say critics of the critics (who mock the very idea of free speech by calling it "freeze peaches"), this has nothing to do with the First Amendment and is therefore not censorship. They're only half right, and that's the problem. Reddit has the authority to delete whatever it wants, because it's a private website and is not a "democracy."

      But what happens if more and more companies decide -- whether under pressure from militant activists, or simply on their own volition -- to stop providing "speech outlets" to people whose views they don't like? Namely, ISPs, web hosting providers, and domain registrars -- including "free" ones like WordPress and Google Blogger? What if Google decides to nuke every one of its blogs that contains "hateful content," or worse, adopts Github's horrible new ToS, which SJWs want to be a governing "constitution" for the Internet? Facebook already deletes pages that are hostile to "protected minority groups" -- they deleted an Australian page that simply said "I hate Muslims." Yet, the professor at B.U. who tweeted "Kill all white men" still has her account at Twitter, and so does ISIS!

      What happens if all (or most) technology companies decide to adopt this "code of conduct" and silence opposing views that, however "hateful" they might be, should still have a right to be voiced in the sphere of ideas? The ACLU defends Westboro and defended the Illinois Nazis. Why aren't they taking up the cause for censored Internet commenters? The answer is because the private sphere can still exclude anyone they want. Unless, of course, it's a private bakery that doesn't want to make a gay wedding cake, or the PGA not wanting to let Annika Sorenstam play in the Masters, or a radio station that doesn't play a whole lot of black artists simply because their listeners have told them they don't like rap. Then it's "discrimination" that must be fought. But not when it's people of "privilege" on the internet who ruffle BRD's feathers and give otherkin a sad. Then they can be excluded because it's all about excluding the excluders and hating the haters.

      TL;DR it is censorship, even if it's not done by the government. "Content moderation" is tyranny of the highest order.

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  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 17 Aug 2015 @ 6:36am

    As one of these "sexual minorities," I'd greatly appreciate it if Kelefa Sanneh would not try to speak for me. I'm perfectly capable of speaking for myself, and his views do not reflect mine at all. Why he thinks I need him to speak for me because of my sexuality is beyond me, and the fact that he believes himself my and others' spokesperson is actually pretty infuriating.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Fin, 17 Aug 2015 @ 6:38am

    There is a difference between free speech and inciting hatred.

    You should be free to have different opinions and express them, but if you suggest that others who don't share you opinion should be victim to some kind of crime, such as being beaten or killed, then I have no problem in making saying that a crime.

    I have yet to see a good argument against this.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 17 Aug 2015 @ 6:52am

      Re:

      Actual incitement of others to commit a crime is a crime, and can be used to take action when speech is made in a place and fashion that gives reasonable grounds for believing that incitement is the intent.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • identicon
        Anonymous Coward, 17 Aug 2015 @ 6:56am

        Re: Re:

        He's not talking about inciting others to commit a crime. He's saying speech like "Gun control advocates deserve to die in a burglary" should be banned.

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

        • identicon
          Anonymous Coward, 17 Aug 2015 @ 7:18am

          Re: Re: Re:

          In which case it should not be censored, as it hyperbole to try and make a point.

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        • icon
          Richard (profile), 17 Aug 2015 @ 7:40am

          Re: Re: Re:

          "Gun control advocates deserve to die in a burglary"

          Has a perfectly good repost - "Gun advocates deserve to be shot by their own guns" just use that - and move on.

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          • identicon
            Anonymous Coward, 17 Aug 2015 @ 7:45am

            Re: Re: Re: Re:

            Yes, but according to Fin up there, both of these statements should be criminal.

            reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

            • identicon
              Fin, 17 Aug 2015 @ 11:43am

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

              Do threats have to be against a specific person in US law or can they be against John Doe's. i.e. someone not yet identified by the offender

              If they can be against John Doe's then the balance is right for me. If not, then I'll stick with what I said but clarify that when I say suggest, there should be an actual intent or desire behind it, something only a jury can judge.

              Re: it's a slippery slope. Just because there is a fine line doesn't mean we shouldnt collectively walk it and accept we may stray over it from time to time. Thats part of the challenge of being a society. The important thing is we have people aware enough to pull society back should things start to go wrong

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    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 17 Aug 2015 @ 7:08am

      Re:

      You should be free to have different opinions and express them, but if you suggest that others who don't share your opinion should be victim to some kind of crime, such as being beaten or killed, then I have no problem in making saying that a crime.

      Threats are a crime. They are specifically not protected under the Constitution. Haven't been since 1969. Anything else would make most television series illegal. After all, game of thrones is entirely a series about people suggesting and following through with killing everyone else.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • icon
      That One Guy (profile), 17 Aug 2015 @ 7:16am

      Re:

      'Slippery slope' is the first thing that comes to my mind.

      'Person/group X deserves [really bad thing] to happen to them' is forbidden today, then a while later 'Person/group X deserves [moderately bad thing] to happen to them' is forbidden, then a while later 'Person/group X deserves [slightly bad thing] to happen to them' is blocked, until you reach a point where any criticism at all is considered unacceptable.

      Are such statements/opinions disgusting and nasty? Sure, but do you really think that trying(because you'll never completely succeed) to silence the speaker is going to change their mind? Or is it more likely to make undecided people think that the one being silenced had a point, because rather than debate them on the merits(or lack thereof) of their claims, their opponents instead silenced them?

      'Bad' speech is beaten by 'good' speech, not trying to shut down the 'bad' speech, that just gives it credibility where before it was lacking.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • icon
      Uriel-238 (profile), 17 Aug 2015 @ 12:18pm

      "Gays should burn in Hell"

      It's interesting to me that I find Gun control advocates should die in a burglary and Gays should burn for eternity in Hellfire are very similar, yet the latter is questionably hate speech or a threat.

      I see them as the same. In both cases someone
      believes this is the natural consequences of their choices (regardless if it actually is) and is wishing these people to be the first ones to suffer as an example to everyone else. Like Climate change denialists should die in a hurricane.

      So as much as I find both statements repugnant, I think it's on this side of the line of inciting. Real incitement would be in the more active form such as Burglars should target the homes of gun control advocates or We should burn gays and send them to Hell or Someone needs to kill this guy. That's what incitement looks like.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • icon
        Uriel-238 (profile), 17 Aug 2015 @ 12:19pm

        Re: "Gays should burn in Hell"

        Crap. Stupid mismatched markups.

        Sorry, all.

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      • identicon
        Anonymous Coward, 17 Aug 2015 @ 12:33pm

        Re: "Gays should burn in Hell"

        That's what incitement looks like.
        Hess v Indiana (1973)
        The events leading to Hess' conviction began with an antiwar demonstration on the campus of Indiana University. In the course of the demonstration, approximately 100 to 150 of the demonstrators moved onto a public street and blocked the passage of vehicles. When the demonstrators did not respond to verbal directions from the sheriff to clear the street, the sheriff and his deputies began walking up the street, and the demonstrators in their path moved to the curbs on either side, joining a large number of spectators who had gathered. Hess was standing off the street as the sheriff passed him. The sheriff heard Hess utter the word "fuck" in what he later described as a loud voice and immediately arrested him on the disorderly conduct charge. It was later stipulated that what appellant had said was "We'll take the fucking street later," or "We'll take the fucking street again." Two witnesses who were in the immediate vicinity testified, apparently without contradiction, that they heard Hess' words and witnessed his arrest. They indicated that Hess did not appear to be exhorting the crowd to go back into the street, that he was facing the crowd and not the street when he uttered the statement, that his statement did not appear to be addressed to any particular person or group, and that his tone, although loud, was no louder than that of the other people in the area.
        “We'll take the fucking street again!”
        The Indiana Supreme Court placed primary reliance on the trial court's finding that Hess' statement "was intended to incite further lawless action on the part of the crowd in the vicinity of appellant and was likely to produce such action."
        “We'll take the fucking street again!”

        Incitement? Disorderly?

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        • icon
          Uriel-238 (profile), 17 Aug 2015 @ 10:33pm

          "We'll take the fucking street again!"

          TechDirt is rife with articles about judges in the US justice system making crappy rulings, all the way up to SCOTUS (Citizen's United and Hobby Lobby come to mind). We have to obey the US justice system, but not because they are a font of fair and just rulings, but because they have guns trained on us. Often literally.

          The cornucopia of obvious stupidity that has come from case law has rendered null the presumption of authority by expertise. We may agree with specific logical steps, but can't accept that because some judge said it, it must be good.

          reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

          • identicon
            Anonymous Coward, 18 Aug 2015 @ 7:30am

            Re: "We'll take the fucking street again!"

            TechDirt is rife with articles about judges in the US justice system making crappy rulings
            So your opinion is that, based on the facts given here, Mr Hess's conviction in the Indiana courts should have been upheld?

            Because, in case I wasn't clear enough with my initial questions, I wasn't asking people to accept the Supreme Court's authority. Rather, tell me how you think this case should have been decided.

            It was a crappy ruling?

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            • identicon
              Anonymous Coward, 18 Aug 2015 @ 8:54am

              Re: Re: "We'll take the fucking street again!"

              It was a crappy ruling?
              The opinion below: Hess v State (Ind. 1973). Thus, more precisely, which court made the crappy ruling? Was the U.S. Supreme Court correct in reversing the judgment of the Indiana Supreme Court? Was that lower actually correct in upholding the Monroe Superior Court?

              But, more broadly, are the courts drawing the line in the right place on “incitement” ? Did they draw it in the right place in this specific case, on these facts?

              reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

            • icon
              Uriel-238 (profile), 18 Aug 2015 @ 1:17pm

              Re: Re: "We'll take the fucking street again!"

              No. My opinion is that rulings by US Justices cannot serve as a valid source of what should be because too many crappy rulings have been made. The only thing our justice system has done is provided an example of how even legal philosophers are prone to human bias.

              I don't think Hess should have been convicted. I really don't think Hess did wrong, but that's irrelevant. I have zero confidence in the justice system of the US, either to detect crime, or to determine guilt based on available evidence.

              Our courts no longer have a moral right to convict or imprison anyone no matter how heinous the alleged crime. Rather, their authority now is entirely at gunpoint and not on the basis of any valid judicial standard.

              reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

              • identicon
                Anonymous Coward, 18 Aug 2015 @ 2:13pm

                Re: Re: Re: "We'll take the fucking street again!"

                I don't think Hess should have been convicted.
                So, just to clear away the lingering stench of tear gas and pepper spray, and other… uh— …fumes here— You agree with the U.S. Supreme Court's decision to reverse Indiana in Hess's case.

                Our courts no longer have a moral right to convict or imprison anyone no matter how heinous the alleged crime.
                It's just that you disagree with the U.S. Supreme Court's basis for reversal in Hess. You now say that no one should be convicted for anything. You would apply that rule across the board, to everyone: to Hess, and all others.

                … any valid judicial standard.
                How do you square your most recent reasoning with your earlier contention, a few posts ago, where you said, “Real incitement would be in the more active form such as…” ? Are you merely saying that there is indeed such a thing as ”real incitement”, and that it would have such-and-so a form, but no one should ever be convicted of incitement in any American court?

                If no one ought to be convicted for incitement, then why bother trying to pin it down with a definition?

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                • icon
                  Uriel-238 (profile), 18 Aug 2015 @ 3:47pm

                  You got it right

                  We can discuss what ought to be law without conflicting with an expression of no confidence in the US justice system.

                  Granted, this means that when I delineate what is or isn't incitement, this has little meaning in the current courts. Still, the logic behind my delineation could serve in a court system of a different regime that still recognizes freedom of speech, or even in ours once again after an overhaul sufficient enough to restore the system's integrity.

                  As it is, I expect in today's US courts a DA could convict my cat of incitement if he felt it would further his political career to do so. More likely, more charges would be drummed up in order to rack up a ridiculously long sentence in order to get her (my cat) to plea-bargain.

                  This is much like a broken oil pressure gauge and a leaky oil line. We need to fix the gauge and the leak before we are able to read we have sufficient oil pressure.

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      • icon
        Richard (profile), 17 Aug 2015 @ 12:41pm

        Re: "Gays should burn in Hell"

        Real incitement would be in the more active form

        Exactly.

        "God will send all the *** to hell" is fine. (Not that I agree with it).

        "Let us help them on their way" is not.

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        • identicon
          Anonymous Coward, 17 Aug 2015 @ 12:55pm

          Re: Re: "Gays should burn in Hell"

          "Let us help them on their way" is not.
          Watts v United States (1969) is usually considered a “threats” case rather than an “incitement” case, but all the same, consider the raw facts:
          The incident which led to petitioner's arrest occurred on August 27, 1966, during a public rally on the Washington Monument grounds. The crowd present broke up into small discussion groups and petitioner joined a gathering scheduled to discuss police brutality. Most of those in the group were quite young, either in their teens or early twenties. Petitioner, who himself was 18 years old, entered into the discussion after one member of the group suggested that the young people present should get more education before expressing their views. According to an investigator for the Army Counter Intelligence Corps who was present, petitioner responded:
          "They always holler at us to get an education. And now I have already received my draft classification as 1-A and I have got to report for my physical this Monday coming. I am not going. If they ever make me carry a rifle the first man I want to get in my sights is L. B. J."
          “If they ever make me carry a rifle the first man I want to get in my sights is [the president].”

          Ok? Or not at all ok?

          How would you, yourself, decide this case, given these facts?

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          • identicon
            Anonymous Coward, 17 Aug 2015 @ 1:18pm

            Re: Re: Re: "Gays should burn in Hell"

            “If they ever make me carry a rifle the first man I want to get in my sights is [the president].”

            Ok? Or not at all ok?

            Which is OK:
            Being forced into the army.
            or
            Making threats, probably hyperbolic, against the commander of that army.

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    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 18 Aug 2015 @ 6:24am

      Re:

      OK, how about this:

      "I think we need to go in and kill the Islamic fundamentalists running ISIS."

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • icon
        Uriel-238 (profile), 18 Aug 2015 @ 1:04pm

        It's funny how rhetoric to kill the enemy gets a free pass.

        The only good Jap is a dead Jap!

        Let's kick their Axis!

        Given some of the Iran bumper-stickers, I can't tell if they're a warning that we might, or a suggestion that we should.

        Murder is conspicuously acceptable when it is authorized by our state against other people.

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        • icon
          Uriel-238 (profile), 18 Aug 2015 @ 1:22pm

          And in contemporary times...

          Gays, Thugs (blacks), Muslims and Abortionists (Abortion patients and abortion providers) are accepted by wide swaths of the US as the enemy, and so inciteful rhetoric against these groups often gets a free pass where it doesn't against other groups.

          And given the assassination of Dr. George Tiller by Scott Roeder, this kind of incitement sometimes has end results, and is still tolerated to this day.

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    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 22 Aug 2015 @ 1:08pm

      Re:

      Except that "should be" is different from "I'm going to". The former is an abstract hypothetical that *if* it happened, the speaker would feel a sense of schadenfreude. That's not illegal (or at least shouldn't be), and is by no means the same as saying you have an active plan to commit an act which if someone else did it you wouldn't be upset.

      Saying "I hope Hillary dies of a stroke so that Sanders gets the nomination" isn't the same as saying "I'm going to kill Hillary so that Sanders gets the nomination." The outcome is the same, but the circumstances and the intent are very different.

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  • identicon
    Digitari, 17 Aug 2015 @ 6:42am

    wow

    Still have not found the right to not be offended in MY copy of the constitution; Which one is The New Yorker reading from or the USG, is it another one of those secret things??

    I like to be offended, it gives me a chance to check my paradigms.

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  • icon
    Tobias Harms (profile), 17 Aug 2015 @ 6:43am

    Feeling amused that I misread his name as:
    "has a long piece by Kafka Sanneh"...

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  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 17 Aug 2015 @ 6:53am

    "the left" is looking to stamp out free speech (it's the whole "political correctness debate"

    I've seen this claim before and it is still incorrect. Political Correctness does not stymie free speech. For example, if one were to replace their favorite bigot words with ones more acceptable to society they would still be able to express their hatred of other races, sexes, etc with impunity.

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    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 17 Aug 2015 @ 7:13am

      Re:

      The problem is, it's trying to legislate language when what is "acceptable" often becomes prohibited as it gets used pejoratively, and what is "offensive", becomes unremarkable or outright inoffensive as people's sensibilities change, or the word is used with different meaning. For example, "gay" is current in an odd place where it's used as an insult meaning "that's stupid", used as a derogatory way of referring to homosexuals, and used a proper, accepted label by homosexuals. Or retard, which was normal way to refer to people with low IQ, or some types of brain defects, but people using it as an insult has turned it into a word that can hardly be used in normal conversation with it's proper meaning.

      The bottom line is that trying to make words taboo doesn't work. Whatever is used to replace them becomes equally offensive in short order. If all the racists that used "nigger" started using "gorilla" instead, in a generation we'd see people calling for use of the word "gorilla" to be banned.

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      • identicon
        Anonymous Coward, 17 Aug 2015 @ 10:55am

        Re: Re:

        Sounds like you agree that PC != censorship.

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • identicon
        Anonymous Coward, 17 Aug 2015 @ 12:13pm

        Re: Re:

        If you got that out of my statement on why the political correctness argument "replace ... bigot words with ones more acceptable to society" doesn't actually work, then you need to re-read it.

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 17 Aug 2015 @ 7:23am

      Response to: Anonymous Coward on Aug 17th, 2015 @ 6:53am

      "Political Correctness" is also in the eyes of the beholder. RW examples include, but not limited to "freedom fries," "enhanced interrogation techniques" and the attempts to whitesash US history curriculum of things that make them uncomfortable

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • identicon
        Anonymous Coward, 17 Aug 2015 @ 10:57am

        Re: Response to: Anonymous Coward on Aug 17th, 2015 @ 6:53am

        In reference to those three things - your freedom of speech was adversely affected how?

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • icon
      orbitalinsertion (profile), 17 Aug 2015 @ 7:24am

      Re:

      Because when you slur someone in attempt to silence them, but someone "on the left" (or some subset thereof) tells you why what you say is fucked up, that's harming your free speech. Hence, the "PC Police" stifle free speech. Counter-speech from some other group, when you suddenly realize you are in their space and you are the minority, is apparently an attack on free speech, especially when you are used to a lot of "amen" from the groups you are more aligned with.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • icon
      Richard (profile), 17 Aug 2015 @ 7:35am

      Re:

      Political Correctness does not stymie free speech

      "Political Correctness" originally meant denying the truth in order to conform to party doctrine and actually it still means that - it's just that the party doctrines in question have changed. It stymies free speech by promoting self-censorship.

      It isn't just about not using certain words - it is about not expressing certain ideas in any form.

      Now some of these ideas may be repugnant and some may be false - but not all are and even the false ones need to be aired if they are to be refuted.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 22 Aug 2015 @ 1:09pm

      Re:

      I've decided I'm just going to refer to BLM protesters as people who annoy me (cf. Randy Marsh).

      Which isn't entirely a lie.

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  • icon
    Mason Wheeler (profile), 17 Aug 2015 @ 7:04am

    There's something... weird about American publications, which regularly rely on the First Amendment, to argue against those very freedoms.

    Not that weird, really. The First Amendment guarantees six distinct things, and the Supreme Court has ruled that a seventh, Freedom of Association, is covered as well because it derives from the others.

    Of those seven, the first has never truly been a serious issue in the USA. The second and seventh are under continuous assault from all sides these days, with the mainstream media leading the charge. Techdirt has covered the erosion of #5 pretty extensively, and how the entirety of our legal system these days frequently seems to be stacked against #6. But how often do you see the media speaking up for any of these points?

    Freedom of the press is #4, which of course they'll protect; that's their special right. But if their stance on the other 5 ranges from ignoring them to actively helping to tear them down... why should it be any different for #3?

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    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 17 Aug 2015 @ 7:26am

      Re:

      Freedom of the press is #4, which of course they'll protect; that's their special right.

      Stop trying to make out that freedom of the press refers to new organizations, it refers to the printing press, and by extension any other means of publication, and as such is everybody's right. Note that as a right it applies just as much to the ability to create and publish on your own website without it being taken down, as it does to paying for the printing and distribution of flyers, pamphlets and books.

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      • identicon
        mcinsand, 17 Aug 2015 @ 7:39am

        regarding publication freedom and varied media

        I've always wondered how sign regulations are compatible with the First Amendment. It's not that I want a visually-cluttered environment, and I have no associations with the sign industry, direct or indirect, but I believe in having consistent principles (or at least striving to do so). If I own a piece of property with home, business, or whatever, how is telling me what sort of sign I can use NOT an abridgement of my right to free speech?

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        • identicon
          Anonymous Coward, 17 Aug 2015 @ 8:11am

          Re: regarding publication freedom and varied media

          There are safety grounds for limiting what is on display to passing drivers, as a large poster of a naked person that they fancy can lead to accidents. How would you react to someone you love being hit by a vehicle because the driver was distracted by roadside advert.

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          • icon
            nasch (profile), 17 Aug 2015 @ 8:17am

            Re: Re: regarding publication freedom and varied media

            How would you react to someone you love being hit by a vehicle because the driver was distracted by roadside advert.

            "How would you feel if it happened to someone you love" is seldom if ever a good basis for public policy.

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            • identicon
              Anonymous Coward, 17 Aug 2015 @ 8:30am

              Re: Re: Re: regarding publication freedom and varied media

              Except when dealing with something that is being forced on the public without an option of avoiding it, and which poses a danger to members of the public directly, or indirectly by distracting drivers and the like. It is the reason that drinking and driving is banned, not because the driver may kill themselves, but because it poses a significant extra risk to the public.

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              • icon
                nasch (profile), 17 Aug 2015 @ 2:09pm

                Re: Re: Re: Re: regarding publication freedom and varied media

                Except when dealing with something that is being forced on the public without an option of avoiding it, and which poses a danger to members of the public directly, or indirectly by distracting drivers and the like.

                Such situations do not require making policy based on an emotional response to a hypothetical scenario.

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            • icon
              Mason Wheeler (profile), 17 Aug 2015 @ 10:29am

              Re: Re: Re: regarding publication freedom and varied media

              "How would you feel if it happened to someone you love" is seldom if ever a good basis for public policy.

              Why do you say that?

              Reduce that down to the core value expressed, and you have "empathy is seldom if ever a good basis for public policy," which makes no sense unless the person saying it is a sociopath--a person with a psychological condition that causes them to be incapable of empathy--or an Objectivist--a person with a badly skewed belief system that causes them to see sociopaths as a high ideal worthy of emulation.

              Or, alternatively, if you subscribe to the psychological theory that friends and loved ones are those who we see on a subconscious level as extensions of our own Self, then this "policy basis" derives naturally from the Golden Rule, which has been one of the most solid bases for public policy at least as far back as Hammurabi's Code.

              So what exactly is bad about it?

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              • icon
                nasch (profile), 17 Aug 2015 @ 10:37am

                Re: Re: Re: Re: regarding publication freedom and varied media

                Why do you say that?

                Because if we make our laws based on how imagined events would make us feel, we'll end up with terrible laws. For example, how would you feel if your loved ones died in a car crash? Horrible. So does that mean we need to make sure there are never any car crashes? The only way to do that (currently) is to ban cars. Extend that to hypothetical scenarios that are terrifying but very unlikely, and the results get even worse.

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                • icon
                  Mason Wheeler (profile), 17 Aug 2015 @ 10:47am

                  Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: regarding publication freedom and varied media

                  For example, how would you feel if your loved ones died in a car crash? Horrible. So does that mean we need to make sure there are never any car crashes? The only way to do that (currently) is to ban cars.

                  ...or, when we're not employing ridiculous hyperbole, we could try doing something that actually works, like figuring out why people die in car crashes and using the data obtained to work to make cars safer.

                  How do I know that actually works? Because someone actually did that, and it ended up making cars measurably safer, to the point where he's been called "the person whose work saved more lives than any American but Jonas Salk." And getting laws passed to establish minimum safety standards was a big part of it.

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                  • identicon
                    Anonymous Coward, 17 Aug 2015 @ 10:54am

                    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: regarding publication freedom and varied media

                    "the person whose work saved more lives than any American but Jonas Salk."
                    Jonas Salk wasn't even partially responsible for the invasion of Iraq.

                    Just sayin'.

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                    • icon
                      Mason Wheeler (profile), 17 Aug 2015 @ 11:00am

                      Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: regarding publication freedom and varied media

                      ...huh?

                      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

                      • identicon
                        Anonymous Coward, 17 Aug 2015 @ 11:03am

                        Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: regarding publication freedom and varied media

                        ...huh?
                        Don't play too stupid. It ill-becomes you.

                        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

                        • icon
                          Mason Wheeler (profile), 17 Aug 2015 @ 11:32am

                          Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: regarding publication freedom and varied media

                          No one was saying anything at all about Iraq or the invasion thereof; we were talking about vehicular safety.

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                          • identicon
                            Anonymous Coward, 17 Aug 2015 @ 11:46am

                            Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: regarding publication freedom and varied media

                            No one was saying anything at all about Iraq or the invasion thereof
                            Don't let your chad hang.

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                  • icon
                    nasch (profile), 17 Aug 2015 @ 11:06am

                    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: regarding publication freedom and varied media

                    Yes, but he didn't need to imagine how he would feel if his family died in a car crash to do that. When someone resorts to asking you to imagine how you would feel if something bad happened to you personally, it may be a sign that they are unable to come up with a sound public policy reason for what they're proposing and are seeking instead to convince you by invoking an emotional reaction.

                    Car safety is great, but would a regulation that saves five lives a year and costs 10 billion dollars be a good idea? If you imagine those five lives are your family, it would certainly seem like it. If you consider objectively other ways that 10 billion dollars could be spent, probably not.

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                    • icon
                      Richard (profile), 17 Aug 2015 @ 1:15pm

                      Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: regarding publication freedom and varied media

                      but he didn't need to imagine how he would feel if his family died in a car crash to do that.

                      Yes - and beyond that it brings in an emotional reaction which is seldom a good basis for rational thought. IN particular it is more likely to result is laws to penalise the driver who is deemed responsible (even though there will ALWAYS be some who make mistakes) rather than technical solutions that would actually avert the accident.

                      For example Princess Diana's death had one cause that the authorities could do something about - not the paparazzi, not the drunken/drugged chauffeur, (and certainly not some ridiculous conspiracy by the Duke of Edinburgh) not even her own failure to wear a seat belt - but the failure of the French highways agency to install a crash barrier in the tunnel.

                      The press - by concentrating on emotionally charged reasons has obscured the important one (which AFAIK has still not been done).

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          • identicon
            mcinsand, 17 Aug 2015 @ 8:22am

            Re: Re: regarding publication freedom and varied media

            There are safety aspects with respect to aircraft, sidewalk clearances, etc. And, as far as nudity, there are also other issues regarding pornography (some are also free-speech related, but we can leave that to another topic). As far as getting close to the edge, anyone that gets sufficiently distracted by a swimsuit-clad model probably will have too much trouble leaving an internet-connected computer to get out in the car, anyway.

            Where I see a big clash with free speech isn't the safety related, and we can forget the topic of salacious or otherwise non-boring signs. A lot of areas have tight restrictions on whether or what an owner might advertise via sign, and that makes me wonder a lot about free speech issues.

            reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

            • identicon
              Anonymous Coward, 17 Aug 2015 @ 9:12am

              Re: Re: Re: regarding publication freedom and varied media

              ...A lot of areas have tight restrictions on...what an owner might advertise via sign...

              In my area the issue(s) are not what's on the signs. The issue(s) are the signs themselves. In recent years two trends have emerged: portable 'A-Frame' signs that the business can put out when they open and take down when they close, and human 'Sign Spinners' that stand on the public sidewalks. Many cities in my area have ordinances that prohibit the A-Frames on public sidewalks, and they have crews driving around who will confiscate any sign they find on the sidewalk. No warnings, either: they get out of their truck, throw the sign in the back of the truck, and drive off. Sign Spinners have been more problematic: many folks see them as a distraction. One city tried to prohibit them altogether but got their ordinance shot down in court. The court said the city could regulate them but could not prohibit them.

              reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

          • icon
            Uriel-238 (profile), 17 Aug 2015 @ 10:44pm

            A billboard of a naked person is distracting to drivers...

            ...only because our culture is not used to posters of naked persons.

            Parts of the US is used to scantily clad attractive people on billboards, and seldom (if ever) are accidents attributed to those billboards.

            Take the same billboards and post them in Saudi Arabia and you might have problems.

            Similarly, occasionally naked people have been posted on billboards in the UK and in Europe without a noticeable increase in driver fatalities.

            So...not a real problem.

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            • icon
              Richard (profile), 18 Aug 2015 @ 2:42am

              Re: A billboard of a naked person is distracting to drivers...

              Take the same billboards and post them in Saudi Arabia and you might have problems.

              I think "driver distraction" would be the least of your worries.

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        • icon
          John Fenderson (profile), 17 Aug 2015 @ 9:18am

          Re: regarding publication freedom and varied media

          "how is telling me what sort of sign I can use NOT an abridgement of my right to free speech"

          It is. Equally, laws that say I can't beat up random people in the street are an abridgement of my freedoms. Laws that say I can't dump toxic waste into a stream are and abridgement of my freedoms. Etc.

          There is no such thing as an absolute right, because every right can be exercised in a way that abridges other rights. Free speech is no exception to this. There are plenty of examples of free speech restrictions that most people don't find controversial. Slander and libel laws, for example.


          I think the key is finding the right balance between these competing rights. Generally, there is an attempt to find a balance that leads to the least harm and most freedom overall. If we are restricting the rights of people, regardless of what rights we're talking about, then a strong case must be made that failing to restrict them causes either a clear harm to the public or an even greater restriction in the rights of others.

          For free speech, this is an exceptionally high bar. As it should be.

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          • identicon
            Anonymous Coward, 17 Aug 2015 @ 9:27am

            Re: Re: regarding publication freedom and varied media

            … a clear harm to the public… For free speech, this is an exceptionally high bar.
            Oh? You favor a “clear and present danger” test for speech?

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            • identicon
              Anonymous Coward, 17 Aug 2015 @ 9:40am

              Re: Re: Re: regarding publication freedom and varied media

              There is also a difference between publishing where people can choose whether or not to view/listen to speech, and forcing other people to listen to your speech; and advertising all too often strays into the latter region.

              reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

              • identicon
                Anonymous Coward, 17 Aug 2015 @ 9:56am

                Re: Re: Re: Re: regarding publication freedom and varied media

                … and forcing other people to listen to your speech; and advertising all too often strays into the latter region.
                It's been a long while since I took a critical look at Rowan v Post Office (1970) and progeny.

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          • identicon
            Anonymous Coward, 17 Aug 2015 @ 11:31pm

            Re: Re: regarding publication freedom and varied media

            There is no such thing as an absolute right
            There is one absolute right and that is to choose. You may not be able to carry out your choice, but you are able to choose.

            You can even choose not to make a choice which is a choice that you have made. The consequences of the choice may bring unpleasant results but you are still able to make your choice.

            The thing that is ridiculous though is that there are many who would like (and try very hard to do so) to stop or force you not to make choices against what they want.

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  • identicon
    Pixelation, 17 Aug 2015 @ 7:22am

    Word hurt

    I love the comparison to guns. Apparently word are now deadly weapons and should be silenced.

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    • identicon
      mike, 17 Aug 2015 @ 12:22pm

      Re: Word hurt

      Not to mention:

      "And, just as good-faith gun-rights advocates don’t pretend that every gun owner is a third-generation hunter"

      The 2nd Amendment has absolutely nothing to do with hunting.

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      • icon
        Mason Wheeler (profile), 17 Aug 2015 @ 12:48pm

        Re: Re: Word hurt

        No one's saying it does.

        The point being made there is that experienced hunters have training in how to use a gun safely. Because a gun is a weapon, made for the specific purpose of causing harm, knowing how to use it safely is very important, and people who lack that knowledge can cause harm when they do not intend to, which results in a tragedy.

        Therefore, good-faith gun-rights advocates don't pretend that a lot of gun owners weren't raised in a family where knowledge of gun safety can be assumed--in other words, they acknowledge that there are actually plenty of people out there who own guns and don't know how to use them safely, making them a danger to themselves and those around them, whereas other, more ideological gun-rights advocates never seem to care about points like this.

        That's the distinction being drawn here.

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    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 22 Aug 2015 @ 1:11pm

      Re: Word hurt

      I'll take The Penis Mightier for 200, Trebek.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 17 Aug 2015 @ 8:02am

    Funny how they try to silence the complaining people instead of looking at what they are complaining about. Its easier to deny that there is a problem than to fix it but why do they want others to think like them too?

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  • identicon
    Glenn, 17 Aug 2015 @ 8:18am

    Same old story

    There have always been, and there will always be people who only think you have the right to speak "freely" if you agree with them. Such people will never understand the concept of free speech or the nature of the most basic human rights that everyone is born with.

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  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 17 Aug 2015 @ 9:41am

    Presidential politics

    Buried down in the 18th paragraph of the 25 paragraph New Yorker article:
    One example is political advertising; its apparent efficacy is precisely the reason that some reformers want to limit it. In the case of Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission, the Supreme Court considered the case of a conservative political group, Citizens United, that wanted to broadcast and advertise a documentary critical of Hillary Clinton, who was then a senator and a Presidential candidate. . . . For opponents of the decision, it is awkward, to say the least, that their leading ally is the same politician whom the plaintiffs’ film sought to criticize.
    Awkward, to say the least.

    If you step back, and look at the overall strategies that the two major parties are taking in the early going, you might notice a pattern that make you go, “Hmmmmm…” I think the one of the questions is whether the Democratic party has entirely given up on the hard-core civil liberties vote. Or whether they've set up Bernie as a stalking horse—in order to distance Hillary from a clear and definite anti-First amendment position.

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  • identicon
    Howard the Duck, 17 Aug 2015 @ 12:27pm

    Surprise!

    Hear what Mike says here TechDirt fans. If you don't like what someone says in these threads, don't report it.

    "Except, nearly everything said there about free speech "nuts" is wrong. Many are more than willing to admit that much of what they defend has absolutely no valuable contribution to a robust debate. But that's the point. Defending free speech is about recognizing that there will be plenty of value-less speech, but that you need to allow such speech in order to get the additional valuable speech."

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    • icon
      That One Guy (profile), 17 Aug 2015 @ 2:39pm

      Re: Surprise!

      Reporting a post does not 'silence' it, as is abundantly clear by all the replies reported posts get on a regular basis. Instead, consider it a warning, 'This poster is acting like a child, and has been sent to time-out as a result.'

      If people don't like being sent to time-out so much, then they can stop acting like children and have mature conversations about the topic at hand. As long as they act like children though, they will be treated appropriately.

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    • icon
      Wyrm (profile), 17 Aug 2015 @ 5:21pm

      Re: Surprise!

      Mandatory xkcd reference...
      https://xkcd.com/1357/

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 17 Aug 2015 @ 10:49pm

      Re: Surprise!

      Giving a time-out to a two year old who's throwing a temper-tantrum isn't censorship, it's parenting. People here just want you to grow up and act like a big boy.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Digitari, 17 Aug 2015 @ 12:41pm

    Freedom of speech Vs PC speech

    If someone says "IMHO Homosexuality is wrong" that is expressing your right to free speech.

    Saying "all faggots should die a horrible death" may offend people, but is still expressing your right to free speech.

    However saying "Joe public is a homosexual and should be killed" could be construed as a threat and/or libel depending on the veracity of Joe Public's sexuality.

    you have the right to express your Opinion, No matter how offensive it may be to others, it still does not limit their freedom to express themselves of an opposing view.

    when you ban or stifle speech, that is where it crosses the line.

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  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 17 Aug 2015 @ 12:57pm

    they believe in rights for only themselves and no rights for anyone else. Much like how politicians act

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]


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