Freedom of speech

Discussion in 'Politics' started by DaveyR, Nov 14, 2010.

  1. DaveyR

    DaveyR Retired Moderator
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    I'll start this thread by saying that I don't usually get involved with political debates as I feel more often than not they reach a point where no agreement or common ground can be reached and the real issues becomes lost.

    A friend on mine recently shared this article on Facebook about Muslim extremists marring armistice day in the UK. My only comment was that we should pride ourselves that at least they can openly make these points in our great Country. I was shot down and berated even by avid supporters of freedom of speech. Whilst I hate what these protesters were doing I support their right to do so. Not doing so is the thin edge of the wedge IMHO.
     
  2. Jason

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    My thought is that the right to freedom of speech is always limited - there are always constraints around hateful statements. The Moslem protesters have presumably broken the law in acting in a way likely to stir up racial hatred. Freedom of speech is also limited by defamation law.

    Imposing limits on the right to freedom of speech for something like this way does seem to be standard everywhere. This is reflected in the European Convention on Human Rights. While it is possible to put forward an argument that freedom of speech should be an unlimited right there is a pretty general international consensus against this, and I don't think any nation is likely to go it alone in changing the law.
     
  3. B_VinylBoy

    B_VinylBoy New Member

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    People misinterpret "freedom of speech" to being an action that is without reprimand... that a person should be able to say whatever they want and nobody take offense or action against it. There's a cause & effect to everything in this world. It is your right to say what you want, no matter how hateful or condemning it may be. But if you abuse that privilege to invoke fear or pain to others, be prepared for others to use their right to "free speech" to respond anyway they choose.
     
  4. Bbucko

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    Precisely.

    Freedom of speech is not freedom from reaction to, and consequences arising from saying something provocative. All rights come with responsibilities and, as Jason pointed out above, there are limits on speech that civil societies require to maintain their equilibrium.

    Though I am personally ambivalent regarding legal restrictions on hate speech (though I do not tolerate genuine instances of it in my presence: I leave), I also recognize that, in a free society, we all have the right to be as big an asshole as we wish. The line gets drawn when speech incites violence, publicly propagates a lie about someone's character (defamation) or advocates revolution (sedition).

    I also understand that these standards (and many others, most especially obscenity) are subjective, fluid and subject to "prevailing community standards". I also happen to believe that, in general, we've never had greater freedom of expression than we enjoy right now (at least in the US).

    It's that old "yelling fire in a crowded theater" cliché. Though the Second Amendment protects the right to own firearms, it does not give you the right to murder.
     
  5. Speculator

    Speculator New Member

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    I agree with the OP, it must be pretty weird for Muslims though. Living in a Western country brings freedoms and rights unimagineable in Islamic states, yet at the same time we're bombing the crap out countries they have emotional links with and murdering hundreds of thousands of innocent citizens in cold blood.

    I'm not surprised they feel the need to burn a few poppies.
     
  6. alx

    alx
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  7. B_Marius567

    B_Marius567 New Member

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    People had more freedom of speech back in the 70's and 80's then they do now. :frown1:
     
  8. B_VinylBoy

    B_VinylBoy New Member

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    No they didn't.
     
  9. BobLeeSwagger

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    In the US, the main test is whether the person's actions directly incite someone to commit a crime. If the same incident happened here, it would only be a crime if they violated some other law, such as someone getting riled up enough to attack another person, vandalized property, or maybe blocking traffic or making too much noise.

    The solution? Don't publicize the protest. I didn't see anywhere in the article that specified how many Muslim protesters there were, but it clearly was a tiny fraction of the number that were observing Armistice Day. If the media hadn't shown up to tell everyone about it, then few people would have known or cared. Getting airtime was exactly the protesters' plan, which is why they timed the protest while they did. As usual, the sensationalist British press played right into their hands.

    And by the way, deliberately comparing the Muslim protesters to a child wearing his dead father's medals? Talk about manipulating the audience. By the end of the article they practically call the protesters traitors. Whereas if the media had never baited their audience into hating Muslims more, they would have just been a group of angry people that few people care about.
     
  10. dandelion

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    Now some more information from wikileaks. Several governments are squirming in embarassments. The news said the US is threatening to name wikileaks as a terrorist organisation. What can you say? Any country who declares that a news and whistleblowing organisation is a bunch of terrorists.....
     
  11. HazelGod

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    :lmao:
     
  12. Joll

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    Exactly.

    What I found surprising is that the British protesters who responded were carted away while the Muslim ones weren't. I guess it was to stop the situation getting out of control, but surely freedom of speech should apply to Britons as well as Muslims?

    I'm not sure hate speech should actually fall under freedom of speech, tho...

    Don't know what to make of this really. It's not a terrorist organisation - but it's extremely irresponsible, and if it's putting lives at risk, is it treasonable?
     
  13. Jason

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    The UK position around student records is now governed by Freedom of Information legislation. All students have a right of access to every internal email or document which names them (they can make a request at any time - there is in theory a minimal fee, but most unis will waive it). On receiving a request a university is obliged to trawl email on its systems to pick out every single reference to that student, and provide the info.

    This has really changed the way academics communicate with one another. Suddenly we have lost emails of the sort "I think X might be plagiarising, but I can't prove it", or "student X is a pain in the neck who challenges every mark, don't take him too seriously", or "student X scraped a pass but didn't deserve it", or "student X appears to have an undisclosed mental health problem and can be aggressive towards staff and students - take care". Maybe this change is right and proper. But it has meant a lot of communication has moved from email to telephone or face to face.

    Probably there has to be a similar change in diplomatic communication. But it also needs a change in the way diplomatic corps are run. If less is written down you can't keep moving people around - you need the same folk in post for a good while, and you need to accept that they know, not the database.
     
  14. Nrets

    Nrets Member

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    Truly speaking freely leads to prison and untimely death in this society, if people listen. Otherwise you just get dismissed as some sort of misfit or maladroit.
     
  15. B_crackoff

    B_crackoff New Member

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    In all fairness it's what Afghans are used to:biggrin1:

    The Taliban stopped the heroin trade entirely.

    The US opened it up.

    Nice.
    I watched a documentary about the Cold War a few years back.

    It showed mid 70s CIA & other intelligence agencies illustrate the idiocy of their black propaganda.

    Most of the information used in the Reagan era was based on bullshit made up by the CIA a decade before.

    The problem was, the administration didn't know it was bullshit as the only records on armament increases, were all the phony stuff they'd made up to serve an earlier political purpose.(I think they'd vastly inflated missile counts & deployments)

    It at least showed that these guys cared, & had frantically tried to correct the situation - but the danger is always there - if you lose a couple of people who know the fact from the fiction, you know longer know you have the truth - which is a disaster waiting to happen.

    In the same way, if the guys who know the real situation ,fall out with an administration, they'd be seen as hot heads or untrustworthy anyway, & similarly disbelieved. It's ridiculous.
     
    #15 B_crackoff, Nov 29, 2010
    Last edited: Nov 29, 2010
  16. popgoestheweasle

    popgoestheweasle New Member

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    There is no more freedom of speech....the gov in all countries have out smarted the normal citizen...by creating mass groups run by the gov to act in support for there cause the more they recruit the more control they have....well how do they achieve this? by controlling corporations ....corporations then learn and keep all the data of every individual ..they surround there trained goons around you as you enter one of these corporations ...they study your likes and dislikes and pass judgment on you....if your not inline with there views ...they make attempts to change your opinion to turn you ...if you can not be turned.. then you will get pushed out and or feel your not appreciated there ..to move on......with technology getting easier to spy on everyone this is the future...control ....there is only one way to beat this? I know how
     
    #16 popgoestheweasle, Nov 29, 2010
    Last edited: Nov 29, 2010
  17. dandelion

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    IS it? I dont find exposing that a government has lied as irreponsible at all. Id regard it as an essential part of any democracy. As to claims of putting lives at risk, well lets compare the known body count from wikileaks actions with the known body count from US actions.....

    We live in an informtaion age. The benefits of mechanised data handling are enormous and not about to go away. Bluntly, they so outweigh the harm from leaks there is no question we shall continue to keep vaster and vaster databases. Any they will all be leaked. It is interesting to wonder just where all this information has come from. The russians became bored stockpiling it so decided to embarass the US? Maybe the Irish are getting revenge, or Iceland?
     
  18. Joll

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    The leaks apparently came from a 22 yr old American soldier (who's being courtmartialled) - not Russia. Or Iceland. :tongue:

    I still think it's irresponsible. How is it responsible journalism to leak thousands of classified documents that compromise your own government's standing with other nations - especially when relations are already tricky in many cases...and may threaten the lives of your own soldiers/diplomats, etc (I don't know if it definitely does btw - just speculating)? And why is it comparable to lives lost through US action?

    Where has it exposed that the US had lied (I haven't heard that, yet)? I suspect many nations are less than honest in dealing with other countries where they deem it prudent to do so. I'm not condoning it, but I shouldn't think the US are alone in doing this.
     
  19. dandelion

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    well as a UK citizen, following the rule you suggest that lying and cheating and any underhand measure is fine, I should be delighted that wikileaks has embarassed one of our rivals. Yet I suspect each and every country is more concerned about being found out having done something embarassing than anything in the actual leaks. I think secrecy is way more often a way to hide embarassment, incompetence and indeed fraud than it is an actual national strategic interest.

    Perhaps the leaker felt the material showed the corruption of those he was supposed to be loyal to?
     
  20. B_crackoff

    B_crackoff New Member

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    I think this site should think a little more about its freedom of speech:wink:

    It was bizarre enough to allow 5 days before contacting me with a warning, more bizarre still to allow a thread that ONLY actually revolved around video footage.

    I have seen no proof whatsoever that it was a child - hearsay evidence alone.

    I think that it was the bastard son of Herve Villechaize - Nik Nak -

    He always got a bit excited about planes:rolleyes:

    This loco morality, about unidentified, alleged, minors, in a US airport, the footage of which I was linked to via CBS, & is on Youtube, affects ALL our rights, & also shed complete transparency on the thread, is barred from the pious site that gave us Cunt Kicking!:eek:

    I suppose this means I can't post my vid link of police horses charging students because some completely unidentifiable protestors were minors.

    Use a bit of common sense, or get yourselves a time machine & go back to the Berlin bunkers & join your soul mates.
     
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