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What Is Your Opinion On Free Speech?

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So, unfortunately, my day hasn't been coming along very well. I was very bored, and so I decided to check some old threads here in Doomworld, including some random political conversation out there. It was mostly... Well, just political talk, no big deal so far. This one guy, who I will just call User1, names aren't important anyways was talking about how some people don't like free speech, how that is bad, things like that. Then, User2 came along and posted an actually quite interesting response, about how violations on free speech aren't actually can only happen when enforced directly on governments, I won't go into much detail right now but its basically that. And its User2 reply that actually got me thinking real hard and scratching my head. Here is the reply. I just hope me taking it out of the original thread isn't going to cause some severe misenterpertation issues...

 

                                        "Thanks for misinterpreting what I meant about censorship. Notice I didn't mention free speech once.
                                         Also, people generally think shutting up those they disagree with is a good thing. I never understood

                                         that. Its like people are genuinely afraid of having their ideas challenged. Here's an example, flagging

                                         YouTube channels you disagree with, or petitioning governments to block speakers whom you disagree with."

 

 

Well, first of all, I'm actually slightly confused about the first sentences. Aren't free speech and censorship naturally intricate? Its a bit hard to talk about one without also talking about the other... Again, the fact I'm taking this off the original context might affect your perceptions a bit, but I really don't want to almost put the entire thread here, it would pratically be necroposting...

 

But moving on, the rest of the comment is what actually caught my attention and what I'm writing mostly about. It really did make the gears inside my head moving again, I just like to think about complicated and potentially controversial topics... It envolves User1 not exactly just outright rejecting User2's ideas, but still not being very attracted to it. Anyways, I figure its the best time now to talk about in more detail what even was that User2 talked about. Like I said before, only when the government is directly involved can your free speech rights be in cause. Any privately owned platform for means of communication has the right to not tolerate what stuff they can not stand. For example, the government can't censor this post I'm making, but any Doomworld admin could delete it. Freedom of speech doesn't mean freedom from consequence.

 

So, going back to the topic, which one of those guys were right? User1 made some valid arguments... It really made my mind work out and decide what side to take... And in my opinion, I think I will agree with User2. Again, I understand completely User1's point of view, but the other one just makes more sense to me. Sure, petiotioning the government to stop someone from expressing themselves is actual censorship, but flagging videos on YouTube is another completely different thing. YouTube as a company has the right to remove what is against their terms of service that people even must agree with in the first place: wheter you agree with them or not is another completely different question. If you don't like the policies, you can always just go to another platform or even create your own. Its not "shutting up those they disagree" at all. And again, thinking that those people should be more respectful of others opinions is another completely different question.

 

Anyways, those are the incoherent, pseudo-intelectual ramblings written in my very poor english, in a giant wall of text that could easily pass as a novel given its size... And its me, or do I use the word "anyways" too much? Oh well, I just want to say one more thing: what is your opinion? What do you think of the given subject? I do believe its very interesting concept to think about, at least it kept me with something to do. And no, causing controversy for the sake of it is NOT my intention or anything. I am genuinely interest in actual mature discussion. We are all adults were, we can behave and talk withouth problems, right? So, share your position if you want!

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38 minutes ago, DSC said:

Like I said before, only when the government is directly involved can your free speech rights be in cause. Any privately owned platform for means of communication has the right to not tolerate what stuff they can not stand. For example, the government can't censor this post I'm making, but any Doomworld admin could delete it. Freedom of speech doesn't mean freedom from consequence.

 

Pal, you are giving the correct answer. Its like how you say. Like it or not. Thats the problem. Nobody like that. Everybody wants to talk and not be judged and just be worshiped for their insightful words. Like me right now. But we all know that what i quoted from you, its the way of the world.
About what you say about the term of use, if the user don't respect it, the channel is in their right to censor it. Different is, the user not violating at all the term of use and still being censored. Thats a good moment to call for lawyers...

 

...but, seriously? Who wants to fight something soo big and relentless in comparison?

Just people like Ghandi, Mandela, Mother Teresa from Calcuta and a few others. Yes they are social heroes, but what happened in the process? Thats not the romantic vision of hero all want. Not at all. This people i mentioned maybe left a big impression on history, but their life wasn't easy or happy at all. And thats where come the compromise. They got the compromise to make the choices they made, to fight against what really is bad.

They don't win, but they give a really good fight.
And thats the real thing here. There are a lot of people just talking, because its free to speech, right? But when what they said is on the gallows, everybody make the step back, but you know what? They were given the oportunity to look from up there a little moment, and for that, they think that are better than whoever is watching.

 

In short, Free Speech is a right, not a right given by a government. It A life Right. But who wants to oppose a government that is know to eliminate all that oppose it?

Thats the world in where we are living, a world in where our speech, our opinion value is there after being judged, once that happend, everybody have five minutes of fame. And thats pretty addictive, so you know why everybody like to argue about anything all time. To have more. That little snippet of attention is the drug that makes the world move around.

EDIT: here are my five minutes. Enjoy!

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Free speech is free, until you start talking about ending free speech. At that point, you're an enemy of free speech, and you should fucking die.

 

Topical, since it's been 2 days since we Dutch had Liberation Day, also known as Whole-Lotta-Dead-Nazis-Day.

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it shouldn't exist. it only further divides the people and the state, something libertarians jerk off to. a unity creates productivity, and productivity leads to our common goals. not only does free speech divides the people, but it also means the freedom of false speech roaming; limiting it would result in limiting free speech alone.

 

libertarians are stuck in their shallow beliefs that they can better the state, and people can live in harmony if the state somehow doesn't exist (to some extent, obviously)

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7 hours ago, Teabλg_Johnson said:

it shouldn't exist. it only further divides the people and the state, something libertarians jerk off to. a unity creates productivity, and productivity leads to our common goals. not only does free speech divides the people, but it also means the freedom of false speech roaming; limiting it would result in limiting free speech alone.

 

libertarians are stuck in their shallow beliefs that they can better the state, and people can live in harmony if the state somehow doesn't exist (to some extent, obviously)

There's this fucked up dynamic inside free speech where it cannot truly be free, because truly free speech is fundamentally self-destructive.

 

Just look at the free speech of pre-Nazi Germany. That's exactly the issue with total free speech. Eventually someone comes along, and abuses free speech until they control it, and they can just trash the whole concept.

Anti-democratic, fascist agents should be excluded from free speech, and if push comes to shove, be destroyed to ensure a free society.

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I would not be able to comment on this thread if it didn't exist.

 

(As in a site like this would undoubtely be censored because it highlights free speech.)

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7 hours ago, Hellbent said:

 

Unfortunately I can't see the video, its not available anymore... What it was exactly?

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in my country (and several others) speech is free, except that hate speech (anything that promotes hate against others, racism, discrimination)  is not free.

 So you can say whatever you want, publicly or privately, but if what you have to say is "X people should die" or "Y persons should be flogged to death" it is considered hate speech and as such not protected by free speech and you can be trialed for it. 

 However, there haven't been many cases of it actually happening, and when it does happen most time the persons using hate speech get a fine and that's it... There was one famous case a while back of a politician publicly insulting another that ended up in court, the offending one ending up having to apologize and pay for the case, but that's about it.. 

 

 Long story short, I agree with free speech but I also agree with hate speech laws that somewhat limit that free speech, because it's better to limit a bit than to allow hate to spread (even) more.

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Free speech is fine with me but just because I think you have the right to say whatever you want does not mean that I have to listen to what you have to say.

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9 hours ago, FractalBeast said:

Free speech is free, until you start talking about ending free speech. At that point, you're an enemy of free speech, and you should fucking die.

 

This.

 

A common misconception I've noticed in the past is also that free speech is equated with "freedom from consequences". That's not how anything we do works in reality. Everything we do has consequences of some sort, and believing otherwise is just naive. That being said, I believe that repressing it, for better or worse, is inherently counter-productive and a bad thing to do in general, contrary to the idea that some things should be limited. Challenge or plain ignore the opinions you disagree with than trying to silence them, it's as if some are afraid of having their views questioned.

 

Oppression breeds more oppression, it's as simple as that, and whatever aims to silence is bound to eventually fall, so I naturally oppose these ideas in general, regardless of what they might be promoting - again, not to be confused with lack of consequences, so for instance, if you try to spread discrimination, racism, intolerance, advocate crimes, and so on (yes I know, maybe I got a bit extreme with the examples but you get the idea nonetheless), then by all means be prepared to face whatever comes your way. Your freedom ends when mine does. And just because you can say whatever you want, that doesn't mean I should or will be listening to whatever you have to say, or even care about it.

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Personally speaking, free speech should end where violence starts.

Swear like a drunken sailor and people will just ignore you, but try to rally people into fighting someone and that's where I draw a line.

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Freedom of speech is the right to criticise the ruling government, without fear of prosecution.

 

It is not applicable for anything else.  

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Freedom of speech ends when you use it to advocate violence or spread misinformation, you still have the right to say what you want to say but that doesn't mean it can't be questioned or challenged.

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I guess, free speech doesn't necessarily mean "without consequences", but could there hypothetically be a situation, a space, a concept where free speech would be "without consequences" 100% of the time, while also being relevant and heard-able? Like a platform of sorts?

 

The second part of my question exists because if it didn't, it would be hecka easy to just say "yeah, just put a box over your head first".

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1 hour ago, Liberation said:

Freedom of speech is the right to criticise the ruling government, without fear of prosecution.

 

It is not applicable for anything else.  


Guys, guys, you're over-simplifying the topic here. The first amendment states that congress cannot make laws that limit people's right to speak. The idea of "freedom of speech" is not a rule that's written down somewhere. It's more like a sector of philosophy where you ask the question "how do we allow ideas to be expressed fairly?" and run into lots of paradoxical situations.

 

The classic paradox is about shouting "Fire!" in a crowded room. This is a form of speech that is disruptive and dangerous, and you totally will get in trouble for it. Also, defamation is a form of speech that the government can prosecute you for.

On a debate stage, how do you create a fair contest? If you just give the participants total freedom, then one of them could use various tactics to "defeat" their opponent without actually arguing a better point. Intimdation, distraction, and dishonesty are some "soft" ways to be disruptive in a debate. Even worse would be if the person does stuff like talking over the opponent or speaking for as long as possible, to limit their time - using unrelated facts to defame the opponent and make them look bad - or claiming victory over and over so much that the audience starts to believe it. Just watch Trump for five seconds to see how it's done. Anyway, this is an area where "freedom of speech" can be examined a little differently from the broad case of daily life. You are allowed to be a babbling idiot in public, but it does make sense if you're hosting a debate to have fairness rules in place for that debate, and for participants to get the boot if they are disobeying. Similarly, on a platform like an internet forum, there are rules to prevent misinformation, slander, and so on... and I think that's definitely a good thing. I do believe that people should be able to express ideas freely, but there needs to be some amount of regulation even at the society-wide scale. As stated above, if the purpose of your speech is to limit someone else's speech, or to cause harm to others, then maybe you shouldn't be totally free to speak that way...

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1 hour ago, DSC said:

...No way, User2 used the exact same image on the original thread!

 

That's because it sums up the topic perfectly

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As people have already pointed out, freedom of speech, and by extension freedom of expression, don't mean you get to dispense whatever is on your mind without restrictions or consequences. With regards to freedom of expression, here's a quote:
 

Quote

Freedom of expression is recognized as a human right under article 19 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR) and recognized in international human rights law in the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR). Article 19 of the UDHR states that "everyone shall have the right to hold opinions without interference" and "everyone shall have the right to freedom of expression; this right shall include freedom to seek, receive and impart information and ideas of all kinds, regardless of frontiers, either orally, in writing or in print, in the form of art, or through any other media of his choice". The version of Article 19 in the ICCPR later amends this by stating that the exercise of these rights carries "special duties and responsibilities" and may "therefore be subject to certain restrictions" when necessary "[f]or respect of the rights or reputation of others" or "[f]or the protection of national security or of public order (order public), or of public health or morals".

 

When you look at people who frame themselves as free-speech advocates, or as victims of censorship, what really happens sometimes is a sleight of hand. Notice the bold part of the quote. If regulations (which demand for example that whichever opinions you communicate need to be conveyed in a respectful manner) are in place, then that has nothing to do with censorship. This is something the Steven Crowders and Ben Shapiros out there don't get (by which I mean the very same people who think the USA is the only country in the world where freedom of speech and expression is protected. Which, by the way, is false). Or at least they get it, but they play the victim card anyway. And they play it so often that many people who insist on their "free speech" don't even know that there are any limits to it. There is no law, constitution or otherwise, that says you're allowed to be a full blown dick to everybody around you each time you open your mouth. At least not in the "civilized world". The opposite is the case, as there are laws which clearly state that freedom of speech/expression has limits.

 

But let's say, for the sake of the argument, that I spoke up against the government in a country that protects freedom of speech and expression. And I do so in a manner that does not exceed the legislative boundaries of my freedom of speech and expression. Now the government decides to step in, because my opinions are getting "uncomfortable", and they silence me, even though I did nothing that was against the law... That's when I'd say it's a pretty good basis on which to argue that it's censorship instead of law-enforcement.

 

A different case is North Korea. If you're unfortunate enough to live there, and you speak up against the "Government", you might be at risk of getting executed in public, because any and all opinions that go against the regime are outlawed, which is considered a direct violation of basic human rights. So, any and all actions taken by the very same government to protect itself from these opposing ideas and opinions are to be considered censorship as a consequence. So, depending on the situation, complaining about censorship can be perfectly justified (North Korea), or it's complete and utter nonsense (Steven Crowder getting demonetized on YouTube).

 

When it comes to whatever happens on these forums, it's a similar situation as for example on YouTube. There is a code of conduct, which the moderators are supposed to enforce, and since it's a private party, the rules are not being set by way of whichever country's legislation would apply to you personally, but by the host of this site.

 

 

31 minutes ago, magicsofa said:

Guys, guys, you're over-simplifying the topic here. The first amendment states that congress cannot make laws that limit people's right to speak. The idea of "freedom of speech" is not a rule that's written down somewhere. It's more like a sector of philosophy where you ask the question "how do we allow ideas to be expressed fairly?" and run into lots of paradoxical situations.


Which is why this happened: 

Quote

In the United States, freedom of speech and expression is strongly protected from government restrictions by the First Amendment to the United States Constitution, many state constitutions, and state and federal laws. The Supreme Court of the United States has recognized several categories of speech that are given lesser or no protection by the First Amendment and has recognized that governments may enact reasonable time, place, or manner restrictions on speech.

So, while they're not messing about with the First Amendment, they're sidestepping it, because eventually they figured out that "not all speech is equal", for lack of a better expression.

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20 minutes ago, Nine Inch Heels said:

A different case is North Korea. If you're unfortunate enough to live there, and you speak up against the "Government", you might be at risk of getting executed in public, because any and all opinions that go against the regime are outlawed, which is considered a direct violation of basic human rights.

Although this applies for the majority of people there, there are exceptions:

  • The ruling party has a department that writes about North Korean developments for the wider world. In order to write flawless English, these people are required to read Western books, news sources and what not. 
  • The North Korean poet Jang Jin-Sung worked in a departement dedicated to poetry for the Glorious Leader, and as such, knew about the other literary departments. He was recipient of the cult status ''The Admitted'' which allowed him some freedom and extra rations.
  • In his book ''Dear Leader: Poet, Spy, Escapee - A Look Inside North Korea'' he mentions that at these literary departments, there was quite some criticism on the Glorious Leader, because although they were mentally conditioned to disregard the Western news as propaganda, they eventually realized that what they read and what they saw with their own eyes did match. So they broke free, mentally.
  • This was however done all off-the-record and without any notification. As soon as they realized they knew something was up, they had to pretend to still favor the Leader - even if they didn't. Now, their mental conditioning worked in their favor - Its not hard to asskiss a leader knowing otherwise when you have asskissed him for most of your life in denial.
  • Jang-Jin-Sung wanted to break out of the cult status and be free. The book provides a great detail on how things worked, but above all, its pleasant to read, despite the horrific nature of the scenes described there.

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I'm very simple: free speech up until you begin promoting violence (and, of course, issuing death threats). I'm generally very anti-censorship.

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11 minutes ago, Poncho1 said:

I'm very simple: free speech up until you begin promoting violence (and, of course, issuing death threats). I'm generally very anti-censorship.

 

Pretty much this. My POV is "free speech stops becoming free speech when it actively seeks to affect others" -- calls to action (say, hate-crimes) are not free speech, insults are not free speech, stating things about certain demographics or groups with the intent to inspire hatred in others is not free speech.

But other than that, go fuckin' nuts I guess. Within reason. ;)

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Freedom of speech is the same as other human rights, as long as it doesn't harm other people and yourself beyond minor emotional damage it's okay (extreme psychological damage such as developing anxiety, being driven to suicide, or driven to kill those who enotionally wronged you, should not be tolerated). We all unfortunately have to deal with assholes from time to time, even assholes themselves, i'd rather have them show their true colors than hiding them beneath forced politeness and hypocrisy.

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2 minutes ago, Solmyr said:

Freedom of speech is the same as other human rights, as long as it doesn't harm other people and yourself beyond minor emotional damage it's okay (extreme psychological damage such as developing anxiety, being driven to suicide, or driven to kill those who enotionally wronged you, should not be tolerated). We all unfortunately have to deal with assholes from time to time, even assholes themselves, i'd rather have them show their true colors than hiding them beneath forced politeness and hypocrisy.

That's right. Sometimes (though not always, obviously), giving people the spotlight will shut them up, as opposed to outside interference.

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I'll keep this brief since almost everyone is on the same page. You should be able to say whatever you want, but that doesn't mean everyone else has to listen, or tolerate what you are saying, especially on a privately owned website, where your words could reflect poorly on the owners of said website.

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2 minutes ago, Gifty said:

This thread went a lot better than I was expecting it to.

Precisely what I think too! I'm really happy we managed to have a good, mature discussion. Very well, Doomworld!

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