Talk:Freedom of speech/Archive1

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This article needs more Ames--PalMD-Goatspeed! 19:31, 15 July 2007 (CDT)

Curious question[edit]

Why is Freedom of Speech often interpreted to mean "I have the right to be heard and you must listen?"

I often think of this is relation to telemarketers and do-not-call lists. No one is telling them they can't say what they want. They can pitch their whatever to the dial-tone until their blue in the face. No one is stopping them.

Maybe Pal was right all the way back in July. This article needs more Caius. --Edgerunner76Save me Tsisnaajini! 14:50, 23 April 2008 (EDT)

Freedom of expression is often confused with freedom of speech but this is an error , but nevertheless the sentiment behind such protests is valid even if they have the terminology wrong by a technicality.

Freedom of expression is a basic human right, the right to express an opinion and not be silenced. This restriction against silencing applies equally to governments and to those who seek political power either directly or indirectly.

Your recourse to opinions that are contrary to your world view are to either ignore the dissonant opinion or to challenge it using your right to freedom of expression. And it is entirely inappropriate to simply seek to silence it or seek to erase it from existence as is possible on a medium such as the internet (The Streisand effect may apply in cases of overt erasure), for this crosses a line that should never be crossed.

"Everyone has the right to freedom of opinion and expression; this right includes freedom to hold opinions without interference and to seek, receive and impart information and ideas through any media and regardless of frontiers." - Article 19 Universal declaration of human rights.

LarkhillFive (talk) 15:03, 19 December 2015 (UTC)

Yes, but I believe the point the person from 2008 was trying to make (with the reference to "do not call" lists) is that some people seem to believe, for example, if they get banned from an Internet forum, that that constitutes a violation of their freedom of speech or expression, when in fact it is not an act of silencing, but an act of rejection by the forum community or forum moderators. Your freedoms of speech and expression are not violated when a newspaper editor refuses to print your words, when a radio call-in show host hangs up on you, or when your employer decides to fire you. They are violated when you are prevented from owning pens and paper, when your phone lines are blocked, and when you're arrested for statements you've made. Frederick♠♣♥♦ 02:19, 21 December 2015 (UTC)


"Speech" should not be capped... ħumanUser talk:Human 18:09, 8 July 2008 (EDT)

Ten months later I fixes it... ħumanUser talk:Human 07:17, 10 May 2009 (UTC)

US Centric[edit]

Do we have template? This article is terribly US-centric. There's a section on US interpretation, then the next section is all about US law.

Surely some of our UK (at the very least) brothers and sisters can add some commentary here? ħumanUser talk:Human 03:54, 13 June 2009 (UTC)

Clear and Present Danger[edit]

In Brandenburg v. Ohio, the clear and present danger test was changed to the imminent lawless action test. — Unsigned, by: / talk / contribs

The BoN is correct. Mjollnir.svgListenerXTalkerX 05:39, 29 January 2010 (UTC)
What is the BoN? — Unsigned, by: / talk / contribs
Short for "Bunch of Numbers;" referring to you, as an anonymous editor. Mjollnir.svgListenerXTalkerX 06:13, 30 January 2010 (UTC)

"Legal" means?[edit]

From the article:

Freedom of speech is the concept that any person can communicate with any other person, or persons, via any legal means, without fear of legal repercussions or censorship.

What exactly is "via any legal means" means? the problem I am having is that should the state be able to restrict the "means" (by defining which of the means are legal) without limiting the freedom? [[User:K61824|]][[User_talk:K61824|]] 05:24, 20 February 2013 (UTC)

I suggest just cutting the "via any legal means" bit, as it really isn't clear what it means. WèàšèìòìďWeaselly.jpgMethinks it is a Weasel 19:14, 22 February 2013 (UTC)
It does matter, we should just be writing it more clearly. Freedom of speech requires that you follow certain legal protocals. You cannot legally converse with any 6 year old, you cannot legally use the telephone at 10 pm if you are a solicitor, etc. Green mowse.pngGodot The ablity to breath is such an overrated ability 19:27, 22 February 2013 (UTC)

Freedom from speech?[edit]

If freedom from religion is an essential part of freedom of religion, should "freedom from speech" be a part of freedom of speech? [[User:K61824|]][[User_talk:K61824|]] 13:29, 1 June 2014 (UTC)

Word games. Please reason more carefully in the future. Anyway, the right not to say something is certainly a part of free speech (e.g. denying an interview or answering "no comment" to a question). Something that could be described as "freedom from speech" usually comes under wp:freedom of association - you are not obliged to listen to anyone. (That was an over-generalization, but you get the gist.)--ZooGuard (talk) 13:38, 1 June 2014 (UTC)
I am referring to thing that relates to Miranda warning and pleading the fifth. If right not to say something is part of freedom of speech, then why would you need those as separate rights? [[User:K61824|]][[User_talk:K61824|]] 14:09, 1 June 2014 (UTC)
The Fifth Amendment refers to rights a person has in a criminal investigation and trial, including the right not to say things which may incriminate him/herself. Arguably this may belongs under the wider rubric of freedom to speak, but it's not really the same issue as the freedom of speech referred to in the First Amendment (i.e. the freedom to express opinions, criticise the government, etc). ωεαşεζøίɗWeaselly.jpgMethinks it is a Weasel 14:25, 1 June 2014 (UTC)
(EC)Possibly due to ambiguity in your original soundbite. There's a difference between being free to not speak, and being free to avoid ever having to listen to something under any circumstances. The former is implicitly assumed in "freedom of speech" anyway, while the latter isn't consistent with the original freedom of religion analogy because "freedom from religion" is about not having it forced on you, and so your freedom of worship (or non-worship) practices are unaffected. It says nothing about you never having to see religion in public, only that you can't be adversely affected by it against your will. Scarlet A.pngDon't click here 14:26, 1 June 2014 (UTC)
When I heard "freedom from speech" I thought of the freedom not to have to listen to people who want you to hear what they have to say. Just as you own your mouth (and therefore shouldn't be forced to say what you don't want to say; that would be slavery), you own your ears and have a right not to have them invaded with sound waves without your consent. Or at least, that's the ideal we should strive for. Oxygen of publicity (talk) 14:46, 1 June 2014 (UTC)


I can't remember where I heard this, but someone once said that defending a position by citing free speech is sort of the ultimate concession; you're saying that the most compelling thing you can say for your position is that it's not literally illegal to express.
—Randall Munroe, xkcd #1357

We should put this somewhere in here or in the Censorship page... ℕoir LeSable (talk) 02:40, 11 June 2015 (UTC)

Does ANYONE actually allege a right not to be offended?[edit]

I get that people being offended at things and railing against them is common. That's a normal part of being offended. But has anyone ever actually asserted a right not to be offended?

Because as far as I can tell, this is some "BOO HOO PC POLICE CRITICIZING ME AND THAT'S SUPRESSING MY FREE SPEECH" nonsense. All the cites here are about people regurgitating the right-wing-talking point, and in no way supporting the "no offensive speech allowed by free speech" straw argument. Help me out here. We got a lawsuit about "invasion of seclusion" as if it were the same thing. Someone support that section, or I'm gonna junk it within the hour. ikanreed You probably didn't deserve that 14:51, 24 July 2015 (UTC)

I've only ever seen it invoked as a straw argument by people arguing 'right to speech means right to audience and lack of criticism'. Queexchthonic murmurings 14:54, 24 July 2015 (UTC)
Some countries do in fact have anti-blasphemy laws that are based on offense. The German law for once only punishes blasphemy that is "designed or able to disturb public peace". Hence the offense machine. Gladly in the US this is but a talking point. Elsewhere being offended is indeed a legal category, I am sad to say... for reference (talk) 15:01, 24 July 2015 (UTC)
And yet, that's not an assertion of a right not to be offended, but instead a law against disturbing the public peace. Incitation to riot would be a closer paralell and you know it. Not at all a right "not to be offended". Do you get tired of lying to me? ikanreed You probably didn't deserve that 15:09, 24 July 2015 (UTC)
(EC) That's a completely witless example. Speech 'designed or able to disturb the public peace' is a common standard that is not restricted to blasphemy or even tangentially related to offence (whether it's the right standard is a separate issue). Standing on a soapbox with a lit Molotov cocktail and saying: "Hey lads, lets throw firebombs at the niggers!" is speech not protected in most places. Same goes if you replaced 'niggers' with 'kikes' or 'muzzies'. I imagine that if you whipped out a megaphone in the middle of the Bible Belt and bellowed "Jesus was a gayboy who sucked Peter's dick!", you might find yourself charged with breaching the peace. It's telling that blasphemy is only a crime by that standard when it reaches that level of asshattery. In short, that doesn't seem like a special exception carved out for 'offence', it's making sure a loophole isn't opened up for peace-disturbing speech that happens to be blasphemous. Queexchthonic murmurings 15:11, 24 July 2015 (UTC)
(edit conflict)It is patently absurd to define a crime on the reaction it gets. If say I say "Atheists are all immoral bastards who sodomize baby chicken for breakfast" I am unlikely to disturb the public peace, hence I am allowed to say such things. If however I say "Catholics are murderers (Magdeburg 1631) child fuckers and racists (slavery)" I quite potentially "disturb the public peace" as some of the more radical catholics will get annoyed or even violent. Hence there is at least an implicit right to not being offended. Is there an explicit right to privacy in the constitution of the US? No. But most sane people can see it being implied by the fifth and fourteenth amendments. (talk) 15:14, 24 July 2015 (UTC)

────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────As a further aside: The law does not outlaw speech that disturbs the public peace per se only speech that insults religious beliefs and thus disturbs the public peace. This is imho a remarkable priority in a law... (talk) 15:17, 24 July 2015 (UTC)

(EC) "It is patently absurd to define a crime on the reaction it gets." Good job no-one's doing that here, then. It's very sensible to define a crime around what the reaction the actor intends to provoke (or should know would be provoked). Otherwise, waving a handgun around outside a school all day long would be A-OK. So would stalking. and SWATting.
As for your aside - are you actually assuming that there's no similar provision anywhere else in German law? Yes, yes you are. Queexchthonic murmurings 15:20, 24 July 2015 (UTC)
I don't know whether there is. If it exists, there is probably a written law to that effect as unlike common law, German law has a law for everything and leaves little up for the courts to decide... (talk) 15:36, 24 July 2015 (UTC)
There is a fine word in the German language to describe fuzzy concepts in law like "disturbing public peace" a law that is so vague is called "Gummiparagraph" which could be translated roughly as gummy law. Of course most laws in common law are rather open to interpretation (which leads to a 5-4 Supreme Court decision deciding who is or isn't a person), but in German or French law this cannot be. Laws are supposed to be made by elected representatives of the people, not judges. A law that punishes religious offensiveness that "disturbs the public peace" is so open to interpretation as to mean everything and nothing all at once. And it needlessly shields a powerful institution (the church) from criticism through the people, something that should never happen in a free and open society. (talk) 20:33, 24 July 2015 (UTC)
Regardless of the legal quagmire involved, it does not provide for nor describe a right to not be offended. ikanreed You probably didn't deserve that 18:03, 14 August 2015 (UTC)
Free Speech only applies to people I agree with and does not offend me TheDarkMaster2 (talk) 15:39, 28 October 2018 (UTC)TheDarkMaster2

Removed Fred Phelps section[edit]

Because it's not the case that a nation's commitment to free speech could be judged by whether it would let Phelps enter. If Phelps were British the U.S. probably wouldn't let him in. This scholar had no legal recourse, and neither did these guys. Countries can keep out whom they please based on any disapproved viewpoint at all. But the citizens of any particular country may still enjoys robust speech rights, as we Americans pretty much do.---Mona- (talk) 05:44, 9 October 2015 (UTC)

Relevant Ben Garrison cartoon.[edit]

Worth addition? Herr FuzzyKatzenPotato (talk/stalk) 21:44, 28 December 2016 (UTC)

That kicks ass dude. I'll support putting it in. MyNameIsMudd (talk) 21:49, 28 December 2016 (UTC)

ACLU stands up for free speech[edit]

It's beautiful to see high democratic ideals upheld peacefully. Reverend Black Percy (talk) 15:14, 27 February 2017 (UTC)

XKCD again[edit]

Can we finally get rid of that stupid (and copyvio, if that makes a difference to you) XKCD cartoon? First Amendment law is increasingly irrelevant to free speech in a world ruled by corporations. - Smerdis of Tlön, LOAD "*", 8, 1. 04:22, 1 September 2017 (UTC)