T Nation

Is Europe Abandoning Free Speech?

[quote]jsbrook wrote:
Even in America, I think there are restrictions on ‘offensive’ speech. But the legal definition of offensive is much different and significantly narrower than a commonsense definition of offensive. It is not simply speech that is highly emotionally charged and very likely to offend a particular group or individual. [/quote]

It’s probably similar to Canada’s anti-hate-speech laws.

A person is allowed to publicly say, “I HATE JEWS!”, because that is their personal opinion and they are allowed to express that.

What they are NOT allowed to do is distribute propaganda about all the reasons people should hate Jews, and give suggestions that they bully and/or do violence against them.

They would then be charged with inciting hatred (and/or violence) towards an identifiable group.

As for banning anything “offensive”, that is absolute bullshit.

ElbowStrike

[quote]lixy wrote:
orion wrote:
lixy wrote:
pat36 wrote:
‘Freedom of expression doesn’t mean the right to offend,’ said Maxime Verhagen

Uh, that is precisely what the freedom of expression means. To express things others may not like. Shit she sounds like Hillary.

I’ve been censored on this board for using the N word.

No you haven´t, because Biotest is not a government.

Are you under the impression that censorship is the domain of government?

Censorship implies a censor, be it a corporation, a school, a newspaper, a church, etc. The term is in no way limited to government.[/quote]

Yes, but you you have a choice as to whether to participate in the forums, the forums have rules. Don’t like the rules don’t post here. Government censorship is the problem, not private businesses making their own decisions. Yes, Testosterone chooses to censor to keep this place from becoming trashy and thus drive potential customers away. BUT, you can create you own forum on the internet in the U.S. and have it open domain if you wish. No limits what so ever.

[quote]pat36 wrote:
Yes, but you you have a choice as to whether to participate in the forums, the forums have rules. Don’t like the rules don’t post here. [/quote]

Yes, but you have a choice as to whether to live in the Netherlands, the country has rules. Don’t like the rules don’t live there.

[quote]lixy wrote:
pat36 wrote:
Yes, but you you have a choice as to whether to participate in the forums, the forums have rules. Don’t like the rules don’t post here.

Yes, but you have a choice as to whether to live in the Netherlands, the country has rules. Don’t like the rules don’t live there.[/quote]

That is not quite the same.

You can say whatever you want but I do not have to provide you with the means to do it.

A government that is censoring you will not allow you to express your opinion with your own means, even if its just with your voice and a soap box.

[quote]orion wrote:
That is not quite the same.

You can say whatever you want but I do not have to provide you with the means to do it.

A government that is censoring you will not allow you to express your opinion with your own means, even if its just with your voice and a soap box.[/quote]

What’s stopping you from moving out, starting a satellite TV channel, shortwave radio, or any other such things to “express your opinion”?

[quote]lixy wrote:
orion wrote:
That is not quite the same.

You can say whatever you want but I do not have to provide you with the means to do it.

A government that is censoring you will not allow you to express your opinion with your own means, even if its just with your voice and a soap box.

What’s stopping you from moving out, starting a satellite TV channel, shortwave radio, or any other such things to “express your opinion”?[/quote]

Hmmm, let’s see, economics, life style, family, friends, culture, language, etc…These are just a few things keeping people from moving. You can choose not to patronize a website, club, restaurant, etc. with little impact on your life. Moving abroad is huge and difficult. I do not condone a government behaving in a way in which it’s citizens feel compelled to leave.

[quote]lixy wrote:
orion wrote:
That is not quite the same.

You can say whatever you want but I do not have to provide you with the means to do it.

A government that is censoring you will not allow you to express your opinion with your own means, even if its just with your voice and a soap box.

What’s stopping you from moving out, starting a satellite TV channel, shortwave radio, or any other such things to “express your opinion”?[/quote]

Nothing, but that is hardly the issue.

[quote]orion wrote:
lixy wrote:
orion wrote:
That is not quite the same.

You can say whatever you want but I do not have to provide you with the means to do it.

A government that is censoring you will not allow you to express your opinion with your own means, even if its just with your voice and a soap box.

What’s stopping you from moving out, starting a satellite TV channel, shortwave radio, or any other such things to “express your opinion”?

Nothing, but that is hardly the issue. [/quote]

Why is that? Censorship is censorship. Whether practiced by a government or by a corporation.

[quote]lixy wrote:
orion wrote:
lixy wrote:
orion wrote:
That is not quite the same.

You can say whatever you want but I do not have to provide you with the means to do it.

A government that is censoring you will not allow you to express your opinion with your own means, even if its just with your voice and a soap box.

What’s stopping you from moving out, starting a satellite TV channel, shortwave radio, or any other such things to “express your opinion”?

Nothing, but that is hardly the issue.

Why is that? Censorship is censorship. Whether practiced by a government or by a corporation.[/quote]

No.

If someone stops you from taking advantage of him that is not censoring. I do not “censor” you when I do not let you ride my bike, use my phone or my website.

[quote]jsbrook wrote:
Even in America, I think there are restrictions on ‘offensive’ speech. But the legal definition of offensive is much different and significantly narrower than a commonsense definition of offensive. It is not simply speech that is highly emotionally charged and very likely to offend a particular group or individual. [/quote]

No there isn’t - unless you’re talking about “fighting words” which really goes quite a bit beyond “offensive.” There is the “fighting words” exception for speech that is pure insult and that is not making any point whatsoever other than the insult - that goes beyond “offensive” in any meaningful sense. For instance, if I found a blue person and said something to the effect of “You’re a f*&king idiotic blue moron,” that would almost surely be considered fighting words, but if I made some point like, “Blue people in general suffer from a genetic malady that inhibits oxygen flow to the brain and results in lower intelligence” and said it to a blue person that would not subsumed in the “fighting words” exception to free speech.

One could also make a case that “hostile environment” sexual harassment cases are an “offensiveness” exception to free speech (though it needs to be a “pervasive” environment), except that the government doesn’t enforce those restrictions against individuals (more insidiously, they allow the tort system to force companies to enforce them - but only in the strict confines of the workplace). Thus that’s not really an “offensiveness” exemption, but more a government-pressured workplace-specific exception

[quote]orion wrote:
lixy wrote:

That does not mean anything because only Americans have the right to define reality.

Maybe Chushin is glad though, that Austria is not the authoritarian society he believes it to be and ranks solid 32 places higher than the US ?

[/quote]

I’m sorry, but this is a fairly ridiculous ranking system.

[i]The report is based on a questionnaire sent to partner organisations of Reporters Without Borders (14 freedom of expression groups in five continents) and its 130 correspondents around the world, as well as to journalists, researchers, jurists and human rights activists.[4]

The survey asks questions about direct attacks on journalists and the media as well as other indirect sources of pressure against the free press. RWB is careful to note that the index only deals with press freedom, and does not measure the quality of journalism. Due to the nature of the survey’s methodology based on individual perceptions, there are often wide contrasts in a country’s ranking from year to year. The ranking also states it takes into account pressure on journalists by non-governmental groups, for example the Basque terrorist group ETA in Spain or the Mafia in Russia, can pose serious threats to press freedom.

A higher index indicates more restraints on freedom of the press.[/i]

They might have tried identifying laws allowing either ex ante restraints on publication or ex post punishments of publication or expression, and also counted reported cases of such laws being enforced if they were going to measure a country’s freedom of the press.

Interesting that it tries to get to “pressure on journalists from non-governmental groups,” but it would be much more illuminating if this study were to track actually reported incidents of such pressure.

[quote]Varqanir wrote:
thunderbolt23 wrote:
SkyzykS wrote:

The U.S. certainly has. I’m currently appealing a finding of guilty for the charge of Disorderly Conduct 5503.3, for saying “fuck you” to a cop.

Assuming you are serious:

  1. Penalties for speaking to a cop that way are not a new phenomenon and are certainly not evidence of the US “going that way”.

  2. Are you appealing on First Amendment grounds?

He should be.

[/quote]

I am.

What happened was I tried to enter a roadway that was blocked in one lane. The officer stopped me and started berating me, calling me an idiot, and asking if there was something wrong with my eyes. I explained that the raod was not blocked, only one lane was blocked. He told me to used my godamned head and mve it along. I put it in reverse to exit the road that I was turning on to, and while doing so said “fuck you”. He then flagged down another officer to stop me. The other officer questioned me and took down my info, then I left. Recieved a citation in the mail a week later.

At the hearing I argued that there was no intent to cause a breach of the peace, and presented Commonwealth of PA vs. Hock, where it was found by the PA supreme court that simply saying “fuck you” is not a crime. The officer testified that I hollered in a very loud voice that he heard from 20 yds. away. Physicaly impossible for me- I have extensive damage to my vocal chords and can’t speak above a loud conversational volume.

The magistrate decided that I must have done something to irritate the officer, and therefore was guilty of disorderly conduct. He added that I should not have nor should I ever question the authority of an officer in the line of duty. He also seemed very angry that I used the A.C.L.U.s site to gather the info.

[quote]orion wrote:
If someone stops you from taking advantage of him that is not censoring. I do not “censor” you when I do not let you ride my bike, use my phone or my website.[/quote]

Agreed.

You can ban a person from your home for using offensive language or having racist or otherwise bigoted beliefs, or any other reason you see fit.

Likewise, you can ban a person from your place of business for the same reasons. If you own a leather goods store and a PETA activist comes in and starts spreading animal rights propaganda in your place of business, you are well within your rights to remove that person from your property, or call the police to have that done.

If they are simply walking around, talking loudly on their cell phone, screaming out the “N-word” every second sentence, you are also in your rights to remove that person from your private property.

The T-Nation forums are much the same. Inflammatory comments and any other behaviour that disrupts T-Nation’s visitor traffic is equal to walking into their “store” and scaring customers away. T-Nation’s forums are a privately-owned “space” and the sole property of T-Nation. Using their computers to store your account, information, and posts is a privilege, not a right.

Do whatever you want in taxpayer-owned public space. The government has no right to censor your opinion there.

ElbowStrike

[quote]SkyzykS wrote:

The magistrate decided that I must have done something to irritate the officer, and therefore was guilty of disorderly conduct. He added that I should not have nor should I ever question the authority of an officer in the line of duty. He also seemed very angry that I used the A.C.L.U.s site to gather the info.

[/quote]

You should have told the magistrate to fuck off.

No, I just nodded politely and thanked him for his time, then called my attorney.

It should all work out once it gets past the local level.

A stunt like that would have gotten me a contempt charge and some time waiting for bond, but I would have loved to.

[quote]BostonBarrister wrote:

I’m sorry, but this is a fairly ridiculous ranking system.

[i]The report is based on a questionnaire sent to partner organisations of Reporters Without Borders (14 freedom of expression groups in five continents) and its 130 correspondents around the world, as well as to journalists, researchers, jurists and human rights activists.[4]

The survey asks questions about direct attacks on journalists and the media as well as other indirect sources of pressure against the free press. RWB is careful to note that the index only deals with press freedom, and does not measure the quality of journalism. Due to the nature of the survey’s methodology based on individual perceptions, there are often wide contrasts in a country’s ranking from year to year. The ranking also states it takes into account pressure on journalists by non-governmental groups, for example the Basque terrorist group ETA in Spain or the Mafia in Russia, can pose serious threats to press freedom.

A higher index indicates more restraints on freedom of the press.[/i]

They might have tried identifying laws allowing either ex ante restraints on publication or ex post punishments of publication or expression, and also counted reported cases of such laws being enforced if they were going to measure a country’s freedom of the press.

Interesting that it tries to get to “pressure on journalists from non-governmental groups,” but it would be much more illuminating if this study were to track actually reported incidents of such pressure.[/quote]

Very much.

Due to the nature of the survey’s methodology based on individual perceptions, there are often wide contrasts in a country’s ranking from year to year.

Also, note Canada’s generous ranking - all the while we sit by and see Canadian administrative trials looking to punish journalists by legal penalty for writing words that are “offensive” to select groups.

Laughable.

This post was flagged by the community and is temporarily hidden.

This post was flagged by the community and is temporarily hidden.

[quote]Chushin wrote:
lixy wrote:
pat36 wrote:
‘Freedom of expression doesn’t mean the right to offend,’ said Maxime Verhagen

Uh, that is precisely what the freedom of expression means. To express things others may not like. Shit she sounds like Hillary.

I’ve been censored on this board for using the N word.

Can I ask your reason for doing so?[/quote]

Probably to tell us the original lyrics to “Ten Little Indians.”

Or perhaps quoting a passage of Huckleberry Finn.

Or maybe just quoting a gangsta rapper.

Just because a word offends someone doesn’t mean we must become niggardly in our use of language.

[quote]BostonBarrister wrote:
No there isn’t - unless you’re talking about “fighting words” which really goes quite a bit beyond “offensive.” There is the “fighting words” exception for speech that is pure insult and that is not making any point whatsoever other than the insult - that goes beyond “offensive” in any meaningful sense. For instance, if I found a blue person and said something to the effect of “You’re a f*&king idiotic blue moron,” that would almost surely be considered fighting words, but if I made some point like, “Blue people in general suffer from a genetic malady that inhibits oxygen flow to the brain and results in lower intelligence” and said it to a blue person that would not subsumed in the “fighting words” exception to free speech.[/quote]

Which means that if Paul Fray was an illegitimate child born to a Jewish mother, and was engaged at the time in a sexual act, then and only then would Hillary Clinton have been within her First Amendment rights to call him a “fucking Jew bastard.”