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What does "free speech" really mean?

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  • #31
    Originally posted by CivilDiscourse View Post

    Yes. It's important to recognize that while interacting with private businesses or in private venues you do not have the legal right to free speech. However, free speech still exists, and those private businesses or venues are still "abridging" or "restricting" free speech, just legally.
    In the case of social media though it's different. Government clearly has a hand in influencing what the big tech social media conglomerates are censoring. We know for fact the Dems in Congress have applied public pressure to get them to censor what they don't like. That makes it a whole different ballgame.
    "I was the CIA director. We lied, we cheated, we stole, it was like... we had entire training courses. It reminds you of the glory of the American experiment." - Mike Pompeo, Secretary of State (source).

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    • #32
      Originally posted by seanD View Post

      In the case of social media though it's different. Government clearly has a hand in influencing what the big tech social media conglomerates are censoring. We know for fact the Dems in Congress have applied public pressure to get them to censor what they don't like. That makes it a whole different ballgame.
      That is the same argument that Liberals were using when they said Colin Kaepernick's free speech was violated.

      Comment


      • #33
        Originally posted by CivilDiscourse View Post

        That is the same argument that Liberals were using when they said Colin Kaepernick's free speech was violated.
        And it was wrong then as it is now.

        Though I would add, government influencing social media is obviously more consequential to society.
        "I was the CIA director. We lied, we cheated, we stole, it was like... we had entire training courses. It reminds you of the glory of the American experiment." - Mike Pompeo, Secretary of State (source).

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        • #34
          Originally posted by seanD View Post

          And it was wrong then as it is now.

          Though I would add, government influencing social media is obviously more consequential to society.
          To me, the bigger issue isn't that they are restricting speech politically, while claiming they are neutral. That leads to all sorts of issues.

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          • #35
            Originally posted by Sparko View Post
            well "free speech" in the constitution just prevents the government from interfering with political and religious speech and beliefs. It doesn't cover things like inciting violence.

            So I can see someone saying they support "free speech" but still limit stuff like cussing or porn.
            You definitely can't prove that from the actual text of the First Amendment.

            Frankly, I think the Framers blew it by not being more prescient and specific in their wording. They left too much up to later interpreters.
            Geislerminian Antinomian Kenotic Charispneumaticostal Gender Mutualist-Egalitarian.

            Beige Nationalist.

            "Everybody is somebody's heretic."

            Social Justice is usually the opposite of actual justice.

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            • #36
              Originally posted by Juvenal View Post

              From the original context of the first amendment, I'd argue"free speech" recognized a right to criticize the government.
              From the text of the First Amendment, I'd argue it is *much* more broad, and certainly *includes* that right.

              If the Framers had intended otherwise, they should have been a lot smarter and made it more clear.
              Geislerminian Antinomian Kenotic Charispneumaticostal Gender Mutualist-Egalitarian.

              Beige Nationalist.

              "Everybody is somebody's heretic."

              Social Justice is usually the opposite of actual justice.

              Comment


              • #37
                Originally posted by Sparko View Post
                I think it means that I don't have to pay for audiobooks
                And a free press means that you don't have to pay for a newspaper or magazine.

                I'm always still in trouble again

                "You're by far the worst poster on TWeb" and "TWeb's biggest liar" --starlight (the guy who says Stalin was a right-winger)
                "Of course, human life begins at fertilization that’s not the argument." --Tassman

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                • #38
                  Originally posted by NorrinRadd View Post
                  I take the novel approach that words mean things. Speech that is "free" but NOT "unrestricted" is akin to a four-sided triangle: Oxymoronic -- with emphasis on the moronic -- and meaningless.
                  "Free speech" refers to a specific concept and is not simply the literal meaning of those words.
                  Some may call me foolish, and some may call me odd
                  But I'd rather be a fool in the eyes of man
                  Than a fool in the eyes of God


                  From "Fools Gold" by Petra

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                  • #39
                    Originally posted by Cow Poke View Post

                    Quick story.....

                    When my oldest daughter was about 5, we were home after church having lunch, and she told me that her Sunday School teacher said a bad word in Sunday School.
                    Her Sunday School teacher was a house carpenter, so I knew that was a possibility, but I wondered what would cause him to swear.

                    I asked her "what did he say" - and she said, "I can't tell you, because I'll get in trouble". So I told her, "but I really need to know if I'm going to talk to him".

                    She said, "he said the 's-h' word". OK, now that was surprising, so I asked what was going on in class to make him say that.

                    She said.... "well, we were being kinda noisy, and one kid was sassing, and he got mad and said 'y'all SHUT UP'!"

                    I said... oh, THAT s-h word!
                    When my son was young, my wife clearly explained to him the words he wasn't allowed to say. He went through a very brief phase where he would proudly tell people, "I'm not allowed to say..." and then rattle off the forbidden words. My wife said, "No, kiddo, that counts as saying the words."
                    Some may call me foolish, and some may call me odd
                    But I'd rather be a fool in the eyes of man
                    Than a fool in the eyes of God


                    From "Fools Gold" by Petra

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                    • #40
                      No, it's not free speech and yes, he's being hypocritical. Free speech but restricted is an oxymoron; if it's free it can't be restricted and if it's restricted it can't be free.

                      I, personally, never saw the point in banning 'cuss-words' - yes, including (what some people would consider) blasphemous words and phrases and including the latest 'cuss-word', the n-word. I think it gives far too much power to words and far too little power to the ideas behind them. I think it is far less damaging to use the n-word in general (for example, if I'd used the actual word in this sentence, instead of 'n-word') than it is to say, for example 'I think black people are stupid and inferior' (note that this is an example and not something I would say with intention of meaning it, and what it says I do not remotely agree with). Presumably the new forum would be okay with the latter but not with the former. I think that is bass-ackwards.
                      America - too good to let the conservatives drag it back to 1950.

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                      • #41
                        Originally posted by Electric Skeptic View Post
                        No, it's not free speech and yes, he's being hypocritical. Free speech but restricted is an oxymoron; if it's free it can't be restricted and if it's restricted it can't be free.

                        I, personally, never saw the point in banning 'cuss-words' - yes, including (what some people would consider) blasphemous words and phrases and including the latest 'cuss-word', the n-word. I think it gives far too much power to words and far too little power to the ideas behind them. I think it is far less damaging to use the n-word in general (for example, if I'd used the actual word in this sentence, instead of 'n-word') than it is to say, for example 'I think black people are stupid and inferior' (note that this is an example and not something I would say with intention of meaning it, and what it says I do not remotely agree with). Presumably the new forum would be okay with the latter but not with the former. I think that is bass-ackwards.
                        And you are certainly free to start your own discussion board and make it as free as you wish!
                        "Neighbor, how long has it been since you’ve had a big, thick, steaming bowl of Wolf Brand Chili?”

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                        • #42
                          Originally posted by Mountain Man View Post

                          "Free speech" refers to a specific concept and is not simply the literal meaning of those words.
                          That is an interesting but ultimately useless observation. You could say the same about any protection in any of the Amendments. If they don't mean what they say, it is evidence that the Framers failed.
                          Geislerminian Antinomian Kenotic Charispneumaticostal Gender Mutualist-Egalitarian.

                          Beige Nationalist.

                          "Everybody is somebody's heretic."

                          Social Justice is usually the opposite of actual justice.

                          Comment


                          • #43
                            Originally posted by NorrinRadd View Post

                            From the text of the First Amendment, I'd argue it is *much* more broad, and certainly *includes* that right.

                            If the Framers had intended otherwise, they should have been a lot smarter and made it more clear.
                            Concepts, like language, change over time. Hell, over time I've come a lot closer to liking you! In fact, just the other day, I was thinking fondly of you as I was baking up some goodies.

                            cookies.jpg

                            From the original doc, for reference.
                            .
                            Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.

                            Initially, freedom of speech as recognized by the first amendment was little more than a restraint on the powers of Congress. More, the free speech clause was secondary to the clause creating freedom of religion, which included religious faiths which imposed restraints on the speech of their members. There were plenty of those in 18th century America.

                            And it applied only to the Congress.

                            Says here, some of the earliest colonies not only enforced church membership, that is, established a religion, but required church attendance as well. Early America was a hodge-podge of exclusive religious communities, in direct contradiction to the first amendment if the first amendment applied to local governments as well.

                            Over time, that's changed, most notably in the quest to force state and local governments to respect rights granted to all citizens by Congress.

                            More, I'd argue that self-government means we're restrained by the rules we agree to today, not the rules imposed by the framers. To wit, we have amended the constitution many times since its creation, and even amended those amendments. We're allowed to learn, to make mistakes while we're learning, and to recognize those mistakes and learn to do better.

                            I love my country, warts and all, not least because I can add my voice to those who advocate for removing those warts.

                            Our constitution, as amended and interpreted in the couple of centuries since it was first put together, goes beyond the framers' original intent by guaranteeing us the freedom to ask questions that not only might make our government officials uncomfortable, but might also make our neighbors uncomfortable, questions that make them choose what they'll tolerate and what they won't, and to dialogue our way into compromises we can all live with, based on what's possible today, knowing there will surely be more possibilities tomorrow.

                            If you're free to choose, it's up to you to choose wisely. Please think carefully before you answer.

                            Chocolate chip or butter pecan?

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                            • #44
                              Originally posted by Electric Skeptic View Post
                              ... the n-word ...
                              While acknowledging the need to form an accessible alternative, I dislike that formulation because of its awkwardness.

                              I refuse to use it in conversation myself, even if it means a constant struggle to work around it, often at the expense of the brevity I prefer. In fact, if anyone's interested, most of my posts start out as long-winded rambles that are then pruned back ruthlessly until just the gist remains, or at least, that's the plan, lol.

                              Before I'll use that phrase, I'll reformulate it as "words or phrases that are hurtful based on having historically been used to denigrate whole classes of people based on their race." I balk at "people of color" for the same reason, but I'll use it while pointing out obliquely that replacing the preposition with the natural adjective runs afoul of the same historical minefield.

                              There is a slew of would-be euphemisms that have failed sequentially. Each replacement for retarded, which was originally created as a euphemism, has had a shorter and shorter half-life, it seems to me. Special became challenged became ...

                              Perhaps it's too reductionist, and it doesn't always work for me, but my principle is pretty simple: Think about how you'd treat your neighbor's dog, and try to treat your neighbor at least as well as that. When it works for me, I feel good about myself, and when it doesn't, I don't.

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                              • #45
                                Considering the thread's title "What does "Free Speech" really mean?"

                                My answer is that in public it is advisable to employ tact and good manners and even, on occasion, keep one's mouth shut [or at the very least count to twenty before saying what is in one's mind].
                                "It ain't necessarily so
                                The things that you're liable
                                To read in the Bible
                                It ain't necessarily so
                                ."

                                Sportin' Life
                                Porgy & Bess, DuBose Heyward, George & Ira Gershwin

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