Freedom of Speech

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Re: Freedom of Speech

Postby schocker » 24 Dec 2019, 21:43

I think that political correctness is a form of suppression and it is constricting free speech.
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Re: Freedom of Speech

Postby ruffdove » 20 Jan 2020, 16:41

A couple of very late thoughs...

- In this debate, one should consider the types of speech. I think most would agree that commercial speech should have its limits. For example, I should NOT be able to say: "Ruffdove brand bottled tap water cures cancer." (Unless of course it does and I have scientifically proven it, but of course it does not). These limits will lead to a few legal absurdities (in the US it is illegal to advertise orange juice as preventing scurvy or water as preventing dehydration because the language ("preventing") would categorize it as a tehnically a "drug." But overall, regulating commercial speech is a good thing.

- Purpose of speech is important as well. Speech used as an adjunct to cmmitting a crime is never all right. I cannot go into a bank and say "I have a gun in my pocket and if you don't fill this bag with $100 bills, I start shooting." And later claim "Hey, I didn't really have a gun, I was just exercising my freedom of speech. It sn't my fault the lady behind the counter mysteriously gifted me a bunch of money! This covers the ISIS recruiting sergeant example. Note that inciting to violence is a crime in most countries.

- Hate speech is subjective and thus leads to stifling of political debate. "Illegal immigrants are all animals and should be shot on sight" is hate speech. It's unhelpful, possibly inciting to violence, and morally reprehensible to most people. "Illegal immigrants commit a crime when they enter this country and they should be apprehended and deported" is a valid political opinion, but I have seen exactly those words called "hate speech" and "racism" by those who disagree and wish to brow beat the speaker into silence.

Hate speech laws (and hate crime laws) are also notoriously uneven. In the US it is basically impossible to commit a hate crime against a white heterosexual Christian or atheist male. Hate crime laws only protect "historically opressed" people, in gross violation of our Constitution's equal protection clause. Tolerance for some is not tolerance at all.

My $0.02 (adjusted for inflation): you're never going to stop real hate speech. The tighter you squeeze the more the people who engage in it will find code words or slang to get around it. Doing so will just make those people harder to identify and keep an eye on, all for the benefit of sticking your head in the sand and acting like stoping words is all it takes to erase hate. Let them self identify so we can either change their hearts or guard against their mischief. The existence of racism and whateverphobia creates a debate. Hate speech laws are the rough equivalent of sticking your fingers in your ears and yelling shut up! Makes you feel better; does not resolve the debate.
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