PDA

View Full Version : Nothing, however vile, justifies censorship



Dark Flare
September 17 2012, 02:03:49 PM
http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/2012/sep/16/nick-cohen-islam-film-censorship

I'm not convinced I agree with his opinion, but it's certainly well written.

Smuggo
September 17 2012, 02:14:52 PM
I agree with him. At the end of the day, freedom of speech is all or nothing. If you don't like what someone is saying then don't listen, but don't silence him because you'll only regret it when someone else doesn't like what you have to say.

People saying idiotic things will invariably make themselves appear idiotic, this film seems to do that. If people shrugged their shoulders and moved on then no one would pay it any heed because it's just nonsense.

There was something I saw on BBC earlier, some Islamic cleric saying there should be an international law to stop people insulting islam as there are laws against anti-semitism. I would argue that actually the reverse, we should not censor those who want to criticise any religion regardless of how ridiculous their criticism might be. For example, Holocaust denial is still illegal in some countries, which is absurd. No one is gonna get arrested for making equally ridiculous claims such as the world being flat or the sun rotating around the Earth. At the end of the day, these people just make themselves look stupid so let them get on with it. By silencing them you just make them into martyrs arguing they have been persecuted.

Lallante
September 17 2012, 03:47:13 PM
If you agree with the right to Freedom of Speech being absolute, how do you feel about criminalising, for example, shouting "FIRE!!" in a crowded theatre/cinema?

It seems to me these kinds of fringe cases undermine the arguement that article is making and Smuggo agreeing with.

Smuggo
September 17 2012, 03:58:48 PM
If you agree with the right to Freedom of Speech being absolute, how do you feel about criminalising, for example, shouting "FIRE!!" in a crowded theatre/cinema?

It seems to me these kinds of fringe cases undermine the arguement that article is making and Smuggo agreeing with.

Depends what happens really. Would only be criminal if emergency services turn up and then under existing laws dealing with hoax calls to 999, wasting police time etc...

If they don't get called them the cinema patrons can call whoever did it a dick and the owner can bar them.

CastleBravo
September 17 2012, 04:07:15 PM
Free speech does not make you free to commit fraud.

Frug
September 17 2012, 04:08:52 PM
Inciting people to violence might also be argued as freedom of speech along the same lines as the movie theatre example. I'm on the fence when it comes to hate speech. I like sending a message that it's not tolerated but I don't like the idea of it actually being illegal to speak your mind.

Anyway the latest situation with muslim crazies makes me 100% side with freedom of speech without question. Their reaction is so barbaric that they can go to hell with their attempts to control what people can say about their magical man in the sky.

GiDiYi
September 17 2012, 04:13:52 PM
If you agree with the right to Freedom of Speech being absolute, how do you feel about criminalising, for example, shouting "FIRE!!" in a crowded theatre/cinema?

In a way this example has nothing to do with freedom of speech, because it is the statement of a fact, that can be easily proven right or wrong.

I am aware, that the next thing you'll bring up to the table is that the Holocaust is a provable fact as well. Yes, this is one of the reasons why it is possible to have the denial of it as a penal act in some countries (Germany for example).

Freedom of speech is about opinions and, as hard as it may be in some cases, must not be censored in my opinion. I can get physically angry about certain opinions, but this shouldn't give the state a reason to forbid it. It's the other way around, the state has to ensure and enable everyone to utter their rambling rabble in an equal way.

Lallante
September 17 2012, 04:23:19 PM
If you agree with the right to Freedom of Speech being absolute, how do you feel about criminalising, for example, shouting "FIRE!!" in a crowded theatre/cinema?

It seems to me these kinds of fringe cases undermine the arguement that article is making and Smuggo agreeing with.

Depends what happens really. Would only be criminal if emergency services turn up and then under existing laws dealing with hoax calls to 999, wasting police time etc...

If they don't get called them the cinema patrons can call whoever did it a dick and the owner can bar them.

You've missed the main reason this kind of behaviour is currently (rightly) illegal - the generated panic has historically caused deaths in the ensuing stampede for the emergency exits.

Smuggo
September 17 2012, 04:29:18 PM
If you agree with the right to Freedom of Speech being absolute, how do you feel about criminalising, for example, shouting "FIRE!!" in a crowded theatre/cinema?

It seems to me these kinds of fringe cases undermine the arguement that article is making and Smuggo agreeing with.

Depends what happens really. Would only be criminal if emergency services turn up and then under existing laws dealing with hoax calls to 999, wasting police time etc...

If they don't get called them the cinema patrons can call whoever did it a dick and the owner can bar them.

You've missed the main reason this kind of behaviour is currently (rightly) illegal - the generated panic has historically caused deaths in the ensuing stampede for the emergency exits. This wouldn't be a crime in and of itself if it weren't explicitly illegal.

Well, as someone said above, it's a statement of fact that is either true or false and not really the same as a political film etc...

Lallante
September 17 2012, 04:30:36 PM
If you agree with the right to Freedom of Speech being absolute, how do you feel about criminalising, for example, shouting "FIRE!!" in a crowded theatre/cinema?

In a way this example has nothing to do with freedom of speech, because it is the statement of a fact, that can be easily proven right or wrong.

I am aware, that the next thing you'll bring up to the table is that the Holocaust is a provable fact as well. Yes, this is one of the reasons why it is possible to have the denial of it as a penal act in some countries (Germany for example).

Freedom of speech is about opinions and, as hard as it may be in some cases, must not be censored in my opinion. I can get physically angry about certain opinions, but this shouldn't give the state a reason to forbid it. It's the other way around, the state has to ensure and enable everyone to utter their rambling rabble in an equal way.

Are you kidding me? You think the sensible defining feature of whether speech should be protected or not is whether it is factually ascertainable :roll:? You don't seem to appreciate the insane can of worms using "objective truth" as a measure of legality opens up.

There is no hard line between something being "an objective fact" or "an opinion".

The fact that you think the Holocaust is an "objectively proven fact" is a case in point - it could equally be cast as a popular opinion which is overwhelmingly supported by evidence. Its still possible that it didn't happen, albeit unlikely.

If instead you are advocating a test based on some kind of probability ("beyond a reasonable doubt", "balance of probabilities", "no credible alternative" etc.) then again, a huge can of worms is opened.

NoirAvlaa
September 17 2012, 04:38:45 PM
If you agree with the right to Freedom of Speech being absolute, how do you feel about criminalising, for example, shouting "FIRE!!" in a crowded theatre/cinema?

It seems to me these kinds of fringe cases undermine the arguement that article is making and Smuggo agreeing with.

Depends what happens really. Would only be criminal if emergency services turn up and then under existing laws dealing with hoax calls to 999, wasting police time etc...

If they don't get called them the cinema patrons can call whoever did it a dick and the owner can bar them.

You've missed the main reason this kind of behaviour is currently (rightly) illegal - the generated panic has historically caused deaths in the ensuing stampede for the emergency exits. This wouldn't be a crime in and of itself if it weren't explicitly illegal.

It doesn't really come under "Freedom of speech/expression" either though. Yeah great you're trying to say it should be as someone should be free to shout "FIRE" anywhere they want, but it's the same reason you can't shout "BOMB" in an airport when there's not actually a bomb, it's only motive would be to cause panic which can endanger lives. That's not exactly expressing your opinions as it's not a viewpoint you can argue.

Lallante
September 17 2012, 04:39:44 PM
If you agree with the right to Freedom of Speech being absolute, how do you feel about criminalising, for example, shouting "FIRE!!" in a crowded theatre/cinema?

It seems to me these kinds of fringe cases undermine the arguement that article is making and Smuggo agreeing with.

Depends what happens really. Would only be criminal if emergency services turn up and then under existing laws dealing with hoax calls to 999, wasting police time etc...

If they don't get called them the cinema patrons can call whoever did it a dick and the owner can bar them.

You've missed the main reason this kind of behaviour is currently (rightly) illegal - the generated panic has historically caused deaths in the ensuing stampede for the emergency exits. This wouldn't be a crime in and of itself if it weren't explicitly illegal.

Well, as someone said above, it's a statement of fact that is either true or false and not really the same as a political film etc...

Why can't you characterise the film as a series of statements of fact (e.g. Mohammed did heinous act X)?

Lallante
September 17 2012, 04:40:56 PM
If you agree with the right to Freedom of Speech being absolute, how do you feel about criminalising, for example, shouting "FIRE!!" in a crowded theatre/cinema?

It seems to me these kinds of fringe cases undermine the arguement that article is making and Smuggo agreeing with.

Depends what happens really. Would only be criminal if emergency services turn up and then under existing laws dealing with hoax calls to 999, wasting police time etc...

If they don't get called them the cinema patrons can call whoever did it a dick and the owner can bar them.

You've missed the main reason this kind of behaviour is currently (rightly) illegal - the generated panic has historically caused deaths in the ensuing stampede for the emergency exits. This wouldn't be a crime in and of itself if it weren't explicitly illegal.

It doesn't really come under "Freedom of speech/expression" either though. Yeah great you're trying to say it should be as someone should be free to shout "FIRE" anywhere they want, but it's the same reason you can't shout "BOMB" in an airport when there's not actually a bomb, it's only motive would be to cause panic which can endanger lives. That's not exactly expressing your opinions as it's not a viewpoint you can argue.

Um, yes it would. Freedom of speech/expression includes freedom to make factually incorrect statements.

Try expressing the sentiment you are describing in the form of a general rule. (e.g. - "People have a right to free speech except/provided....."), and you'll quickly realise the fundamental problem.

CastleBravo
September 17 2012, 04:46:14 PM
In criminal law, a fraud is an intentional deception made for personal gain or to damage another individual.

I would classify screaming "Fire!" in a theater as an intentional deception in an attempt to get people hurt.

Once again, freedom of speech does not make you free to commit fraud.

Warpath
September 17 2012, 04:55:02 PM
It seems the Whitehouse doesn't like the free speech part of the first amendment?


Google Inc rejected a request by the White House on Friday to reconsider its decision to keep online a controversial YouTube movie clip that has ignited anti-American protests in the Middle East.


http://uk.reuters.com/article/2012/09/14/us-protests-google-idUKBRE88D1MD20120914

NoirAvlaa
September 17 2012, 04:59:02 PM
If you agree with the right to Freedom of Speech being absolute, how do you feel about criminalising, for example, shouting "FIRE!!" in a crowded theatre/cinema?

It seems to me these kinds of fringe cases undermine the arguement that article is making and Smuggo agreeing with.

Depends what happens really. Would only be criminal if emergency services turn up and then under existing laws dealing with hoax calls to 999, wasting police time etc...

If they don't get called them the cinema patrons can call whoever did it a dick and the owner can bar them.

You've missed the main reason this kind of behaviour is currently (rightly) illegal - the generated panic has historically caused deaths in the ensuing stampede for the emergency exits. This wouldn't be a crime in and of itself if it weren't explicitly illegal.

It doesn't really come under "Freedom of speech/expression" either though. Yeah great you're trying to say it should be as someone should be free to shout "FIRE" anywhere they want, but it's the same reason you can't shout "BOMB" in an airport when there's not actually a bomb, it's only motive would be to cause panic which can endanger lives. That's not exactly expressing your opinions as it's not a viewpoint you can argue.

Um, yes it would. Freedom of speech/expression includes freedom to make factually incorrect statements.

Try expressing the sentiment you are describing in the form of a general rule. (e.g. - "People have a right to free speech except/provided....."), and you'll quickly realise the fundamental problem.

After some quick google research, it's fine under free speech, but you will get prosecuted for reckless endagerment (or your country's equivalent of). Which basically amounts to the same thing of don't should fire in a crowded area if you don't want to go to jail.

Lallante
September 17 2012, 05:23:39 PM
In criminal law, a fraud is an intentional deception made for personal gain or to damage another individual.

I would classify screaming "Fire!" in a theater as an intentional deception in an attempt to get people hurt.

Once again, freedom of speech does not make you free to commit fraud.

Freedom of speech isnt a right in the UK... and even in countries where it is a right it never makes you free to commit what would otherwise be an established crime. You are missing the point of the debate completely, which is whether there should be crimes which restrict freedom of speech in the first place.

The article in the OP, and the views of a few people in this thread show that they are naiive about how freedom of speech actually works - an absolute right to freedom of speech is ludicrous. Fraud is actually an example for my point of view - it is a restriction on freedom of speech.

All restrictions on freedom of speech at least ostensibly aim to prevent some kind of harm to others. The questions are:
a) should there be any restrictions at all? and
b) if yes, how do you draw the line - what general principles are there?

You cant answer "when such speech is illegal" (eg Fraud) for b) because thats the whole debate! What types of speech should be illegal?

Lallante
September 17 2012, 05:25:03 PM
It seems the Whitehouse doesn't like the free speech part of the first amendment?


Google Inc rejected a request by the White House on Friday to reconsider its decision to keep online a controversial YouTube movie clip that has ignited anti-American protests in the Middle East.



http://uk.reuters.com/article/2012/09/14/us-protests-google-idUKBRE88D1MD20120914

Another really common misunderstanding of freedom of speech - the right to freedom of speech is NOT the right to a platform for that speech

Denying someone a platform for their speech is IN NO WAY comparable to denying them freedom of speech. If I own a loudspeaker I'm not required to hand it to my neo nazi neighbour to spout racist slogans, or be guilty of oppressing his free speech.

Lallante
September 17 2012, 05:27:56 PM
If you agree with the right to Freedom of Speech being absolute, how do you feel about criminalising, for example, shouting "FIRE!!" in a crowded theatre/cinema?

It seems to me these kinds of fringe cases undermine the arguement that article is making and Smuggo agreeing with.

Depends what happens really. Would only be criminal if emergency services turn up and then under existing laws dealing with hoax calls to 999, wasting police time etc...

If they don't get called them the cinema patrons can call whoever did it a dick and the owner can bar them.

You've missed the main reason this kind of behaviour is currently (rightly) illegal - the generated panic has historically caused deaths in the ensuing stampede for the emergency exits. This wouldn't be a crime in and of itself if it weren't explicitly illegal.

It doesn't really come under "Freedom of speech/expression" either though. Yeah great you're trying to say it should be as someone should be free to shout "FIRE" anywhere they want, but it's the same reason you can't shout "BOMB" in an airport when there's not actually a bomb, it's only motive would be to cause panic which can endanger lives. That's not exactly expressing your opinions as it's not a viewpoint you can argue.

Um, yes it would. Freedom of speech/expression includes freedom to make factually incorrect statements.

Try expressing the sentiment you are describing in the form of a general rule. (e.g. - "People have a right to free speech except/provided....."), and you'll quickly realise the fundamental problem.

After some quick google research, it's fine under free speech, but you will get prosecuted for reckless endagerment (or your country's equivalent of). Which basically amounts to the same thing of don't should fire in a crowded area if you don't want to go to jail.

:roll: Exactly! Which leaves us back where we started - should the law restrict people's freedom of speech? If so, what is the general rule for the circumstances in which it is right to do so?

Cue1*
September 17 2012, 05:56:07 PM
The right of freedom of speech is the right to speak your opinions, usually reference to the government, without legal persecution. The right of freedom of speech does NOT protect your right to speak falsehoods about anyone. Slander is not freedom of speech, nor is fraudulent claims. It's not an exception to the rule, it's just plain not covered by freedom of speech, or at least not any sane mans idea of free speech. Obviously i'm speaking from the point of view of the US, but freedom of speech protects your right to burn the flag because you believe Obama is a bad president, but it does not protect your right to say that Admiral Mullen is a serial killer without some form of evidence to stand on.

definatelynotKKassandra
September 17 2012, 08:35:31 PM
The right of freedom of speech is the right to speak your opinions, usually reference to the government, without legal persecution. The right of freedom of speech does NOT protect your right to speak falsehoods about anyone. Slander is not freedom of speech, nor is fraudulent claims. It's not an exception to the rule, it's just plain not covered by freedom of speech, or at least not any sane mans idea of free speech. Obviously i'm speaking from the point of view of the US, but freedom of speech protects your right to burn the flag because you believe Obama is a bad president, but it does not protect your right to say that Admiral Mullen is a serial killer without some form of evidence to stand on.

Why not? That's the law as it stands in the USA, but that's not a reason why it should be that way. Which is what lall was saying.



(note: I don't disagree that that position is broadly 'right', btw)

Xiang Jiao
September 17 2012, 09:21:23 PM
You are missing the point of the debate completely, which is whether there should be crimes which restrict freedom of speech in the first place.

Any such law restricting speech will never and could never be enforced in a judicious manner. Imagine if a law was passed banning racist speech (like the law disallowing anti-Semetic speech but applied to all). Everyone would have go to jail, or pay a fine. Would that law be applied in a fair and balanced manner? I think not.

walrus
September 17 2012, 09:49:06 PM
I havnt read everything yet, however my opinion is that as with all freedoms, the freedom of speech comes with responsibility. Just as the right to bear arms gives you the responsibility to store and carry it safely, you have to be responsible in what you say. If how you express yourself blatantly endagers others, and it is obvious for pretty much everyone that it will, you should get prosecuted, just as reckless driving gets you a ticket.

Keorythe
September 18 2012, 01:09:49 AM
The right of freedom of speech is the right to speak your opinions, usually reference to the government, without legal persecution. The right of freedom of speech does NOT protect your right to speak falsehoods about anyone. Slander is not freedom of speech, nor is fraudulent claims. It's not an exception to the rule, it's just plain not covered by freedom of speech, or at least not any sane mans idea of free speech. Obviously i'm speaking from the point of view of the US, but freedom of speech protects your right to burn the flag because you believe Obama is a bad president, but it does not protect your right to say that Admiral Mullen is a serial killer without some form of evidence to stand on.

Why not? That's the law as it stands in the USA, but that's not a reason why it should be that way. Which is what lall was saying.



(note: I don't disagree that that position is broadly 'right', btw)


His example is bad is why. Anyone can say that Admiral Mullen is a serial killer. But if they were to publish falsehoods using false dates and occurrences which did not happen, then it falls under slander. However, this is not a federal issue but a civil issue and only Admiral Mullen can seek redress. The government cannot arrest said individual, nor is slander an arrestable offense. You're free to claim that the Holocaust never happened either and hold whatever get together or meeting you want about it. Just don't expect anyone to agree with it, tune in, or not protest.

Cue1*
September 18 2012, 01:32:43 AM
His example is bad is why. Anyone can say that Admiral Mullen is a serial killer. But if they were to publish falsehoods using false dates and occurrences which did not happen, then it falls under slander. However, this is not a federal issue but a civil issue and only Admiral Mullen can seek redress. The government cannot arrest said individual, nor is slander an arrestable offense. You're free to claim that the Holocaust never happened either and hold whatever get together or meeting you want about it. Just don't expect anyone to agree with it, tune in, or not protest.

I suppose I wasn't quite clear that by "saying" Admiral Mullen was a serial killer, you'd obviously need to publish it in some fashion, not just derp about with your other asshole flapping.

Armyofme
September 18 2012, 07:29:30 AM
I'd comment, but i would probably be deemed a anti-semitist because of it.

But no, in all seriousness freedom of speech should be absolute. However a lot of ppl, like the one that made that islam movie, tried to hide behind anonymity, wich is something that should not be accepted.

Lallante
September 18 2012, 08:07:06 AM
The right of freedom of speech is the right to speak your opinions, usually reference to the government, without legal persecution. The right of freedom of speech does NOT protect your right to speak falsehoods about anyone. Slander is not freedom of speech, nor is fraudulent claims. It's not an exception to the rule, it's just plain not covered by freedom of speech, or at least not any sane mans idea of free speech. Obviously i'm speaking from the point of view of the US, but freedom of speech protects your right to burn the flag because you believe Obama is a bad president, but it does not protect your right to say that Admiral Mullen is a serial killer without some form of evidence to stand on.

Look, as much as this obviously pains you and other thinkers in this thread, Slander, Fraudulant claims etc are actually correctly from a legal perspective (which is the relevant perspective when talking about enshrined rights) described as "limitations on an absolute right to free speech" (at least in the USA where such a right exists, and at least by direct analogy under UK common law which takes the permissive approach to rights.).

They aren't "not free speech", they are "types of free speech you dont have a right to make". Any form of uncoerced expression is free speech. Literally anything.

The WHOLE of this debate is what (if anything) should be the limitations on "free speech you have a right to make". Repeating further limitations on an absolute right to free speech doesnt repudiate my arguement, it reinforces it, as I've explained several times. It doesnt add anything to the debate for people to keep saying "LIBEL ISNT FREE SPEECH" or similar claims.

Lallante
September 18 2012, 08:12:49 AM
You are missing the point of the debate completely, which is whether there should be crimes which restrict freedom of speech in the first place.

Any such law restricting speech will never and could never be enforced in a judicious manner. Imagine if a law was passed banning racist speech (like the law disallowing anti-Semetic speech but applied to all). Everyone would have go to jail, or pay a fine. Would that law be applied in a fair and balanced manner? I think not.

Oh FFS. There are already an enormous myriad of such laws! Libel, Incitement, some types of fraud and misrepresentation, certain types of pornography (yes, taking/publishing pictures is a form of free speech), etc etc.

In the UK there are laws criminalising incitement to racial hatred (which is a "pure" limit on freedom of speech as the speech itself is the only crime). They aren't entirely without problems, but they have been applied numerous times and so to say that such a law is unworkable is clearly incorrect.

The debate is about whether it SHOULD exist, and if so on what general principle, not whether it COULD (as it clearly could and does!).

Noone on your side of the camp has properly engaged with this question yet.

Lallante
September 18 2012, 08:15:50 AM
I havnt read everything yet, however my opinion is that as with all freedoms, the freedom of speech comes with responsibility. Just as the right to bear arms gives you the responsibility to store and carry it safely, you have to be responsible in what you say. If how you express yourself blatantly endagers others, and it is obvious for pretty much everyone that it will, you should get prosecuted, just as reckless driving gets you a ticket.

This is the first response to properly engage with the question. Could I correctly summarise your post as:
"You have a right to freedom of speech, except where that speech causes the reckless endangerment of another?"

There are some problems with this formulation (particularly in where you draw the line) but I wont directly go into it until you confirm this is essentially what you mean.

Lallante
September 18 2012, 08:21:51 AM
The right of freedom of speech is the right to speak your opinions, usually reference to the government, without legal persecution. The right of freedom of speech does NOT protect your right to speak falsehoods about anyone. Slander is not freedom of speech, nor is fraudulent claims. It's not an exception to the rule, it's just plain not covered by freedom of speech, or at least not any sane mans idea of free speech. Obviously i'm speaking from the point of view of the US, but freedom of speech protects your right to burn the flag because you believe Obama is a bad president, but it does not protect your right to say that Admiral Mullen is a serial killer without some form of evidence to stand on.

Why not? That's the law as it stands in the USA, but that's not a reason why it should be that way. Which is what lall was saying.



(note: I don't disagree that that position is broadly 'right', btw)


His example is bad is why. Anyone can say that Admiral Mullen is a serial killer. But if they were to publish falsehoods using false dates and occurrences which did not happen, then it falls under slander. However, this is not a federal issue but a civil issue and only Admiral Mullen can seek redress. The government cannot arrest said individual, nor is slander an arrestable offense. You're free to claim that the Holocaust never happened either and hold whatever get together or meeting you want about it. Just don't expect anyone to agree with it, tune in, or not protest.

An interesting note: slander, aka defamation can actually be criminal (not just civil/tortious) in 15 or so US states (not sure of the exact number as these laws get repealed from time to time). Bit of a throwback but something worth noting.

Lallante
September 18 2012, 08:23:48 AM
His example is bad is why. Anyone can say that Admiral Mullen is a serial killer. But if they were to publish falsehoods using false dates and occurrences which did not happen, then it falls under slander. However, this is not a federal issue but a civil issue and only Admiral Mullen can seek redress. The government cannot arrest said individual, nor is slander an arrestable offense. You're free to claim that the Holocaust never happened either and hold whatever get together or meeting you want about it. Just don't expect anyone to agree with it, tune in, or not protest.


I suppose I wasn't quite clear that by "saying" Admiral Mullen was a serial killer, you'd obviously need to publish it in some fashion, not just derp about with your other asshole flapping.If you mean in written form then thats Libel, not Slander/Defamation. Slander/Defamation is when the form of publishing is transitory (e.g. spoken on TV or in a public debate.) Note from the latter example that you CAN slander someone purely by speaking, provided there is an audience.

Lallante
September 18 2012, 08:27:50 AM
If you intend to reply to this thread, please attempt to complete the following sentance in your reply:

"A person should have a right to freedom of expression / free speech, except....[ ]".

Also if you complete the sentance with "where to do so is a crime" you are dumb and don't get it at all.

walrus
September 18 2012, 09:31:00 AM
I havnt read everything yet, however my opinion is that as with all freedoms, the freedom of speech comes with responsibility. Just as the right to bear arms gives you the responsibility to store and carry it safely, you have to be responsible in what you say. If how you express yourself blatantly endagers others, and it is obvious for pretty much everyone that it will, you should get prosecuted, just as reckless driving gets you a ticket.

This is the first response to properly engage with the question. Could I correctly summarise your post as:
"You have a right to freedom of speech, except where that speech causes the reckless endangerment of another?"

There are some problems with this formulation (particularly in where you draw the line) but I wont directly go into it until you confirm this is essentially what you mean.

I have probably not thought this through properly, but yes, that is what i meant.

"With rights comes responibilities."

Smuggo
September 18 2012, 10:38:37 AM
"A person should have a right to freedom of expression / free speech, except....[ ]".


"where that speech infringes on the liberty of others."

The same as the basic tenets of a liberal society.

Lallante
September 18 2012, 11:06:35 AM
"A person should have a right to freedom of expression / free speech, except....[ ]".


"where that speech infringes on the liberty of others."

The same as the basic tenets of a liberal society.

Ok so all racism should be excluded? What about all criticism?

Smuggo
September 18 2012, 11:08:08 AM
"A person should have a right to freedom of expression / free speech, except....[ ]".


"where that speech infringes on the liberty of others."

The same as the basic tenets of a liberal society.

Ok so all racism should be excluded? What about all criticism?

How does criticism infringe on your liberty?

Lallante
September 18 2012, 11:16:23 AM
I havnt read everything yet, however my opinion is that as with all freedoms, the freedom of speech comes with responsibility. Just as the right to bear arms gives you the responsibility to store and carry it safely, you have to be responsible in what you say. If how you express yourself blatantly endagers others, and it is obvious for pretty much everyone that it will, you should get prosecuted, just as reckless driving gets you a ticket.

This is the first response to properly engage with the question. Could I correctly summarise your post as:
"You have a right to freedom of speech, except where that speech causes the reckless endangerment of another?"

There are some problems with this formulation (particularly in where you draw the line) but I wont directly go into it until you confirm this is essentially what you mean.

I have probably not thought this through properly, but yes, that is what i meant.

"With rights comes responibilities."

Should hate speech which falls short of incitement to violence be allowed?

What about speech that directly causes economic but not physical harm to another (and is deliberately malicious)?

What about speech that causes reckless endangerment of others from the backlash from revealing, for example, horrific torture practices being practiced on a particular foreign ethnic group by your government?

Based on your principle, the Mohamed video would have been illegal as it recklessly endangered overseas US emissaries such as the US Ambassidor to Libya (the violent reaction was reasonably predictable, however unreasonable). Is this intended?

Lallante
September 18 2012, 11:18:34 AM
"A person should have a right to freedom of expression / free speech, except....[ ]".


"where that speech infringes on the liberty of others."

The same as the basic tenets of a liberal society.

Ok so all racism should be excluded? What about all criticism?

How does criticism infringe on your liberty?

It depends on how you define liberty. In europe we would broadly include the "right to quiet enjoyment of family life" - if someone keeps standing just outside your property calling you a retard this might be caught.

This isnt a crucial point though so lets not get hung up on it and stick to the racism example.

definatelynotKKassandra
September 18 2012, 11:21:43 AM
"A person should have a right to freedom of expression / free speech, except....[ ]".p


"where that speech infringes on the liberty of others."

The same as the basic tenets of a liberal society.

Ok so all racism should be excluded? What about all criticism?

How does criticism infringe on your liberty?

Freedom from being made to feel bad?
I agree it's a good principle to work from, but you need specifics of what liberty actually means to formulate real laws.

I agree 'freedom from feeling bad' sounds wishy washy hippie Lal la land, but if you are trying to build a foundation for what specific limits on freedoms are acceptable, you need to establish why it is or is not something that should be protected.
For example, saying that getting kicked in the shins every time you step out of your front door (enough to hurt, but no permanent damage) is an infringement of your liberty is pretty uncontroversial, I think. Why is emotional 'pain' different? I agree that at is, at least in terms of the laws required to deal with it. But precisely articulating why is the problem at the heart of this debate.

As.a more topical question, does drawing offensive cartoons of Mohammad violate the freedom of embassy personnel from being attacked by a mob? The reaction of the crowd is entirely predictable - offensive and wrong, but not surprising. Thus, would the cartoons (or burning a Koran or whatever) fall under 'reckless endangerment'? If not, why not? Would a speech that incited racist rioting without specifically saying 'kill the Jews' be 'free speech'? If not, why not?

Smuggo
September 18 2012, 11:22:02 AM
"A person should have a right to freedom of expression / free speech, except....[ ]".


"where that speech infringes on the liberty of others."

The same as the basic tenets of a liberal society.

Ok so all racism should be excluded? What about all criticism?

How does criticism infringe on your liberty?

It depends on how you define liberty. In europe we would broadly include the "right to quiet enjoyment of family life" - if someone keeps standing just outside your property calling you a retard this might be caught.

This isnt a crucial point though so lets not get hung up on it and stick to the racism example.

Well, the purpose of people making racist proclamations has, in general, been because they feel people of a particular ethnic origin should, in some way, have less liberty than the rest of us, and are trying to convince people that this should be the case. Clearly this is not compatiable with liberalism.

definatelynotKKassandra
September 18 2012, 11:28:16 AM
"A person should have a right to freedom of expression / free speech, except....[ ]".


"where that speech infringes on the liberty of others."

The same as the basic tenets of a liberal society.

Ok so all racism should be excluded? What about all criticism?

How does criticism infringe on your liberty?

It depends on how you define liberty. In europe we would broadly include the "right to quiet enjoyment of family life" - if someone keeps standing just outside your property calling you a retard this might be caught.

This isnt a crucial point though so lets not get hung up on it and stick to the racism example.

Well, the purpose of people making racist proclamations has, in general, been because they feel people of a particular ethnic origin should, in some way, have less liberty than the rest of us, and are trying to convince people that this should be the case. Clearly this is not compatiable with liberalism.

But them being able to say these things is compatible.

Similar to how it's perfectly compatible with democracy to stand for election on a platform of 'I will amend the constitution to make myself President For Life'.

Smuggo
September 18 2012, 11:34:42 AM
"A person should have a right to freedom of expression / free speech, except....[ ]".


"where that speech infringes on the liberty of others."

The same as the basic tenets of a liberal society.

Ok so all racism should be excluded? What about all criticism?

How does criticism infringe on your liberty?

It depends on how you define liberty. In europe we would broadly include the "right to quiet enjoyment of family life" - if someone keeps standing just outside your property calling you a retard this might be caught.

This isnt a crucial point though so lets not get hung up on it and stick to the racism example.

Well, the purpose of people making racist proclamations has, in general, been because they feel people of a particular ethnic origin should, in some way, have less liberty than the rest of us, and are trying to convince people that this should be the case. Clearly this is not compatiable with liberalism.

But them being able to say these things is compatible.

Similar to how it's perfectly compatible with democracy to stand for election on a platform of 'I will amend the constitution to make myself President For Life'.

Not really. If the goal of saying it is to reduce the liberty of another then it is not compatiable with free speech, as it contradicts the notion of free speech (ie, free speech for me, not them).

The latter would infringe on people's right to self determination so not compatiable.

Rami
September 18 2012, 12:28:23 PM
The issue with something like this movie is that restricting 'free speech' in a way that stops the official distribution (like YouTube) would do little to stop it from getting out. Via the internet and the extremist backing the movie itself had, this video would have made its way to its intended target audience regardless.

Free speech is a good thing, but all should be held accountable for their actions, especially from a perspective of intent and consequence. In the case of the video the intent was clear, via the dubbing and manner of distribution by christian extremists that bloodshed and outrage was intended.

I should always have a right to shout FIRE in a cinema, but my intent would be clear as to make people run for the exits. If someone dies in a stampede due to that, I am liable for this. Limiting free speech in the current world environment is very hard, and at the moment synonymous with censoring the internet, as that channel would need considerable censoring to allow any restriction on free speech.

If a child in school is taught of the different religions of the world and happens to draw a picture they call Mohammed later when its drawing time, it has insulted a lot of people who feel strongly about their religion. In this case, was it ever the child's intent to offend? No, and it should be judged on this by law.

Smuggo
September 18 2012, 12:43:54 PM
If a child in school is taught of the different religions of the world and happens to draw a picture they call Mohammed later when its drawing time, it has insulted a lot of people who feel strongly about their religion. In this case, was it ever the child's intent to offend? No, and it should be judged on this by law.

But you should always have the right to offend. If people want to believe in sky faeries that's fine, but they can't really reasonably expect no one to ridicule them over it.

They can feel offended by it and say they are offended by it, but no one should ever limit free speech on the basis it offends or upsets someone.

Lallante
September 18 2012, 12:51:22 PM
Not really. If the goal of saying it is to reduce the liberty of another then it is not compatiable with free speech, as it contradicts the notion of free speech (ie, free speech for me, not them).

The latter would infringe on people's right to self determination so not compatiable.

It is one of the most important fundamental bases of the principals of human rights that failing to respect human rights does not waive others' obligation to respect yours.

To put it another way - you can't torture a murderer to death. By the same token you cant restrict the free speech of someone just because they don't believe you should have a right to free speech.

Lallante
September 18 2012, 12:52:14 PM
The issue with something like this movie is that restricting 'free speech' in a way that stops the official distribution (like YouTube) would do little to stop it from getting out. Via the internet and the extremist backing the movie itself had, this video would have made its way to its intended target audience regardless.

Free speech is a good thing, but all should be held accountable for their actions, especially from a perspective of intent and consequence. In the case of the video the intent was clear, via the dubbing and manner of distribution by christian extremists that bloodshed and outrage was intended.

I should always have a right to shout FIRE in a cinema, but my intent would be clear as to make people run for the exits. If someone dies in a stampede due to that, I am liable for this. Limiting free speech in the current world environment is very hard, and at the moment synonymous with censoring the internet, as that channel would need considerable censoring to allow any restriction on free speech.

If a child in school is taught of the different religions of the world and happens to draw a picture they call Mohammed later when its drawing time, it has insulted a lot of people who feel strongly about their religion. In this case, was it ever the child's intent to offend? No, and it should be judged on this by law.

Should the makers of this video be tried in the USA for the death of the 4 American diplomats? Why not?

Lallante
September 18 2012, 01:06:22 PM
If a child in school is taught of the different religions of the world and happens to draw a picture they call Mohammed later when its drawing time, it has insulted a lot of people who feel strongly about their religion. In this case, was it ever the child's intent to offend? No, and it should be judged on this by law.

But you should always have the right to offend. If people want to believe in sky faeries that's fine, but they can't really reasonably expect no one to ridicule them over it.

They can feel offended by it and say they are offended by it, but no one should ever limit free speech on the basis it offends or upsets someone.

How is upsetting someone not a breach of their liberties? (hint: it is, just a very mild one)

This is the problem with your analysis Smuggo - you see it as black and white (i.e. you cant infringe others rights). It isn't - most actions infringe others rights in some way.

In my view better way to look at it is using a "balancing" concept where you compare the value of the right upheld by an action against the value of the right infringed by an action and determine whether that action should be allowed based on the outcome of the comparison.

Using that as a prism for assessing behaviours, its easier to assess behaviour like this video - the video creators right to freedom of expression is balanced against others' right to freedom from violence. A second limb of assessment would need to look at whether the remoteness of causation changed the balance (i.e. if the violence wasn't caused directly by the video, was it sufficiently indirect that we shouldnt have to take it into account when applying the balance).

Using this framework does not, however, bring us any closer to answering the fundamental question that I have set out in quite a few of my previous posts. To paraphrase into the language I've suggested we use - at what point does one strike a balance between the positive rights of an individual to do something with the rights of other individuals infringed by him so doing.

Should I have a right to free speech if that freespeech has a 100% change of inciting violence (even if I am against such violence)? What about 50%? What about 1%?

Does the motive of the speaker matter? If it turned out this whole video was a Muslim american's white flag exercise to stir up violence against americans would that affect the muslim american's right to free speech? Why?

Smuggo
September 18 2012, 01:12:53 PM
How is upsetting someone not a breach of their liberties? (hint: it is, just a very mild one)


Just no.

How does having liberty in any way preclude you from having to be upset or offended?

Lallante
September 18 2012, 01:18:08 PM
How is upsetting someone not a breach of their liberties? (hint: it is, just a very mild one)


Just no.

How does having liberty in any way preclude you from having to be upset or offended?

I assume you are using "liberty" as shorthand for "human rights". If instead you mean "the right to freedom from imprisonment" (i.e. classical liberty) then the term isnt relevant for this debate. If you mean something else entirely then please do explain.

definatelynotKKassandra
September 18 2012, 01:19:57 PM
How is upsetting someone not a breach of their liberties? (hint: it is, just a very mild one)


Just no.

How does having liberty in any way preclude you from having to be upset or offended?

How does liberty preclude you from being punched in the face?

Lallante
September 18 2012, 01:23:02 PM
How is upsetting someone not a breach of their liberties? (hint: it is, just a very mild one)


Just no.

How does having liberty in any way preclude you from having to be upset or offended?

How does liberty preclude you from being punched in the face?

exactly. There isnt a fundamentally important difference between physical and mental attacks.

Smuggo
September 18 2012, 01:36:20 PM
How is upsetting someone not a breach of their liberties? (hint: it is, just a very mild one)


Just no.

How does having liberty in any way preclude you from having to be upset or offended?

How does liberty preclude you from being punched in the face?

exactly. There isnt a fundamentally important difference between physical and mental attacks.

Because part of your liberty includes freedom from violence. I suppose you could loosely equate it to human rights legislation. I'm just referring to the modern concept of liberty, which is the "right to act freely so long as it does not impact on the right of others to act freely". It obviously makes basic assumptions about you being somewhat civilized, so not in a situation where it's cool to just punch each other in the face.

definatelynotKKassandra
September 18 2012, 01:42:08 PM
Okay, but surely you can see that's circular? WHy dies 'liberty' in your definition not include freedom from emotional violence? Please try to explain in a way that still allows us to condemn non-physical bullying and harassment, libel and slander.

Note I am not suggesting that 'being offensive' should be illegal. I am simply pointing out that we already 'balance' different rights and freedoms against each other, deciding (rightly IMO) that the right to free speech us more important than the minor hurt that comes from someone being rude about you imaginary sky buddy.

Lallante
September 18 2012, 01:43:47 PM
How is upsetting someone not a breach of their liberties? (hint: it is, just a very mild one)


Just no.

How does having liberty in any way preclude you from having to be upset or offended?

How does liberty preclude you from being punched in the face?

exactly. There isnt a fundamentally important difference between physical and mental attacks.

Because part of your liberty includes freedom from violence. I suppose you could loosely equate it to human rights legislation. I'm just referring to the modern concept of liberty, which is the "right to act freely so long as it does not impact on the right of others to act freely". It obviously makes basic assumptions about you being somewhat civilized, so not in a situation where it's cool to just punch each other in the face.

Freedom from violence would encompass freedom from psychological aggression too surely?

SAI Peregrinus
September 18 2012, 10:57:48 PM
Speech that incites violence should be fine. Violence should not be allowed.
Free will either exists, or it does not. If it does not exist, then all our actions are predetermined and no one can be responsible for anything. The rights to self determination, free speech, etc, become meaningless. So let's assume it exists.
If free will exists, then the people who are incited to violence must chose to be violent. They cannot be forced to be violent simply by the speech of another, and so they hold the sole responsibility for their violence.

Speech can, however, cause direct harm. It can mislead (libel/slander/fraud) or be emotionally harmful. Due to causing direct harm, misleading speech is morally wrong.
I'm less certain about emotionally harmful speech, since the determination of whether there was harm done is entirely up to the victim (though intent should also matter.) I feel that this would likely lead to abuses of the legal system, or at best cause unnecessary case load, slowing access to justice. (Alice: "He was mean!" Bob: "I didn't intend to hurt her feelings." Judge: "We wasted hours setting up a trial for this!?") It's the major grey area, and I think that it's better to err on the side of free speech.

Xiang Jiao
September 19 2012, 03:56:43 AM
Wow, this thread got meta.

The importance of the freedom of speech is that people who live with that right should be compelled to use it. We can all blog about how our politicians are corrupt or conniving and no police cars show up at our door to haul us off to reeducation. Yay, awesome! However, that is not to say that there are never negative consequences for speaking up, but that's the power of speech. If you feel what you think is right is important enough to tell others, then to Hell with the consequences. More than likely, expressing your opinion won't get you or others killed, but you might wind up with a broken jaw. :)

That's cool though because there's an army of lawyers who will help you sue the asshole that punched you back to the Bronze Age.

Rami
September 19 2012, 08:37:12 AM
If man A creates a fake video of supposedly man B's wife being unfaithful, and man B in his rage goes and kills his wife, who is blame? Well simply man B will obviously tried for manslaughter (whether or not he pleads diminished capacity is not really a concern here) and man A should be tried for explicitly inciting this event. I don't know how you can measure intent other than through 'reasonable expectation' as expressed by a jury.

In the above example, it would be a reasonable expectation to incite man B to some violent act. The movie has the reasonable expectation to insult and incite violence (as there is a demonstrable precedent that this would happen, see Rushdie). Free speech in the philosophical viewpoint akin to free will is currently incorruptible, a person may choose to say or release what they wish with virtually no method of stopping them. There are already chains/restrictions on free speech from a legal viewpoint, in the sense that in certain circumstances you will be held to account for the consequences of your actions.

On the movie, I don't think prohibiting further release impedes anyone's right to free speech. It's not like Tiananmen Square which can not even be discussed. Whilst the reaction to the movie is wrong, it is the realistic world we currently live in. Changing the way these millions of people react will take time, in the meantime stopping the video from being shown to the gullible through media channels directly attributable to the US/the West would help.

Lallante
September 19 2012, 11:08:43 AM
concepts like "reasonably forseeable" or "reasonably likely to occur" and concepts of remoteness of causation are well understood by the courts. They aren't particularly ambiguous on the face of it.

Frug
September 19 2012, 01:59:16 PM
Free will either exists, or it does not. If it does not exist, then all our actions are predetermined and no one can be responsible for anything.

I can provide a few, fairly complicated reasons why I don't agree this. But it becomes another thread.


If free will exists, then the people who are incited to violence must chose to be violent. They cannot be forced to be violent simply by the speech of another, and so they hold the sole responsibility for their violence.
I'm not about to defend the primitive wackos going off the handle about their prophet being insulted, but responsibility is a complicated issue. Behavior tends to be the result of multiple, cumulative causes. In the case of angry muslims, a lot of it is a result of poverty and ignorance. They're not solely responsible, though it would be more convenient if that was the case.

Lallante
September 19 2012, 07:05:41 PM
People often seem to confuse blaming the producers of the video with NOT blaming the homicidal muslims who did the deed.

Actually, you can blame both.

Steph
September 20 2012, 02:17:26 AM
If you intend to reply to this thread, please attempt to complete the following sentance in your reply:

"A person should have a right to freedom of expression / free speech, except....[ ]".

Also if you complete the sentance with "where to do so is a crime" you are dumb and don't get it at all.

Jumping in kind of late but,

"...except where such speech is expressed with the intent to harm or mislead others, or can reasonably be expected to cause harm."

Shouting "Fire" in a crowded theatre: Your intent might not be to inflict harm, but if a reasonable person stopped to consider the consequences they could see that it would.

Publishing false information about your company: You know it's false, therefore your intent is to deceive your shareholders

Perjury: Again, you know your statements are false, therefore your intent is to deceive

Racist ramblings: Unless your intent is to cause harm to the ethnic group you bear ill will, ie "kill all the niggers", simply spouting your ignorant and inflammatory opinions on a streetcorner is unlikely to harm anyone.

Publishing an article about the Pope's alleged sexcapades with certain high-ranking members of the clergy: If it's false, your intent is to deceive. If it's true, then it's just journalism. And if it turns out to be false but you reasonably believed it was true, you're off the hook; your intent was never to deceive or cause harm if you genuinely believed what you were writing was the truth.

Giving directions to a stranger to cross a particular bridge, which subsequently collapses during a sudden earthquake and kills him: Though your instructions may have lead directly to the stranger's death, your intent was never to deceive or cause harm, unless you somehow knew about the earthquake in advance.

Vortex
September 20 2012, 06:24:57 AM
I'm going to skip the few pages of people being confused on why libel and fraud statutes exist, and actually tackle the meat of the OP.


Freedom of speech cannot, by definition, be an absolute. This can actually be expanded to all rights. Whether positive or negative in nature, they all exist in a world where absolute anything is retarded. The closest I can even think of that would apply to the US would be the right to Sanctity of Contract. No, you won't find it in the constitution, but its the reason why labor and economic changes in the US took the great depression to bring about. I won't go too much into detail here because its tangential at best, but suffice to say that SoC caused huge problems precisely because it was enforced in such absolute terms.


The United States has its share of faults, but freedom of speech is one thing I think we get pretty well. Political speech is deeply protected, probably to excess in some situations (this is a symptom of larger and unsolvable problems with the US election system). We do regulate on place, time, and shock value, but that's pretty much it. American Democracy has its own quirks, and our... "loudness" for lack of better wording is one of them. Everybody speaks / produces / publishes / uploads, and we do it constantly.

That said, you really, really can't make it an absolute. You can't incite a crowd to violence, you can't commit fraud, you can't demonstrably butcher a person's reputation under false statements. These are all very real and negative harms that do not contribute to an actual market place of ideas. If it were possible, I'd love to see some sort of "truth in publishing" to hold the media to, but you quickly enter a realm there that lacks a brightline. Fox news is very good at distorting the truth without outright lying (though they sometimes do that too), but you'll never be able to draw the line on what is "too far".


Regarding the content that actually started this - the Innocence of Muslims video, I'll admit I haven't seen it. I don't need to see it, because we've been down this road before. Muslims need to HTFU and get over their super-equal status they've attributed to themselves in all global content. I don't care how objectively bad or offensive the video is, it is not justification for killing, or rioting, or even heated discussion. Its a fucking youtube video. If you have a thin skin on the internet, you're going to have a bad time. That's not our problem, its theirs.

Of course, the state department will never say that because it would just burn bridges to do so, and a veiled apology and condemnation is a pittance to pay for cooperation on some other, actual issue. Still, it would be nice for Obama to address the Muslim population with a "you mad bro?" after some faked outrage like this shit.

punkboy101
September 20 2012, 07:18:10 PM
Apparently freedom of speech has prevailed in New York. http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-us-canada-19665225

I find what they are saying to be both racist and offensive btw, but if you have a hard time dealing with that then you probably don't support the right to free speech. I have a real dislike of racists and bigots (or ignorant people in general), but by taking away their rights to free speech I couldnt complain when I say something they dislike and try to take mine away.

Lallante
September 20 2012, 07:26:16 PM
Apparently freedom of speech has prevailed in New York. http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-us-canada-19665225

I find what they are saying to be both racist and offensive btw, but if you have a hard time dealing with that then you probably don't support the right to free speech. I have a real dislike of racists and bigots (or ignorant people in general), but by taking away their rights to free speech I couldnt complain when I say something they dislike and try to take mine away.

I disagree. America confuses a right to free speech with a right to a platform. Those bigots should be allowed to say that, to publicly display those posters etc, but noone else should be forced to display them on their behalf. In a way, its restricting the displayers' freedom of expression as they are being stripped of the right NOT to make the biggotted remarks.

Xiang Jiao
September 28 2012, 07:20:24 AM
The filmmaker behind 'Innocence of Muslims' was arrested for using the internet to update his movie trailer on Youtube, which is a violation of his probation. Wow, really?

http://www.thewrap.com/movies/article/innocence-muslims-filmmaker-arrested-feds-58366

whispous
September 28 2012, 07:38:44 AM
The filmmaker behind 'Innocence of Muslims' was arrested for using the internet to update his movie trailer on Youtube, which is a violation of his probation. Wow, really?

http://www.thewrap.com/movies/article/innocence-muslims-filmmaker-arrested-feds-58366

Well yes. If his probation terms include "don't use the internet", then it's right for him to get arrested for using the internet.

Xiang Jiao
September 28 2012, 08:28:33 AM
The filmmaker behind 'Innocence of Muslims' was arrested for using the internet to update his movie trailer on Youtube, which is a violation of his probation. Wow, really?

http://www.thewrap.com/movies/article/innocence-muslims-filmmaker-arrested-feds-58366

Well yes. If his probation terms include "don't use the internet", then it's right for him to get arrested for using the internet.

True, but he's being hauled in on a technicality. The movie is terrible and both absolutely hilarious at the same time, and he's got at least one lawsuit filed on him already for it. I'm waiting for a court to try to prosecute him for the deaths in the Middle East (and Africa) that his movie allegedly caused.

Lallante
September 28 2012, 10:26:01 AM
The filmmaker behind 'Innocence of Muslims' was arrested for using the internet to update his movie trailer on Youtube, which is a violation of his probation. Wow, really?

http://www.thewrap.com/movies/article/innocence-muslims-filmmaker-arrested-feds-58366

Well yes. If his probation terms include "don't use the internet", then it's right for him to get arrested for using the internet.

True, but he's being hauled in on a technicality. The movie is terrible and both absolutely hilarious at the same time, and he's got at least one lawsuit filed on him already for it. I'm waiting for a court to try to prosecute him for the deaths in the Middle East (and Africa) that his movie allegedly caused.

How is it a technicality? The whole point of that probation term is to reduce the risk of him committing harm using the internet.

Dark Flare
September 28 2012, 11:18:21 AM
a technicality.

What?

Frug
September 28 2012, 02:27:17 PM
Violating probation is a technicality. Kinda like getting put away for first degree murder is a technicality if you've murdered someone.


I'm waiting for a court to try to prosecute him for the deaths in the Middle East (and Africa) that his movie allegedly caused.
:roll:

Xiang Jiao
September 28 2012, 09:51:13 PM
The only reason they care about taking him to court is because he produced a highly contentious film that has so many people upset. If you were out on parole for bank fraud, do you really think that any judge gives a shit if you check your email or YT account? ERMYGOD, the convict has just logged into Facebook!

Cue1*
September 28 2012, 11:45:43 PM
The point to limiting what a parolee can do is to try to make them new habits as opposed to going back on their old habits.

Keorythe
September 29 2012, 01:27:34 AM
The only reason they care about taking him to court is because he produced a highly contentious film that has so many people upset. If you were out on parole for bank fraud, do you really think that any judge gives a shit if you check your email or YT account? ERMYGOD, the convict has just logged into Facebook!

Well it's more than just him using the internet. You've got a flock of witnesses testifying that he used an alias while he's also registered with the Screen Actors Guild under a fake alias. Part of his probation was also to not use aliases. This is really more incriminating than just updating his Youtube account as he committed fraud...under an alias and was jailed as such. Soooo yeah, he'll be going back to jail for sure.

Xiang Jiao
September 29 2012, 02:38:25 AM
The only reason they care about taking him to court is because he produced a highly contentious film that has so many people upset. If you were out on parole for bank fraud, do you really think that any judge gives a shit if you check your email or YT account? ERMYGOD, the convict has just logged into Facebook!

Well it's more than just him using the internet. You've got a flock of witnesses testifying that he used an alias while he's also registered with the Screen Actors Guild under a fake alias. Part of his probation was also to not use aliases. This is really more incriminating than just updating his Youtube account as he committed fraud...under an alias and was jailed as such. Soooo yeah, he'll be going back to jail for sure.

Even if you weren't a criminal, and you were going to release a controversial movie about Islam (forget the movie is trash for a second) wouldn't you use a pseudonym? It sounds like I'm defending the guy, but I'm not. He sounds like a complete fraud, but I don't like the way the press is using the movie as an excuse to explain away extremist activity in the Islamic world. Calling Mohammed a fucking bastard should not have any *legal* repercussions, in theory. Using fraud to fund/produce a movie - well, yes, that should be illegal.

Dorvil Barranis
September 30 2012, 08:45:26 PM
And if Al Capone wasn't a crime boss, they probably wouldn't have worked so hard to try to bust him for tax evasion. Damn inconsistent government!

I.E. Not all criminals are created equal, if you get busted for something while someone else gets let off easy, that sometimes is just because you are an asshole.

Tellenta
October 1 2012, 02:14:00 AM
The title alone makes me think this isn't a serious discussion.

Tellenta
October 1 2012, 02:26:35 AM
The only reason they care about taking him to court is because he produced a highly contentious film that has so many people upset. If you were out on parole for bank fraud, do you really think that any judge gives a shit if you check your email or YT account? ERMYGOD, the convict has just logged into Facebook!

Well it's more than just him using the internet. You've got a flock of witnesses testifying that he used an alias while he's also registered with the Screen Actors Guild under a fake alias. Part of his probation was also to not use aliases. This is really more incriminating than just updating his Youtube account as he committed fraud...under an alias and was jailed as such. Soooo yeah, he'll be going back to jail for sure.

Even if you weren't a criminal, and you were going to release a controversial movie about Islam (forget the movie is trash for a second) wouldn't you use a pseudonym? It sounds like I'm defending the guy, but I'm not. He sounds like a complete fraud, but I don't like the way the press is using the movie as an excuse to explain away extremist activity in the Islamic world. Calling Mohammed a fucking bastard should not have any *legal* repercussions, in theory. Using fraud to fund/produce a movie - well, yes, that should be illegal.

The movie was used as an excuse to cause a violent uproar in the middle east. It's merely a patsy to someones political desires. If I were to draw a political cartoon about it I would show a mullah reading from a book of hate while waving the Koran at the populace. It was merely a means to an end. The person you are talking about in question however previously convicted of bank fraud which is federal in its offense will probably not receive the karma induced verdict of renouncing of his acquired citizenship and deportation back to Egypt. Just a lesser charge of whatever book federal law can throw at him for willfully breaking his parole. Freedom is a pesky thing when you are already a felon.

Lallante
October 1 2012, 10:36:56 AM
The only reason they care about taking him to court is because he produced a highly contentious film that has so many people upset. If you were out on parole for bank fraud, do you really think that any judge gives a shit if you check your email or YT account? ERMYGOD, the convict has just logged into Facebook!

Yes. That's what a "bail condition" means...

Lallante
October 1 2012, 10:38:00 AM
The only reason they care about taking him to court is because he produced a highly contentious film that has so many people upset. If you were out on parole for bank fraud, do you really think that any judge gives a shit if you check your email or YT account? ERMYGOD, the convict has just logged into Facebook!

Well it's more than just him using the internet. You've got a flock of witnesses testifying that he used an alias while he's also registered with the Screen Actors Guild under a fake alias. Part of his probation was also to not use aliases. This is really more incriminating than just updating his Youtube account as he committed fraud...under an alias and was jailed as such. Soooo yeah, he'll be going back to jail for sure.

Even if you weren't a criminal, and you were going to release a controversial movie about Islam (forget the movie is trash for a second) wouldn't you use a pseudonym? It sounds like I'm defending the guy, but I'm not. He sounds like a complete fraud, but I don't like the way the press is using the movie as an excuse to explain away extremist activity in the Islamic world. Calling Mohammed a fucking bastard should not have any *legal* repercussions, in theory. Using fraud to fund/produce a movie - well, yes, that should be illegal.

The legal repurcussions will be from the laws he broke, not for insulting Mohammed.