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S/O What is the difference between free speech and license?

Posted by on Jan. 10, 2013 at 9:06 PM
  • 10 Replies

There is much discussion about free speech... but is it the same as license to say anything at all?

What about, say, advertising?

Or, unqualified medical advice?

Incitement to riot?

Do you think free speech is, or should be, license to say anything at all, anywhere? 

by on Jan. 10, 2013 at 9:06 PM
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Replies (1-10):
parentalrights1
by on Jan. 10, 2013 at 9:10 PM
1 mom liked this
I think expressing opinions should be allowed but not necessarily harassing people at funerals. I think funerals should be closed to tht crap
UpSheRises
by Platinum Member on Jan. 10, 2013 at 9:27 PM
1 mom liked this

A license is a special privilege that someone has in order to ensure they abide by laws and standards of best practice.

Free speech is something a person does. Doing something, however, has consequences. I think free speech is a license to say anything, anywhere...it doesn't protect you from getting a proverbial punch in the face. 

stormcris
by Christy on Jan. 11, 2013 at 1:55 AM
1 mom liked this

 My right to free speech stops where another person's rights begin. The other things mentioned are parts of other people's rights under various laws. 

Clairwil
by Ruby Member on Jan. 11, 2013 at 10:11 PM
Quoting LindaClement:

Do you think free speech is, or should be, license to say anything at all, anywhere? 

No.

I think the right in this area it is necessary to fight for and protect is free speech in the sense of the state giving a guarantee that the state will not censor, ban or otherwise penalise (or attempt to do so) a citizen from expressing their opinions to others who consent to hear those opinions, where those opinions are relevant to organising opposition to laws, policies, parties or politicians via lawful means; or relevant to monitoring how well the state is carrying out its duties to the citizenry.

All else can be bootstrapped from that.


It is desirable that most speech beyond that be also protected but not, in my opinion, all speech.

For example, if someone knowingly spreads false medical information while falsely claiming to be a qualified doctor in good standing in their profession (eg "Hi, welcome to Dr. Snake Oil's homeopathy website.  Buy my new cyanide pills - studies prove they cure 100% of migraine headaches."), they could do far more harm than could ever be recovered by suing them for damages.

LindaClement
by Thatwoman on Jan. 13, 2013 at 5:49 PM
1 mom liked this

Or, possibly, a real one :D

Quoting UpSheRises:

A license is a special privilege that someone has in order to ensure they abide by laws and standards of best practice.

Free speech is something a person does. Doing something, however, has consequences. I think free speech is a license to say anything, anywhere...it doesn't protect you from getting a proverbial punch in the face. 


LindaClement
by Thatwoman on Jan. 13, 2013 at 5:50 PM

Excellent answer!

Quoting Clairwil:

Quoting LindaClement:

Do you think free speech is, or should be, license to say anything at all, anywhere? 

No.

I think the right in this area it is necessary to fight for and protect is free speech in the sense of the state giving a guarantee that the state will not censor, ban or otherwise penalise (or attempt to do so) a citizen from expressing their opinions to others who consent to hear those opinions, where those opinions are relevant to organising opposition to laws, policies, parties or politicians via lawful means; or relevant to monitoring how well the state is carrying out its duties to the citizenry.

All else can be bootstrapped from that.


It is desirable that most speech beyond that be also protected but not, in my opinion, all speech.

For example, if someone knowingly spreads false medical information while falsely claiming to be a qualified doctor in good standing in their profession (eg "Hi, welcome to Dr. Snake Oil's homeopathy website.  Buy my new cyanide pills - studies prove they cure 100% of migraine headaches."), they could do far more harm than could ever be recovered by suing them for damages.


romalove
by Roma on Jan. 13, 2013 at 5:54 PM
1 mom liked this

Incitement to riot is not covered by free speech.

Advertising is different.  There are laws covering truth in advertising in America, but there are also standards for "fluff" speech (it's actually called that legally).  You can't say a car is in perfect condition if the engine is seized.  You can say things like "it's quite a beauty" even if it looks like crap.


LindaClement
by Thatwoman on Jan. 14, 2013 at 1:57 PM

I wonder why not... if the kinds of things Westboro church is supposedly 'entitled' to say --how is that not incitement to riot? That others have not is testamony to their restraint, not what those morons spew...

Advertising is an interesting quandry: if there are, say, 'truth in advertising' laws, why aren't they enforced, and it there is a principle of 'buyer beware' why are there laws?

Quoting romalove:

Incitement to riot is not covered by free speech.

Advertising is different.  There are laws covering truth in advertising in America, but there are also standards for "fluff" speech (it's actually called that legally).  You can't say a car is in perfect condition if the engine is seized.  You can say things like "it's quite a beauty" even if it looks like crap.



romalove
by Roma on Jan. 14, 2013 at 2:04 PM


Quoting LindaClement:

I wonder why not... if the kinds of things Westboro church is supposedly 'entitled' to say --how is that not incitement to riot? That others have not is testamony to their restraint, not what those morons spew...

Advertising is an interesting quandry: if there are, say, 'truth in advertising' laws, why aren't they enforced, and it there is a principle of 'buyer beware' why are there laws?

Quoting romalove:

Incitement to riot is not covered by free speech.

Advertising is different.  There are laws covering truth in advertising in America, but there are also standards for "fluff" speech (it's actually called that legally).  You can't say a car is in perfect condition if the engine is seized.  You can say things like "it's quite a beauty" even if it looks like crap.



There is a principle of "buyer beware" but also laws that are supposed to make it a little harder for people to get scammed.

The truth in advertising laws cover facts and not fluff.  Fluff is considered things like saying saying "the world's best cup of coffee".  You can't actually prove that it's the "best" nor do you have to.  Saying it's a 16 oz. cup of coffee is different.  You have to have it be that much or you'd be in trouble.

Westboro is different.  If they say "go to the funeral of X and attack the bystanders" that's incitement to riot.  If they say "we're going to the funeral of X to protest because we think they are hateful" that is not.  

If you bring incitement to riot to a level that chills free speech it is not helpful.  Going back to the man who made the video that was originally blamed for the 9/11 embassy attack, there were some who thought that making a video that you know will upset Muslims  by insulting their prophet is incitement to riot.  But free speech says we can say things that someone else may not like without worry that our First Amendment rights are infringed.  That is what First Amendment is for, to allow speech people don't like so much, not to protect the "good" speech.  

LindaClement
by Thatwoman on Jan. 14, 2013 at 2:18 PM

It's certainly a complex issue.

In Canada, you don't get to make overtly false statements (like 'world's best coffee') without having hard data (even if it's a really lame survey) to cite. It might be crappy data, but it has to exist in any 'quantifiable' area --like 'best'. You can't claim your non-absorbant towels are 'more absorbant' when what they're more absorbant than is steel.

It's interesting seeing the (often tremendous) differences in laws across the border, in watching US and Canadian tv. In the US, herbal remedies can make all kinds of claims with the disclaimer 'these statements have not been evaluated by the FDA', while in Canada they are absolutely illegal. You can sell 'liver support' tablets, but you can't say that it treats or cures any kind of disease or disorder without being able to prove it to some folks with HUGE fines handy.

I was suggesting that Westboro was inciting the people AT the funeral to riot, not their own friends and cohorts...


Quoting romalove:


Quoting LindaClement:

I wonder why not... if the kinds of things Westboro church is supposedly 'entitled' to say --how is that not incitement to riot? That others have not is testamony to their restraint, not what those morons spew...

Advertising is an interesting quandry: if there are, say, 'truth in advertising' laws, why aren't they enforced, and it there is a principle of 'buyer beware' why are there laws?

Quoting romalove:

Incitement to riot is not covered by free speech.

Advertising is different.  There are laws covering truth in advertising in America, but there are also standards for "fluff" speech (it's actually called that legally).  You can't say a car is in perfect condition if the engine is seized.  You can say things like "it's quite a beauty" even if it looks like crap.



There is a principle of "buyer beware" but also laws that are supposed to make it a little harder for people to get scammed.

The truth in advertising laws cover facts and not fluff.  Fluff is considered things like saying saying "the world's best cup of coffee".  You can't actually prove that it's the "best" nor do you have to.  Saying it's a 16 oz. cup of coffee is different.  You have to have it be that much or you'd be in trouble.

Westboro is different.  If they say "go to the funeral of X and attack the bystanders" that's incitement to riot.  If they say "we're going to the funeral of X to protest because we think they are hateful" that is not.  

If you bring incitement to riot to a level that chills free speech it is not helpful.  Going back to the man who made the video that was originally blamed for the 9/11 embassy attack, there were some who thought that making a video that you know will upset Muslims  by insulting their prophet is incitement to riot.  But free speech says we can say things that someone else may not like without worry that our First Amendment rights are infringed.  That is what First Amendment is for, to allow speech people don't like so much, not to protect the "good" speech.  


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