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How far should we restrict free speech?

Discussion in 'Personal' started by lanokia, Feb 10, 2019.


Is free expression under threat in the UK?

  1. The police have the right balance.

    2 vote(s)
  2. The police should not be policing free expression of opinions

    19 vote(s)
  3. The police need to be acting more to curtail the expression of hateful opinions

    6 vote(s)
  4. Other

    11 vote(s)
  1. lanokia

    lanokia Star commenter

    So recently some young men were sent to prison for breaching a gang injunction.



    Now I'm no fan of drill rap but... putting folks in prison for performing a song? Yeah that is going to far... IMO

    Then we have people being approached by the police for limericks... liking and sharing a limerick.


    We have a 74 year old ex-teacher approached by the police for 'hateful content' online.


    And now we have a mother who spent 7 hours in cells for ''online hate crime''


    So I'm wondering if people feel we are getting too authoritarian, if we have the balance just right or if we should veer more towards freedoms.

    I want to make this clear... I am posting this about the issue of free expression. I have deliberately avoided naming some of the issues and I hope posters will discuss freedom of speech and expression... and not other, TES unfriendly, issues.

    Attached Files:

  2. LondonCanary

    LondonCanary Lead commenter

    Free speech is an outdated concept no longer valid for the 21st century.
  3. Incommunicado

    Incommunicado Occasional commenter

    JUST a song ?
    JUST a limerick?

    'But officer, you accost me outside this synagogue where I was JUST making a salute'.
    JL48, MAGAorMIGA and LunaBlue123 like this.
  4. lanokia

    lanokia Star commenter

    I think your post demonstrates why we need free speech now more than ever.

    What is different about the 21st century that we need to curb free expression?
    Laphroig and agathamorse like this.
  5. LondonCanary

    LondonCanary Lead commenter

    It's the era of wokeness.
    People are now proud to report others for speech-crime, knowing that so many problems result from free-speech.
    lanokia and fadeyushka_1967 like this.
  6. Vince_Ulam

    Vince_Ulam Star commenter

    Salutes are not illegal.
    agathamorse and fadeyushka_1967 like this.
  7. Doitforfree

    Doitforfree Star commenter

    The police couldn't organise the proverbial round of drinks so it's highly unlikely that they can assemble sufficient IQ between them to understand the difference between a crime and someone complaining that they don't like what someone else said. And recent events have shown this to be true, as detailed above.

    We recently had to make a quite serious complaint to the police. Not only was the reply illiterate, and would probably not even have got a level 4 in year 6, but it was also just a string of sentences which basically said, 'I didn't do it, I wasn't there, I can't remember, I wouldn't have said that, a big boy did it and ran away.' It would have been funny if it hasn't been so infuriating, and full of lies. They shouldn't be policing speech because it's too complicated a concept for them and people should say what they like. The idea of 'hate crimes' appalls me. Something is a crime or not. It isn't worse in one situation than another, and a person's hurt feelings shouldn't be a consideration in deciding if something is a crime.
  8. Vince_Ulam

    Vince_Ulam Star commenter

    Saudi Arabia, here we come:

    artboyusa, xmal and fadeyushka_1967 like this.
  9. xmal

    xmal Occasional commenter

    Ridiculous analogy.
  10. George_Randle

    George_Randle Occasional commenter

    When you're calling out verse, have a care.
    A limerick? No! Couplets were there.
    The cops played no blinder
    For unlike your vague shiner
    A limerick's going somewhere.
    TCSC47, Vince_Ulam and agathamorse like this.
  11. lanokia

    lanokia Star commenter

    I think you are right about the engine driving the pressure on free speech [wokeness - a very recent concept] ... I disagree that the problems stem from free speech.

    Instead I'd suggest they stem from an inability to deal with the free expression of ideas that people respond negatively to. If someone is feeling the need to call the police on a limerick then that person is the possessed of the problem, not the limerick.

    After all, if we're going to say free speech is the problem in response to these news stories then why are we not saying freedom of religion is for other news stories? We've seen some efforts to curtail freedom of assembly... though I've not been aware of any other actions there.
    towncryer, Laphroig and agathamorse like this.
  12. lanokia

    lanokia Star commenter

    I do feel it's important to state the other side however...

    If someone is ''trolling'' [not the TES definition of disagreeing but actual harassment], if someone is online stalking and harassing a person... where do we draw the line? Clearly I do not have freedom of action in the real world to stalk someone and shout abuse at them at their window...

    So where should the line be drawn online? Is it an equivalent?
    ridleyrumpus likes this.
  13. Nanook_rubs_it

    Nanook_rubs_it Star commenter

    It’s the wrong sort of hate speech:

    CraigCarterSmith and lanokia like this.
  14. lanokia

    lanokia Star commenter

    And arguably the damage people of that House can do to the lives of others is of a far greater scale than that which a drill rapper can inflict.

    A thought; should war-mongering language be banned?
    Nanook_rubs_it likes this.
  15. A_Million_Posts

    A_Million_Posts Star commenter

    I think we should ban war-mongering first.
  16. A_Million_Posts

    A_Million_Posts Star commenter

    Hey, Lan, can I ask a question? Why did you say the police in the poll? The police only enforce laws. They don't get to make them. Should you not be asking about the government and courts?
  17. lanokia

    lanokia Star commenter

    True... you'd be right there. Am I blaming the police like people blame teachers, when really the blame lies higher up?

    Yes... I probably am.

    I'm not pinpointing individual police officers... I mean police in the holistic sense, as the enforcement arm of the UK State. But yes, changes would be needed in the laws passed... in the UK interpretation of ''hate crime'', in the application of the ECHR and in the wording of the Communications Act.
    Laphroig and agathamorse like this.
  18. LondonCanary

    LondonCanary Lead commenter

    By force, if necessary. That's how we stopped Saddam.
    ridleyrumpus and artboyusa like this.
  19. lanokia

    lanokia Star commenter

    But the language is a reflection of the act? Isn't war-mongering language a smoke signal for impeding war-mongering.

    Or is it like saying a novelist writing about murder isn't really signalling their desire to act out a murder?
    agathamorse likes this.
  20. A_Million_Posts

    A_Million_Posts Star commenter

    I can't say I'm familiar enough with the wording of the laws in question to comment.

    I saw an interesting thing the other day which suggested that online especially, people were using freedom of speech as a weapon to restrict the freedom of other people's speech, essentially by flooding communication channels with their own message so that no other could be heard.

    I think freedom of speech must be about ensuring a voice for everyone not just ensuring the people who shout loudest and most frequently are given a platform. I'm not sure how we legislate for that.
    towncryer and cissy3 like this.
  21. LondonCanary

    LondonCanary Lead commenter

    Freedom from speech is the solution.

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