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Fri Mar 22, 2013, 09:56 AM

Your right to free speech can be curtailed in many situations.

I don't know why this concept is so hard for so many to understand. The civil right to free speech guarantees that the government cannot infringe on what you can say.

Private organizations? They most certainly can. Examples of places which can set rules about what types of speech are not allowed: workplaces, stores, restaurants, amusement parks, online forums, etc. Your employer can further restrict your speech at any location where you are there as a representative of that company.

Places where you can say whatever off-color or sexual jokes you want, make whatever racist or sexist comments you want, etc. include personal blogs, books, websites you own, your own property and out in public spaces, your comedy routines, songs you write, your own Twitter feed, etc.

It's really not that complicated. It can get blurry in that if your job involves your public image, such as a celebrity who is an official spokesperson, some contracts can be terminated based on egregious comments regardless of where they're made. Other than that it's pretty simple, right?

Many organizations frown on off-color or sexual comments and jokes. This isn't really a shock to that many people, I hope.

The reason they have those rules indicates that anyone who is offended by such comments absolutely does have 'the right' to not hear them in those locations where they're not allowed. That is why such rules exist.

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Arrow 11 replies Author Time Post
Reply Your right to free speech can be curtailed in many situations. (Original post)
redqueen Mar 2013 OP
el_bryanto Mar 2013 #1
redqueen Mar 2013 #2
La Lioness Priyanka Mar 2013 #3
Wounded Bear Mar 2013 #4
Newest Reality Mar 2013 #5
Bluenorthwest Mar 2013 #6
redqueen Mar 2013 #7
Zorra Mar 2013 #8
redqueen Mar 2013 #9
Zorra Mar 2013 #10
redqueen Mar 2013 #11

Response to redqueen (Original post)

Fri Mar 22, 2013, 09:59 AM

1. I was prepared to disagree - but you are pretty much accurate

There are some areas where it's problematic - such as companies curtailing political speech or, particularly, union speech. But businesses should try to make a safe workplace for its employees and customers, and part of that is not having to put up with hateful speech. And businesses have the right to set standards in those areas.

Bryant

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Response to el_bryanto (Reply #1)

Fri Mar 22, 2013, 10:04 AM

2. The right to organize should exempt such speech from employer imposed restrictions.

We live in capitalist hell, though, so...

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Response to redqueen (Original post)

Fri Mar 22, 2013, 10:08 AM

3. also free speech does not mean the speech has to be free from criticism

 

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Response to redqueen (Original post)

Fri Mar 22, 2013, 10:08 AM

4. It has been my experience that those who complain most about 'free speech'....

are usually defending their right to be assholes.

Which is one reason free speech exists, so that assholes feel free to expose themselves for what they are. 'Free speech' ensures their visibility to the general public.

Your comments are pretty much spot on, though. Like many things, it boils down to common sense in most cases.

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Response to redqueen (Original post)

Fri Mar 22, 2013, 10:10 AM

5. We have a tendency

to conflate being able to say whatever you want anywhere with political rights to dissent.

Being reasonable and aware includes the context one is speaking in in relation to the subject chosen and one's personal viewpoints. In corporately controlled environments there are strict structures that curtail and even punish speaking too freely, as in any tyranny.

However, it is important to retain our perspective on free speech where I think it was intended to be sacrosanct, and that is the freedom to speak out against injustice and to express political dissent, especially when it is informed and cogent communication.

Otherwise, the expectation of being able to spew insensitive or ignorant remarks in social settings is merely a lack of awareness, consideration and eloquence. Claims to "free speech" in such contexts is merely applying civil and legal rights as an excuse to be rude, inept or egotistical and belies common sense.

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Response to redqueen (Original post)

Fri Mar 22, 2013, 10:11 AM

6. Simplistic and incomplete view of things,

 

Many employment contracts involve clauses that do not allow for causing harm to the employer's reputation. Thus it is by no means true that one can always 'say whatever you want' in public communications as a private person. Private communications are one thing, but blogs, books, tweets that are racist or otherwise harmful to the employer's image are not 'say anything' zones for many workers.
So your theory that one can be the HR VP of a company while writing a racist blog on the side without being fired is full of crap. The concern is not just for YOUR public image it is for the public image of the company. Celebrity is a special case but also relative in that within industries some people are very well known and thus they are just that.

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Response to Bluenorthwest (Reply #6)

Fri Mar 22, 2013, 10:18 AM

7. I am aware that employers have fired employees for things said on facebook,

however those terminations have been contested (of course, as employers have a distinctly limited right to curtail peoples' actions in their personal lives) and I'm not aware of the outcome of those appeals.

Please do feel free to provide real-world examples of the kind of situations you are referring to, including the outcome of legal challenges to such terminations. I am all for more complex and complete understanding.

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Response to redqueen (Original post)

Fri Mar 22, 2013, 10:33 AM

8. It's like DU. I believe that the overwhelming majority of us don't want conservatives

coming here spewing their contaminated bile day after day.

We already know that we have less than zero to learn from them, so constructive boundaries have been devised to limit their ability to post here.

Example:

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Response to Zorra (Reply #8)

Fri Mar 22, 2013, 10:43 AM

9. Yep, exactly.

I can't see the pic, but that's a perfect example.

I always enjoy seeing trolls crying about their inability to grasp this concept in their screeds in the hate mailbag.

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Response to redqueen (Reply #9)

Fri Mar 22, 2013, 10:49 AM

10. The pic is the "Get A Brain Morans" photo.



Pretty sure you've seen it before.

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Response to Zorra (Reply #10)

Fri Mar 22, 2013, 11:45 AM

11. Hahaha, yes..

Safe bet, that.

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