Welcome to DU! The truly grassroots left-of-center political community where regular people, not algorithms, drive the discussions and set the standards. Join the community: Create a free account Support DU (and get rid of ads!): Become a Star Member


(5,372 posts)
53. Free speech-our most powerful constitutional right, but dangerous, and independent of etiquette
Wed Oct 5, 2022, 01:02 PM
Oct 2022

Last edited Wed Oct 5, 2022, 01:57 PM - Edit history (4)

The ACLU has defended the free speech rights even of Nazis to express themselves as they did in Skokie Illinois in the 1980s. Democrats like Mike Dukakis were called out for supporting the ACLU. This aspect means that government is not supposed to regulate speech in any way, but for example, there are laws that prevent calling for imminent lawless action. These invoke the "harm" principle which can be an exception, even legally in the USA. But potential harm legally does not appear to extend beyond physical threats.
See these link for a detailed explanation:

That kind of free speech (based on the Constitution) defines what's legal especially with regard to government intervention, but not what social etiquette or norms demand. There is a huge battle in the US over what constitutes proper social etiquette in speech. That is why there are debates about what words should be allowed in normal public discourse. Many find emotional harm in the some speech, but limiting their use is social, not legal. Some people even dedicate their lives to determining which words should be allowable. In the US, there are the culture wars, part of which center on which words are socially acceptable and to whom. Here too the the harm principle is employed, but the harm is typically not physical, but social, emotional etc. Some of these debates play out on DU, but they are widespread in academia and society, having political overtones.

The danger of unabated free speech is that it allows conspiracies to proliferate and demagogues to arise that could cause serious harm and mischief-- QAnon is one example and allowing fascist nationalists to achieve political power is another. Trump is easily an example of the latter. How to counter manipulative speech and disinformation is a major problem of our times given the technical advancements that allow mass communication for all.

I'm pretty sure those who profer this utterance Abolishinist Oct 2022 #1
I don't understand your comment, could you explain please and thank you Heather MC Oct 2022 #2
There's nowhere to even start with this. Abolishinist Oct 2022 #11
I know, I see plenty of cussing here lol. I do it myself from time to time, though I'm not that much BlackSkimmer Oct 2022 #13
Yesterday I was called an Asshole, but they didn't spell it out they had to use code Heather MC Oct 2022 #33
Well, they shouldn't have done that at any rate. BlackSkimmer Oct 2022 #42
A$$-variants should only be used for jerks with money. haele Oct 2022 #44
Lol Heather MC Oct 2022 #45
This message was self-deleted by its author Heather MC Oct 2022 #34
Free Speech is a constitutional right. egduj Oct 2022 #3
And, as we seem to need to keep reminding people, 1A Free Speech refers to niyad Oct 2022 #25
When that "free speech"... SergeStorms Oct 2022 #4
Speech that leads to violence, is not what I'm speaking about Heather MC Oct 2022 #36
So you are saying that speech that causes harm Stargleamer Oct 2022 #83
You can say what you want , but than I can too. Srkdqltr Oct 2022 #5
May I ask why did you interpret my words to mean I would insult you in some way? Heather MC Oct 2022 #37
I'm saying a person has the right to say whatever, and another person has the right to disagree. Srkdqltr Oct 2022 #39
Thank you for the clarification Heather MC Oct 2022 #40
The moral minority is on a mission MyMission Oct 2022 #6
Those people, have not been taught how to be properly angry and release it in a healthy way Heather MC Oct 2022 #38
Could you cite some specific examples, particularly about forcing people niyad Oct 2022 #7
Nobody has forced me to say "Merry Christmas" either. I say whatever I like depending on the BlackSkimmer Oct 2022 #15
Banksy, in 2004, made a definitive statement to the 'you WILL say Merry Christmas' crowd Celerity Oct 2022 #17
Thank you. Never saw that one. niyad Oct 2022 #27
Depending on my mood, and the day, I say, "Happy holidays", "seasons' niyad Oct 2022 #26
Yes, and none of those would offend me in the least. BlackSkimmer Oct 2022 #29
We should celebrate Christmas the way the pagans did it Heather MC Oct 2022 #32
It's in the "terms and conditions" don't you know! Heather MC Oct 2022 #22
"so I've been told"??? In other words, your OP is about something you have niyad Oct 2022 #24
Lol, good catch. nt BlackSkimmer Oct 2022 #30
Why are you so upset with me? Heather MC Oct 2022 #31
Actually I was referring to a poster below Who said the exact thing. Heather MC Oct 2022 #35
DU is privately owned and has Terms of Service that we all agree to... Spazito Oct 2022 #8
Ah, this explains a lot. BlackSkimmer Oct 2022 #14
"terms and conditions" terms and conditions" terms and conditions" terms and conditions Heather MC Oct 2022 #21
I love DU for being overall more civil than any place else on the internet. You signed the TOS... Hekate Oct 2022 #67
I have no motive, If people are being "baited" by something I said, that's a choice they're making. Heather MC Oct 2022 #69
You're a star member and have been here since 2008? Yet you don't know the search function? BlackSkimmer Oct 2022 #70
I've been a member since 2008, I only pop in now and then, 2009 I started using Facebook and Heather MC Oct 2022 #71
I don't need to hunt for you; if you reply to me the "My Posts" tab lights up Hekate Oct 2022 #73
Thank you. BlackSkimmer Oct 2022 #74
Weird, I didn't look you up🤔 Heather MC Oct 2022 #75
Any time Hekate Oct 2022 #76
Lol. BlackSkimmer Oct 2022 #77
Srsly Hekate Oct 2022 #80
What happened today? BlueSpot Oct 2022 #9
Hey blue spot, I see you how is it that you tend to find my post Heather MC Oct 2022 #20
Sorry, didn't mean to offend BlueSpot Oct 2022 #47
💜💜💜 No problem my friend, I was just curious, because I can never find anybody Heather MC Oct 2022 #49
Wonder the same thing sometime. Is there an Laura PourMeADrink Oct 2022 #65
🤣🤣🤣🤣🤣 Heather MC Oct 2022 #66
Don't think sanctioned, but it IS a thing, I feel sure ! No way Laura PourMeADrink Oct 2022 #68
I have to ask you the same thing I asked the OP. BlackSkimmer Oct 2022 #79
DU search feature, of course. But instant message/ notification when Laura PourMeADrink Oct 2022 #81
I posted this previously in this thread. BlackSkimmer Oct 2022 #78
We know that thanks! Talking about an instant notice Laura PourMeADrink Oct 2022 #82
This message was self-deleted by its author Abolishinist Oct 2022 #10
Mmmm they never mean it StormKing Oct 2022 #12
Those people have bastardized the term "free speech" Heather MC Oct 2022 #19
"masterised"??? And "quell", not "quail". niyad Oct 2022 #23
Quailing the populace JHB Oct 2022 #28
I'm glad I made you feel better about yourself. Heather MC Oct 2022 #55
I was talk typing this morning While getting ready for work. I fix it relax Heather MC Oct 2022 #54
Mamma Conjuay Oct 2022 #16
Your mother is a wise woman Heather MC Oct 2022 #18
Because we have free speech we have the freedom to be nasty or nice. Srkdqltr Oct 2022 #41
Good post. BlackSkimmer Oct 2022 #43
You know when that statement was made "I will defend to the death your right to say it" Heather MC Oct 2022 #46
I think that this is a different issue that you are bringing up. Caliman73 Oct 2022 #52
"You can't cuss anymore you have to use code words"? No, I see a trend in the opposite direction. Towlie Oct 2022 #48
First, you need to define what you mean by "Free Speech"... Caliman73 Oct 2022 #50
Thank you for taking the time to write this out I appreciate it. Heather MC Oct 2022 #51
As human beings we operate in a variety of environments. Caliman73 Oct 2022 #60
Free speech-our most powerful constitutional right, but dangerous, and independent of etiquette andym Oct 2022 #53
You're confusing freedom of speech with freedom from the consequences of what you say. meadowlander Oct 2022 #56
Why did you feel the need to spend all that time attempting to correct me I know what I mean Heather MC Oct 2022 #57
Free Speech inthewind21 Oct 2022 #58
k Heather MC Oct 2022 #59
Because I see the central fallacy in your post all the time. meadowlander Oct 2022 #61
I see what's happening you misunderstood what I wrote Heather MC Oct 2022 #62
I understand very well what you wrote meadowlander Oct 2022 #63
Very thoughtfully put, meadowlander Hekate Oct 2022 #72
I used to believe that. Then these rightwing nutjobs leftyladyfrommo Oct 2022 #64
Latest Discussions»General Discussion»This message was self-del...»Reply #53