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Are you willing to accept some restrictions to freedom of speech protections to combat the rise of neo-Confederates/white isis (WHISIS)?

Like how Germany has strict restrictions on pro Nazi propaganda or media.

Should we rethink our use of free speech?

  • 6 votes
  • 5 votes
domos 6 Jan 13

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we need rules for the tec companies not about what my opinion is or yours but lies should be fact checked and planning a riot reported and deleted

White tech companies, when it comes to the way media and mass information is spread, what makes them different than radio stations or TVs.

At best, such rules will serve as an indirect proxy for government law....

as citizens, you have more leverage dealing with the government than a corporation.


There are ALREADY many restrictions on free speech. One of the most egregiousness of the PRICE of speech. The more money you have, the more rights you have to droun out other's speech.

The money as speech is a very problematic doctrine and reality as well.

I tried to address it here:

while it is technically easier to place restrictions on economic activities and practices, it too can get pretty unwieldy. for the purposes of this poll I would like to separate the issues... as much as possible since they can't really be in any holistic sense.

@domos I would like to see lies prohibited or at least punished. But imagine the implementation of such a change - it would be harder than changing which side of the road we drive on, or converting to the metric system.

@domos really? When on the bottom screen of honest news outlets there are "fact-checker" status reports already? Not looking that hard to me....put in a 10-second delay & delete/mute CRAP! DONE!


I think that LIES should not only not be protected, but censured/fined. This idea that LIES should be protected is Ludicrous!

There was a time where the equality of women was considered a lie....

How do you determine what a "lie" is as society changes?

Who gets to decide what is a lie and what is truth?

@domos when facts clearly say the opposite

@Robograham: you Really think it is that hard to distinguish Truth when there nowadays is video, Google, Snopes, et al?... none so willfully & pathetically blind!

@AnneWimsey I think, the question you're asking is not about matters of truth, it's about matters of belief.

And if we are trying to implement laws and policies that force people to act as if they believe what they perceive to be untrue, regardless of facts and evidence... Then are we not entertaining authoritarianism...

What possible safeguards could be put on such laws or systems to keep it democratically accountable to a changing society?


Videos can be taken out of context and manipulated. Google has a bias of it's own. Snopes is not trusted by loads of people.

You are advocating for handing over the power of deciding what is absolute truth to a few gigantic tech corporations. I don't trust them as far as I can throw them. Do you? If so, why on earth would you place your trust in corporations whose main concern is profiting off of you, not informing you?

@RoboGraham and why, exactly, is Snopes, et al, not believed? Oh, wait, becuz drump said so......duuuuhhhhhhh


The best way to combat hate speech is by countering it with positive speech, not censorship.

In effect, what you're stating requires opposition speech to become the dominant norm or voice in mainstream politics and society.... How is it going to accomplish that without policy and laws that correct for the social conservative bias of American history?


Why should we put laws in place to favor one side or the other. Free speech is a hallmark of our democracy. The majority of people aren't hateful idiots so when hateful idiots post stupid shit, regular people will counter that speech with reasonable speech.

If you try to ban speech from particular viewpoints, the people who hold those viewpoints will have to speak clandestinely, which will inevitably mean that they end up in a total echo chamber and radicalize even more so because of it.

And if we do go banning the speech of social conservatives, how can we be sure that the government won't use those same rules to ban speech from the left. I know that they don't like what I have to say when I talk socialism and it scares the shit out of me that they may be able to ban my speech as well.

Free speech is of extreme importance. We shouldn't censor it just because some assholes are saying hateful things.

@RoboGraham your argument is understandable but it ignores the well-documented bias of our laws, at every level, two words social conservatism.

It is not a level playing field, and that fact I think undermines the simplicity of your approach. The

For example:
The Constitution was literally written to placate the speech and politicking of slave owners.

The Senate was quite literally implemented to protect capitalistic inequality from Democratic mechanisms.

The red scare and anti-communism hate we're literally government mandated via policy and loss

And those are just 3 of obvious examples.

Many times, the speech of progressives or even moderates have been banned or censored through various legal mechanisms in the United States.

If America provided a level playing for such an exchange of ideas, it is unlikely we would be in this situation now.

Well I agree with your sentiment, it doesn't address the context of America's legal or political heritage or history.


I don't see how advancing censorship will level that already uneven playing field. You said it yourself, the government is very biased toward conservatives, so what makes you think we can trust them to censor the fascist and not use those laws to silence us?

Nope, never ever will I agree that censorship is a good idea. There is a good reason why freedom of speech is the second right guaranteed by the very first amendment of the bill of rights. It's just that important. If you think they will use censorship fairly, you are naive.

@RoboGraham we, as citizens, already agree that censorship has its uses in our society and laws.

I don't think an anti-sensorship argument is really practical that an implementation level. Classic example: shouting fire in the theater...

I think the substance of your rebuttal is more focused on the legitimate question and puzzle of implementing censorship in a accountable and democratically transparent way. Which in America has not been done.

However there is a flaw in your reasoning, you assume that adapting censorship amounts to advancing censorship... And while that is technically true it ignores the fact that there is no way to correct existing censorship without an effective form of censorship in the opposite direction.

Because American laws in society already have a dominant norm of censorship for anything opposing far-right political views and beliefs... Any attempt to deal with harms that come out of far right political views and believes will require a corrective form of censorships.

think of it this way, mathematics doesn't work without the ability to do inverse operations.


I've never agreed that censorship is useful. It's useful for the powers that be, but not for us commoners and not for the cause of liberty.

There are already laws that prevent people from using their speech to create danger that puts others at risk. We have already addressed that issue. Why do we need more censorship when there already are necessary limitations to dangerous speech?

My rebuttable is not just focused on implementation. Censorship isn't bad just because it will be impossible to implement in anything resembling a fair way. It's bad because freedom of speech is a human right, enshrined in our constitution. It applies to everyone, even people we disagree with. What's difficult to understand about that?

You are arguing that more censorship is needed to correct for the censorship that already exist. That's like saying two wrongs make a right. No, it doesn't. If we want to correct the unjust censorship that is already in place, lets remove that censorship. Adding more will only make things convoluted and give the authorities more of an ability to censor those they disagree with.

It's a very simple equation. Right now, we have +1 censorship that favors the right. And you say we should add +1 censorship that favors the left, to even things out. That's a grand total of +2 censorship. I say, let's subtract that +1 of the right, add no more, and we will have 0 censorship, the way it ought to be.

@RoboGraham your response raises a very blatant and obvious question: why an equation of (1 + 1) rather than (1 + -1) ?


You are the one saying we need to do 1 + 1. I'm saying let's subtract the 1 that's already there rather than adding another..


If I am not free to hate, ridicule, and troll Trumplerite fascists, then I am not free!


If you weren’t a troll you would know it’s Vanilla Isis.

"Visis" it doesn't seem as clear as whisis. But feel free to use whatever acronym you see fit.

As long as it encourages people to see the obvious terrorism they have normalized into mainstream American culture... I'm all for it.


Freedom to Hate has always sat with Vanity laughing at Equality in her american dress.

or to say it another way...Freedom to Hate is a destructive, disingenuous, supremist, excuse for being a bent and broken person.


Another closed ended, self serving poll. Wife beater question.

What makes you say that?

@domos two choices predicated with editorial comment

@barjoe can you please explain what you mean by "editorial comment"

@domos 'we need to adapt our freedoms to present threats for a few generations' 'no freedom without freedom to hate'

Editorial comment ^^^^

@barjoe I wanted to highlight to double edge sword nature of the no option.

After all, many do hate fascists... And they don't want the government to interfere unecessarily with their ability to communicate hating fascist and fascism... In particular, the white supremacist and Christian theocracy type of fascism...

Also i'm not sure what nobody voting has to do with the pole being self-serving. Though I guess it does take a little bit of narcissism or self-centeredness to initiate communal discourse of any kind.

@domos It’s a double-edge sword in your mind, not in mine.

Do learn how to write poll questions.


In the same way that we don't tolerate speech which promotes violence, I don't believe that a democracy should have to tolerate speech or actions which are anti-democracy. That seems a bit counter-intuitive to me.

This is a country where the right to vote is not inclusive. That logically shows that the concept of democracy is subjective and changes over time.

The political ideals and influences of our country's politics and policies range the full political spectrum... Having a fixed definition of anti-democracy won't work in our context.

The best idea I can come up with in line with your opinion is to have a formal truth and reconciliation branch of government tasked with iterating on these definitions over time. However, then it becomes the little tricky to keep truth and reconciliation mechanisms from becoming "ministries of truth"

@domos I agree with you, but I'm not sure how you draw a line between civil disobedience and terrorism.

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