The Internet and Free Speech
Business Law I
The Internet offers extraordinary opportunities for “speakers,” broadly defined. Political candidates, cultural critics, anyone who wants to express an opinion about anything can make their thought available to a world-wide audience far more easily than has ever been possible before. Some observers find the resultant outpouring of speech exhilarating. They see in it nothing less than the revival of democracy and the restoration of community. Other observers find the amount and above all the kind of speech that the Internet has stimulated offensive or frightening. Pornography, hate speech, lurid threats. This has provoked various efforts to limit the kind of speech in which one may engage on the Internet or to develop systems to “filter out” the more offensive material. Oddly for a medium that was supposed to reduce censorship by limiting government control it has become one of the most widely censored mediums there is. This is true even in countries that do not censor other forms of communication.
The First Amendment to the Constitution (1791) protects free speech, and that includes these postings, and worse which have appeared on Internet message boards and blogs, as upsetting as they may be, they are protected as free speech under the First Amendment so long as they don’t violate some other law.
As the United Nations has said (The New York Times, 2011), access to the Internet is a human right. A report by the U.N’s special rapporteur presented to the Human Rights council in Geneva warns that this right is being threatened by governments around the world, democracies included. * China jails bloggers, blocks Web sites and filters the Internet to eradicate words, including “democracy,” from the conversation. * In Italy, a court convicted Google executives because a user uploaded a video on YouTube depicting cruelty to a disabled teenager, even though Google quickly removed the offending...
...FreeSpeech and the Internet
University of Phoenix Online
BUS415 - Business Law
Facilitator: Mr. Mark Goodman
December 6, 2004
Because the internet provides invaluable information at the touch of a button, unwanted and inappropriate information is readily available and concern over free expression and First Amendment violations with respect to filtering and censorship are at issue as we look at protecting children and families.
FreeSpeech and the Internet
Not all speech, such as obscenity, is protected under the First Amendment of the U.S. Constitution. The law differentiates between obscene and indecent speech. Currently the three part test for determining whether speech is illegally obscene is when it is found by a jury or judge to (1) appeal to the prurient interest, (2) depicts sexual conduct in a patently offensive manner, and (3) lack serious literary, artistic, scientific and political value.
Differentiating obscenity from indecency has a long history in the law. The Hicklin Rule provided the precedent for many years. This precedent developed from an obscenity case in England in the late 1800s. Britain’s Chief Justice, Alexander Cockburn stated in his ruling:
"The test of obscenity is whether the tendency of the matter charged as obscenity is to...
...At the school, teachers took sides, and because she was miles away from her parents and other means of support the young student felt ostracized. She felt like she had come to the land of the free and when she decided to speak her mind, she was shot down. (Daszkiewicz, personal communication, February 15, 2012) Karen Miner, the teacher, also felt her own freedoms had been brought under fire, and although she had been supported by her school and local school board, she certainly was not promoting Nazi ideology. (Associated Press 1996)
What the student and the teacher had experienced here was a classic clash over when and if our freedom of speech should be censored. In either position; it is hard to know how we should respond. This was a balancing act with the teacher on one side representing the government, her students, and herself and the student on the other representing the individual. Both sides would probably describe their own freedom of expression to be the one that was threatened. And both have a reasonable claim to have their rights being protected.
In the United States of America, the right to freedom of speech has been held as one of this country’s highest values, as nationally recognized by the Constitution of the United States of America. Censorship of speech is a controversial subject matter, and will probably always be debated in the U.S. as long as this country exists. Balancing...
...The Constitution of the United States states in its First Amendment that "Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the government for a redress of grievances" (Funk & Wagnalls 162). This Amendment guarantees each person of freespeech. Does this mean that a person can stand in the middle of the street and yell anything he wants? No, society, even though it cherishes freedom of speech, does give this freedom certain restrictions.
Why does society find it necessary to restrict freedom of speech? Does this ensure a more controlled society? Let us imagine a society that has no restrictions of speech. For example, anyone can publish a false story of another person, just for revenge perhaps, and the offended person would not be able to defend himself because there is no restriction of speech. A neighbor in a residential area decides to use a loud microphone to announce his beliefs in the middle of the night, and wakes everybody up. Because that person has every right to speak, nobody can do anything. Even though this is "freedom of speech" it is not allowed in a civilized society.
Freespeech is a very controversial issue...
...Freespeech is one of the most controversial and confusing of the amendments. Throw it into a college campus setting and it’s an extremely complex matter, especially when “Hate Speech” is involved. Many people have different views and definitions on what hate speech in tales, for instance in “Hate Speech on Campus”, Joseph S. Tuman, defines it as “Written or spoken words directed towards a particular group (typically although not exclusively a minority group) with the purpose or effect of verbally harassing and harming them” (413). A personal interpretation of hate speech is speech that attacks a person or group on the basis of race, religion, gender, or sexual orientation. With this being said, hate speech is a form of freespeech. By removing, or writing codes against hate speech on college campuses would be injustice, because it goes against our First Amendment, censorship, and hate speech codes are ineffective. The First Amendment to the United States Constitution protects speech no matter how offensive it’s content. The First Amendment states: Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof: or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press: or the right of...
Online or internet censorship is the control of publishing of and also accessing of information through the internet. These rules and regulations are mainly carried out by governments or by local organizations. The internet has become such a large source of information over the past decade or two. It is said there are over two million new internet users per month. As more users get a grasp of theinternet and become familiar with it the potential of the content grows at an uncontrollable rate. The reason why we say uncontrollable is because sometimes there is no control of what gets put on the internet and almost everything can be found through internet. With this rapid growth of the internet the question rapidly comes up weather if there should be any restrictions on what can be seen or what cannot be seen on the web. Some say yes there should be while others say no.
Freedom of speech is violated
The internet has become one of the largest sources of information over the past decades. It has become a part of our everyday life. Almost everything can be placed on the internet and everyone is free to see it. People use the internet for different reasons with either good or bad intensions. What might seem right to one might seem wrong to another, but everyone is entitled to their...
...No one can deny that freedom of speech is one of the most basic rights in democracies both in the United States and abroad. Unlimited freedom of speech however, is an unrealistic expectation for many reasons. The most pressing one being a violent reaction to hate speech. We must be able to seek a balance between freedom of expression and censorship of religious and racial hatred. Hate speech is a type of speech that incites other people to hate a certain group in society defined by common characteristics usually either race, gender, religion. It usually also incites to commit violence and discrimination based on hatred. This is the type of speech that I think has the most basis for restriction because of it’s tendency to incite violence because of its outrageous and usually untrue claims about a group of people as a whole.
By allowing unlimited freespeech we run the risk of creating harm for individuals as was the case in the Keane piece we read for today. Keane details an event in 2006 where a Danish newspaper published blatantly offensive cartoons depicting the muslim prophet Muhammed with a bomb shown as a turban. A year later a far leaning liberal party in Denmark ran on the platform of another cartoon of Muhammed on the body of a dog with the slogan “Freedom of Speech is Danish, censorship is not.” The cartoon was not necessary other than...
...FreeSpeech vs. Harmful Hate Speech
Freedom of speech is instilled at the beginning of the Bill of Rights and it allows citizens of the United States to express their opinions without being afraid of what might happen to them, much like in other countries. Many times people are directly or indirectly harmed by others’ actions that are considered a right under the freedom of speech clause. Though, some people worry that if we do not allow for complete freedom of speech, it is hard to figure out what the limits are. So how can we distinguish between what is covered under our freedom of speech right and what is not if there are no limits? Freedom of speech is a constitutional right given to every citizen, entitling them to voice their opinion however they see fit. However, in order to be protected in schools and businesses, many boundaries have been placed on freespeech in order to regulate harmful hate speech. However, this comes with a disadvantage, people are supposed to be protected from harmful hate speech in schools and businesses; actions are taken to protect this, though, other factors of freespeech are taken away when what is considered harmful and what is not can not be distinguished.
Freedom of speech is a big problem on school campuses because the...
...Freespeech and Censorship
How important is freespeech for a democratic society? Does John Stuart Mill make a good case for freespeech? Under what condition, if any, might freespeech be restricted according to John Stuart Mill and to Matthew Kieran? Argue for your answer, and illustrate with relevant cases and examples in Singapore.
In most democratic countries, the freedom of saying what you like, of criticizing the authorities, and of discussing ideas without fear, is a basic importance. Within a sense of this matter, John Stuart Mill devoted most of his acclaimed portrayal in his book On Liberty (1985). This essay aims to outline the scope and limitations of freespeech. Therefore, with reference to Mill’s ideas, the essay will explain why freespeech is important for a democratic society and show how Mill made a case for freespeech. Furthermore, it will also argue when freespeech needs to be restricted with Mill and Kieran’s arguments.
Freespeech and Democracy
Democracy is a system of government in which the opinions of the citizens of a nation is taken into account when determining public policy, the laws and actions of the state. In this system of government, all the citizens have an equal...