What does not count as "freedom of speech? What are the limits of freedom of speech?

What does not count as

Some things do not count as freedom of speech for sure. I can think of a few right now.
Like terror sympathising or abetting. Do you have any ideas?

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Have an opinion?

What Guys Said 29

  • Speech of any kind has to be allowed. I know this isn’t a popular thought but once speech is censored we are at the mercy of the person/people who are the proclaimed censors. Now that I said that... if you threaten to do harm you should be investigated by the police. If you yell fire in a crowded theater you are responsible for any and all damages, injuries plus would be charged for creating a public hazard. Besides that if I chose to say I hate white people, black people, yellow or purple people that is perfectly ok under the constitution. An awesome example... when Roosevelt was police commissioner in NYC back in the 30s a Nazi wanted to give a speech in NYC. They knew there would be problems with outside people trying to stop this Nazi so Roosevelt put on A LOT of police at the scene but he put all Jewish police there, and told them to do nothing but keep the peace. The idea was if Jewish police officers can handle listening to the BS then no one else had any right to say anything. This guy gave his hate speech to a very small crowd then left. That’s how hate speeches need to be handled. We all can say BS but no one has to listen. Simple as that. The government should NEVER be given the power to censor.

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  • Threatening anyone based in their race, ethnicity, religion, gender or any of the sort should be classed as hate speech. Let me be clear disagreeing with something is acceptable but threatening anyone part of it is when it becomes a crime

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    • 4d

      Hate speech is 100% legal in the USA, prove me wrong.

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    • 4d

      Hate speech is a part of freedom of speech, though.

    • 4d

      Hate speech is some BS PC phrase.
      There is no "hate speech" that is against the law.

      If you are inciting violence against someone or physically threatening that is against the law. If you can be proven to slander or libel someone (it usually has to be proven that it is a lie) that is against the law. If you call someone a mean name that isn't against the law and that is free speech.

      "Hate speech" doesn't legally exist. That is a made up thing.

  • Freedom of speech has no acceptions beyond illegal actions associated with your words.

    So i can say anything i want and should be allowed to say anything i want. But instructing murder trough my speech is also the act of instructing someone to commit a crime.

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  • I think the peopel either have freedom of speech or they don't. You shouldn't try and sugar coat it as "well you're not allowed to say I sympathise with this terrorist group because that's a bad thing to say" because that leads to this slippery slope where you can start justifying censoring anything by saying it's offensive and at that point no one has freedom of speech any longer. If you want people to have freedom of speech, you need to accept that some people are going to say poosibly offensive or contraversial things. But that's ok, because would you rather they said it publically and then be able to converse with that person and maybe change their mind or simply not associate with them, or would you rather have those people privately talk in their echo chambers until their anger boils over and explodes in a violent outburst that will probably result in the deaths of people from group x?

    Sure, some people might say racist things. Some people might say very racist things. But then you know who those people are, and if it's for example a comedian, you then have the right to not go to their performances if you wish. If that comedian then suffers because of the social consequences of what they said such as people not buying tickets to their acts, that's ok, that's peoples right. But he shouldn't be locked up for it, because what does that solve? Is he going to stop saying those things because they got censored and, in they're mind, oppressed? Or are they just going to be angry because they got censored and continue to say thsoe things anyway?

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  • www.saturdayeveningpost.com/.../

    Although the First Amendment to the Constitution states, “Congress shall make no law… abridging the freedom of speech,” Americans don’t have the luxury of always saying whatever they want. Your right to free speech is limited by where you are, what you say, and how you say it.

    Here are six areas where your talk can make you liable in criminal or civil court.

    1. Obscenity
    Most of the legal cases that concern sex and free speech have involved publications (a form of speech as far as the courts are concerned). Obscenity is not protected by the Constitution, but it has been difficult to define what is obscene. In 1973, the Supreme Court, in Miller v. California, came up with a three-part definition of obscene material. A work is legally considered obscene if

    an average person, applying contemporary community standards, would find that the material appeals to prurient (appealing to sexual desire) interest.
    the work depicts or describes, in an offensive way, sexual conduct or excretory functions, specifically defined by applicable state law.
    taken as a whole, the material lacks serious literary, artistic, political, or scientific value.
    This limit on obscene speech also applies to broadcasting. The FCC controls what is allowed on air, so you can’t broadcast sounds or images that could be offensive to your audience or use language inappropriate for children.

    However, the Supreme Court has, so far, kept the internet free of obscenity restrictions. You can make whatever statements you want on social media sites, but the owners of those sites have the freedom to censor or delete your content if they find it offensive.

    2. Lies
    Lying is covered by the First Amendment, except when it’s not. You can be prosecuted for lying under oath in court (it’s called perjury). You can also be charged with misleading authorized investigators. Remember Martha Stewart’s conviction in 2004? She went to prison for lying to investigators about her stock trading.

    It is also illegal to run dishonest advertisements. And if you deliberately tell lies about people, you can be hit with a lawsuit in civil court for either libel (if published) or slander (if spoken).

    Politicians, on the other hand, have broad protections against being prosecuted for lying, and citizens largely have free rein to criticize their governments, even if the comments are false. Luckily for late night talk show hosts, the First Amendment allows citizens to satirically mock a public figure.

    3. Violence
    You can’t make offensive remarks or personal insults that would immediately lead to a fight. You also can’t threaten violence to a specific person unless you’re making an obvious exaggeration (for instance, “I’m going to kill my opponent at the polls”). Finally, you can’t knowingly say things that cause severe emotional distress or incite others to “immediate lawless action.”

    In 1951, the Supreme Court concluded in Dennis v. United States that the First Amendment doesn’t protect the speech of people plotting to overthrow the government.

    4. Students’ Speech
    Students have limited rights of free speech while in school. In 1986, Bethel School District v. Fraser upheld the right of a school to suspend a student for making an obscene speech. Hazelwood School District v. Kuhlmeier, 1988, supported a school’s right to censor student newspapers. However, many states are now passing laws to grant broader First Amendment protections to student speech.

    (more)

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    • 4d

      5. Offending Your Friends and Coworkers
      You don’t have the right to say whatever you want in someone else’s home or other private setting. And, as an employee, believe it or not, you have no free-speech rights at your workplace. The Constitution’s right to free speech applies only when the government — not a private entity — is trying to restrict it. For example, an employer can legally fire an employee whose car bears a campaign bumper sticker he doesn’t like.

      It’s a different matter for government employees. In Elrod v. Burns, the Supreme Court ruled in 1976 that the Constitution prohibits government employers from discharging or demoting employees for supporting a particular political candidate.

      The law also prohibits speech that shows clear intent to discriminate or sexually harass.

      It also prevents employees in medical or financial fields from discussing confidential information outside of work.

      6. Expressing Your Political Views
      The law has never permitted Americans to protest in any way they wanted. While the government can’t control what you say, how you say it must be subject to what the courts consider an appropriate time, place, and manner.

      Legal authorities have a responsibility to protect the safety of attendees at political gatherings and to protect protestors themselves. If authorities think you pose a sufficient risk, you can be restricted to a Free Speech Zone. These have been used since the 1980s, principally to contain protestors at political conventions.

      House Bill 347 authorized Secret Service agents to arrest anyone protesting in the president’s or vice president’s proximity. They also have this authority at National Special Security Events. These events have included state occasions, of course, but also basketball championships, the Academy Awards, Olympic events, and the Super Bowl. A conviction can result in up to 10 years in a federal prison (another place where your freedom of speech is limited).

  • First, you are 100% wrong with your guesses. Sympathizing with terrorism is 100% legal in the USA.

    Here is the list of the actual legal limits on free speech (US law, I won't address backwater fascists and wannabe fascist states):

    1: Specific threats with specific targets and immanent intent.
    2: Slander
    3: Libel

    That's it. Those are the only limits on freedom of speech in the USA. I, of course, refer to LEGAL limits, not social backlash. Social backlash is not governed by law. This, while it may be legal to say "Nappy headed hos" in reference to a women's basketball team, that legality does not prevent you from getting fired or boycotted.

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    • 4d

      Imagine someone saying "god bless ISIS, I'm glad that they killed so mamy disgusting people" is it still freedom of speech?

    • 4d

      Yes that is still protected under free speech. You can praise murder, but not threaten or conspire to commit it. But you can bet that if you go around saying things like that, the CIA is going to start monitoring you for "the potential to become radicalized "

  • I guess aslong as you dont threaten or directly insult anyone or anything, its free speech.
    So i think you can even make a negative (but not insulting) comment about a specific race or ethnic group and that would be still free speech.

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    • 4d

      You almost had but you missed. Threaten yes. That is against the law.
      Insult. That's free speech. Unless it is actual slander or libel there is no law wherein the state can penalize you and use the power of the state against you because of an insult.

  • i will always say unfortunately more limits u put more dictatorship u have i have a read unfortunately an article says turkey Egypt china have biggest detained journalists 🙅

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  • I like the limits that were built into it in the American Constitution. Namely any incitement to violence. Slander and libel is also prohibited. Other than that, it is wide open

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  • Incitement to violence, calling to do violence against others and threatening them directly, slander and libel (which would have to be proven... usually in a lawsuit).

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  • Any speech that is a call to violence or terrorism, or threatens is not protected speech (threatening meaning threats of harm or death not what the idiotic left would have you believe), anything else is fair game.

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    • 4d

      Lol I got down voted by a special snow flake that didn't have the balls to leave a comment...

  • If you use your freedom of speech to incite violence and encourage harm (whether physical, mental, or emotional) then I believe that stretches beyond freedom of speech and should be punished

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    • 4d

      It doesn't matter what you believe. What matters is the law, and the law in the USA has tests of immanence and specificity.

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    • 4d

      In other words, since I proved how thoroughly ignorant you are, you're putting your tail between your legs.

    • 4d

      No lol. When I first put the top comment I was never even referring to US laws. I don't know why you even thought I was I guess you were assuming that I am a US citizen but I'm not. Also calling someone an idiot without presenting a real source for your argument is not proving anything.

  • In the true sense, 'freedom of speech' means to be free to annoy the hell out of the other person through his/her speech (& consequently be annoyed yourself) without the use of threat to someones life, liberty snd persuit of happiness.

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  • Explicitly calling for violence, cause a panic or significant civil unrest.

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  • I would say something with the intent to harm others. Freedom of Speech should aim for the better of society

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  • There are obviously some limits, but they should apply only to speech that leads to direct action. If a Mafia boss tells his underling to kill someone, he can hardly defend that as free speech.

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  • "Congress shall make no law... abridging the freedom of speech"

    Just a little reminder for all of you wanting to create speech crimes.

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  • Once your freedom starts trampling on someone else's freedom, that is the line

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    • 4d

      Nice thought but that's a little vague. Something like that would have to actually proven.

    • 4d

      Proven? This is GAG not the supreme court... lmao

  • Inciting PHYSICAL harm to a specific group of people or a person

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  • remember how there was a witch hunt for communists? which is just a political belief? weird how "free speech" isn't always free

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  • Freedom of speech means the freedom to say anything if you ask me. Anything.

    Not being allowed to say certain things is not freedom of speech.

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  • yelling FIRE in a crowded theater, when liable is involved (calling someone a horses ass)

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  • Actually NOTHING should be exempt from freedom of speech. Which is why it is called freedom of speech. But that freedom to speak does not mean freedom from consequence.

    If someone says “Fuck the USA, I support ISIS” they have every right to say it and even believe it, but they simply need to be aware that saying those things opens them up to the consequences of saying those things out loud in the USA where others don’t agree.

    For example: I openly state that feminism is an evil lying hate group and most feminist hate me for it. I also have an endless list of proof as to why.
    Feminist want criticism of feminism banned from free speech. But that’s what hate groups generally do. They silence their opposition.

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  • Freedom of speech is a liberal pipedream. You're only allowed to speech freely so long as it doesn't actively threaten the status quo.

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  • You can't say things like threatening to kill the president or something like that.

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  • Apparently telling the truth like the 'Lolocaust' was a hoax gets you banned on here.

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  • Talking to me about Harry Potter. Or superhero movies.

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  • I don't think speech should be limited

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  • Nothing. Only if you threaten to kill someone

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What Girls Said 7

  • Freedom of speech is limited to threats and conspiracy to commit criminal activity. Hate speech is not a crime, and is therefore protected under free speech unless it is a direct threat

    I know a guy in prison and one of his fellow inmates crossed that line between hate speech and a threat. Ironically he is a gay white guy who would get drunk and call up mosques to curse out all the muslims. Now I don't know what extent he went to, but I know he said some pretty awful things that were protected under free speech. This went in for a few months until he said, "I wish you would all die," (or some other variation he was too embarrassed to admit). Well, telling them they should go back to their own country is perfectly legal, but crossing that line in telling them they should die is a threat, no longer protected under the constitution and Bill Of Rights, and grounds for criminal punishment... and that is how a gay white guy ended up in prison for hate speech against a minority... so being of one minority does not protect you from threatening another

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  • Here's what I think SHOULD be considered beyond freedom of speech:

    Speaking ill of minorities
    Inciting violence against any person or group
    Libel
    Slander
    Crying wolf

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  • Shouting “Fire!” in a crowded theater

    - Justice Oliver Wendell Holmes Jr.

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  • I think a lot of people misjudge what freedom of speech actually means. Yes you are free to say whatever you want, but there are consequences that can come with that. Nowhere does it say you can say whatever you want and get away with it. It just says you are entitled to your opinion. If you spew hate, there will be natural consequences.

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  • Ostracizing a group of people. Like hate speeches. Inciting violence against a group of people.

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    • 4d

      Wrong, stupid person, at least in the USA. Quote the SPECIFIC law or ruling that backs you up.

    • 4d

      @HereIbe
      There are a lot in this young generation that don't understand the law or the rights.
      There knowledge or our laws and history is awful.

      Communism, for example, is one of the worst horrors on the world during the 20th century and resulted in the deaths of millions around the world and many dumb 1920 year olds now think communism would be a good thing in the U. S.

  • Well in America you can’t threat someone like or political person, or yell fire in a theater , or say an explosive device in an airport.

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  • You either have freedom of speech or you don’t.

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