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Wine's avatar

Where do you draw the line between free speech and censorship, examples?

Asked by Wine (636points) September 30th, 2012

What are topics that you think are free speech but others may think should be censored?

Violent video games, nudity, saying hateful words, etc.

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12 Answers

Coloma's avatar

I don’t support censorship but I do support discriminating behavior.
Just because one is free to say whatever they want doesn’t mean they should.
Examples…hmmm, well….I’m minutes away from an appointment so I will have to come back to this later if I have the time.

zenvelo's avatar

“Censorship” should be in the hands of parents that have control over content their kids see. Violence, sex, abusive material, obnoxious religious tracts: all okay for grown ups who can discriminate between what they see or read or play. But not for kids, and if a parent doesn’t protect the kids, it’s grounds for considering them negligent.

tom_g's avatar

You would have to cook up a crazy scenario for me to lend any support to a policy that would limit speech. I can’t think of anything at the moment.

wonderingwhy's avatar

The disgorging of private personal data publicly or even beyond it’s required audience by other than individual is a line I would consider. But there are several exceptions where the public good is concerned so it’s hardly cut & dry. Though in an ideal world even that wouldn’t be necessary.

starsofeight's avatar

I think every one should be allowed to enjoy freedom. I particularly prize freedom of speech. Censorship can be a tool for good, but only in the right hands. Examples abound, also, where hard words (which always at first seem hateful) can be beneficial where something old is torn down to be replaced by something better. However, such a tool is only effective in the hands of those much much wiser than the average blowhard.

There is always something somewhere that will hurt and anger someone. We need no examples to remind us of everyday happenstance. While moderation in what we say is good, society must have the counter balance of moderation in our reactions to what we hear.

A prime example of the least moderate reaction to the freedom of expression belonging to others is found in the modern Muslim attitude. It is over-reaction pure and simple. Are you very religious? How then can you prove that to the world with murderous reactions?

We all must be cautious with our freedoms, but 100 times more cautious when it comes to our inclination to censor others.

Sunny2's avatar

I would like to see politicians who outright lie about their opponents fined for doing so. It could come under the laws against perjury.

Pazza's avatar

Corporations = censored.
Sentient humans = no censorship (inalienable comological right to make vibrations in the gasious environment of which they require to sustain their very being!)


Although, I don’t necessarily think that said sentient humans should automatically be given the right to use a corporation to impose their personal opinions on the minions….....

That includes politicians.

Bull horns on street corners yes.
Politicaly bought and paid for media propaganda NO.

With regards to video games, make what you want, parents who do not vet games before alowing their children to play them are just not parenting properly.

Music, video and pictures I think do require a little regulation, but again, parents can always vet these in the home environment. The only problem is when the child/children are out of the home ie, at a friends house or at a shopping centre, ball game etc, which is where I think the censorship should be applied.

But then who defines what should be censored?????????.........

wundayatta's avatar

I do not thing the appropriate response to offensive speech is banning it. I think the appropriate response is to educate people about it.

But most people think it’s easier to ban something. It may be easier, but it means that we don’t have to deal with other people’s offensive thinking publicly. If someone calls everyone “niggers” all the time, we never see it, so we don’t know it’s there and we don’t know a member of our community thinks that way. We are not helping ourselves by banning the speech. We are hiding from ourselves that we have a problem. This applies no matter what the epithet might be. “Fag” and “troll” are a couple of other common names that we ban speech for in some communities.

Other communities ban name calling, with similar results. Everything looks nice, but no one knows the hidden dangers that lurk, and thus no one can do anything about them, and one day they will erupt, perhaps to destroy the community.

Free speech means free speech. It means no holds barred. It means we can put forward all kinds of offensive speech and images, and people have to deal with it .This is better, in my opinion, than banning things that offend the sensibilities of some portion of the community.

Alas for me, there are few who truly believe in free speech. Most people support bans of various types. No one else seems to think there are serious consequences to sweeping so many ideas out of view.

Pazza's avatar

Its an age old debate. No doubt a thousands of years.

Here’s Frank Zappa on free speech
In my opinion, a very enlightened individual.

A quote from Frank:
“why are we afraid of words!?!”

Sunny2's avatar

To answer Mr. Zappa: Because words have meanings and can cause psychological pain. When character assassination is based on untruths and becomes popular thought, it can destroy a person’s career and his life. And it’s becoming more and more prevalent. Look at the problems kids are having with bullying. Should it be allowed? I think not.

Pazza's avatar

@Sunny2 – very true and good point well made. But we do have laws for slander and bullying, and as a community we can prevent these things without government and have remedy through the courts.

“Should it be allowed? I think not.” – Peoples right to do what ever they want should always be allowed so long as it doesn’t infringe on somebody else’s rights.

Common/natural law has probably been around for thousands of years and is based on loss or harm. I think anybody would be hard pressed to come up with a scenario that wasn’t covered by natural law, and even then, you would still have remedy through the courts.

Statutes create limited liability, statutes are written by politicians, and then given the force law. I think people should be fully responsible for their actions.

wundayatta's avatar

When we see bullying in our schools, we don’t forbid it. We teach the kids how to behave differently.

We should treat adult bullying in the same way. It does no good to make it illegal. What we have to do is change people’s minds and behavior.

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