What Freedom of Speech Means

Posted: July 27, 2012 in Threat Quality

Attention the internet!

In the US, the First Amendment to the Constitution protects something that we colloquially refer to as “Freedom of Speech.”

Here is what Freedom of Speech protects you from:

1. Government censorship of your work.

2. Legal repercussions (fines, penalties, jail time) from publishing or publicly stating opinion or accurate information.

3. Implicit or explicit pressure by the government on your media outlet (publisher, ISP, TV producer, &c.).

Here is what Freedom of Speech does NOT protect you from:

1. Someone calling you mean names because of your opinion.

2. Your daughter-in-law telling you to cool it with your bullshit.

3. A newspaper refusing to publish your shitty letter.

4. A blog deleting your stupid comments.

5. A bunch of people deciding they don’t want to help your hateful ass make a bunch of money selling shitty chicken sandwiches.

Those things are, in fact, PROTECTED by the First Amendment.

Thank you, that is all.

  1. Jeff Holland says:

    Whose daughter-in-law what now?

  2. braak says:

    I was thinking about the controversy over Jane Pitt.

  3. John Jackson says:

    It also doesn’t protect you sending death threats to some random relation of a celebrity or the celebrity him/her/it/self because you vehemently disagree with him/her/it.

    (I did a search of Jane Pitt and read that she got death threats, and many other idiots and good people get those too, so I just wanted to point out that they were not protected by the first amendment.)

  4. braak says:

    Yes, that is true, actual threatening speech (typically manifestly distinct from just plain old “mean speech”) is not protected by the 1st Amendment.

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