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Leftist academics argue Alex Jones isn't entitled to free speech

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  • Leftist academics argue Alex Jones isn't entitled to free speech

    Typical of the Left, Jones-- something of a conspiracy nut-- has been kicked off several major social media sites for content even as it didn't violate terms of service. Now, we have four Leftist law professors saying in court that Jones doesn't have a right to spew "absurd conspiracy theories," urging a judge to rule against Jones and his claimed first amendment rights.

    https://www.msn.com/en-us/news/us/fr...cid=spartandhp

    Last time I checked, just because you don't like the speech doesn't mean you have a legal right to squelch or eliminate it so long as it doesn't violate standing laws on content like vulgarity, hate, or inciting.

    I have no problem with individuals Jones has issues with and who are suing him for deformation of character. That's fine and dandy. Let them sue on an individual basis and once you have some indication that Jones' actions are repetitive and irresponsible then go after him. Right now, these "scholars" are saying in essence "Let's short circuit the courts and constitutional protections and hammer this guy from the start because we don't like what he has to say."

  • #2
    Even loonies can say all the crazy sh!t they want it doesn't make them criminals but I'm not talking about Alex Jones.
    Last edited by Snowshoveler; 07 Aug 18, 21:27.

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    • #3
      Even Idiots can have free speech, but the Left just doesn't seem to understand that!
      Trying hard to be the Man, that my Dog believes I am!

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      • #4
        Never watch him but the people who do are now going to feel oppressed and we know what that leads to. The left is playing with fire and will make a lot of "Nazis" if they don't stop abusing people for no reason other than they don't like them.

        If you don't like conspiracy theories maybe you shouldn't engage in them and then lie about it.
        We hunt the hunters

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        • #5
          There are some interesting double standards at play here. When NFL players were kneeling, expressing their right to free speech, conservatives threw a fit and argued that the NFL had every right to silence those players because it was hurting their business. Now these same people are arguing that Alex Jones has a right to free speech at the expense of the company's platform that he's using. As I've said time and again, Americans aren't interested in free speech, they're only interested in protecting their own speech and speech they agree with.

          Something else to consider, I've seen people banned from armchairgeneral.com for speech that wasn't breaking the law, so does ACG have the right to create and enforce their own standards or should they be held accountable for violating the free speech of those they've banned?
          "Those who would give up Essential Liberty to purchase a little Temporary Safety, deserve neither Liberty nor Safety."
          - Benjamin Franklin

          The new right wing: hate Muslims, preaches tolerance for Nazis.

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          • #6
            Originally posted by wolfhnd View Post
            Never watch him but the people who do are now going to feel oppressed and we know what that leads to. The left is playing with fire and will make a lot of "Nazis" if they don't stop abusing people for no reason other than they don't like them.

            If you don't like conspiracy theories maybe you shouldn't engage in them and then lie about it.
            I think the issue wasn't his conspiracy theories, there's still plenty of that all over youtube. The issue is Alex Jones suing the victims of Sandy Hook. Let's say for example a CNN anchor decided to sue the victims of Sandy Hook, what do you think would happen to CNN and that anchor?
            "Those who would give up Essential Liberty to purchase a little Temporary Safety, deserve neither Liberty nor Safety."
            - Benjamin Franklin

            The new right wing: hate Muslims, preaches tolerance for Nazis.

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            • #7
              Originally posted by TactiKill J. View Post
              There are some interesting double standards at play here. When NFL players were kneeling, expressing their right to free speech, conservatives threw a fit and argued that the NFL had every right to silence those players because it was hurting their business. Now these same people are arguing that Alex Jones has a right to free speech at the expense of the company's platform that he's using. As I've said time and again, Americans aren't interested in free speech, they're only interested in protecting their own speech and speech they agree with.

              Something else to consider, I've seen people banned from armchairgeneral.com for speech that wasn't breaking the law, so does ACG have the right to create and enforce their own standards or should they be held accountable for violating the free speech of those they've banned?
              Apples to rutabagas. The NFL players are employees of the team they're on. They are on the job and representing their employer. Whether they kneel or not isn't a matter for the television stations and other media covering the game. It is a matter for their employer. If their customers (aka fans) don't like that behavior and vote with their wallet not to go to games the employer is well within their rights to tell the employee their behavior has to stop or else.

              If you are the owner of a social media site, even this one (ACG) and you post up a terms of service and expectations for behavior on your site, then that's the expectations and behavior you and the user agreed to. If the content a user posts doesn't violate those terms but does make you uncomfortable or you disagree with that content, it doesn't constitute a reason to ban the user. You, the site owner, set the terms of service and expectations.

              The problem here is that several larger sites didn't like Alex Jones' content even as he didn't violate terms of service but they still banned him. If ACG did ban someone for content that wasn't in violation of terms of service, then that is equally wrong too.'

              As for what would happen if CNN decided to sue victims of Sandy Hook for some reason, I suspect the Left would line up behind them and cry foul if anyone protested that. As for the anchor, he or she would probably get promoted or a bonus. Why? Because it seems to me that CNN is in the business of sensationalizing quasi-fictional stories and claiming them as actual, factual news. This is no different than the National Enquirer who regularly got sued by people over content. In fact, the National Enquirer expected to get sued by individuals over content. That's an excellent comparison to Alex Jones. He puts up nonsense content and loony conspiracy theories let those involved sue the snot out of him. But, don't censor his ability to post that crap so long as it doesn't violate terms of service.

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              • #8
                Originally posted by TactiKill J. View Post

                I think the issue wasn't his conspiracy theories, there's still plenty of that all over youtube. The issue is Alex Jones suing the victims of Sandy Hook. Let's say for example a CNN anchor decided to sue the victims of Sandy Hook, what do you think would happen to CNN and that anchor?
                Yes I have to agree that there is a difference between speech and using the profits from that speech.

                Like most things in our society the behavior of corporations should be regulated by the consumer but that is a pipe dream. People are not going to stop watching CNN or Alex Jones because their behavior is reprehensible.
                We hunt the hunters

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by wolfhnd View Post

                  Yes I have to agree that there is a difference between speech and using the profits from that speech.

                  Like most things in our society the behavior of corporations should be regulated by the consumer but that is a pipe dream. People are not going to stop watching CNN or Alex Jones because their behavior is reprehensible.
                  That's the solution, but you're right, unfortunately it is a pipe dream. I see so many people complain about youtube, but then continue to post links to youtube videos.
                  "Those who would give up Essential Liberty to purchase a little Temporary Safety, deserve neither Liberty nor Safety."
                  - Benjamin Franklin

                  The new right wing: hate Muslims, preaches tolerance for Nazis.

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                  • #10
                    Since these mother ****ers aren't American they should be deported.
                    My worst jump story:
                    My 13th jump was on the 13th day of the month, aircraft number 013.
                    As recorded on my DA Form 1307 Individual Jump Log.
                    No lie.

                    ~
                    "Everything looks all right. Have a good jump, eh."
                    -2 Commando Jumpmaster

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                    • #11
                      USA, and the individual states, have defamation laws, yes or no? http://kellywarnerlaw.com/us-defamation-laws/ && https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/United...defamation_law So what exactly is so surprising in this? I'm not saying it would necessarily be against the law just that there might not be grounds to summarily dismiss it either. In a civil law system this would be a clear cut thing but with US style common law system it gets really convoluted. On prima facie basis it seems that the only guaranteed defense would be to have actually creditable proof that the statements were not lies.
                      It is by caffeine alone I set my mind in motion, it is by the beans of Java that thoughts acquire speed. The hands acquire shaking, the shaking becomes a warning. It is by caffeine alone I set my mind in motion

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                      • #12
                        Originally posted by Vaeltaja View Post
                        USA, and the individual states, have defamation laws, yes or no? http://kellywarnerlaw.com/us-defamation-laws/ && https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/United...defamation_law So what exactly is so surprising in this? I'm not saying it would necessarily be against the law just that there might not be grounds to summarily dismiss it either. In a civil law system this would be a clear cut thing but with US style common law system it gets really convoluted. On prima facie basis it seems that the only guaranteed defense would be to have actually creditable proof that the statements were not lies.
                        Because deformation and other related laws are between individuals not third parties. That is, if you spread lies about someone to their harm they can sue for remedy. Once they prove you defamed them or otherwise with your speech harmed them, they can demand you take down publicly made statements and even ask on-line sites to remove your content. But, an on-line site isn't the one responsible for that content, the individual posting it is.

                        What these academics are asking is that on-line sites ban Jones because they don't like his content, not that he's been found libel for deformation or other harm to an individual. Yes, a number of people are suing him for this but until they prove their case, his content that doesn't violate terms of service should remain available.

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                        • #13
                          Originally posted by T. A. Gardner View Post
                          Because deformation and other related laws are between individuals not third parties. That is, if you spread lies about someone to their harm they can sue for remedy. Once they prove you defamed them or otherwise with your speech harmed them, they can demand you take down publicly made statements and even ask on-line sites to remove your content. But, an on-line site isn't the one responsible for that content, the individual posting it is.
                          That is the reason why Youtube can not be charged for something that another party posts on their site. However that does not absolve the person posting from needing to follow the terms of service related to that site. So in other words that doesn't mean that YT or some other service provider could not ban a person from posting because of the violation of service - even if there is no court verdict on the matter.
                          What these academics are asking is that on-line sites ban Jones because they don't like his content, not that he's been found libel for deformation or other harm to an individual. Yes, a number of people are suing him for this but until they prove their case, his content that doesn't violate terms of service should remain available.
                          That doesn't seem to be what was written in the document linked in the OP. Besides: https://www.cnbc.com/2018/08/06/yout...lier-bans.html - what it states is that AJ was banned because of the violation of the terms of service. And the companies involved are free to do exactly that - after all that is what their terms of service state. The scholars' comments are more related to the court cases AJ is apparently facing.
                          It is by caffeine alone I set my mind in motion, it is by the beans of Java that thoughts acquire speed. The hands acquire shaking, the shaking becomes a warning. It is by caffeine alone I set my mind in motion

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                          • #14
                            A lot of these arguments sound like the Catholic Church trying to ban books.

                            https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Inde...m_Prohibitorum

                            In many ways the internet is a revolution similar to the printing press. A printer could refuse to print a book but the government (where free speech was guaranteed) could not ban a book from being printed even if that book threatened the Church and state.

                            The large tech companies are the distributors in this analogy but they also control large portions of the road networks (the internet infrastructure). The question becomes if you can discriminate, based on what you perceive as character flaws, who can use a public road that is held privately for the purpose of collecting "tolls". Even a convict after all has a public interest in accessing the transportation system and cannot be discriminated against.

                            What would happen if undesirables were restricted from say accessing electric power from private companies. Would it be acceptable if a power company had terms of service that included "hate speech"? The tech giants are essentially utility companies and we have already hashed out this issue with the telecoms by breaking up the Bell Companies. The telecom analogy also provides a precedent for privacy and denial of service. The public has a right to demand the government insure free and open access unless laws concerning threat of violence have been violated.

                            We hunt the hunters

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                            • #15
                              Originally posted by Vaeltaja View Post
                              That is the reason why Youtube can not be charged for something that another party posts on their site. However that does not absolve the person posting from needing to follow the terms of service related to that site. So in other words that doesn't mean that YT or some other service provider could not ban a person from posting because of the violation of service - even if there is no court verdict on the matter.
                              Unless the site can prove that the content violated terms of service or was clearly apparent to a casual observer to be false / lies / defamatory then no, they shouldn't be able to ban the content. What's happening right now is that these sites are banning content on the basis of who posts it and their political leanings. So far they've been largely able to get away with that simply because those banned don't have the financial capacity to sue the site.

                              That doesn't seem to be what was written in the document linked in the OP. Besides: https://www.cnbc.com/2018/08/06/yout...lier-bans.html - what it states is that AJ was banned because of the violation of the terms of service. And the companies involved are free to do exactly that - after all that is what their terms of service state. The scholars' comments are more related to the court cases AJ is apparently facing.
                              What these companies are doing is defining things unilaterally. "Hate speech" often is simply having an opinion or position that is contrary to Progressive view points these days. Colleges and universities have been doing that for decades now with their speech codes. Those institutions have been repeatedly sued and lost to Conservative groups and others that simply have speech they don't like. The big social media outlets on the Internet are likely next to get that treatment.



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