January 21st, 2020

mourning

Freedom of speech

Free speech only means the government can't arrest you for speaking. Nobody is required to give you a platform, and some people like literal Nazis should not be given a platform. It also doesn't protect you from others people's right to call you an asshole, nor from somebody firing you or banning you for hateful speech, nor does it protect you from people beating the shit out of you for saying something offensive. (That's a different law entirely.)

Most people who complain about "you need to respect my right to free speech" really just mean "I should be free to be an asshole or worse without having to face any consequences for it."

If free speech meant what many people seem to think it meant, we'd just have to accept spammers, proselytizers, bullies, jerks, Nazis, and other bad people and let them say whatever they want to whoever they want. Which would mean you could no longer file sexual harassment charges or stalking charges against people just for saying things. Somebody gets in your face, screaming slurs at you? Suck it up, buttercup. Somebody strokes a knife and tells you they're going to kill you? As long as they don't actually attack you, that's just them exercising their freedom of speech.

See how ridiculous that point of view sounds now?

This was cross-posted from https://fayanora.dreamwidth.org/1503486.html
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