Categories: Internet Health IRL

Free speech online: solving thorny issues together

The principle of free speech is a foundation of Western democracy; I have the freedom to state any belief, however odious, so long as it doesn’t threaten anyone’s safety or impinge on anyone else’s freedom. Civil society arrived at this principle after several thousand years because it makes a whole lot more sense than killing each other whenever we disagree.

But free speech gets more complicated in private spaces – that is, spaces not owned by the government. In most countries, private businesses have every right, legally, to refuse service to individuals who don’t adhere to their stated policies. No shoes, no shirt, spewing vile hatred? No service.

So what does that mean for free speech online? The entire internet is basically a patchwork of private spaces owned by different companies. When you build a website, create a blog post, make a comment, or update your social accounts, that content is touched by multiple companies – from hosts to registrars to service providers and browsers – on its way to the world’s eyeballs.

 

The entire internet is basically a patchwork of private spaces owned by different companies.

 

Which gives those companies license to pull content whenever they see fit. White supremacist outlet The Daily Stormer got kicked offline after the protests in Charlottesville and subsequent death of Heather Heyer – several of its service providers, including Google, GoDaddy, and Cloudflare, decided that their terms of service had been violated by The Daily Stormer’s hate speech. And just like that, the outlet was relegated to the depths of the Dark Web.

The Daily Stormer is just one among many websites the white supremacist protesters used to recruit, organize, and in many ways, incite violence in Charlottesville. And it’s just one example of the kind of hate speech and violence that seems to be popping up in more places, with increasing frequency. All of this got the IRL team thinking: how do the limits and liberties of free speech on the web impact what we do and say in real life? If you haven’t already, take a listen to the thoughts of Jillian York of EFF, Brandi Collins of Color of Change, and tech entrepreneur Anil Dash as they delve into thorny questions like: Whose job is it to regulate speech online? Should it be regulated at all?

 

Is there even such a thing as freedom of expression online?

 

To us at Mozilla, this conversation has Internet Health questions written all over it. Of course the internet must be a place where business can thrive, but too many companies are motivated by their bottom line before any individual’s best interests. If the Frightful Five control a huge majority of the content online, they could conceivably decide who’s allowed to say what, for their own benefit. When tech companies like YouTube attempt to regulate content, their algorithms make discriminatory mistakes, with no due process for getting content reinstated. If people feel that their speech online will be policed, they may decide to remain silent.

On the other hand, if people feel threatened online, that might also cause them to retreat from the web. The absence of regulation has left space for the proliferation of practices like trolling, doxing, and the outright threat to people’s safety, online and off.

History suggests that the issue of free speech and safe space online will not be solved easily. Or quickly. Nor will it solve itself. But recent successful movements like marriage equality and clean food prove that our voices do count.

So how do we, as internet citizens, make an impact on the issues surrounding free speech online? How can we accelerate change to keep the internet – and the real world – healthy, open, and safe for everyone?

Mozilla’s already working on a few ideas, like Coral Project’s Talk Tool, which aims to reinvent the comments section for safer, smarter conversation. But we want to hear your ideas, too.

 

Should free speech be regulated online? If so, how?

Leave comments to this post.

Offer your ideas on Twitter with the hashtag #internethealth.

 

We’ll use this collective brain power to push the conversation forward, whether it be through future IRL podcast episodes, Internet Health strategy, or even Mozilla policy initiatives.

Join us in turning issues into ideas, and ideas into action.

328 comments on “Free speech online: solving thorny issues together”

  1. Frank R. Simonelli Sr. wrote on

    Dear Folks.

    I really do like Mozilla Firefox. Freedom of speech is great, if it is not abused. Rare do read any of the content of my spam mail. Why? Nearly 99.9% of is filth or lies. Another thing, this forcing business with the pop ups while on the internet is not right either.
    To me it is RUDE, BOTHERSOME and Annoying. If cleaning up the FILTH and Pushy Pop Ups with internet service, means we must pay for the service, I’m 100% for it. ‘BUT’ it must be GUARANTEED!!!

    Respectfully,
    Frank R. Simonelli Sr.

    1. DENNIS HAINES wrote on

      FREE SPEECH IS THE POLESTAR OF FREEDOM,BUT IT IS A MANTRA FOR THOSE WHO SPEW VENOM AND LIES …THREATS MASKED AS PATRIOTISM…FREE SPEECH NO MATTER WHAT MEN SAY BUT THE COURAGE TO ANSWER BACK TO WHAT WE HEAR IS REQUIRED WHEN WE DISAGREE….

    2. c.f. white wrote on

      The issue of Free Speech is one of maturity. Maturity requires personal responsibilities.

      Free Speech should not to be monetized as suggested by Mr. Simonelli statement, “if… means we must pay for the service…”. That is no different than allowing corporate entities the same rights as an individual.

  2. Lucy wrote on

    Everyone should mind their own business….. Stay out of other peoples business and be kind to each other.

    1. Arleen Mundy wrote on

      Re: free speech on line. I just came across this dialog about free speech. I applaud the comments given. Given that this is supposed to be a format for intelligent conversation, I commend the contributors of this forum for making sure comments made on this site are appropriate and respectful of the type of verbage allowed as the commentary’s accepted expression of his/her thoughts. It shows it is possible to express disagreement with the comments of adverse views in a civil, non offensive manner.

      That said, I agree with Lucy’s comment – MYOB, and I’ll add, be civil in your espression of any differing opinions from your own. It is understandable that opinions may vary, but decentcy in expressing those differences of opinion in a respectful, non hateful manner is paramount to successful communication that furthers the discussion, without offense. I agree 100% with Joe Q’s commentary. It’s a pleasure to be a member of this community. ACM

      1. stan w wrote on

        I agree with lucy

      2. Matthew wrote on

        Decency may indeed be paramount for successful dialogue. However, free speech should not be given only to the polite and the civilized. Free speech in order to be free but be free to the vulgar and the debased. Other wise it’s censorship, left to direction of the so called, “Intellectuals”. Who in a moment may turn from civilized peace keepers into, war crazed, war mongers.

        1. Zephyr Milnes wrote on

          I 100% agree with Matthew, at the moment in Australia the gay marriage debate is going on, I want to be able to have my say without being called a bigot. Free speech is not free if it is restricted. While I also agree with Lucy that everybody should be nice to each other that means it is also not free speech, everybody should be able to have an opinion and if that opinion means that you swear at somebody, so be it, it should only be restricted if it is likely to injure somebody.

    2. Gary Stowers wrote on

      I agree that people should Mind their own business and treat other people with respect, but this problem of people shooting off their mouths in a disrespectful and hateful way is just one of the evils of human nature. Before we had internet, the evil of a persons thoughts and words were not able to affect so much people or do as much damage in real action. Problem is who is just and impartial and righteous enough to manage or control what can be allowed on these social sites? Only God Almighty in his written word can teach us the way we should behave ourselves, yet very few have respect for his teachings. There is no way for any man to manage another mans mind and speech. To try and manage what other people think and say will only lead to Tyranny for all people. It will not only be the evil speech that will be removed, but also any mans necessary good speech about a subject that the self appointed judge does not agree with. There is no right solution to this great evil until all people learn to freely and willingly submit to the teachings of our Lord, Jesus Christ. This may seem to many that it will never happen, but I believe God’s Word, and God will chastise this world soon, and those people who will be allowed to live past Christ’s wrath and live over into God’s New World will learn the way of brotherly love. There is no other right solution. Until then we just have to bare with the evils that we hate. Pray for God’s Kingdom to come soon.

      1. Dave wrote on

        As long as men don’t try to regulate other men because they don’t like his or her perspective. I have seen those who advocate God’s Kingdom many times try to control other men’s words in the name of unity. Whenever men have this type of control it is a problem. Perceptions of what God wants can cause problems. Even if it is taken from the Bible. People can MAKE things apply if they want to. Only God himself can grant true freedom. He has to remove little dictators wherever they exist.

      2. Matthew wrote on

        I agree, but few will take serious your comment.

        1. OCB wrote on

          Yes this is definitely true. The problem is that this message has been twisted and actually used to oppress people throughout the last 2000 years. Look at the Spanish Inquisition, the Crusades, and the conquest of North and South America. One of the things they have in common is that countries used Christianity to justify things like killing, slavery, forced migration. The list goes on. Now people look back and say this is what Christian governments and individuals do. This is why there are many who want nothing to do with the Church. But this is NOT how Christ wanted His people to live. The Christian faith and God’s word were never meant as tools of oppression.

          Ultimately, faith in God is the only solution to the conflicts we are facing today. God’s word shows us how we can live. Real love and respect for each other is one of the ways we can express our thankfulness that Christ has saved us. This means love and respect even for those who disagree with you. But it also shows everyone who doesn’t have faith what is possible if you believe that your sins are forgiven. This is how Christ wants us to spread the Gospel, not through force.

      3. Brian wrote on

        Allow me to secularize Gary’s comment. MYOB is an excellent policy when held in a private sense but now that the internet has come about it has become a powerful tool to highlight what would otherwise be private sentiments of the entire populace. It has reopened old wounds so to speak. Issues we once thought were dead and buried such as racism, sexism, and bigotry are now thrust into the forefront of public view… ON THE INTERNET. We’ve learned that the old ways didn’t exactly die but no longer have any power except the power we give them through outrage and censorship. The problem is that when anyone’s voice is censored you unintentionally give the person, whose views you may disagree with, activist and victimhood status. By trying to silence these people you actually give them a megaphone. The potential ugliness of a person’s mind is made available for all to see in a somewhat anonymous but nonetheless public forum. It isn’t surprising that many people find this unappetizing and would like to relegate the ugliness and sweep it under the rug. But denying people their voice no matter how unpleasant is a form of tyranny. With the invention of the internet a metaphorical genie has been let out of it’s bottle and to try to control it or to put it back is to infringe on the rights of all including those whose opinions you don’t disagree with. Let the unsavory people on the internet dig their own holes with their radical views. Unless they seek to act on their beliefs in the real world, it isn’t anyone’s place to try to stifle, relegate, or punish these people. Karma has a way of dealing with people like that in a far more elegant and impartial way than we humans can manage. Steer your own course on the internet as you would in life and treat the unpleasantness you will see on the internet as a cautious reminder of where we once were and where we still may go should we decide to give the thoughts of a thoughtless person more merit that it deserves. Also, teach your children to do the same.

        1. Mike wrote on

          Agreed !!!

        2. Andrew wrote on

          Brian, while I would love to be able to silence the “haters” out there I totally agree with your well written comment. When I say “haters” I don’t mean people who don’t agree with me. There are many people on “my side” of the political fence that I cannot stand because of how they espouse their views. On the flip side, there are many people on “the other side” whom I greatly respect for their measured and well communicated thoughts, even if I disagree with them.

      4. averal wrote on

        ” Only God Almighty in his written word can teach us the way we should behave ourselves, yet very few have respect for his teachings. There is no right solution to this great evil until all people learn to freely and willingly submit to the teachings of our Lord, Jesus Christ. ”

        Why should I submit to your god ??? My god, the Flying Spaghetti Monster, is the only one, true god ! He is not a sadist that condemns all whom disagree with him to eternal torture. No, he / she provides pasta and marinara for all regardless of their beliefs. Praise be to the FSM.

    3. JOANNE ANDERSON wrote on

      i agree with Lucy! This new On-Line freedom of speech is making people kill each other. Just watch the news. The internet is feeding the ignorant, they in turn make it all personal and then just about everyone is offended by something. Now here comes another protest that gets way out of hand, because of the ignorant people. That contains people of all colors and religions ect. Go back to the old days, where you had to read the newspaper or go to the library for your info. The internet has made our world an awful place. My opinion!

  3. Joe Q wrote on

    As much as I despise hate speech, I can only be a patron and advocate of free speech. Hate speech is senseless, illogical, and destructive – nevertheless, hate is a right and can serve a purpose. When an opinion has no evidence or logic to support it and is very negative of a group of people, then it is hate speech. That purpose that hate speech can sometimes and unfortunately serve, is a reminder that haters are wrong – their statements false, and their ideologies invalid. Hate speech must also be allowed to exist simply because of the concept of empathy: to walk in one’s shoes. For any of those who are reading this, please take a moment to recognize what you feel strongly for and what you would advocate for given the chance. Now imagine that a large group of people – an organization – a government – a corporation – were to censor your opinions. Whether that censorship was complete or minor, it was an attack on your most cherished beliefs. The feelings that come from this are similar to those that hate speech can create. It is the feeling of being in the way or being the target of something powerful. However, there is another option besides fight or flight: freedom – freedom of speech. Discourse, advocacy, and compromise are the solutions. It is, has always been, and will be difficult, but peace through understanding and communication will prevail over fear and fighting. If we can dedicate ourselves to the task of simply listening, thinking, and speaking – tasks that we already do every day – we can build a better world and a better internet – without fighting or oppression, but with peace and freedom! Together…

    1. Martin wrote on

      What we really need are simple straightforward guidelines, not emotionally charged arguments that are pro or con. 5 suggestions is simple, more than that is complicated. My 5 suggested guidelines on free speech are as follows;

      1. It must be civil, respectful and not emotionally charged. Emotion is good, but not to the point of being threatening. Rule of thumb, if your veins are popping out of your neck, you are emotionally charged.
      2. Must be non threatening. Suggesting to inflict harm in free speech is being emotionally charged.
      3. Internet speech ought not to be different than face to face communication. If you are not willing to post it on your front lawn, then it ought not to be said or written.
      4. Free speech cannot be anonymous. Stand for what you believe in and stand behind your words.
      5. Should be devoid of fanaticism. If you won’t change your mind and can’t change the subject, you are a fanatic. This applies to life choices, being gay or not, pro abortion or not and all forms of religion. Not everyone will agree with you, get used to it. Move on.

      Five people all talking at the same time yelling above the din of each others voices is not free speech. It is uncivilized. See rule number 1.

      Two or more people having a friendly debate is free speech. (one person having a friendly debate maybe civil, but is crazy. Seek professional help)

      1. Marvin wrote on

        Except for 2, those aren’t really guidelines for free speech, they are guidelines for civil speech. Free speech, by its nature, must accept uncivil speech.

        1. Ideally, it should be civil and respectful, but there is no “must” which is laying down unacceptable limits on free speech. Who is anyone to judge somebody’s else’s acceptable emotional level in regard to their speech? We might not like it but that’s tough. Walk away.
        2. To threaten harm is illegal so is not covered under free speech.
        3. Ideally, yes, but by saying “ought” and “must” you are making yourself or someone else an arbiter based on personal taste or morals. People are free to be hypocrites. Again, if you don’t like it, walk away.
        4. I disagree entirely. Anonymity is essential where speech is restricted by tyrants. Would you apply this standard where the penalty for criticizing rulers is death? Would you hold yourself up to it? I also think anonymous speech is a right even where it is free, and even if it the result of cowardice or hypocrisy.
        5. People have a right to be fanatical which should be protected while it isn’t inciting violence.

        People need to understand that to truly have freedom speech means having a lot of speech that they won’t like. They should either engage it their own speech or walk away. They should not try to set arbitrary rules to limit or shape it unless it’s on their own property.

        1. Marie W wrote on

          Marvin, you are only RIGHT! (guess I am a fanatic, as I used all caps there) Thanks for your voice of reason.

        2. Zephyr Milnes wrote on

          Wooh, yep guys let’s put rules on free speech. sound a little bit ironic to you… THAT’S BECAUSE IT IS. free speech should not have any rules, except if you read my comment above I say that it should not hurt somebody. This is about the only rule that is good in my opinion, but even then it turns it into Almost-free but not free speech. AFBMF speech. I think people will always shout hate. there is not much we can do to stop that.

        3. Lurk wrote on

          I agree with what Marvin said

          1. Why should emotionally charged people not be allowed to post online, on their personal profiles?
          2. I agree threats and defamation should be deleted, but onl yposts containing those, not whole accounts.
          3. Internet speech can be same as face to face communication. I do agree that is you need to stand behind what you say and be prepared to defend it. If thats what you meant by “post it on your front lawn”.
          4. I can disagree more. Without being anonmyous you expose yourself to people who can harm you or people you love because of what you say or think. What you said is similar to saying to potential rape victims to not try to run away if attacked.
          5. Fanaticism is similar topic than 1. emotionally charged speech. Problem is who decides what fanaticism is. Who decides what “hate speech” is. Who decides what is allowed to be hated and what not?

          Example of this problem can be observed on twitter and facebook, where if you post anything hateful against Islam or PoC you get suspended. While people posting hateful things about “whiteness”, Trump voters or “patriarchy” are allowed to spew their hatred. Its clearly that double standard formed and platforms changed into ideological echo chambers where hate is allowed if its right kind of hate, and wrongthink is punished if its against popular narrative.

      2. Michael wrote on

        The hypocrisy shown by some on here is laughable. The bottom line is that free speech is just that. It’s not about allowing those you disagree with a voice just so that you can allow them to show how wrong they are in your world view. People have grievances and opinions you don’t share so then those views immediately become ‘hate speech’, while yours are conveniently portrayed as intelligent, rational and right. But that’s only your own personal view, derived from the way you see the world. Free speech means just that. It should never be about what people think of as the right or wrong way to think. It also means you can disagree with a view you don’t agree with, but taking moral high ground and presenting your view as the right one and those you disagree with are wrong is just plain arrogant. People are entitled to an opinion. Disagree with each other by all means, but freedom of speech should also mean freedom of thought also. It doesn’t matter how abhorrent you find someone’s views because they might feel just the same about yours. Then the argument comes back to taking the moral high ground, and again that will be based on your own world view. Just state an opinion through the concept of free speech. It’s not about browbeating the other side into submission by trying to be morally superior.

        1. Tyson wrote on

          Free speech is not free if: Labels can be invented to subjectively categorize what speech is acceptable, e.g. “hate speech”.

          Free speech is not free if: Authorities get to decide what is true, labeling everything else “fake news”.

          Free speech is not intended to protect speech you like.

          There are only very narrow exceptions to free speech, like speech that will cause immediate physical harm to another person. The mistake people are making these days is equating physical harm with emotional harm. Your emotions are not something anyone can protect. Only you can control the impact words have on you. The state is not obligated to protect your emotions. Asking them to do so is a catastrophic slippery slope that will lead to the end of free speech as we know it.

          As far as “the Internet” being owned and operated by private businesses goes… That argument leads to universal censorship. No government is going to set up “free speech” zones on the Internet to host content that’s in opposition to the mainstream of “acceptable speech”.

        2. Robert wrote on

          I agree with Micheal 100 % .

        3. Dani wrote on

          The most complete comment I found and agree. Anyways, I knew they would do that and put a gag in the people in the internet too. You see the partiality and the true intentions when they use one unique case exemplify the devil and the wrong for them “White supremacist outlet The Daily Stormer got kicked offline after the protests in Charlottesville”, why they don’t put that the ISIS uses services such as YouTube and LiveLeak (to spread videos of beheadings and destruction of antiquities), Twitter (to disseminate messages and threatening images) and SoundCloud (to promote group leader audio messages) as a example too. Why together on that drawing trying show people from every kind and religion “the diversity” they don’t put someone with a cross showing Christians too? Oh noo, Christians are the devil and the prejudiced, from them all the white supremacist and homophobia. total hypocrisy

    2. tedwilson wrote on

      Prohibition dose not work.

      1. thistle bottom wrote on

        Argue that the people making billions off of it….

    3. pipi wrote on

      But who gets to define what hate speech is?

      Giving power to ban/censor people means giving power to ban/censor people for whatever reason . All you have to do is expand the definition of hate speech.

      For example I saw the word niggers. I just said it. Is that hate speech? What if I say Mozilla sucks. Is that hate speech? What if i say Islam religion sucks (notice I did not say muslims suck) is that hate speech? What if I say the government sucks. Is that hape speech? All these refer to a group of people : blacks, mozilla corporation staff, muslims, government instiution. However depending on your definition some may be hate speech some not. So is not really about being demeaning to a group of people. Can i say police sucks? Is that hate speech?

      Who decided what’s hate speech and what is not.

      Compelled speech is what nazis used. Compelled speech is what communists use. If you go that path you begin the authoritarian way.

      1. BashingInMinds wrote on

        I’ve spent a great deal of time on Twitter attempting to reason with people on all sides of political issues who seem to have misunderstandings or refuse to diplomatically engage with those who disagree with them. I’ve seen many people censored from the platform for their beliefs, opinions, or experiences, rather than for any form of hate speech.

        While I generally understand and agree with the point that free speech is a right that frees us from oppression, and that forcing private companies to abide by it would be a similar form of tyrrany (who decides what is ‘free’? Would you allow people to post hate or vile content on a children’s forum?), we now have a terrible situation where our own government seems to be ‘outsourcing’ its censorship to private companies.

        There’s significant evidence to suggest that these private corporations often act under pressure from, or in concert with, political individuals who wish for a certain agenda or ‘narrative’ to be created. This essentially undermines the free discourse people are attempting to hold on these platforms, and makes some opinions appear disproportionately widely-held. Likewise, private companies will frequently censor those who hold minority opinions for profit.

        On the government side, firmer controls and investigations into government collusion with media and social platforms, corruption crackdowns, are needed. But as for the second issue, brought up in this podcast… that’s not so straightforward to deal with. Perhaps what could be ideal is a ‘free speech’ indicator of some sort; essentially like food labeling, websites could declare themselves free-speech zones, and would then be legally obliged to not censor legal speech (nothing to do with threats of violence and the like).

        In essence this would make being a free-speech zone an opt-in proposal, but once opted in, a company could not simply decide to change its terms and start discriminating against its users. I suspect users would flock to protected speech areas. Equally important would be ensuring neutrality of function; simply leaving content on the platform is a small matter if you bury it so no one can find that content with your search functions. Free speech websites would need to have guaranteed neutrality of function, so that sorting algorithms and the like do not take into account the favorability of opinions being sorted through.

        That’s my proposed solution to this issue. I’d love to get some feedback on that.

        1. Don Holmes wrote on

          I like that idea

      2. Meryl wrote on

        The only people who have a hard time identifying hate speech are people who are arguing about it in bad faith. It’s not hard. Also, communists =/= nazis.

      3. dan wrote on

        absolutely correct, pipi. however, the left will be/are being the useful idiots in their own, and our own, authoritarian demise.

    4. tzu wrote on

      Free speech is a natural right, every man has the right to voice their opinion as each is equal before the law. No government, corporation, religion or individual can take that right from you but it is up to the people to be on the watch and fight for it. If “hate speech” is regulated, who do you think will be writing the regulations? It’s going to be the powers that be, not you. Always remember that “To learn who rules over you, simply find out who you are not allowed to criticize.” Keep an eye on what group of people is always pushing for these laws.

    5. Maggoo0 wrote on

      I agree with Joe in so much as discussion ,dialogue and debate is a large piece of the infrastructure necessary for freedom of speech to flourish. There is so little evident in our media since it is owned and run by groups with various other agendas that take precedence over the health and advancement of our society.
      Maggoo0

  4. Pellucid wrote on

    Corporations are not moral agents, they are institutions entirely dedicated to making profit. They will only ever, SEEMINGLY, act morally to appease the public, so that they can continue to make profit. Capitalism is not a form of government (though it does concentrate and corrupt power) nor should it be a personal philosophy, it will never lead us to sustainability or ethical behavior. Only deeper understanding, rationality, and evidence can help us create mechanisms to handle these issues. As your guest stated, we cannot delegate these responsibilities, we must reinvigorate our participation.

    1. WiR wrote on

      “Only deeper understanding, rationality, and evidence can help us create mechanisms to handle these issues”

      Sounds like somebody promoting the classic notion that science can fix anything….but it doesn’t….science in a sense is greed for knowledge….that’s how it all started….”rational people” went to America and Australia or Africa and treated the natives like stupid wild animals. They thought there form of enlightenment would do them good. Instincts and feelings are no helpful in progress, so they thought. Today everybody should realize that we are on the wrong track, the natives were consciously more advanced then we are today and science and rationality won’t be the cure to anything that isn’t felt instinctively right.

      When it comes to freedom of speech….we should all remember the old saying…
      talk is cheep and silence is gold 😉

  5. Heather Rayburn wrote on

    I cannot even believe this is a discussion. Who determines what hate speech is? Tech companies should not dictate who can say what. Just because I don’t like someone’s opinion, doesn’t make it hate and vise versa. I do not agree with any type of regulations placed on an individuals right to Free Speech. If and when the “Tech Companies” decide to start regulating someones First Amendment Right, I do believe there will be countless lawsuits.

    1. Nathaniel wrote on

      Couldn’t have said it better myself.

  6. Robert wrote on

    After listening to this podcast I have a few thoughts:

    I used to love the internet, but as I’ve grown as a human and as an internet user, my view has changed a bit. The internet is a tool, no more good or evil than a hammer. A hammer can be either constructive or destructive. It’s up to the person wielding it to decide how it’s put to use.

    So when it comes to free speech on the internet, I’m perhaps a bit old fashioned. Free speech is a legal right protecting you from government interference or retaliation. That’s it. It doesn’t protect you from corporate interference or retaliation. If we want an internet where speech is truly free, you’ll need the government to create that internet.

    I think the corporations are fully within their rights to remove hate speech. Hell, facebook could decide to remove all references to the color orange on their platform and be within their legal rights. It’s THEIR platform! No one is forcing you to use it!

    This is where I disagreed with the majority of this latest podcast: the conversation centered around free speech as a concept rather than free speech as a legal right. If you do a followup to this episode, please make a distinction. And then that will necessarily prompt more interesting questions like: Is the internet a right, or a product? In a perfect world, people can choose not to use facebook or twitter due to the actions of those companies, but is it really as simple as that? Does the fact that people feel compelled to participate online necessitate more government regulation? Why do we feel so compelled, and is that a good thing or a bad thing? When a platform is free, you’re not a consumer, you’re the product.

    Many of the questions brought up in this podcast were insightful only if the line stays blurred between free speech rights and free speech as a societal concept. When listening, I just kept thinking: Free Speech protects us from the government. You should expect censorship on the internet. Corporations are allowed to do whatever is best for their bottom line. If the Daily Stormer was somehow on a .gov domain, and was kicked off, then free speech would be a concern.

    1. Joe Blow wrote on

      Many companies make a profit through advertisements. Advertisers threaten companies that they will pull their ads should a company present something that the advertiser believes will hurt their bottom line. To allow ad companies to force another company to censor what they present allows that ad company to limit content that they don’t want others to see or think. I personally do not want an advertiser to have that power over my or another life. If a consumer is offended by what they see/hear, they have to choice to not view/listen it.

    2. Marvin wrote on

      You also need a government that believes in and protects freedom of speech. Frankly, I trust the corporations (or, I should say, the market) more than the government on this score. Corporations haven’t done a bad job so far (until very recently, in my opinion). The bottom line actually helps the consumer in the long run. If one commercial platform starts restricting speech too much for its users’ tastes another will rise up in its place offering a more free and open service. The number of free-speech-based social media platforms has grown considerably in the past year or two.

      With government monopoly control of speech platforms like the Internet this would never happen – at least until you could vote them out (assuming you can still vote by this point!). If the government decides to limit freedom of speech then there is no alternative.

  7. Dan wrote on

    Freedom of speech is the bastion of thought. Everything we take for granted today was something authoritarians would have censored in the past. And the alternative to free speech is violence. I deplore any and all attempts to hinder freedom speech. There is an argument to be made that it shouldn’t be illegal for private comapnies to allow or publish speech with which they disagree. But that case is rarely made when it comes to companies which disagree with the mainstream opinion on these issues; for example punishing religious cake makers for not wanting to make a pro gay marriage cake. You can have it both ways with that kind of argument.

    Furthermore, regardless of what should be illegal, there is the moral case to be made that companies ought to support something as vital as freedom of speech irrespective of legality. This is of further import given that censorous and malevolent companies such as google have such a share of the internet use that they’re social gatekeepers to knowledge. And they abuse this position by demonitising people they disagree with on youtube and concocting algorythims to draw people away from opinions they don’t like. I hope that mozilla isn’t on the same path.

    Irrespective of the instrumentalist arguments in favour of free speech (the fact it’s lead to the best societies in the world, the fact that censors would never want to live countries which lack the free speech they’re so keen to erode), there’s the more fundemental argument that i do not trust these corporations and politically correct politicians to outsource the use my mind and my ideas, and to tell me what i am and not allowed to beleive, what is and is not “hate speech” (why would i want someone i dont trust to make that decision for me??), when i have a perfectly functional mind of my own thank you? I will not be at the social behest of the type of scum who feel that it is their moral right, purely in terms of the fact they happen to be a large company, to be the moral arbiters of allowable and unallowable opinions. You think that you’re current opinions are correct and will never face a legitimate challenge? You’re a terrifying authoritarian and precisely the kind of bigot freedom of speech works so well to combat against. Don’t tell me what to do. I have no respect for your historical ignorance and moral arrogance.

    1. Martin wrote on

      I agree with your comment that free speech is a right. Everyone is free to express themselves and suffer the consequences if there are any. People in Turkey express free speech against the government and either thrown in prison and/or shot. Some are quite ready to be martyrs. I think the point here is about self governance. A website may chose to insist on guidelines, same goes with companies, institutions etc. Guidelines are a good way of setting a precedence. Guidelines are very good way establishing what is acceptable to a website and what is not. Preventing members of ISIS express “free speech” in the form of threats against all humanity should probably be censored.

      1. Joe Blow wrote on

        But who decides what guidelines to use to determine what is acceptable for all to express? To censor 1 is to censor all.

  8. gary wrote on

    I am just an ordinary citizen with at best average intelligence. Thinking back, I think it was Brandi that said she had three computers with one that by following more male related sites the tracking in place today steered her to more male related sites. To relate that to freedom of speech vs comments that could incite violence. If these social media companies had or created multi racial / gender panels using due processes to distinguish between free speech vs speech that incites violence could not the tracking in place be modified instead of steering individuals one way or another, say separating people, couldn’t it also bring people together that have similar views that one side didn’t even see from being steered in a different direction? That accomplished wouldn’t there now be double/triple viewers on thus site.
    Then Anil mentioned values from country to country. Each country would have their own same such panel. To break this down even farther these panels trickle down from country – state – even community. With time would this not help to unify communities then just as I have expressed my opinions here, a ordinary person could approach these panels with ideas thus helping the community then state, then country keep up with the rate at which the technology grows.

  9. tedwilson wrote on

    Cenceorship is not how you end hate.

    Jim crow laws are a form of censorship, they censored the black out.

    Removal of information and the stifling of knowledge is not how you defeat this.

    Should we censor Nazi’s out of history because they were bigoted? They hurt my precious little feeling…of course not. How else do we as a society learn from our mistakes if the mistakes are censored?

  10. Judess69er wrote on

    wasn’t this already attempted once before with a liquid substance and didn’t things just get worse o.o’?

    or am i the only high-school dropout that learned about the Prohibition of Alcohol

    … same principle

  11. Benjamin McLean wrote on

    I noticed something about your podcast: Nobody on it was anywhere even slightly right-of-center on the political spectrum. This reflects the kind of world you at Mozilla want to have, where the only conversation is between the moderate Left and the hard Left. Anyone who, like Brendan Eich, has any ideas different from yours doesn’t get to speak. This isn’t about Nazis. This is about everyone who disagrees with you.

    1. Nancy Rosner wrote on

      I have been reading many of the comments, and yours comes closest to what I am thinking. I guess I am a center-right person, and it seems to me that people who say they want to stop hate speech are usually on the left. They can say the most vile, disgusting things about President Trump and his family, and the government, but think it’s their right to do so. Yet they don’t want to allow conservatives and right-wing groups their freedom of speech. Look what’s happening on college campuses. Hate works both ways, that’s why freedom of speech is so hard to regulate. I just try to listen to reasonable thinking, and to not read hate speech on either side. I have been hiding alot of posts on Facebook because of this!

  12. John Cubbage wrote on

    “Free Speech” is not a right on the Internet. It is a very complex and perilous issue. The Internet is not a physical location, so laws and jurisdictions are all in “flux”. Some things are straight forward when data is stored in a physical site, but when data is transmitted over jurisdictions and read in other jurisdictions, “free speech” becomes a much more complex issue. Should speech be “free” on the Internet. I personally believe the answer is yes, but the responsibility and legal issues that presents are significant. The average internet user is (falsely) convinced that they have a level of anonymity with the Internet. This emboldens people and makes them more willing to “overspeak”. Many people “say” things over the internet that they would never say when they have to face the recipient and take full responsibility for their speech. The internet also allows a much larger base of people to communicate, so idea can become and form a “community”.

  13. Rhea wrote on

    Hi,
    first of all let me start thanking the mozilla team for the effort of “making the internet a better place” and all the rest of the community involved. Unfortunately I must reply to this episode addressed issue, for it is only partially a problem concerning the virtual space. The bottom line problem does not lie in whether we should regulate freedom of speech online but in the educational system. It is neither the fault of the nazi scum, because they didn’t get proprer education, therefore they perceive their actions as legit, nor is it the fault of the ordinary nice people who feel they should react in some way and think they didn’t do enough. It is a technique adopted by governments since the roman empire: “Divide and conquer” if people don’ learn to dispute their ideas in a constructive way there will never be a place to express real freedom of speech.

    sincerely yours,
    Rhea

    1. c.f. white wrote on

      Rhea your comment, ““Divide and conquer” if people don’ learn to dispute their ideas in a constructive way there will never be a place to express real freedom of speech,” is most accurate.

      See my earlier comment to “tzu”.

      What we see on the I-Net is representative of the content of character of the individuals and the mental/emotional stability of the society at large. Destructive speech indicates destructive content within the character, just as constructive character indicates constructive content.

  14. Dr. John Michel wrote on

    I feel that it is the responsibility of those in control of the Internet to police it in accordance with the rights of free speech and civil language as long as one’s rights do not violate the rights of others, but always in the spirit of our constitution.

    1. Wenderella wrote on

      Dr Michel, who do you think are ‘…those in control of the Internet…’? Those in control of the internet are very different entities in different jurisdictions.

      I live in a Western democracy, one with relatively stable government and relatively liberal laws. I am in the fortunate position of being able to occasionally travel to countries such as China. Believe me when I say that China’s government has a relatively tight control over its social media platforms in comparison to the controls exerted by my own government.

      Control of the internet is control of freedom of speech.

  15. Joe Blow wrote on

    “Our liberty depends on the freedom of the press, and that cannot be limited without being lost.”
    — Thomas Jefferson

    “If men are to be precluded from offering their sentiments on a matter, which may involve the most serious and alarming consequences that can invite the consideration of mankind, reason is of no use to us; the freedom of speech may be taken away, and dumb and silent we may be led, like sheep, to the slaughter.”

    — George Washington

    “Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere.” Martin Luther King Jr. Letter from Birmingham Jail, April 16, 1963

    “If there is any principle of the Constitution that more imperatively calls for attachment than any other it is the principle of free thought — not free thought for those who agree with us but freedom for the thought that we hate.”

    — Oliver Wendell Holmes Jr., U.S. Supreme Court justice

    To restrict the voice of one opens Pandora’s Box to all. Unless the Federal Government has a legitimate search warrant, they, and others, should not have the right to monitor what is listen to phone conversations or the internet. Should a person or group make their views in public and will cause a true and direct threat to one or many, not online or phone conversation, then and only then should the individual/group be monitored. The English attempted to restrict the pre-US populace from saying anything negative to their position of being English subjects, thus our Founding Fathers from making Free Speech our right to exercise our opinions. Perhaps a more responsible solution to opposing groups from rioting would be to have those groups physically separated by physical boundaries in which all groups present can be protected from physical harm. People need to be educated that though 1 group disagrees with the beliefs of others, they must still respect the rights of all to their own opinions. A greater police or National Guard presence might be considered as well. And those that decide (unbiased) to grant all permits for lawful assembly should be held accountable for not providing a safe environment to assemble.

  16. Private citizen wrote on

    I appreciated the discussion. The commentators overlooked one very important fact, which was startling in its omission but I am glad Robert (above) also noticed this: the internet is not public property. The speakers seem distracted by trying to distinguish free speech from illegal speech, which is not really the issue here. In America, if you want to protest something – Civil Rights, Women’s Choice vs. pro-life viewpoint, politics or anything else, the right to freedom of speech is the right for you to voice your opinion in a public space. A public space is the shared ground within a municipality that is owned by the public for the mutual benefit of the residents of that municipality and typically functions as the interface between private properties/infrastructure (public property such as sidewalks, roads, parks, government buildings). The internet is fundamentally different: it is a network of private “clubs” (corporate servers) connected by privately owned “roads” (ISP cables). It is not owned by the government; it is not supported by your “tax dollars.” Indeed, it is not even “America” as many servers are geographically remote.
    We have grown accustomed to the fact that the private clubs of this world (corporate servers, Facebook, Google, WordPress etc) allow “free” entry for the masses of lemmings to come and use their services while being delivered advertisements that support the “free” clubs. This does not make the internet a public space. If you possess your own server and have a connection to the rest of the network, you can host whatever content you wish on your own property. But this does not obligate the private “free” clubs to allow you to speak your opinions in their spaces.

    1. JC wrote on

      Either you have free speech or you do not. The hate groups will be loud but which hate group do you censor? the “group of the day” or all of them? How do you determine “hate” speech? Maybe you have to be against something before you can be for something… unless you are on the other side of the debate.

      I see the white supremacy group was removed, no prob with me because they are tools but they have “free speech” or they dont. What about La Raza or NBP? If you do not remove them are you saying their speech is ok? Their speech is just as hateful yet are they protected? This is only one example but it is sensationalism that is driving the censoring, not real thought or balance.

    2. Earl Desuba wrote on

      When a private property owner hosts a website for public disimination of information, that owner is then a de facto state actor, and its website a de facto public space — IE: it is a de facto town square.

      Contrariwise, a private website is hidden from public view.

  17. Judess69er wrote on

    its not like Filters and Censors are evil… like we have rating systems for a reason but when you sit there and try to impose your own selfish preconceptions on a word that is completely innocent… like the swastika… i own an original Swastika flag the one that symbolized its true meaning before it was changed for the Nazi image

    its a 12,000 year old historical symbol found in the remains of the ancient city of Troy, And yet the only thing that comes to mind to people when you have a Swastika is “ohh he/shes a racist jew hater”

  18. David Heide wrote on

    Unless it is threatening or specifically and criminally conspiratorial, no one has any business regulating speech on the internet or anywhere else for that matter

  19. Patrick Keefer wrote on

    I hate Democracy as much as I hate communism, fascism, socialism etc…
    The only form of government that I can really agree with is written in the United States Constitution and Bill of Rights. I like how the United States has a People’s Representative Republic and not a Democracy, despite public belief. Although many main stream media outlets and new age Liberal left wing driven public education systems would have you believe we are a Democracy, it’s not and yes there are similarities and it’s close to one, but originally wasn’t suppose to over step certain boundaries. Yet due to corruption and a misunderstanding of law, many individuals have found loop holes and exploited political figures to violate every citizen of the United States, rights on freedom of speech and ownership of firearms. Allowing publicly accessible social media platforms to regulate speech in the United States is a violation of each of it’s citizens. There is no exception, they provided a service that gave a forum to people and later after they gained a large enough member base, flipped the tables on it’s users by changing up the rules as to what people are allowed to say on it’s service. This is very wrong, it’s just the same as a group of friends at a Walmart and as they are shopping they are holding a conversation about politics and people can listen in as they are near them as you would stumble upon a forum post on the Internet. They have the right to speak, passers by even might try to join that conversation and I see it happen all the time around where I live. Walmart doesn’t kick them out of the store for talking as they not harming people or property and are there as customers. I’ve never seen this ever happen in a business, although there are a few rare instances of some clubs and bars in very new age liberal left wing cities that have refused service to people wearing MAGA hats and that loss of potential business by not serving them is the consequence.
    If a Business is smart, they would make it clear they are not choosing sides as a business position, although the individuals working there are most certainly free to express opinions, just not acting on behalf of the business. Why alienate customers? Do you like loosing money? If someone gets a wild hair and decides to get disruptive and make physical threats, yeah kick that person out, but not until then. Once you start policing what people say or think, you have become just like the Nazi government. Doesn’t matter what political side you are on, once you go that far, you are the Nazi. Doesn’t matter if you call the group you side with “Antifa” or not, you are the fascist, you are the Nazi. One of the great things about the United States is that it is full of traditional ideas and accepting of new ideas. You may have a great idea now, but if nobody is willing to listen, how will you ever find out a better one or improve on an old one? That is what debate is for, that is why people need free speech. To talk about the old ideas, the new ideas or modifications of those ideas and to explore them. You never discover anything if you stay in one place, you got to move around and see what’s around the corner, over the hill etc… If the idea doesn’t change for a long time, either a dictatorship forces it, or it’s a really good idea that stood the test of time. The only way a good idea would stand the test of time is if freedom of speech existed, because it would take an authoritarian to force it on you.

    I am a citizen of the United States of America, I was born and raised here believing I had the right to believe what ever I wanted and not be afraid to say it.

    I believe in the Constitution.
    I believe there is no God. (atheist)
    I believe I am part of the Militia, just as every Citizen is by default.
    I believe I will defend the United States of America with my firearm should it be invaded by those who wish to destroy it.
    I believe in Freedom of Opportunity, not Outcome.
    I believe in Freedom from oppression.

    There are many countries that are fascist, socialist and communist. If you identify one of those as you’re preferred type of government, you have the Right to leave the United States and denounce you’re citizen ship and move there. Nobody will force you out, but we would prefer you stop trying to force it on us. WE are still here because we like freedom, we like capitalism…

    Let me help you out by providing a quick description of nations you might like.

    Socialist Democracy – Canada (Undergoing an Economic Bust, Average Health stable, Not likely to be at war, Food in good supply, Small Military)

    Communist Capitalism – China (Undergoing an Economic Boom, Average Health deteriorating, Likely to be involved in a war, Food in short supply in some regions, Very Large Military)

    Socialist Dictatorship – Venezuela (Undergoing an Economic Destruction, Average Heath very poor, currently in a civil war, Food is scarce as there is a Famine, Very Small Military)

    Fascist Dictatorship – North Korea (Undergoing an Economic Bust, Average Heath disastrous, Preparing for large scale war, Food is scarce as there is a Famine, Small Military)

    If you are curious.
    Representative Republic – United States of America (Undergoing an Economic Recovery/Boom, Average Heath is Above average, Preparing for war/Very small possibility of Civil war, Food is in Excessive supply, Extremely Large Military)

    Please note that military is calculated by population of those in service, technology in service, resources and strategic placement.
    Food is calculated by size of agriculture output.
    Health is calculated by access to Medical services and it’s level of applied technologies and advancements.
    Economics is calculated by size of GDP (Gross Domestic Product) and Stock Market averages.
    For example, the United States of America was undergoing an economic depression during previous presidency, however under new presidency the stock market has had massive leaps and GDP is rising. That is why it is Recovering and looking forward to a Boom. An Economic Boom is Economic Prosperity.

    1. Gary wrote on

      Interesting article “WE are still here because we like freedom, we like capitalism…” . Why do you associate the economic system of capitalism with freedom?. Of course many humans like to have the freedom to buy/trade anything they wish . However, in the context of unregulated capitalism this is severely degrading the environments (inc atmospheric pollution) that all our economic and political principles ultimately depend upon. You also express your strong beliefs without mentioning any system in which to measure your beliefs for credibility. As a scientist I understand that many of society’s ills can ( and are.e.g. disease) be mitigated using the scientific method. This is the only method that had been actually proven (based on experimental design and measurement of results) to work and predict outcomes. Whats-more science does dictate to some degree the direction society will head. By new technology ( stone tools > the internet) or new medical innovations ( antibacterial > the human gnome).

      1. Peter Reynders wrote on

        I agree with Gary, Extending the argument with some measurement of happiness of a population would be even better. There’s an independent index on the net of that too.

    2. john hrenko wrote on

      America`s health care for its citizens is sub par at best our health outcomes are around 18th in the civilized world. if you have to regulate free speech it isn`t free. this country has persecuted people races for all its existence. its a great country if your white and rich.

      1. Don Holmes wrote on

        Rich, i could agree. Slavery and oppression were or are present among many peoples/ethnicity’s countries and religions. North America is “more free”, than many of it’s counterparts. To keep it so, and evolve it so, expression and dialogue freedom is paramount. We have come a long way. The way forward is not backwards.

  20. narender sangwan wrote on

    i liked your podcast and the healthy discussion to make internet healthy.Free speech is always healthy and any censorship is negative.we live in cities and not jungle where internet requires infrastructure to convey speech.Just like an odd man or woman out our senses can discern good and bad and we have private options to block the person we don’t want to interact.So,their is no need to regulate things.But instead of an individual if a group or an organization is using free speech to threaten or disrupt peace law should be enforced as it threatens all of us.Healthy internet is for healthy discussions to bring out the best in us even if we disagree or have different point of view.Disagreement is like nature and free speech should entertain it even if we don’t like it.
    Internet is to bring the humanity close on the globe in 193 countries and many languages and facilitate business and promote causes dear to humanity.With the click of a button we are connected thousand of miles in a second,its great.

  21. Mike Walsh wrote on

    No surprise that the definitions of “hate speech” in this thread pretty much concern only “right wing” sites. Tell me, when LGBT activists went on their national witch hunt (after the donors to California’s Proposition 8 were outed), was that hate speech? Does Mozilla count it as hate speech? I know people who were victimized by this (plausible death threats, slander, lost employment). Mozilla and other browsers are gatekeepers who can deny access to whomever they please. Quis custodiet ipsos custodes?

  22. Eric wrote on

    I have no sympathy for white nationalism, but despise the phrase “hate speech.” That is too easily defined to me whatever the powers-that-be do not like.

    We either believe in free speech or we don’t. Free speech means protecting offensive speech. No one ever tried to stop speech which was not offensive. Further most ideas that eventually are popular are quiete unpopular to start and often offensive. If someone is directly asking for violence that is the only threshold I view as acceptable for limiting it.

    Finally I would like to make a personal observation. I am a traditionalist conservative and I feel increasing isolated. Various online sources have issues and respond with greater content controls. Individuals have to make these calls though and far too often, those making the rules and those enforcing are pretty far to the left. This leads to completely different levels of scrutiny for anything “hate” related. More than though, it makes me feel my opinion is not even wanted.

    Again, vastly opposed to anything close to white nationalism, but very concerned where this is leading.

    1. Michael wrote on

      @Eric. I’m an English nationalist, therefore I am white – to which you no doubt attach ideas of Nazism and hatred, yet I have no interest in Hitler or National socialism. There is nothing wrong with being proud of the nation of people you belong to. Only people like you wish to attach hatred to it. And why only mention ‘white nationalism’? Again, you see clear water between the pride that all races, creeds and colours have in regard to themselves and that which I feel towards mine, and only attach connotations of hatred to the white variety. Try getting out more my dear chap. Then you might see that hatred has no colour, but is equally ferocious in whatever heart it beats. You’re welcome to the guilt, self shame and embarrassment you’ve heaped upon yourself. Just don’t think you’ll heap it on me and others of a similar opinion by name calling and attaching hatred to the pride that I and others rightly feel for our own people. If you see such pride as hatred then that’s your affair. Just don’t bother me with it.

    2. Daniel Franklin wrote on

      The problem with censorship of any kind is that once it starts.. it tends to grow . If we allow the worst of us to be censored ” even if they are very offensive, abusive, hateful, even evil” … We begin relinquishing our on rights. Once power is given to a Company or government to decide what is acceptable and what is not… we have given up our freedom. Freedom and bravery go together…. the need to “feel safe” leads to the loss of freedom.

  23. Adam Warren wrote on

    We are approaching a crossroads. The current shape of the Internet is broadly, as described elsewhere, a pattern of private interests controlling the networks, and a mass of users with varying interests and points of view.
    I think what hinders the effectiveness moderators or “policemen” on the web is that, as legitimate commercial operators, they may be inclined to soft-pedal breaches of “netiquette” in order not to alienate their customer base. The example springs to mind of the very commendable YouTube, which is systematically visited by squads of spoilers and spatterers: folk music, the Mounties, nice-looking girl musicians, even legitimate commentators, all get carronaded with ribald catcalls. One can’t take them on full-face, because that is just what they are waiting for. And yet the rules are posted there, in as many words: refraining from obscene or hateful comment.
    If we want to keep the web free, we must organise ourselves: could an on-line consultative body be formed, supposing active contributions from the rank and file? And could an executive body be added to it, to press for the web “owners” to implement cogent measures?
    I think a citizens’ initiative of this kind would be better than government intervention, which is liable to deaden the web, hamper initiative and even stifle free speech on the web – already a reality in a number of countries.
    Fundamentally, what makes for a decent society is caring for people, compassion for the vulnerable. And that goes on the web too.
    I shall be interested to receive comments on such a scheme.
    With kind regards,
    Adam Warren.

  24. Adam Warren wrote on

    for “I think what hinders the effectiveness moderators or “policemen” on the web”, please read “I think what hinders the effectiveness of moderators or “policemen” on the web”

  25. Wass wrote on

    Let free speech be utterly and absolutely free; this way those who irrationally hate expose themselves and I think it’s better to know who these irrational haters are then them lurking in wait.

  26. Justo Perez wrote on

    Free of expression? Sure. Intended to restrain government, not each other. I’d guess that fewer than 25% of US Citizens understand its significance. Speech itself, is a double edged sword and prudent to consider the consequence of letting your pie hole run wild 🙂

  27. thistle bottom wrote on

    You have heard it before but I’m gonna say it again, suppressing trolling/hate speech doesn’t lessen the issues that are causing it. To make the issues apparent we must let people express themselves, doing so online is the safest way for everyone. Making the online environment look as if everybody is agreeing very dangerous to social change. Would you honestly rather that people fight their battles in the real world than online?

  28. Fritz wrote on

    The likes of what I heard on the podcast and in other quarters sound like the beginning of the end of the Internet as we know it and how it was originally intended. Indeed this golden age of the Internet may be coming to an end. The Internet for a large proportion of the population in the Western world has become the primary means of communication and this proportion is growing as each new generation born has not experienced a time without the ‘net. This is evidenced by the rapid decline in the popularity of the print media and traditional broadcast media.

    The age of the Internet was heralded as the age where the individual could have his/her voice heard without having to be a publisher or be subject to the whims of newspaper editor. Although it started out as the domain of the military/academic and computer enthusiasts it is now a fully mature medium that is thoroughly mainstream. As with anything that becomes mainstream vested interests want to control it. This is what is happening now. He who controls the Internet will control the flow of free speech, ideas and information.

    The ideas put forward in the podcast, to me sound like a wolf in sheep’s clothing. In principle it sounds all very nice but who decides what is hate speech/fake news? At the end of the day the only practical approach is to accept what is legal. This is a valid and reasonable position to take because at least in so called democratic countries the public has had a say in the law making process. This is not perfect but it’s the best we have. If it is legal to say something in person at a public forum then it should be legal to do so on the ‘net as well. The Internet *is* a public forum and this talk of “hate speech/fake news” censorship is striking at the heart of this concept.

    Having said that, it is not to say that a particular web site can’t impose it’s particular moderation rules e.g. a forum specifying no profanity, must stay on topic etc. This is completely different to an ISP (Internet Service Provider) or hosting company refusing provide connection to or host a web site because it doesn’t agree with that site’s stance on a particular topic. These companies, within the boundaries of the law should be bound to provide their services to anyone.

    At the other end of the chain is the browser. It should also be completely neutral. It should impose no censorship. I don’t want to try to access a website and have the browser pop up a window warning me that the site contains what the browser manufacturer considers to be “offensive” or worse still refuses to connect to the site. Are we going back to the bad old days of the Internet and the “Best viewed with such and such browser” nonsense except that now you will have to pick which browser doesn’t block certain sites?

    I certainly hope that Firefox, which from the beginning has promoted the concept of the free web, isn’t considering going down that road. If it is then it’s goodbye Firefox from me. I just hope that other browsers don’t follow suit and that the freedom loving user will still have an alternative.

    1. Kaye wrote on

      Well said. Fully agree with you.

  29. Norbert Papali wrote on

    Preaching or practicing hatred in any form in not acceptable in a civilized world. Why are Muslims disliked and hated by majority of the people around the world? Because their religion preaches violence against people of other faiths. Not only that if they convert to any other faith they are to be killed. Is this free speech? Or it it preaching violence? Using the internet to promote ones ideology may be a private matter, however if it is done in public, would it be tolerated? I think not. Then why preach violence in the privacy of the internet? Promoting violence via the internet brings in more violence. ISIS is a good example). So I strongly believe, hatred and violence should not be entertained or supported on the internet. WE should do everything we can not only to prevent it but also to stop it.

    1. Judess69er wrote on

      @Norbert Papali

      “Preaching or practicing hatred in any form in not acceptable in a civilized world.”

      any form of religion can be considered Preaching or Practicing hatred, in religions there is a set of Rules/Commandments that are always Bias towards 1 single group of people and exclude anyone who doesn’t conform to their ways.

      tho then any form of government can be considered as Preaching or Practicing hatred, since there is a set of Rules/Laws that are always Bias towards 1 single group of people and exclude anyone who doesn’t conform to their ways.

      in truth Anarchy is the only True form of a non-discriminating world.

  30. Iscariot wrote on

    I felt as if the podcast only focused on one view but shunned the other side. To quote another commenter:

    >I noticed something about your podcast: Nobody on it was anywhere even slightly right-of-center on the political spectrum.

    All 3 guests were strongly biased towards one viewpoint, and, while I tend to agree with most of the things said I found it rather disingenuous to pretend as if this was a two-way street when in reality you only focused on spreading more propaganda. I strongly believe that all content, whether it may be offensive to you or not, should be freely spread across the Internet. Anything else is brainwashing for someone else’s gain. Control of information in any form leads to the scenario we find ourselves in today.

    1. Kaye wrote on

      well said.

  31. JJPrzybylski wrote on

    The government already intervenes in the private sector with its “Civil Rights Laws”. It forbids discrimination based on color, race, sex, creed and more. In this way, it limits freedom for what it asserts is the greater-good. Furthermore, when push comes to shove, the government has a monopoly on physical coercion. Think Army, National Guard, Police etc.

    Well, people expect that there will be necessary limits to Liberal Democracy. Even if it’s based on individual rights. But if free-speech is strictly limited by the commercial players on the internet? Then freedom is twice degraded. First by the Government. Second by the corporations. Then certain groups will have credibility when saying that Liberal Democracy has run its course, and is nothing but a brand. Like a very nice old name for a system that has evolved into a duopoly. The government provides muscle and the corporations provide social consensus mixed with pop entertainment, financing, commodities and techno-utilities.

    You either have free speech and an authentic Liberal Democracy, or you don’t. Even people who don’t feel represented will be patriotic as long as they have a voice. But if you take away their voice? They’ll be done. Finished. They’ll be thinking very hard about secession, and creating their own exclusive living space.

    Is this where we’re headed?

  32. Judess69er wrote on

    people sit and preach acceptance no hate then go off and try to tell people who are expressing themselves freely they they are in the wrong for doing so

    you Preach Freedom and Acceptance but you refuse to acknowledge that Freedom and Acceptance is a 2 way street…

  33. Your Name wrote on

    Free speech online is a farce. Online platforms are owned privately, there is no “right” to free speech in a “privately owned domain”. Google has proved that, twitter has proved that, and facebook has proved that. You may agree with what those companies have done thus far, but if you allow them to continue it will only get worse and maybe one day you will be the one it happens to. If you want more freedom online, push to have large corporations like google and facebook broken. Especially google, you may think it’s nonsense, but google has content, or owns content on the majority of domains (there tentacles reach far).

    1. David Kneusel wrote on

      It’s easy to set up forums outside those platforms, there are millions of them.

      Don’t be so pessimistic 🙂

    2. Gary wrote on

      “Free speech online is a farce” and yet you have posted your comments. Though I do agree that in all areas of society, private corporations that become too powerful threaten the principles of democracy especially private interests can dominate the political arenas, more than the citizens of a country. Thus governments and regulatory bodies should maintain (or restore) a diversity of internet based companies that accurately reflects the diversity of people in life. Difficult as these billion dollar private corporations are not going to diversify without some regulatory body incentivising them to do so.

  34. Ryan wrote on

    Yesssssssssssssssssssssssss

    Free Speech should be regulated online and encouraged
    just not in a harmful way

    xxxxx

  35. Robby Smith wrote on

    I’m not sure what this discussion is about. Is online freedom of speech in jeopardy?

  36. Lawrence Jones wrote on

    This “I have the freedom to state any belief, however odious, so long as it doesn’t threaten anyone’s safety or impinge on anyone else’s freedom. ” if you read the founding fathers of the USA is absolutely incorrect. You may say anything you want, that is not in and of itself violence. So a member of La Mecha can tell me how great he thinks things will be when they are in charge and kill all the whites like me. He may offend me by that, he may make me feel less safe by that, but unless he physically obstructs me or attacks me he is well within his rights to say it regardless of how he makes me feel. This did actually happen to me. That is his right, which I would not wish to infringe upon, in fact, I appreciate the fair warning for the future.

    You are talking about something that is not truly free speech when you discuss limitation. Speech /ideas are like drugs and I support truly free speech for the same reason I support drug legalization. If your limits are placed on speech you will drive it underground and cause exactly the problems you think you are solving. By being “forbidden” exactly the wrong mental makeup of people will find it daring and cool. The most unstable of our society will be more likely to be radicalized by it and you will not see it coming when the inevitable mental case decides to be violent. You will also be unable to have rational conversations about it which I already see happening. Once forbidden the demonization begins and those who subscribe to a potentially dangerous belief and are rational cannot be dissuaded from their course, in fact, that attitude of society will harden that belief and in the end exactly the thing you fear most will be upon you by your own hand because you cut off all avenues for restoration in your handling of speech.

    The law of unintended consequences is a thing and you need to be careful that you are not creating the very monsters you think you are setting out to slay.

  37. Vic Bradford wrote on

    Thanks for bringing this issue up in another public forum, by an organization with credibility (at least for now).

    Alas, this as a problem without a likely solution.
    We may not even have an idea of the problem(s), let alone the solutions. Mozilla and others could contribute to a better understanding by examining the problem(s): what is “constructive” use of free speech (or for that matter what is free speech), what is “abuse,” who does the present system benefit (financially and otherwise), hard data on how much abuse exists, who is involved in undermining free speech (both in limiting it and in abusing it), what are the responsibilities for those who use the web, what alternatives to the current internet might exist, could national or non-national entities exploit it and if so how, what are insurmountable limits that currently exist, etc. We don’t really seem to have much data on some important issues here and — here’s a catch — many people might consider “data mining” to find the answers to constitute censorship or spying. Perhaps non-interested parties, such as university researchers, might want to step in here.
    One suggestion, which would allow constructive free speech and provide some kind of “brake,” would be to require people to state their own names — not a “hide-behind” — whenever they post. However, this would be almost impossible to enforce, and it might stifle creative ideas from people with low self-esteem who might consider their ideas unworthy of a wider audience. Nevertheless, it may be better to have a civil internet than one which is anonymous but open to extensive abuse.
    Another suggestion would be to have a consortium of respected experts examine the issues.
    Some variation on this idea, by people with more creativity and “net smarts” than I have, may be worth considering.

    Good luck and I hope Mozilla will let us know some insights into this forum.

  38. Mary P wrote on

    I am not really as up to date on this whole issue, so my comments will be brief. However, I never do want the Government to interfere with the Internet. With that control they more than likely could shut it down, especially, during an Elections year. That would be disastrous. We have a right to have opinions and the freedom of Speech is being threatened each and every day. If we don’t agree with some of the issues, we are called, “racist, hate mongers and even worse.” Now, this is everywhere, not just pertaining to the Internet.

  39. Paddy V wrote on

    Better a thousand fold abuse of free speech then the denial of free speech. The abuse dies in a day but the denial of free speech enslaves the freedom of the people and entombs the hope of the race.

  40. Mustafa Kulle wrote on

    People are free to say what they like. The internet should never regulate free speech.

  41. Rafael wrote on

    Yes, it should be regulated on very special situations, lets say in a cancer support forum to avoid evil people from making jokes or discriminating… but on more “free” websites, people should be able to give their opinions on religious, political… matters without their comments being deleted just because they disagree. Most of this could be avoided if we tought people to be more tolerant to others.

  42. Collin wrote on

    What are these people talking about? There is no room for hate speech, on or off the net. Remember hitler?

  43. Bob12321 wrote on

    From the Article: “The Daily Stormer is just one among many websites the white supremacist protesters used to recruit, organize, and in many ways, incite violence in Charlottesville.” Should this be a PROVEN to be TRUE and FACTUAL; They should be arrested and prosecuted for inciting RIOTS. U.S.Code 18 section @ 2101 See it HERE: https://www.law.cornell.edu/uscode/text/18/2101
    It’s criminal, just as yelling “FIRE” in a theater when there isn’t one. These clowns SHOULD be listed as ” Home Grown Domestic Terrorists” plain and simple. It’s one thing to voice one’s opinion, but that opinion should never be forced or propagated to the masses when it has such evil intent.

  44. Sandra wrote on

    Honestly, I don’t see any issues with free speech anywhere, so long as what you’re saying isn’t directly harming anyone. So calling someone a nasty name doesn’t count, but doxxing does, for example.

    That said, this is a private space. Or rather as the article puts it a bunch of private spaces. Private spaces that I think should have the right to self govern. If a forum has in their rules ‘no swear words’, then it’s not unreasonable to expect people to follow that rule for however long it’s in effect. It’s a social agreement.

    People are unpredictable, and in a space like this they are nigh uncontrollable. That’s just life. People can be jerks, but that’s everywhere. In real life you suck it up and move on. People can yell at each other all day, but so long as no one’s throwing punches then welp… that’s it. People are just gonna yell and legally speaking there’s nothing wrong with that.

    I think that should apply online too…
    -Sandra

  45. Tom wrote on

    The current policy of just letting the websites regulate themselves is optimal. Please firefox don’t start spending resources going on a censorship tyrade. People who don’t like whatever website for allowing free speech or having positions they do not like should just stay away from those sites there are plenty of sites already with speech regulation integrated within them already.

  46. Art Asbury wrote on

    Whatever you do own your own site is your business. When you go public it is our business….
    If you offend another, it is their business and the webmasters should keep tabs on all who violate good sense and judgement in the Public Domain-

  47. Maria Ortiz wrote on

    Free speech does not mean cursing and using filthy language. It means you can criticize without getting into trouble. There is a freedom that says we can have freedom from filthy language and verbal abuse.

  48. Maria Ortiz wrote on

    Eleanor Roosevelt and the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (1949). Article 19 states that “Everyone has the right to freedom of opinion and expression; this right includes freedom to hold opinions without interference and to seek, receive and impart information and ideas through any media and regardless of frontiers.”[1]

  49. Maria Ortiz wrote on

    Freedom of speech is the right to articulate one’s opinions and ideas without fear of government retaliation or censorship, or societal sanction.[2][3][4][5] The term freedom of expression is sometimes used synonymously, but includes any act of seeking, receiving and imparting information or ideas, regardless of the medium used.

    Freedom of expression is recognized as a human right under article 19 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and recognized in international human rights law in the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR). Article 19 of the UDHR states that “everyone shall have the right to hold opinions without interference” and “everyone shall have the right to freedom of expression; this right shall include freedom to seek, receive and impart information and ideas of all kinds, regardless of frontiers, either orally, in writing or in print, in the form of art, or through any other media of his choice”. The version of Article 19 in the ICCPR later amends this by stating that the exercise of these rights carries “special duties and responsibilities” and may “therefore be subject to certain restrictions” when necessary “[f]or respect of the rights or reputation of others” or “[f]or the protection of national security or of public order (order public), or of public health or morals”.[6] Therefore, freedom of speech and expression may not be recognized as being absolute, and common limitations to freedom of speech relate to libel, slander, obscenity, pornography, sedition, incitement, fighting words, classified information, copyright violation, trade secrets, food labeling, non-disclosure agreements, the right to privacy, the right to be forgotten, public security, and perjury. Justifications for such include the harm principle, proposed by John Stuart Mill in On Liberty, which suggests that: “the only purpose for which power can be rightfully exercised over any member of a civilized community, against his will, is to prevent harm to others.”[7] The idea of the “offense principle” is also used in the justification of speech limitations, describing the restriction on forms of expression deemed offensive to society, considering factors such as extent, duration, motives of the speaker, and ease with which it could be avoided.[7] With the evolution of the digital age, application of the freedom of speech becomes more controversial as new means of communication and restrictions arise, for example the Golden Shield Project, an initiative by Chinese government’s Ministry of Public Security that filters potentially unfavorable data from foreign countries.

    The right to freedom of expression has been interpreted to include the right to take and publish photographs of strangers in public areas without their permission or knowledge.[8][9]

    Contents

  50. Ryan wrote on

    It wouldn’t really be called free speech if it were regulated, now would it? That would be an oxymoron.

    That being said, if it’s cyberbullying directed towards a person, that shouldn’t fly.

  51. Vincent wrote on

    Like the Pink Floyd song ( Money keep your hands of my stack )

  52. Jonathan Smith wrote on

    “Hate Speech” is an opinion. Of course we have an idea on what a lot of it is. I disavow Neo- Nazi’s and Black Panthers etc.; however when you decide to regulate what you think is hate speech you begin to just silent legitimate speech that offends others. Lets face it, there is a lot of hate speech from the left. If you can’t get over someone saying something offensive you are a weak person. Regulating speech does not make those feelings go away; those feelings just build up. Often times “conservatives” are labeled as White Supremacists or their speech is deemed “Hate Speech”. The truth is we either have free speech or we don’t. Free Speech means all speech. Also “Snowflakes” come from both sides of the aisle. Often times I get sick of hearing about my “White Privilege.” Yes I understand white people have had a history of advantage in this country; that is just a pure fact. However it does not help me to feel guilty when all I want to do is graduate college and be successful like everyone else. It’s whats behind the “White Privilege” talk that gets on my nerves. I think racism is stupid; regardless of who is on the giving and receiving end. Either way we must allow all speech regardless of what it is; after all people who aren’t given a huge reaction eventually shut up anyways. People who are given a big reaction become martyrs and are given a greater platform.

  53. Anthony Morris wrote on

    “I do not agree with what you have to say, but I’ll defend to the death your right to say it.” -Voltaire

    The only case in which free speech should be regulated is the incitement of violence, threats, or other unlawful and harmful activities. Insults and the like should be left alone and ignored, and if clearly unreasonable, simply removed / banned; we, no matter what your opinions, political views, religion and the like represent do NOT want to worry of police coming to our houses / our internet access revoked over what we say online.

    Keep the police in public, and the thought police in Nazi Germany, please.

  54. Dennis wrote on

    Online freedom of speech applies just as much as offline. Under the government, freedom of speech should be allowed, but one must suffer the consequence if that says freedom “CREATED” a harmful situation, if not, let it be. Private institutions, however, can create however rules they want to see fit s long it doesn’t violate basic human rights to live freely.

  55. Jodi wrote on

    Free speech should always be allowed so long as there are no direct threats in that speech. No one is ever forced to read anything online that they don’t like or want to hear. As soon as I see something I don’t like or I’m not interested in or I don’t agree with, I move on. It’s as simple as a click of a mouse.

  56. Matt wrote on

    If you don’t support the free speech of people you disagree with, you don’t support free speech. You support your own speech and nothing else. Any speech must be approved of by you before it can be said. For example, as a Christian I don’t support homosexuality or gay marriage. I’ve actually seen a comment on this site that suggested I should be banned from the internet for this as it is “fanaticism” (as defined by them). They decided it was hate speech but I don’t hate those people. I disagree with their actions and beliefs just as others disagree with mine. The problem with hate speech is that you can’t know if someone is saying something because they hate that group of people unless they expressly say that. Hate speech is guesswork. You don’t know, you can’t know if someone hates someone else or if they have a completely different motivations for saying what they do.

    Also, people who want to ban or censor speech that they personally find hateful are taking an extremely short-sighted view. Society and our views of what is okay and not okay change and they can change very quickly and strongly as we’ve seen in the past couple of years. It is VERY possible that the speech considered enlightened or forward-thinking now may be considered unpopular or offensive in the future. If you put one person’s free speech in danger then you’re putting everyone’s free speech in danger including your own. Just recently we had a major shift in the political winds of our society when Trump won the election along with a Republican congress which will most likely be choosing several new Supreme Court justices. And the fight for and against “Social Justice” is far from over or decided. If you’re supporting censorship now based on finding unpopular opinions hateful or offensive, then how would you react if the shoe was on the other foot and corporations/government/activist groups were deciding to censor your speech as offensive? Would you object to that? Why?

    If you support censorship, it will come back to bite you later. Every time.

  57. Ray wrote on

    No matter how this “thorny” issue is construed, it’s borderline insane to think this will play out differently than any other “thorny” issue in the history of mankind. There will be, and already is, censure, human rights violations, and repression of the weak. Inasmuch a digital presence as a physical one.

    It’s foolish to even think that any government, or even a coalition of governments, would agree to any common definition of “hateful” speech and then maintain that common definition for longer than it takes to write down the definition on a piece of paper.

    Without a common definition of right and wrong, there can be no law which would be able to universally define what someone aught (or aught not) to say. Anything can be labeled hate speech, anything can be a trigger issue. While I disagree with the practice of labeling something “hate” speech, perhaps there’s an element to truth in this. Who’s to say that a negative statement about someone or something today; will not turn out to be a deadly statement in the midst of a riot later on down the road?

  58. Ether wrote on

    No, the internet should be a free exchange of ideas, free from restrictions.

  59. Arnold Plumb wrote on

    Corporations have an obligation to protect free speech and NOT block content by persons no matter how offensive. Criminal content can and should be isolated, filtered and forwarded to the appropriate authorities regardless of the sentiment of the media. Illegal is illegal. Immoral is not always illegal. The balance will always be tricky, but speech must not be filtered in an effort to suppress honest debate and even vehement disagreement.

  60. Andrew wrote on

    Everyone who publicly talks about free speech online is doing so from the perspective of people who (bottom line) REALLY want to eliminate certain speech from public discourse, but are seeking the most “humane” way of going about censorship.
    This is why that fails:

    It isn’t about who owns the various internet domains, and whether users even have “free speech” as a right in that setting. That entire discussion is semantics and a distraction. Nor is “Curation of content via algorithm” functionally different from censorship when certain opinions are systematically suppressed in the design of the algorithm.

    The reality is that every form of speech that is suppressed, no matter how moral the basis for objection, creates a sort of downward pressure on those with “immoral” positions (aka wrongthink).
    This social pressure is a bit like holding the lid on a boiling pot. If an idea is actually popular with a large number of people, yet excluded from all “polite” discussion, that causes the pot to boil over. The offending opinion WILL seep through every nook and cranny of censorship to reach open air.

    There are effective forms of censorship, usually based in existing social taboos, but the key obstacle to ALL censorship is the Chilling Effect, which prevents the censor from accurately gauging the popularity of the idea being suppressed.
    An example of this: very few support “racism” as an abstract, but when companies/domain owners begin to take their cues from the media and academia by EXPANDING the definition of racism, they begin to suppress increasingly popular ideas until they’ve unknowingly created an entire second-class of citizens who are disallowed from expressing themselves.
    The proof of this effect is visible in the abject shock of media outlets at both Brexit and the last US election.

    Consider, in closing: Even if one rationalizes censorship on the basis that that certain opinions promote violence, censorship does not make those beliefs disappear. If anything, this increases the likelyhood of those ideas spreading in the long-term, as those with mainstream opinions are “protected” from wrongthink and thus lack anything but the most basic rote arguments for why X-idea is deplorable.

  61. Steve wrote on

    Free speech means protecting all speech, even if … no, especially if … it is offensive. Non-offensive speech needs no special protection – it is not opposed. But why should we protect speech which we find offensive? Because what is not offensive now may be considered so later and the other way around. Because those who make the rules change. When they do, the things you want to say may be considered offensive, and your voice silenced. Some may deny that gag laws would be misused. I would point to the abuses of Imminent Domain, the RICO statutes, and the Patriot Act in the U.S. Even with our Constitutional protections, our government must be watched vigilantly to ensure they do not obliterate our rights and freedoms.

    “Hate Speech” can be like the old saying about good art – “I can’t tell you what it is, but I know it when I see it.” Maybe most of us could agree that blatant racist speech is offensive. But people may define “hate speech” differently: opposing illegal immigration, being pro-choice or pro-life, or having strong opinions about LGBT-related legal issues or assisted suicide, to name a few current issues.

    Banning speech only hides the problems. Having ideas out in the open allows them to be argued, discussed, disproved, or even accepted. Suppressing speech does not end issues. It exacerbates them. It results in people not saying what they think and then it explodes – sometimes in surprising election results, and sometimes in violence.

    Free speech allows those with hateful views to expose themselves. This is useful.

    As some have pointed out, the internet is a mesh of companies that have their own rules and regulations. However, if they start to censor their users, they will soon be required to do so. Once required to censor, they will be punished if they don’t do it right. In other words, they will become highly regulated by whomever controls the regulating agencies. That may someday be someone who believes you should not have freedom of expression.

    I would rather have the choice of listening to or ignoring speech I consider offensive than have some anonymous group make that decision for me.

  62. James wrote on

    It’s perfectly within the rights of a website to censor, but not any government (beyond outright illegal stuff, like I absolutely do think the government should be involved in cases of things that are actually illegal in their country outside the censorship issue.)

  63. David Kneusel wrote on

    Speech online can not be regulated. Who has the authority to decide what is and isn’t allowed? What ideology, religion, or class would these global censors come from? How would they enforce their dictates across millions, sorry billions now, of devices and servers?

    It’s the wrong question to ask. What Mozilla should be doing is helping to keep it impossible for anyone to do the above.

  64. vincientv wrote on

    I would suggest forcing video comments. This defeats the problem of anonymity. All the sudden, the things you say are again, tied to your face. it’s still free speech, but now you have “skin in the game”. If someone attempted to troll at that point, or say awful things, they just make themselves look dumb. you’d have to really try to be awful at some point, like wearing a mask, and even then nobody is going to listen. There’s an immediate repercussion for their action and it becomes self regulating. Plus if you’re a basement dweller sitting in your underwear and a food stained t-shirt, you’re going to be taken a lot less seriously.

  65. David Barr II wrote on

    Just like as above so below I say & believe in us American citizens being able to keep our rights so as amendment 1 freedom of speach should never be refrained to any one person cussing or not its still our first amendment the training that should be comprised for the citizen free of charge is that we all respect & understand that & if a person does not like what another person says then to exit engaugement of comunication with that person if you don’t like or that person will not explain themselves its simple & we all will not feel like our rite to amendment one will be infringed apon if a person truely understands their part in any conversation its simple they do not have to listen & that is still a right to silence easy peasy japa neesy ps I have had a pretty hard time at life here & there & I can cuss but no matter here on the internet or in public I have the rite to free speach Thank You. David ps I don’t see it any other way but free speach to be infringed apon .

  66. Charles Hannis wrote on

    When expression is limited by regulation there is no free speech. Those who think internet is unsafe should learn how to be “safe” or stick to controlled areas of internet. Any regulation of content is censuring and only a baby step from burning books. That said, sites should be clear about what is and isn’t regulated, and each site , domain, web page should not be forced to conform to some arbitrary ruling generalized to one size fits all. A christian web page should not be classed as free speech zone (as an example) because their belief system is intolerant of many things. The point is the place for deciding on limits to expression should be responsibility of creator of the area(web page) and not by controls of any outside gov’t or agency. There does need to be clear statement of purpose front and center on every part of this tangled web. Fake news should say creatively manufactured content, maybe through mainstream news fits that too. More laws , rules, and regulations, only open the door for more of that sort of thing while trapping humanity behind walls without line of sight to see a way out. Open exchange of ideas, and concepts is needed to grow out of today’s problems. When folks know that every where on this rock we ride, people put on pants one leg at a time. Then we will be stepping closer to having a sustainable environment for life on earth. That can’t happen with regulated expression.

  67. Lifelong Left Winger wrote on

    Before the internet large companies owned the publication platform and the plumbing that made them accessible and they did, and still do, control our right to speak. The issue is nothing new. Just the internet.

    If you go back and read the speech Barack Obama gave on June 18, 2015 after the shooting at Emanuel Church in Charleston, NC you will see that not once did he ever mention the KKK, neo-Nazis, or white supremacists.

    After Charlottesville, VA when Donald Trump did not mention the KKK, neo-Nazis, or white supremacists in his speech there was a major stink that exists to this day.

    When you force people to say things does that impinge on their free speech?

    Sometimes things are just a matter of perspective.

    I applaud the people that took down The Daily Stormer. I don’t applaud the people that have gone after Donald Trump.

    And in my opinion taking the knee is totally patriotic.

  68. ssg Chester wrote on

    Free speech.
    Wonderful idea.
    The internet gives those who have access to it a chance to communicate with others around the world.
    And hopefully share ideas, views and so on.
    Sadly, this is not the early days of the internet.
    When I first signed on to the net in the fall of 1995, it was different.
    Not everyone had a computer.
    Not everyone with a computer had access to the internet.
    The conversations we had were wonderful.
    People were pleasant.
    But after a few years, it began to change.
    Sadly, you cannot see the face of the person you are chatting with.
    A person being able to read another person their are conversing with expression is part of communicating.
    That is lost on the net unless you are using a web cam.
    But even then, you have those who are hateful.
    Why?
    Well in some cases that is all they know.
    I believe in freedom of speech.
    It should be the same on the internet.
    There will always be those looking for a fight to just trying to bully someone.
    So even though there is that down side to it, I want to see freedom of speech kept on the net.

  69. Rhonda Dockery wrote on

    I have prayerfully read this article. The problem with regulating speech is who would determine its potential to be “threatening” and whose viewpoint will be allowed to dominate? I believe as my forefathers that as long as there is no harm then one should be allowed to openly express their view. I fear that should this type repression occur then due to the liberal bent of the media only the liberal view will be allowed. That is wrong. No one should have the right to think for someone else! That is against our Constitution. We need to teach respect for the viewpoint of others and how to respectfully disagree but the internet needs to be an open forum of ideas. In other words, no one else has the right to choose my friends for me! On the other hand no one has the right to demean another viewpoint. We need to be teaching strength and respect over whining and fear! Courage with kindness makes a country strong. In the private sector companies may regulate speech with the disclaimer that the view expressed does not reflect the companies’ standards but allow the opposition. After all, the company may not always have the best answer!

  70. Jack wrote on

    Simply put, that is disgusting. Nothing is sacred.

  71. Michael wrote on

    Funnily enough it doesn’t seem that Firefox really believes in free speech either, which is why comments have to await moderation. It shouldn’t matter what the content is, only that people are free to say it. Once you put restrictions on it then it isn’t free speech. Free speech has no limits. If you think that it does then that’s like saying a slave can be free but only up to a point. Free means free or it means nothing at all.

  72. Anonymous wrote on

    Free speech should be preserved whether its “hateful” or not. Feelings do not matter when it comes to freedom of speech

  73. Gary wrote on

    Free speech within a public domain should not ( and is not in civilized society) the right of a individual to say anything. The foundation of free speech is freedom. Thus prejudice language goes against the ethics of free speech. Free speech is similar to democracy in that people are free to vote,unless they are deemed by society to be too young in order to effectively understand what they are voting for (children) or too ignorant ( White supremacist ). In the latter case the evidence (scientific > evolution > why people have different colour skin) can be used in order to try and educate the ignorant. Failing that, if their rhetoric is judged as harmful by civilized society it should be moderated and regulated with all our might.

  74. Jason moxter wrote on

    Yahoo censors my comments all the time. I can’t post something that when I go back it has been taken off. Even my “thumbs up/down” choices are removed. So what is your question?? Makes no difference how benign the comment they don’t want my opinions posted.

  75. CptSilva wrote on

    Free Speech is important to everyone. If you feel like free speech is not a good thing, and you don’t believe in it then don’t say anything, and don’t read anything. I like free speech whether I like what the person is saying or not. That is what makes north america so great, or at least used to be great.
    What I do notice from a lot of humans is they would rather me lie to them and tell them how much I like them. Well, I have a problem with lying that I do not like it. And I like to give my true thoughts on humans when they ask for it. Or if someone thinks they are entitled and do nothing to get that entitlement I like to confront them on how awful and greedy they are. If we can’t speak the truth about something/someone/whatever on how awful they are then how are they supposed to know, if they got trained that they are special, and could no wrong. They need a kick in the ass, and a taste of poverty to humble them down a tad. That is why not to many like to talk to me, they know I can see right through them, the dishonest folks that is. And trust me there are a lot out there. I met a lot in my walk of life.

  76. CFry wrote on

    Isn’t that an oxymoron?

  77. Kaye wrote on

    How can ‘free speech’ be ‘regulated’. By being regulated, it’s not ‘free’.
    As you say in your first paragraph:

    “I have the freedom to state any belief, however odious, so long as it doesn’t threaten anyone’s safety or impinge on anyone else’s freedom. Civil society arrived at this principle after several thousand years because it makes a whole lot more sense than killing each other whenever we disagree.”

    If we begin to ‘regulate’, ‘free’ speech, then where do we draw the line? And who is an accepted authority to draw that line?

    Someone else’s ‘hate’ or ‘disagreeable’ tone, may not be that way to someone else. And if you push it down, it will go underground. That has been demonstrated in anything that has been banned or made illegal – like the drugs business.

    Just because something offends someone else, it is not right to ‘regulate’ it. A warning prior to any video or text content should be issued, so the person can make a decision whether to read or view.

    The whole issue of adult ‘debate’ is dismantled when ‘free’ speech is ‘regulated’. If it is dealing with issues that are detrimental to someone else – like adults having sex with children who are not consenting then, of course, these people need to be reported to through the legal channels. But if it is something that someone says, and offends someone else’s ‘feelings’, rather than ‘physical’ body, then this is up to the person who is offended to simply be an adult about it and walk away. They have a choice. To listen, view or read – or not.

    If the ‘offending party’ is not given an audience, then they won’t be able to rattle off the way they do. But if they are given an ‘argument’ – like someone else is offended by them and they publicly state that, then an audience grows from that.

    The simple answer is – if a warning of content is given, the person has a choice. If they think it’s going to offend them, then they shouldn’t watch, read or listen to it, unless they are prepared to get their own ‘feelings’ out of the way and take in the content in order to educate themselves of the viewpoint that is being aired.

    Some may consider this point of view offensive, but this is my view and, because of free speech, I am entitled to have it.

  78. Sean wrote on

    As an Army Veteran and American Citizen, I value our Freedom and Liberties above almost all of our core values, This country was based on Christian ideas and principles whether you like it or not and it was always meant to go by this model, the reason things are falling apart before our eyes is we have strayed too far away from God plain and simple. The Freedom we fought for then fought to protect is actually in jeopardy on a daily basis by these mega corporations etc. They would love nothing more than to have us as a nation of mindless idiots serving them at every whim and the politics would change depending on the one with the most power at the time. I think enough is enough though feelings be damned, your right to think and say whatever you want should not be infringed upon we are not China, We are not North Korea we as people should not allow the people who think they hold power make these kinds of choices for us, however if we sit back and do nothing it surely will be decided without our input, I think it is time for the real silent majority out there that I know exists to finally speak up our actions will speak louder than any words ever will. We do not need our speech monitored and policed by bias internet companies thanks for the question, I just hope others have actually thought about what it would really mean to have a system in place that would most likely be lopsided and biased in favor of the views of whomever was in charge of it to restrict and block you from posting your own thoughts. Just like in the past the Nazis first took the guns then took everything else, this is no different if you give an inch they will take miles.

  79. john doe wrote on

    Hate speech is free speech. No matter how stupid or incendiary the hate speech is it is free speech. Now private company’s do have the right to limit what is posted on their platform. Is it right, no i don’t think so. But it is their right just as it is my right to spew antisemitic or anti-anything online.

  80. James Ripson wrote on

    Funny how so many are for regulation, yet don’t ask a simple question, when does the regulation stop? When do we realize that we have given up our freedom in order to protect our feelings. When do we realize we are no longer having intelligent conversation that doesn’t fit the narrative of the host?
    Before the internet, we had the book and the paper, the news on TV. If you disagreed with what you were seeing you had simple choices. Either you turned the channel, didn’t read the article or read the book. You simply walked away from it and moved on with your life. If ot upset you enough, you could write to the editor and express your opinion on the matter of concern. You cold go to town meetings and express your thoughts and believe me, these could be face to face nasty.
    Today we have a multitude of avenues to express thoughts, ideas and opinions. Many are so easily offended, so hurt at discontenting opinion. They need safe spaces to hide from those who oppose there view of the world. They yell out into the void of cyber space there ideas and then run and hide behind there key board. When a person, no matter how mean, comes along, they fall apart.
    These companies allow groups of hate to create sites and spew there anger out into the cyber medium. Yet here we are discussing regulating free speech of the individual. The very basis of free speech is based on the idea, that all, no matter what, have the soap box. If you post on your blog, web page or Facebook page, you are open to opinion. This includes both vulgar and non vulgar. This includes those who can’t form a whole sentence or thought. But isn’t that what free speech is all about? Isn’t it that no matter what, an idea or opinion has been expressed. You may not like the way they conveyed their idea, yet, they didn’t like yours either. Since we all hide behind the keyboard, we expect our world to be safe in the comfort of our home. What we forget is that we invited the world into our home, we removed the saftey net.

    It is sad that today, so many would give up their freedoms to protect there feelings.

  81. Emanuel Faisca wrote on

    In my opinion free speech should not be regulated. Even the most odious opinions are of use. They serve as indicators that there’s something terribly wrong with our society. What I’m saying is, regulation is not a definitive solution for a given problem. If we want to stop offensive comments and opinions, education is the way to go! I strongly believe that an evolution in education would greatly improve most of these issues and guide us towards a better community. An educated person understands beyond inflammatory and hateful comments and also expresses it self in a more civilized manner. And if enough people share an educated view one would surely expect better refined less hateful opinions.

    Best Regards

  82. Mathieu Simoneau wrote on

    Free speech is about individuals who speak their minds to each others. It is not about corporation creating safe spaces from arbitrary standards. Any regulation is in effect a ban on free speech from that corporation point of view. It is biased and will ever be. Especially when corporation tries to be holier than God and bend to any whining from a mass.

    For me and other mature persons its simple. You have every tools to ignore and report insulting behavior. You also have to understand that internet is a public space and thus, you will encounter speech you don’t like. But it is your responsibility to ignore and avoid them.

  83. Holly H wrote on

    The tongue is the most powerful part of our bodies. It can build or tear down a person. Yes, “free speech” should be monitored on-line. God has given us all rights to choose, and if you choose to spread filth and hate, something in your heart is in need of healing. Life isn’t about ourselves. We are wicked people and do terrible things. For Example, I am disappointed by videos on YouTube, when on restricted mode, my 10 year old cannot watch funny things he enjoys without people adding cussing or other inappropriate things. I monitor what my children watch to protect them, and to teach them right from wrong. As adults we make and follow rules to protect for what is right. God is our heavenly father, he has given us an instruction book and” morally correct” instructions. Sin in any form destroys peoples lives. If you do not stand up for what is morally correct, and allow whatever… how can we makes laws against ANYTHING?? Who then is our judge? But as a Christian, I know the Bible says it will only get worse til the end of times.

    1. Richard Wicks wrote on

      Argh, this isn’t about GOD regulating speech – it’s about your government regulating speech.

      Who, exactly, is your God?

  84. paul F wrote on

    I’m all for free speech but there is no way our founders envisioned the internet. So, we have to use our modern sense of right and wrong in this special case. There is so much garbage, false information, and hate distributed online that the time has come to regulate it. Information is truly power and that power cannot and should not be wielded by just anyone who has a computer.

    1. Fritz wrote on

      Your right to free speech does not depend on the medium used. Your right to free speech is absolute. The Internet provides the greatest means yet to exercise that right. If you think that “anyone who has a computer” has too much power and should have that right restricted maybe you should try living in China, North Korea or any number of other like countries and experience what that style of thinking leads to.

  85. mruff wrote on

    no it should not be regulated. the internet is for everyone , like a business it depends on where youre at. for example follow the rules they set on social media sites. other than that its up to parents etc to monitor their childrens activities. another example- if youre offended by nudists, DONT GO TO A NUDE BEACH!

  86. Rocky Compton wrote on

    The first amendment should not be infringed upon, The government is already in our life way to much as it is now, we do not need them taking anyway any more of of freedoms…

  87. White Vomit wrote on

    I didn’t read any of the above or listen to the audio, but I, having free speech, say :

    Teach your children to be emotionally intelligent and treat others with kindness, and no one will get hurt.

    Teach your children to be open minded and interested in new subjects, and no one will be judged.

    Treat others with respect and maturity, and no anger will be expressed.

    Oh, wait, it’s the human race we are talking about. We are all going to die by the hands of each other, while ruining the only planet sustainable for life. (:

  88. Aaron wrote on

    I believe in the free market exchange of ideas. If you have an open forum where all ideas can be expressed and shared, inevitably some of the more obscure, offensive, or otherwise uncivilized ideas would naturally be thrown out. But at the end of the day, I believe all ideas and speech should be allowed to be heard. That’s how people grow as individuals, see other viewpoints, look within yourself, and decide which best suites your belief system.

    As for free speech online, absolutely should be an extension of the First Amendment. As soon as we decide the internet should be regulated or patrolled, that open’s Pandora’s Box. What’s first? Who decides which speech should not be expressed and which is protected? Where does it stop? That’s a slippery slope that I don’t believe anyone wants to go down, yet some are all too eager to call for it.

    The internet is really the last bastion of free speech, and I believe it should remain as such. Your money, influence, or power doesn’t matter online, only your ideas. That determines the quality of you, and that shouldn’t be infringed in my opinion.

  89. Mark wrote on

    We either have free speech or don’t. Taking offense is a choice, by the person who takes it. And free speech regulations already prohibit what must be prohibited. Social morays change, what’s polite now could be regulated out of existence using the same rules, if passed now, that seek to merely eliminate “hate” speech.

  90. John Weberg wrote on

    Unless anyone forgot, one of the pillars and foundations we are founded on….
    Drum roll please….
    …..
    IS FREE SPEECH!
    IN ANY AND ALL FORMS!

    Guess what, even if it’s hateful, even if it’s “rude”,
    ETC, free speech must always and perpetually be allowed and accepted!!

    Cause it’s all OPINIONS!!!
    No one has the right view!!
    -Thinking logically and like a sane person
    John Weberg

  91. Andrew Bouwhuis wrote on

    Yes, everyone should be allowed to say whatever they want online. Agency to act as one wants is divine.

  92. Donna wrote on

    I think freedom of speech is good, as long as it is not obscene or threatening. I’ve seen people make a statement that another person didn’t like, that person said they would kill the other. That shouldn’t be allowed. There are too many freaks that are killing innocent already.
    I hate that the media is keeping things from the people rather than telling the truth.
    I like firefox, but the past few months, mine has been not working part of everyday.

  93. cecil ram wrote on

    we need to preserve free speech

  94. don larson wrote on

    Freedom is not a License . . . to cause great harm to others. Today, Freedom is abused in this Country in so many ways. Uncivil, Bullying ram-pied on the Internet. So many, many, uncouth light-weights dominate discussion groups that often-times results in those with something valuable to contribute; just leave the site in total disgust.

    We need another Internet that is Subscription based; to keep the Morons from totally dominating every topic in the News. Sarcasm, Cynicism, Hate, and Bullying; are destroying the Internet’s usefulness for so many people!

  95. Don Scott wrote on

    The many comments about the circumstances at Charlottesville illustrate some of the problems of the first amendment. President Trump was fifty percent closer than all other opinions. He said that there were fine people on both sides. There were more than two sides, so he left out quite a few people. We don’t know that there were fine people on either of the many sides and neither does President Trump. We were told, repeatedly that one “side” comprised neo-Nazis, The Ku Klux Klan, and white supremacists, and these groups were to be considered “bad”. It is my understanding that the permission to gather in Charlottesville was granted to “white nationalists”. CNN decided that they AND Mr. Trump were “bad”. At least we knew that the group of people granted the permission to gather would actually be practicing the right to freedom of speech in an “in your face” type of way. They would also demonstrate their disagreement with the removal of a statue of General Robert E, Lee. There were some on CNN’s “bad” list who were only there to protest the removal of the statue. The people identified as “protesters” were only in Charlottesville to oppose free unacceptable speech. They had come for a fight, either vocally or physically, if necessary and allowed. We heard and saw on TV the speech that was anti semitic. It is not clear which “bad” group was involved but the numbers were many. One young man committed a non discriminatory murder. That was clearly “bad” and no one argues that fact. It is clear that there would have been no murder and likely no violence if all people had just tolerated the freedom of speech, even if hateful, and let the “free speakers” go away at the end of their permitted gathering. The violence was illegal even if free speech was not.

    Don Scott

  96. Jimmy wrote on

    No, free speech shouldn’t have boundaries. If we keep adding exceptions its just going to keep going until we just get rid of free speech altogether. Twitter banning people because of political differences is legal, but it’s most certainly immoral.

  97. JB wrote on

    “Regulated free speech” is an oxymoron. Do you want regulated speech or free speech? You can’t have both.

  98. Michael Troop wrote on

    Freedom of Speech means that someone’s right to say something is protected within certain limits. A person may have to suffer consequences for saying some things, but they still have the right to say them. For example, it is against the law to yell, “FIRE,” in a crowded place because someone may get injured. Thus the first amendment guarantees freedom of expression with some exceptions. These exceptions fall into nine categories:
    Obscenity
    Fighting words
    Defamation (including libel and slander)
    Child pornography
    Perjury
    Blackmail
    Incitement to imminent lawless action
    True threats
    Solicitations to commit crimes
    Some experts also would add treason, if committed verbally, to that list. Plagiarism of copyrighted material is also not protected.

  99. Linda Layton wrote on

    The only way I can conceive of “regulating” is to clearly and boldly mark each item as verified fact, unverified statement or personal opinion. There would have to be fact checkers all along the way. So much we do and say is based on trust and that trust has been broken, especially in media. All one can do is warn people of the “type” of statement they are seeing/hearing and to have multiple people responsible independently checking. Accentuating the “forewarning” is a way of at least giving context to the statement. Lack of discernment, wisdom and thinking clearly are universal issues that plague us and all we can do is check each other to rebuild trust and good faith.

  100. david chaffman wrote on

    all frorms of speech should be protective it depends on the form of media that determines how free it is like text it is writen speech and that is the most protective from we have audio and visual speech is less protective

  101. this_guy wrote on

    ‘The internet’. That’s so broad. The internet consists of…god knows how many sites, which are privately and publicly owned. The public pages tend not to have comments sections. It’d be interesting to see the comments people posted on whitehouse.gov–but you can’t comment. But, the majority are private anyway.

    So, what does that matter? Private companies have much more control over what happens within their own business. A company can simply deem words offensive. If that doesn’t work, the undesirable speaker can be screwed over with algorithms by being excessively reported, muted, or suppressed in some other way. I imagine that if a company’s code is a ‘trade secret’ and any time someone writes the word ‘God’ or ‘Gun’, they could have the comment automatically deleted. It would be near impossible to prove, since it’s a trade secret. So even if you should or would, good luck.

    On to the actual question: As dark as the depths of the internet can be from social media to sites where they sure like thanking obama, moderators generally do a pretty good job. The only issue that might need to be addressed is children just learning to navigate the world. School bullies can be rough and although it should be up to the parents–if children are going to an open forum–they need a little ‘structure’.

  102. joe turner wrote on

    Free speech should never be limited in any form!!!!!

  103. Jim the Slim wrote on

    > The Daily Stormer is just one among many websites the white supremacist protesters used to recruit, organize, and in many ways, incite violence in Charlottesville.

    You’ve absorbed the media’s sneaky narrative (because I nowhere saw it stated explicitly) that the alt-right initiated violence at Charlottesville. They defended, but I know for a fact that they wanted nothing more than to be left alone to make their speeches.

    The media usually said something like “The alt-right protests at Charlottesville turned violent, and a girl was killed”. You’re left to infer that the violence was /caused/ by the alt-right. But it wasn’t so (except for James Fields hitting Heather).

    Unless, of course, you’re doing the same thing, as in, “antifa really hated The Daily Stormer and got violent about it”.

  104. Bill wrote on

    Why is this even being considered? “Regulation” translates to the loss of liberty and the elimination of an individual’s God given rights. In today’s society, we’re now seeing a disingenuous pattern of disagreements being falsely labeled “Hate Speech,” when in many cases it’s a difference of opinion. Disturbingly, the line between genuine hate speech and conversational disagreement is a foggy line of opinion. This practice has become so serious, the individual being accused can now be fined or jailed if the opposition labels his/her opponent’s comment as such. Similarly, the loosely used, overly used term, “Racist!” has become a form of regulation. If an individual has no factual comeback to a point being made, the word “Racist!” is all too frequently used to halt further discussion. A first Amendment right to openly debate the issues comes to a screeching halt, while falsely tarnishing the opponant’s reputation. This is a dangerous precedent if continued, either in open debate or on social media. If a super entity can regulate thoughts and discussions on the Internet, then what’s to stop that same source of power from eliminating privileges guaranteed by the US Constitution and Bill of Rights all together? Where do we draw the line? Based on history, once regulations are established, it’s doubtful that line can be drawn. In far too many cases today, we’re already regulated to the point of fear for saying the wrong thing. Under the guys of Political Correctness, which has now over-reached it’s non-authorized boundaries, in the name of fairness, our first amendment rights are rapidly diminishing. Under the so-called authority of Political Correctness, and the powers of an ever growing powerful government of rules and regulations, we’re headed down a dangerous road these days. A road of control and elimination of individual liberties is what we’re facing if regulation continues. For every law our legislators pass, some group of American citizens looses more of their individual rights and freedoms. At what point do we say no more? Is “control” over our individual liberties really what we want in America? For our children’s sake, I certainly hope not! Once freedom has been governed out of existence, that’s the end.

  105. Bill wrote on

    Why is this even being considered? “Regulation” translates to the loss of liberty and the elimination of an individual’s God given rights. In today’s society, we’re now seeing a disingenuous pattern of disagreements being falsely labeled “Hate Speech,” when in many cases it’s a difference of opinion. Disturbingly, the line between genuine hate speech and conversational disagreement is a foggy line of opinion. This practice has become so serious, the individual being accused can now be fined or jailed if the opposition labels his/her opponent’s comment as such. Similarly, the loosely used, overly used term, “Racist!” has become a form of regulation. If an individual has no factual comeback to a point being made, the word “Racist!” is all too frequently used to halt further discussion. A first Amendment right to openly debate the issues comes to a screeching halt, while falsely tarnishing the opponant’s reputation. This is a dangerous precedent if continued, either in open debate or on social media. If a super entity can regulate thoughts and discussions on the Internet, then what’s to stop that same source of power from eliminating privileges guaranteed by the US Constitution and Bill of Rights all together? Where do we draw the line? Based on history, once regulations are established, it’s doubtful that line can be drawn. In far too many cases today, we’re already regulated to the point of fear for saying the wrong thing. Under the guys of Political Correctness, which has now over-reached it’s non-authorized boundaries, in the name of fairness, our first amendment rights are rapidly diminishing. Under the so-called authority of Political Correctness, and the powers of an ever growing powerful government of rules and regulations, we’re headed down a dangerous road these days. A road of control and elimination of individual liberties is what we’re facing as regulation continues. For every law our legislators pass, some group of American citizens looses more of their individual rights and freedoms. At what point do we say no more? Is “control” over our individual liberties really what we want for America? For our children’s sake, I certainly hope not! Once freedom has been governed out of existence, that’s the end of a free society.

  106. Jerry wrote on

    This whole idea of “free speech” is misunderstood and misused. The only reference to free speech in our constitution is the clause which forbids the federal government from abridging it. Other than that, I, as a private citizen, can abridge it all I want. Hate speech, whatever that is, has no redeeming value and if I ran a website with a public forum I would be well within my rights to control the content thereof. Sure, anyone can say anything, but they have to be prepared to suffer the consequences. Speech might be free, but it can be regulated by anyone but the government.

  107. Joseph McNeil wrote on

    The web should not be a safe space. People need to be free to voice they’re own opinions and thoughts regardless of how large corporations view these people’s thoughts and ideas.

  108. David wrote on

    Free speech Yes !…..Profanity No.

  109. keath wrote on

    Folks —-people have been threatened by “bullies”, haters “gangbangers” etc. for many years in all the world. A new channel for these people to dismiss, threaten or curse a differing point of view—is just the new frontier, “the internet”. NO limits to expression should be tolerated by all of us —with the exception & understanding of causing harm. We cannot permit this editorial sniping to progress with out it’s causing great harm to free society. Think about it ——-

  110. Rien wrote on

    Should free speech be protected online?

    –By the government? No, nor should it be restricted. The hands-off policy by the government has allowed the internet what it has become today–for good or ill. To this point in time, I believe all the good from the internet has outweighed the ill, and it would be foolish now to reverse that by having government involvement now.

    –By the ISP’s (the “owners of the ‘private clubs’, as others above pretty accurately described them)? Maybe. While the idea of a corporation limiting my speech is just as unappealing as the government doing so, I can recognize some obvious and important distinctions: 1) THEY ARE NOT GOVERNMENT. They do own what is theirs, and just like I want to have control over my own private property, I want them to have that control, as well.

    2) In a market, there will always be other options, as long as liberty is preserved. If google is starting to restrict content from ideologies it disagrees with, I’m okay as long as there are other options in the market where I can instead send my money, time, and patronage. (Right now, in many ways, there aren’t, so I’m not so happy about that; but I don’t want more more regulation to fix that, either.) Myself, I will always prefer the ISP that, knowing that they aren’t forced to, will nevertheless stand up for free speech–even the speech that is most offensive–and allow people that avenue to express themselves.

    3) I can ignore and restrict for myself the speech that offends me. And moreover, I don’t think it’s at all inconsistent for me to also desire extra services, from these ISPs or 3rd parties, that allow me to ignore the speech that I find offense (a porn filter for my family, for instance). That way both liberties are served: they can speak freely, and I am free to ignore what offends me.

    (As a side note to this, I am concerned with Mozilla’s support for “Net Neutrality”. The name sounds like it’s pro-freedom and pro-liberty, however, when you have to get their through government regulation, I believe that’s a poison pill and a regulatory foot through the door. Better to let the ISP’s control what’s theirs and the market regulate itself, IMHO.)

    So regarding ISP’s or other corporations, I’m fine with them having their own freedom, and liberty, just like I enjoy mine.

    –By the users, (us)? Yes and no–mostly yes. For liberty to exist, we all have to come together and achieve a certain level of civility. Societies do not long tolerate immoral anarchy. Because of differences in religion, ideology, and whether one likes One Direction or not, there will be ideas–and necessarily, speech–that offends. It will happen. And though I believe it is incumbent upon everyone to tolerate respectfully others’ rights to embrace and even spew forth those ideas that we, personally, loath (I’m thinking of you, One Direction supporters, as I write this), I know the reality is that some will still struggle with that. The answer to their struggle is not more government regulation saying they need to, under penalty of law, sit back and chill–because I think more regulation is seldom, if ever, the answer. But rather, everyone, NOT under force of law, but under general cultural and societal expectations, should come together to encourage more civility. Toning down the obnoxiousness in our own online interactions and encouraging others to do the same will make those differences in religion, ideology, and whether or not certain boy bands’ singing can actually be described as ‘music’, more palatable. No one wants their liberty taken, but also, who wants to live in a world full of invective, depravity, hate, rudeness, and ill-will? It might be a pipe-dream to want to have an adult world filled with both liberty and a kindergarten culture of be-nice-to-everyone. But at least we should try, because if we’re not constantly striving upwards for those two goals, we are sliding down towards their opposites.

    So we have to check ourselves and encourage civility, yet still tolerate intolerance in others (which is NOT an oxymoron, because enforcing tolerance would just be another name for fascism). “I may not disagree with what you say, but I’ll defend to the end your right to say it.” This should be our credo, even if we append to it: “And how about I help you come up with a more polite way to say that?”

    In sum, we have to be watchful and guard against any paring away of our liberties, especially freedom of speech. But as we do that we need to remember that keeping things civil and respectful is one of the safest and best things we can all do to ensure that someone won’t try to take away our liberties in the name of protecting us from “hate speech”, or whatever the next crisis is.

  111. U2LN wrote on

    1. Web services *should* use the same standards as the US constitution when it comes to free speech.
    2. They should, but it IS their right to manage their service the way they want.

  112. J T wrote on

    There is such a thing as good censorship – censorship which people willingly agree to. When you go on a news website, you are relying on the editor to select content of interest and reject content that would be uninteresting or offensive. When one does to a social media site, users always have a tool to promote some content, and demote others, allowing people to filter content by relevance in a democratic way. Tools like adblock are a way to voluntarily block some forms of speech, namely advertisements, on the grounds they are irritating and the platforms used to serve them have been known to accidentally serve up malware with their ads throughout the internet with whitelisting/blacklisting approaches. As great as free speech is, of course, people need some sort of equivalent to the newspaper editor to filter between the speech they want to see and the speech they don’t.

    Free speech as a concept, by the way, is not in any way shape or form about limiting government censorship of speech. That is a ludicrous position taken by people who want to censor speech and pretend that the value of preventing censorship of speech never existed to begin with, except strictly in the context of preventing the government from doing it. Free speech is more than preventing the government from censoring speech, it’s about promoting the free exchange of all ideas, allowing bad ideas and good ideas to be talked about, to separate the wheat from the chaff. It is in this more general spirit that the government is disallowed from abridging free speech. If the concept of free speech generally has no value, there is no value in the governmental protection of free speech.

    The censorship of The Daily Stormer is not where this conversation should start though, it’s just a convent place to start for some because of the controversy of their content. Rather the first time a site has been attempted to be censored by going after the mechanisms to run it was with Wikileaks, with a government applying pressure to its payment processors to attempt to choke out the journalists legal defence fund in particular. Through the development of technology like bitcoin though, that attempt failed. Now, years later, after The Daily Stormer was chased away from domain registrars, people are celebrating the same sort of tactics which are used to scare journalists off the web as a victory against hate speech. People celebrate the implementation of tools and methods which can be used to censor anybody, so long as the people they would like to be censored are censored.

    This pro-censorship position is then twisted into some sort of defence of free speech, talking about how without censorship, people are going to be chased from the internet unable to speak. This is of course nonsense, as on the internet we have the power to use pseudonyms and to post anonymously, or visiting sites which adopt heavy handed censorship. However the solution to these problems is pitched as only allowing wholesale censorship of the entire internet, not empowering people to stop people from seeing content they don’t want to see, but empowering people to take down content they don’t want ANYBODY to see. The violence in Charlottesville is used as a rallying call to justify the censorship of sites like The Daily Stormer, while of course ignoring that governmental free speech protections don’t apply to inciting violence, and website operators are already liable for allowing inciting of violence on their sites and can be shut down by governments.

    This is of course, because people don’t want to rely on governments with their checks and balances to deal with such things, but instead want to be in control of shutting down sites they deem too dangerous to stay up. Nobody talks about what specifically The Daily Stormer should have done differently in regards to moderation and censorship of its own platform to stay up, nobody even talks about what specific posts on the website warranted its censorship, it’s a foregone conclusion it needed to be wiped from the web because it helped organise Charlottesville.

    Mozilla is simply entertaining authoritarian ideals and quite bluntly has an inflated sense of its own self-importance on the internet. It is not equipped to be the censors of the internet. It should never have a role in internet censorship. It has started to see itself as the editors of the entire internet, rather than people who merely specialise in making tools to interact with the internet. This I believe was a pattern which started when Mozilla’s CEO Brendan Eich resigned for his anti-gay past. I did not agree with the man’s political positions, but since then, it seems as if the Mozilla insiders have gone from trying to police the political positions of Mozilla to thinking bigger and trying to police the political opinions of the entire internet. I think that was really the point that Mozilla gave up on liberalism.

    The thing Mozilla should be doing is not thinking of new methods to facilitate the censorship of speech – it is coming up with new methods to undermine the censorship of speech. It should be asking itself –
    how can we prevent the “big 5” from having such disproportionate control over speech online? How can we prevent more sites being erased from the internet? Mozilla has always stood for privacy, most visibly with its design decision to separate the search box from the address bar. Mozilla’s products have traditionally been the preferred tools of those against censorship, it is used as part of the notable tor bundle, yet it seems Mozilla itself is run by people with wholly different beliefs than the people who actually use its products, who write blog posts acting as if its userbase in any way support these initiatives it is on. People who don’t seem to understand why people are using Firefox. The average Firefox user cares LESS about trolls than average, and MORE about anti-censorship efforts. Frankly Mozilla is completely out of touch with the people who actually use its products, who tend to be liberally minded people, not left-wing anti-liberal authoritarians.

  113. A person wrote on

    free speach boiiiiii

  114. Jimmy wrote on

    Free speech has worked just fine in the real world. It is a gift from God. No doubt about it. Millions of people around the world do not have free speech at all and they ache for it. It is already disappearing fast in countries that claim to have it (such as Great Britain, Canada and various countries in Europe). Anyone, anyone who would consider doing away with free speech is on the wrong side of history and is a very bad person. There can be absolutely no true freedom without free speech. There can be no democracy without free speech. There can be no justice without free speech. To question free speech is free speech! Think about that! No free speech equals tyranny. please don’t be seduced by bad ideas and evil minds. Destroy free speech at the peril of your very soul!

  115. Larry wrote on

    I agree we can’t allow any organization to filter speech. As a conservative, the thought of allowing Facebook or Google to determine what can or can not be published does not cause a sense of bliss. I am sure that those on the left feel the same regarding right leaning sites. So, what can we do? Certainly not censoring. But, we can have rules. No foul language, a notice that the information has not been fact checked. Google, Facebook and the like can’ be allowed to become the “Thought Police.”

  116. Gama wrote on

    The question “Should free speech be regulated online? If so, how?” is really a dumb question and an oxymoron. If speech is regulated or controlled then it is not free. The whole point of free speech is to ensure that anyone and everyone can say their piece, especially when others don’t like or agree with it. There are many groups on many sides currently exercising their free speech that I strongly disagree with and in some cases know to be outright lies. However, I will fight beside every one of them for their right to that speech, no matter how miss guided, uninformed, vile, and/or false it is. It is a basic American right to hear every side and make up their own mind about what they think and or believe.

  117. Tim wrote on

    My experience of the proponents for free speech so far has been almost exclusively people who want to use freedom of speech as an excuse to make comments that they know full well to be offensive and potentially harmful to a person or group of people. When called out, these people often claim that Freedom of Speech gives them the right to purposefully offend someone. I find this topic highly emotive and controversial, but my view is that when a person makes a statement with the primary intention of causing offence or harm to another person, their right of freedom of speech is surpassed by the recipient’s right not to be subjected to such harmful statements. I don’t have a problem with statements causing offence if their primary purpose was to make a constructive point or argument, but even in that case I think we all have a duty to be respectful of one another and be mindful as to whether our point is likely to cause offence, and whether it is justified in that case.

  118. Force Recon Marine wrote on

    Freedom is the right to tell people what they do not want to hear.

    All individual freedoms demand the responsible behavior of the individual, and therefore demand a moral code. Liberals despise freedom because they despise morality.

    “Multi-culturalism” is the code word for a single, oppressive, collectivist culture. The root word of “culture,” is the word “cult,” meaning religion. Christianity is the only religion that finds a perfect balance between allowing mankind maximum liberty within the guidelines of clearly delineated moral absolutes, without the need for an oppressive State. Because a genuine Christian populace will be self governing in the matter of moral issues there is no need for an all-powerful government to police an unruly populace. The Eighth Commandment, “Thou Shalt Not Steal,” presupposes the right of individuals to own private property. The Eighth Commandment is therefore the foundation of Western Capitalism and the engine of our prosperity. This is another reason why Liberals hate the Bible. If Liberals are successful at transforming America into a totally multi-cultural, i.e., multi-religious, non-Christian society, we will lose our freedom.

    Liberals speak often of tolerance, but they only tolerate Liberals and Liberal ideas. For instance, Liberals hate Christianity and conservative Bible believing Christians are persona non grata in any gathering of Liberals. Liberals are extremely intolerant concerning Christianity because of its insistence upon personal responsibility and moral absolutes. Liberals know that a society without moral absolutes and a society without strong emphasis upon personal responsibility will fall like a ripe apple into their greedy socialist clutches because self reliance and rugged individualism are traits that are only found amongst moral peoples who come from strong families.

    The Liberal seeks to criminalize any speech that promotes morality or individualism as “hate speech.” Thus we see Liberal Judges and Liberal Courts outlawing the Bible and gutting the free speech provisions of the first amendment of the constitution. Liberal Judges are now declaring that the Bible’s proscriptions against homosexuality are illegal “hate speech” and scripture is now in the process of being outlawed from any appearance in public discourse or the public square. If one speaks in favor of individualism and against affirmative action in a public forum at work, Liberal Judges and Liberal Courts are now saying that such speech amounts to intimidation of minorities and is prohibited by law.

    “The best way to take control over a people and control them utterly is to take a little of their freedom at a time, to erode rights by a thousand tiny and almost imperceptible reductions. In this way the people will not see those rights and freedoms being removed until past the point at which these changes cannot be reversed.” – Adolf Hitler

    Freedom is never more than one generation away from extinction. We didn’t pass it to our children in the bloodstream. It must be fought for, protected, and handed on for them to do the same, or one day we will spend our sunset years telling our children and our children’s children what it was once like in the United States where men were free. Ronald Reagan

    America will never be destroyed from the outside. If we falter and lose our freedoms, it will be because we destroyed ourselves.– Abraham Lincoln

    Democracy is not freedom. It is not government by the people and for the people. It is the perfect disguise for benevolent totalitarianism.

  119. Amara wrote on

    People tend to interact with others who are on a similar level, people who are communicating at a limited intellectual level, may express their feelings in a way that seems offensive to a person who commands a less limited awareness, but that does not necessarily invalidate their opinion. Exposure to debate involving different levels can benefit all those who seek deeper understanding, and those who are able to express themselves more fully, can be wayshowers to those who can learn. So there are benefits.
    Companies can, and do, promote forums with guidelines, which, in my opinion, should not be used for censorship by the company, but provide a broad framework of expectations for users. ie. I do not wish to be exposed to foul language, so I would not stay with a forum which allowed that to dominate exchanges. Whilst I agree with the right to free speech, I also believe I have the right not to be exposed to foul language etc. In the real world, there are people we choose not to associate with, and it would be a natural extension of that choice if the internet forums were policed by the users of the forum. So, if a forum with stated guidelines, also had feedback/report buttons on every comment, all users would have the ability to monitor all content, and a system for escalating action, leading up to eventual blocking by the forum monitors, would be peer censorship, rather than corporate censorship, and is probably closest to how we respond in real life. If someone makes a post which receives negative reports, They could be invited to rectify the the post, which would encourage them to find more acceptable ways to express what they feel is a valid opinion. This opens them to the possibility of reflecting on their opinion, which may be a new experience, and could open their mind a little.

  120. Sourdoe wrote on

    What Martin said seems definitive:
    “1. It must be civil, respectful and not emotionally charged. Emotion is good, but not to the point of being threatening. Rule of thumb, if your veins are popping out of your neck, you are emotionally charged.
    2. Must be non threatening. Suggesting to inflict harm in free speech is being emotionally charged.
    3. Internet speech ought not to be different than face to face communication. If you are not willing to post it on your front lawn, then it ought not to be said or written.
    4. Free speech cannot be anonymous. Stand for what you believe in and stand behind your words.
    5. Should be devoid of fanaticism. If you won’t change your mind and can’t change the subject, you are a fanatic. This applies to life choices, being gay or not, pro abortion or not and all forms of religion. Not everyone will agree with you, get used to it. Move on.”

  121. FREEDOM FOR BIAFRA! wrote on

    “INTERNET” is a medium of communication and business.
    Is sad that today many has turned it into bad act such as stealing, inciting violence, unleashing terror act. I have been using firefox web browser since 2007, i liked the service offered and the speed of the updates.
    Well this has nothing to do with speech and restrictions of speech, since the browser is an application meant for swift internet surfing for both pro and amateur in the internet world.
    My sincere opinion, is that the internet should focus on restraining attacks and phishing rather than focus on freedom of speech.

    So said me. The up coming blogger from BIAFRA LAND.

  122. Liza Fulton wrote on

    It’s FREE. Look away if you don’t like it.

  123. PixiePossum wrote on

    “Should free speech be regulated?” It boggles the mind what an asinine question this is. If it is regulated then IT ISN’T FREE SPEECH! If free speech offends you, feel free NOT TO LISTEN! Pull up your big kid panties & get over it.

  124. dom paul wrote on

    leave freedom of speech/expression alone in all forms.

  125. Bill wrote on

    Since social media platforms are managed in private space, they should be allowed to censor any kind of speech they wish. Forcing privately managed spaces to allow free speech could lead to the government forcing this on brick-and-mortar institutions, which is totalitarianism, and is clearly the goal of the constellation of groups generally assigned the label ‘Antifa’.

    The right to free association is critical to a free society, and breaking the wall between private and public spaces is the first step to dictatorship and ruin. Keeping this division clear and impregnable is of the utmost importance to promote individual liberty.

    The first step is to dismantle the illusion that online social media spaces are public. Facebook, Twitter, (Mozilla) et. al. should institute home screen disclaimers that state thier particular political/social bent, and that users may be censored at the discretion of staff. In this manner individuals can choose to accept to use the platform, or find another vendor that offers the same service without the politics or forced advocacy incurred by using the former.

    This approach is what should be happening with the NFL “take a knee” protests. Team owners should feel free to fire anyone they want for any behavior they deem unacceptable. They pay to rent the facility, pay to broadcast the game, pay vendors to supply refreshments, pay the players. This is also not a free speech issue. The players can all go stand on the public sidewalk outside the stadium and kneel as much as they want, yell slogans or dogma, hold up signs, hand out CD’s, or whatever they want. That is a true exercise of free speech, and should be protected. Forcing private businesses to accomodate one’s personal advocacy in their private commercial space is, however, totalitarian. JMHO.

  126. Vonda wrote on

    Although I dislike white supremacists speech. You can’t stop them even if they aren’t allowed on the internet. But I suspect that some of the things they bring up probably strike a core with some white people due to the victimization mentality drummed into people of color. I recall hearing white people talk about how it seems there’s more rights for the black instead of it being equal. I have seen on the internet blacks call other blacks uncle toms because they disagree with democratic opinion. If people aren’t willing to listen and only call names and shout, how can anything be done? Any speech that insights violence is a definite NO NO but then they could come up with coded speech that means the same for those in the know. Oh, and if your going to condemn white supremacists you should also condemn the other hate speech on the opposite side of this coin. I also disagree with the removal of our country’s history, it’s not like I revere any of them but they remind us of a time in our history. Where there was a clear right and wrong, in my opinion and even if you dig up evidence that suggests that the civil war wasn’t started to free slaves, that’s what it ended up becoming about and that is how it is taught. And there’s plenty of examples of white men both christian and non that stood for equality of the then slaves. Their free speech was also hindered but it touched enough people to become a moral movement. I don’t know if this all means but it is a complicated thing.

    Why don’t you do a survey, ask the right non white supremacists if they are racists and if not what they think about all the race talk and things like that.? You might be surprised, what the most important thing to them is. I swear I am not looking for trouble. I listened to the whole recording and it sounded like a calm and reasonable discussion, you just used only one group as an example of hate speech that’s all and there’s a lot more of them than that.

  127. Golovkin wrote on

    I do not think freedom of speech exists on the mainstream internet, everything and everyone that slightly makes feel people uncomfortable can get removed just based on people’s complains without being reviewed.

    This is just a plea for censorship, a censoring based on ambiguous terms and biased towards political views.

  128. Ivan wrote on

    When it comes to free speech in the private sector, companies and private individuals can self-regulate to dictate whatever they want when it comes to their property. If they want to pursue action against people for violating their policies they are more then welcome to. That is their right as owners of a product or service. When it comes to something like Google promoting ideological rhetoric and content, it gets more complicated since Google itself is a public company. They should promote it as a public space: you can say whatever you want in the context of your private domain (i.e., as if you were shouting from your house window, or from your car) but that if you incite a situation that is provable as containing an intent toward violence, or toward something like divulging private information, then you can be pursued for whatever punishable offense.

    If companies want to reject providing service for sites such as the Daily Stormer, then they are within their rights as private enterprises and people need to be informed enough to understand why this would happen and whether they support that kind of reaction from these companies; if they do, then they stay with the company; if they don’t, they can leave. It’s called voting with dollars and sense. HOWEVER, this can get complicated, again, because some companies are publicly traded, such as Google and GoDaddy.

    Bottom line, though, no speech should be “regulated”. That is just political code for “controlled”. Free speech should be free speech should be free speech; people need to be responsible enough to make decisions based upon that speech in order to create the sort of culture and society they want. Freedom for one, freedom for all. Period.

    #EndNetNeutrality !!!

  129. Mike wrote on

    Free speech should only be regulated in a clueless, lost-in-space, liberal world..

  130. me wrote on

    free speach is just that free to speak , if you have to limit or be politcaly correct ,then we have lost it

    1. Peter wrote on

      Of course, but if you are going to have the right to say anything you want, then you should also be prepared to be responsible for your ideas. On the internet, the bulk of the questionable material (that is so conveniently protected as free speech) is mostly anonymous. Sure – you might have to provide a name or an email address, but it is much easier to abdicate responsibility for what you wrote online, than for something you said to someone in person. And, free speech without responsibility is not something we should be protecting.

  131. James Freedom wrote on

    Add another NO answer to the question. I put my life on the line to protect our constitutional freedoms, and I will defend them to my last breath. For those wanting to nitpick about the private nature of various “businesses” providing the internet and the supposed “private” nature of them, I might remind you that this point is moot given it was something given over to the PUBLIC and has been treated as a public space at large ever since. In that, there is no private involved, hence the argument about business and corporations (most of them with no concern for anything but the money they make) is disingenuous and moot.

    Things are all well and good until those with a lack of moral character become leaders of the endeavors once created with good intentions. Just because the present “wardens” may be just and moral does not mean that later “wardens” will be so. When you give this much power to any group, you are soon to find that sooner or later certain views or beliefs will be censored as a manipulation tactic to heard the people towards predetermined thought processes. This has already happened with “educational” institutions and post secondary degree places in America.

    One of the greatest powers we have, as human beings, is the power of thought and decision. It is something we ought reserve for ourselves, not given up to others less we lose the ability to control our own destinies.

    If you have a problem with what someone says or does, stop listening to them, stop reading their commentary, change the channel on the tell lie vision. We all have the ability and right to self sensor. There is no need to give up that right to someone else acting in their own interests.

  132. Frank Ward wrote on

    By definition, ‘Free Speech’ is just that. Freedom to say what you want to. Not everyone will agree with that statement, but once ‘regulation’ is enacted across the Web (and, as pointed out here, Twitter, Facebook and Google have already started ‘regulating’ (read censoring) web useage), the freedom to put into the public domain what needs to be in the public domain, whether it be distasteful or not, is lost FOREVER.
    The Internet is an electronic reference library. You enter the sections you are interested in, stay out of those you are not. It never ceases to amaze me that someone can enter an area of the internet, find something distasteful, bitch and whinge about it and then wonder why certain other users respond with force. If you find something you don’t like, leave. Same goes for the idiots on social media who get bullied – leave the area, leave social media and once it has all died down (and bullies usually have a very short attention span), then reappear. It is like the old adage “Theres nothing to watch on TV tonight” – well turn the damn thing off and do something else then!
    There is a mass of information that both public and private bodies and organisations would love to have banished on the internet, some good and well-researched, some hearsay and some utter garbage. It is down to the user to filter out the good from the bad, but sadly that takes work and application. By ‘regulating’ free speech, this work cannot be done. It is only the freedom to say “Hang on, what is happening here?” or “I don’t agree with that because….” that keeps the world on a level base.
    Are Mozilla preparing to act as regulators of the web? Possibly. If they do, then I will be gone from them before they know it.

  133. Dorr Totten wrote on

    Absolutely not! Internet free speech should not be infringed upon. Who decides what is OK to be allowed online? Someone who disagrees with me? The internet has to be a neutral zone where one can freely express their thoughts and ideas, or argue a viewpoint. Not where a majority of contributors decide or where a small panel of hired watchdogs censor because they don’t like what is said.
    While I do not agree with cowards who use anonymity afforded by the internet to spew mean and belligerent comments toward others, it still does not call for intrusion from government or service providers to regulate. In the case of threatened bodily harm, in the United States at least, that individual has likely violated current laws and may subject to that intrusion. That said, the internet will not benefit from this type of restriction. It would only benefit a small portion of the population who desire and crave illegal power and forms of control over others.

  134. jon wrote on

    Free speech is our right, no matter how offensive it is. I do not need to agree with everyone online, and likewise, everyone online need not agree with me. Although there could be a restraint on filthy language and content. There should be a moral clause somewhere as I don’t want to see or hear that kind of thing.

  135. Dave wrote on

    I think the internet was designed to control people and what they think just as the media has been consolidated to do such. Social media as well tries to squelch opinions that goes against the grain of PC. People will need to avoid all forms of technology to have free thought and speech. Because these forms of technology are the very reason why people will lose free speech. The only speech that will be allowed is what is trendy.

  136. Ximena wrote on

    I believe that the freedom of speech should always be protected. However when that freedom turns into license we have ourselves a major problem. In today’s society we often take the freedom alone and not the responsibilities. When we do so we end up with corruption. What we need to do is respect each other first. Everyone is blabbing on and on about how the world judges them , but then they turn around and pick on someone “lower” than themselves. Also be aware that children might see and or hear what you say. In that manner, be respectful, you don’t need to curse or be graphic to get your point across. On the other hand, if someone is being :racist, sexist, homophobic, or in any other way disrespecting you or your view; yes that is bad and they shouldn’t do that , but they are entitled to their own opinion, so forgive them and move on it won’t kill you.
    Thank you for your time,
    Wolfie

  137. Mark Sohn wrote on

    There are graveyards all around this little planet filled with people who died for free speech; even if most of them had no idea that’s what their lives were being thrown away for. Thrown away?; more and more, the answer seems to be ‘Yes.’ That in itself is sad – I understand no-one wants to feel indebted to others, least of all the quietly decomposing ones, but we are. We all owe a debt to those quiet sleepers who gave their everything for us. We have to stand up to tyrants whenever they make themselves known – and a corporation can tyrannize as well as any dictator. Dictatorships aren’t just men with funny haircuts (It used to be moustaches; evolution, perhaps), but corporate concerns with masses behind the maniac. In Merry Olde England I can, for example, playfully insult my local Police, should the urge take me. I can point out for a certain fact our Government are corrupt buffoons taking us back to the Victorian era. In North Korea?. In North Korea I could wave a little flag and cheer the Supreme Leader until tears roll down my cheeks. Or I could starve. The danger with the Internet is, just like any country recently discovered, the rules aren’t set in stone, the territory is up for grabs. By regulating what I say, by making me wave my little flag and cheer, Governments and Corporations are, bit by bit, tyrannizing and subverting me as a person. So fuck them. I stand for free speech and I am damned if ‘they’ will take it from me. If I wish to spout hatred online, that is my right, as others have the right to condemn and ignore me as they see fit. If some abuse the right to free speech, removing or restricting it for all is just another version of tyranny, another nail in our coffin as a species. We are so powerless now as individuals – always were, perhaps – that free speech is really all we have left…

  138. geoffreyskoll wrote on

    Privately owned internet hosts should be treated as limited public fora. There should be a public internet, like sidewalks, streets, and so on, which would be unlimited public fora, and limited only by time place and manner. Those three limitations rarely apply to the internet so I would favor complete freedom of expression. Of course, there are libel laws and laws about threats to life that are already regulated regardless of mode or medium.

  139. Noah Johnson wrote on

    It should be a crime to even ask the question “should free speech be regulated?”

  140. Linda wrote on

    I would like to see the foul language and nasty videos stopped. Let’s at least try to bring some class back to society.

  141. RoNByTeresen wrote on

    Hello Internet!!!
    Free speech should be absolute but the virtual world should be completely separated from the physical world, remember the 1998-2000 period when you could be any one and express your opinion freely – like this blog. Note both my name and my e-mail are fake but my opinion is valid and reflects on a real issue. I do not believe in the internet as a field for anything but expressing ideas under full anonymity. I say that we should break all of the Political Correctness, all of the Oppression and DataMining and Big Data Analysis – we should stop the policing of the internet.
    I am almost a complete ghost online. I say that we should unlink our online identity from our real identity, and forbid any actual data gathering on the people. The internet is it’s users and not companies – let’s see them sell anything if no one is buying. We should start by establishing a mail service that requires no authentication to create or a chain of such services – less Database load and smaller bases – what are a couple hundred million rows split across a couple million tables???
    In the end of the day live is live death is death knowledge is knowledge and illusions are illusions.
    All of this here is collective imagination and as anything imaginary it should not have direct access to the world – an action has to bring it to live. If you imagine a painting you have to spend hundreds of powers to learn to draw well and only then through your skill you can bring it in reality.
    Have nice real life experiences.

  142. Christine J. Henry wrote on

    To monitor free speech no longer makes it free for whatever reason. Relationships with the internet need to be same as relationships with people. You wouldn’t want someone threatening you so you avoid them and report them but anyone is free to agree or disagree with you, that is their right. No one should be given preferential treatment at the expense of others. We all have the right of free speech but any abuse of it should be addressed. i.e. trying to recruit people to do harm.

  143. Matthew wrote on

    Moderation may be acceptable. However, in order for free speech to be free, it must be accessible by all. Those who lack the intellectual understanding that an ALL CAPS RESPONSE, is neither intelligent or convincing, should not loose their right to free speech. If only the educated may debate then this is no longer a debate about free speech. Instead it is a debate over whether or not we should reestablish an aristocracy in the internet.

  144. tim wrote on

    There isn’t a single benefit from curtailing free speech; not even a benefit for those whom the curtailment is attempting to protect. If we have free speech then we know our enemies, be they racists; terrorists; homophobes; or whatever; if you know that a certain person or group doesn’t like your way of life or your opinions then you are in a much better position than if you have no idea of the hatred that might be festering within. Free speech is essential no matter how vile you may consider the content and governments and other organisations are completely wrong in their attempts to censor opinion. What government should be doing if anything is showing people how to handle it when they encounter it; they should have a reactive approach rather than a proactive one.

    Just think of it this way: A group of terrorists form a facebook group to discuss who they are going to bomb and how they will produce their explosives; reading it may seem unpalatable, but surely that information is incredibly valuable and useful.

    Another advantage is that if you are aware of a person’s opinion then you can challenge it; maybe even change it. This has to be superior to allowing a person to live in a virtual echo chamber.

  145. sydrian wrote on

    Honestly, no I don’t think censoring peoples speech online will help solve the problem we face with ‘fake news’ hate speech and extremism.
    If they can’t say it online that won’t mean they won’t still say it somewhere else. Instead of putting a gag over their mouths we should challenge their beliefs and what makes them feel the things they say, or what drives them to say them in the first place.
    This isn’t a problem we can fix online, we need to interact with more kinds people in our day to day lives and try better to understand them.

    I think we should use the internet to spend more time thinking of ways to help people understand each other better. Blocking out peoples thoughts just doesn’t feel right. It also closes them off of what could be an opportunity to maybe hearing someone else’s point of view.

  146. LameBear wrote on

    Free Speech online?

    IF YOU DON’T LIKE IT – DON’T READ IT ……… Problem Solved.
    And, if you don’t like it, you most certainly do not have the right to impose YOUR own paradigm on anyone else …….it is really that simple!

  147. Ben wrote on

    Free speech is not free speech if it’s regulated!

    And “Hate” speech is relative. It’s impossible not to offend someone. These little snowflakes who can’t handle anything said that they disagree with are a joke and need to toughen up and realize other people have different options.

    The orwellian world has finally come.

    Some quotes from Orwell:

    “If liberty means anything at all, it means the right to tell people what they do not want to hear.”

    “In a time of deceit telling the truth is a revolutionary act.”

    “So much of left-wing thought is a kind of playing with fire by people who don’t even know that fire is hot.”

  148. gwendolyn maddy wrote on

    the internet must bow to the constitution of the united states of america. it was invented here and our laws apply to it. they cannot regulate the first amendment or abridge it. even if they disagree with opinions expressed by contributors, they cannot ban or bar them. i dislike many things i read on the inet and i personally ban many sources from my eyesight, but that is MY choice – not anyone else’s. let’s leave it at that.

  149. Gary wrote on

    Ummmmm, if you regulate free speech…It stops being free speech. (You can’t have it both ways.) You have every right to disagree with me. I have every right to disagree with you.

  150. Iain Howe wrote on

    Whilst freedom of expression online is not a right that is protected by any legal code, there is a definite movement afoot to crush not only the way that ideas are expressed but also the ideas that it is possible to express in any given forum. Whilst I often chafe under the artificial limitations of the former, I absolutely despise the latter – as I feel it is not just the issue of limiting somebody’s right to express themselves freely, it is also a much more insidious matter of creating opinion soundboxes where any given opinion is free to become the ‘norm’.

    Why do I feel this is so dangerous? Because it is very possible to create spaces where dangerous minority opinions and positions can operate as rational majority opinions, meaning that extremists don’t face the peer-norming effect of majority opinion.

    If you’re racist in a mainstream forum, you will very quickly find out that many, many people do not share that opinion, and hear logical arguments refuting ideas of superiority based on gender, race, culture or religion. If you operate in a soundbox made up of fellow extremists then you will find it easier to believe that your opinion forms a majority.

  151. PeterSmith wrote on

    I think the internet is a wonderful invention; I now have some much loved friends from countries I could only previously read about in books. In this way, it has helped my understanding of other cultures and value the opinions of others. I genuinely feel that because of the internet, I am a better, more understanding person. Nevertheless; along with the good, inevitably, has come a lot of bad ! Criminality and evil is out there, just waiting to exploit any weakness. Additionally, the same type of people who couldn’t resist writing graffiti on toilet walls, now enjoy themselves reaching millions on the internet. It is like putting a machine gun in to a babies hands ! In reality, like the atomic bomb, the genie once out of the bottle, can never be put back. It’s just another part of life, we must accept it and move on.

  152. Gordon wrote on

    Compromise:

    Facebook should put the words “paid advertisement” on ad’s. That should clean up a lot of the political spam

    Hold self replicating, or wide spread Ad’s to some level of requirements.

    If you want to seek out a discussion format, say anything you want, but you can’t spam the world with your particular view.

  153. judi wrote on

    Yahoo parlor games pre 2008 is your answer. There were people from all over the world going to the Yahoo parlor games which included chat lounging while playing. People were free to speak, nicely, vilely, about games, about dinner, about anything. There were options to use a created ID or your own name or use many ID’s. People laughed, argued, discussed science, fought, talked politics, news, sex, ads, anything. WHAT THERE WAS NOT was someone controlling every minuscule discussion and NO ONE person controlled the room. IF you did not like a persons conversation whether because they were vile, or because you disagreed with their opinion and being spoiled you wanted everyone to hear only you, whether boring or obnoxious or any other reason there was an option to “ignore” that ID and you and only you would no longer see their typing, yet other people could unless they also clicked the ignore button. The ignore button allowed a perfect free speech arena. There was also an option to filter profanity. Yahoo had the perfect speech arena created UNTIL they decided to monitor chat themselves instead of trusting the options they provided. ONCE any single entity has control over speech it is generally not free anymore. We SHOULD provide an ignore button everywhere so any private individual with or without valid reason can choose not to see another persons talk, BUT they SHOULD NOT have the option to make that decision 4 others or it becomes control. Children should be taught to use an ignore button, teaching them is far better than trying to control everything. Teaching rather than control is the answer. Yahoo and it’s first way of doing things WAS the perfect answer, they should never have rethought it.

  154. MegaChar wrote on

    Its actually a very simple answer that you have to read between the lines of what freedom and privacy is because everyone seems to think that the two are completely different. WRONG!

    You cant have freedom without privacy and you cant have privacy without freedom.

    What does this mean you may ask?

    Would you be feel that you are “free”if you allways have someone staring down your everymove which is what hackers,doxxers ect do? They are the type of people who will go to every means to stock you online and ruin you both online and offline. Some who have done bad things deserve this but others who just browse online and share their thoughts on twitter and such get doxxed to.

    When you think about it, its kinda like going to a prison or a war camp isn’t it? They watch your every move and if you make a move they dont like they shoot you or worse. Kinda like what doxxers and the like do. You don’t get privacy when you go to those places because you have no freedoms.

    Last time I checked, when you are in a prision or a war camp. You have no rights and no freedoms.

    PS: Freedom and privacy are the same thing

    Pri

  155. Arto Päivänsäde wrote on

    Frankly not interested enough to listen the podcast right now but i do have a say in this matter myself. Free speech for all people is good and should be allowed on internet, just as long as it is not meant to provoke people to do harmful things to other people, themselves or otherwise carry out bad things. Generally if opinions and thoughts were censored, we would all be controlled puppets for the ones who started censoring and no one could be their own self. However some people actually enjoy insulting or otherwise just being plain evil even just by words and those people should not be allowed to hurt others, but it is matter of just words in the end, as long as it doesn’t come out as physical actions from some words and so on. How the popular English saying goes.. Stick and stones may break my bones but words will never hurt me?

    By allowing people to have their ideas and thoughts flow freely, we people as one species might just agree on some things in general and learn from each other or otherwise just share some interesting stuff, or disagree and then hopefully either respectfully “argue” over the thoughts (not fighting, but just exchanging opinions and thoughts and point of views in order to understand each other and then respecting the possible differences or possibly learning the truth about things) or the much more pacifistic way of ignoring the fact that we might disagree on SO MANY things, but that way might not learn anything but still be able live in peace with each other. ( As if we were living in peace with each other… well situation is better now than ever before i suppose? Hopefully possible arguments could be resolved with and by words only since it is the modest/civil and a lot smarter way to resolve issues, fighting and hate only lead to extinction of our entire species eventually when we destroy each other when the problems have not been resolved in any smart or peaceful way)

    For example i am a musician, and have kept an artist home website for myself to connect all my existing accounts in one website for possible people, who would enjoy my compositions and productions, to find everything easily and correctly (so that someone doesn’t mistake some other accounts/sites to be mine etc). In there i started writing few blog updates of my thoughts. I would almost classify some of it as “hate speech” about bullies and people who hurt others since i personally have some deep anger within, against bullies from personal experience, and hence i feel empathy for other people too who have to go through even worse hell than i ever have, caused by some disgusting people who want to hurt or use others, but i try to write it out as more of a life advice/constructive criticism often which would make bullies and people who hurt others otherwise to possibly realize how much misery they cause with their disgusting actions, or possibly give peace of mind or other advice/a way of seeing things to the ones who have to withstand the misery.

    In the end, it could have positive effect when there is information up about thoughts/problems/happenings even from my perspective, but can have even more positive influence when people who have much better ways to write/speak/show how we people should love and respect each other, no matter the culture, religion, heritage, way of thinking, outlook, intelligence, gender. And sometimes the speech/writing or anything might contain criticism or negative things which is good. If all negative stuff was censored, how would anyone ever know anything about anything except what some bigger authors feed us? How would we improve as people? How could anyone know what kind of a person someone is? But still too much freedom to stomp down others gives some sadistic personalities tools to destroy truly innocent people especially if it escalates into great depths and spreads as common opinion or makes others join the cause to hate the innocent people who have become some kind of a target for some “hate movement” so to speak, or even hate some people too much who have made mistakes in their lives and hurt others but are trying to improve themselves only to be hated already, or spreads thoughts of others in inhumane way as if they should be gotten rid of from the world/executed instead of trying to have them learn to be peaceful towards all. DO NOT make it personal. Just saying, we people have a lot to improve, and not having freedom to say stuff will only hide the facts that could be helpful. I sincerely hope that people still keep it in humane boundaries even if they do not respect necessarily someone who thinks otherwise than they might. Peace out.

  156. Dave wrote on

    Printed/published “hate speech” is easy to ignore. Move on. Ignore it. Respond to it, if you like.

    Free speech should be just that — freely expressed, not censored.

  157. Hunter wrote on

    Free Speech on the Internet should be as unregulated as possible, Of course there are instances where hate speech and intolerable messages and comments should be blocked or removed but the question that should be being asked is where is this “line” going to be drawn?

    I see no problem with trolling or anything or criticizing others but there is a point where people go too far with threats or personal insults and the problem with the idea of regulating something is that once it starts it doesn’t stop until everything is watched and white-washed cause “Big brother” would always be watching everything creating a controlled Media in which just like modern news people only get to see what the Media and Government want people to see. Whatever gets them views and furthers their political view or gain for their personal benefit including financial they will use.

    It sucks, But if you give an inch they will take a mile.

  158. seth wrote on

    FREE speech ISNT FREE if its REGULATED 1st amendment is top of the list for a reason!! its the basis of the whole constitution!!! ever hear STICKS AND STONES???? get over it you special snow flakes..stop being professional victims..it only offends you …IF YOU LET IT!!!

  159. Alan Arnold wrote on

    I am 71 years old and all of my life I have had ‘free speech’. However, while a U.S. Marine, I had free speech, but should I stray and violate some military law or principle, I had to face the consequences. This was a pretty good system for which I gladly followed the rules (mostly) FOR 30 years. However, when I got ‘froggy’, I paid the price.

    Now, life is different. American leftists have messed with the system by telling one group what they can and cannot say. We have the provision of ‘Free Speech’ noted in our Constitution. What other country has that, and allows it. Yes, I know that the communist countries have that in their constitutions, but try to go beyond their assigned bounds.

    Who determines what is ‘Hate Speech”? Politicians, Republicans, Democrats, Congress? Any speech can be determined to be hate speech, depending on who determines, who it is directed at or about, and who is saying it. Is burning the flag free speech? Of course not but the Supreme Court strayed from the Constitution and declared that it was and have been violating the Constitution ever since, and often, because one side is the loudest or destruction follows.

    So, my answer about online or in person free speech. All should be able to say whatever they feel like except advocating the overthrow of our government. I may not like your speech, but tough. If you threaten me with bodily harm, you may end up suffering the consequences, just like real life. I may surely get a broken nose if I call someone names, but I have the right.

    So, get rid of laws against this silliness called ‘hate speech’. Any crime may be committed with hate, so get rid of the designation.

    If we allow any restrictions on our vocal speech or writings, we, as a nation will go under! That is exactly what the ‘Leftists’ and Democrats are striving for; the destruction of America. USMC 64-94

  160. Nicole wrote on

    why is only white supremacy being targeted ? what about violence against women , what about ISIS recruiters luring our children away, what about child pornography, who is monitoring them???
    The Internet is hailed as the best invention in history while simultaneously allowing the SCUM of the earth to do MORE DAMAGE ….. Not only should we monitor, we NEED to monitor and I’m sorry if that offends people but our lives are LITERALLY at stake !!!

  161. Charles wrote on

    Free speech, by definition, cannot be regulated, else it is not free. If one finds an opinion or website distasteful, then one should either combat it with speech of their own, or avoid it. That is how free speech works.

  162. Manna Girl wrote on

    Free Speech term applies to government not private entities. Mozilla is private….lets take it from there!

  163. Running Rig wrote on

    Should free speech be regulated [online]…

    Should free speech… be regulated.

    Free speech… regulated.

    No. Regulation of speech is anti-free speech.

  164. Robert Lake wrote on

    Whoa! Stop the music. Hold the horses. Change direction. Let me suggest that we have in place a document that clearly states we have the God given right to free speech. It cannot be infringed, altered, changed or denied. Check out the Amendments to the Constitution and see for yourself.

    Anyone here who was around in the sixties? The FCC tried to enforce limitation on free speech over Citizens Band Radio. I applied for a license, (required), to communicate by radio and I even remember my call sign from back then. In short order, citizens (that’s you and me), objected and the FCC backed off… Freedom of speech won over. All the bad things naysayers claimed would happen just never did. I say keep the ‘net free and vigorous. The only bad thing that can happen is Government control… let’s not let that happen.

  165. Ben Q. wrote on

    Nobody said Free Speech was not annoying. It should stand to the basic principle that everyone should be free to express themselves.

    The internet of things however has taking it to another level with extensive noise that end up in more places than the actual subject intended. Moderators constantly manage this subject matter, placing it to the correct subject OR delete it due to violation of Terms of Service and Policy.

    TOS and Policy create “Safe Spaces” for users to acknowledge similar opinions and build upon the idea of the main subject without recoil. It is important these statements are available when searching. However, it is also important to challenge these ideas outside the available “Safe Spaces” to understand both sides of the subject. A place of free reign of comments without Moderators.

    Speech online is becoming artificial. Bots and other program techniques are designed to saturate a comment, argument, opinion or idea. Leading to a dangerous bias. 100 Bots can skew an argue. The actual point of the argument\opinion become lost in clutter.

    Free speech online will always be challenged. From governments doing what they can to keep things silent, bots overwhelm the subject, or general ideas deleted without cause.

    At the end of the day, when it comes to free speech online, all one can do is keep typing.

  166. Sandra wrote on

    Freedom of speech cannot be abridged by the government, so, no the government should not regulate speech on the internet, no matter who else doesn’t like the content. Private corporations and entities, however, can most definitely abridge your freedom of speech in certain contexts. A site can require certain types of limits if you are going to use the site.

    The speech most in need of protection is religious or political speech that others deem as “offensive”. That was the context of the First Amendment, and that is when our freedom of speech is the most vulnerable, when it’s unpopular. If pornography and profanity are considered freedom of speech that is protected by the First Amendment, then you can bet that so-called “hate speech” is protected. Nazis, white supremacists, Black Lives Matter, all of the rhetoric coming from those groups it is protected speech. Actions, however, are a different matter. Your rights stop where my person begins. You have the right to wave your fist around in the air and in my face and scream at the top of your lungs in public places, but you don’t have the right to strike me. Posting online is the same as waving your fist around in the air. But if you threaten another person with harm, now you’ve just made yourself a target for more scrutiny. And if you try to and and carry out those threats of harm, guess who’s going to jail.

  167. Carlos Ramirez wrote on

    tl; dr: Just do what the ACLU.

    I already think the 1st Amendment of the US Constitution is too restrictive. There should be no libel laws at all.

    Likewise, the social norms around freedom of speech are also very restrictive. There are many actual facts about the world and reality that many people consider offensive and hurtful. The price of disengaging with reality is too high to humor them.

    I don’t recognize the concept of hate speech. It’s massively concerning how practically the entire world other than the USA believes it’s a good concept. It’s quite like the religious concept of blasphemy or heresy: an admission that there are ideas the mainstream, and the institutions of power don’t even want to consider. As what is mainstream, and who is in power, is constantly in flux, one cannot ever predict which ideas might be considered unspeakable/heretical/hateful. Therefore, it is better to have a norm that no idea shall be considered unspeakable. After all, concepts like equality for women and LGBT rights where quite taboo less than a century ago.

    When a truly bad idea appears (e. g. let’s exterminate the Jews), my expectation is that everyone possesses enough critical thinking to recognize it as a bad idea. If this is not the case, then it is a failure in our society. A failure that would not be remedied by more thorough public or private censorship.

    I hope that internet companies such as Google and Facebook will soon be recognized as effectively being the public square of the 21st Century and thus be forced into compliance with the 1st Ammendment.

  168. Swagner wrote on

    For crying out loud, the answer to the issue of free speech online isn’t more regulation. The last thing we need is governments monopolizing the ability to determine what speech is or isn’t protected. What we need is to quite using biased sites (google, facebook, etc.) to the exclusion of all others. We don’t need to point a gun at peoples’ heads and tell them “you must show these posts on your site” or “you aren’t allowed to say that”.

  169. TG wrote on

    Free speech, or more rightly termed Freedom Of Speech, the right to put your views out there for the agreement of others, or more often the lambasting by others.

    The regulation of this would be nothing more or less than censorship.

    One persons free speech is anothers hate speech. So by even considering regulation, you therefore remove “Freedom”,

    Now it is true that freedom of speech allows a lot of good to be spread, and the flip side is that a lot of bad can be spoken too. But just because your own personal feelings on a subject are 180 degrees to someone elses, does that give you the right to strip them of their right to free speech, and having stripped them of their right to free speech, who is to say you also should be allowed to continue with your free speech, maybe you should be silenced too, as you silenced others.

    Who is to judge, and who judges the judges.

    Everybody should have the right to express their take on reality, whether its right or wrong to somebody elses views. Just as those reading someones views, can, if they wish contradict them.

    I see a lot of hateful stuff on the internet, I don’t agree with it, I don’t condone it, but I would never expect to see it censored. Someone was kind enough to put their view out there, I may not see eye to eye with that persons view, I may even find it abhorrent. But it shows me how they are thinking, it may even give me an insight into how they feel they have been wronged in some way.

    If you want to see what curtailing freedom of speech ends up with, read 1984 by George Orwell. Now some will say that 1984 is taking things to the extreme. But it takes just one little step, then another, then another, small, seemingly insignificant steps, until you find your freedom of speech being taken from you.

  170. Gerard ONeill wrote on

    Free speech is really free thought. It is a human’s inalienable right. Having said this, only slightly less behind comes the right of private property — the most important property being ourselves. And private property is how we enforce privacy laws.

    The way it works in Capitalism is that to create the physical and mental environment you want, you create it. If you create overly restrictive rules and consequences, people can create a different environment, and presumably if they are more correct (or more compatible with human life), they will win.

    None of this requires the government and its clumsy apparatus of force. The government can focus on making ownership extend to items outside our bodies via deeds, receipts, and contracts. Private humans can then take these private property tools to do what they need to do.

    As for private allowing of hate speech… I’d say the problem comes only when you are either not fair, or too interfere-y. Banning someone for death threats? I’d say that’s an easy line to police. Banning someone for saying a certain lifestyle should not exist.. I’d say that goes overboard — everyone has an opinion on lifestyle, and you’d be hard pressed to make sure all the sides were policed fairly and perhaps not according to your own version of fairness. Someone saying everyone of a race is stupid? Perhaps less easy of a line, but still fairly easy. On the other hand, someone saying they think a particular skin color is better than another.. who knows? It may not make the one having the lesser attribute happy, but all kinds of preferences go into things such as beauty; why not skin color?

    Regardless if you agree with my examples, the point is that if you truly disagree, then feel free to start your own private (ex: ISP, or Bar, etc). Right now, people turn to the government to do too many things for them, regardless of the constitutionality of the final outcome; meaning even if it isn’t precluded by laws (state, fed, etc), turning to government for some of these things leads to the true fight.

    It really is amazing how many ‘rights’ the first amendment covers — freedom of conscience, freedom of association, freedom to express one’s conscience and preference. We use the positive aspects of it all of the time; however when it isn’t used the way we expect, we have discussions about which part we can violate because it is ‘right’. You can’t be more right than a fundamental right. While your private solution can technically allow any solution including outright banning of certain types of thoughts, the closer it is to augmenting and not rejecting the first amendment principles the better off you as a person, and we as a society, will be.

  171. Casey wrote on

    Free speech isn’t free if it is regulated by someone who declares if it is offensive or not. If something is not liked you should be able to act like an adult and move on or block whatever can be offending you so badly.

  172. Chris Ahern wrote on

    It is still true that power corrupts and absolute power corrupts absolutely. Silicon Valley companies have now become absolute power and we are in danger of them turning the internet into an echo chamber of only beliefs and opinions that the owners of these companies agree with.

    The internet is an information superhighway making billions of dollars for private companies from billions of people with a wide range of beliefs, opinions, ideas. Freedom of speech and freedom of thought of those billions of internet users and their websites must be protected at all costs, otherwise it is just plain censorship and anti-democratic.

  173. Chris wrote on

    The freedom of speech (our first amendment) says we have the right to say whatever we want. Yes liberals hate speech is protected….all speech is protected. You can call me whatever you want and i don’t care.

    You want to know what happens when you get offended? That’s it. You’re offended and nothing else. Ever hear sticks and stones can break my bones, but words will never hurt me? So kids can understand this principle better than Liberals? Not too surprising i guess.

  174. Jarred Steele wrote on

    We should not regulate the web in any way. Once we all people/government to start regulating the web they will abuse their power. Then eventually you will not be able to say anything that may offend someone. If you give them an inch they will take a mile. The internet is the last free area left in the world and we should keep it that way.
    Thanks

    1. Peter wrote on

      Based on your rhetoric, you are probably to young to know any better, but believe it or not, there were rules in society (based on respect and common sense) before the internet. And, most of those rules did not conflict with free speech, as it were. If you walked in to a library, and defaced a shelf full of books, you would have been punished. No-one would have gone crying to the press about having their rights to free expression hamstrung. However, you believe that this (and other) disrespectful behaviour is perfectly okay on the internet, and our right to disrespect everyone and everything should be protected?

      I don’t think that the internet (as an information repository) should be restricted. I do think that the people using it should be. If you can’t be civil and respectful (regardless of your views) you lose the right to use the internet… And, to avoid punishing minors, the internet should be heavily regulated for children (less than 18 years old). They could for example use the internet in a purely read-only fashion, and anything that would sensibly be off-limits to minors in a non-internet world, would also be unavailable to them on the internet.

      Your little fairy-tale about the internet being the last free area in the world, is very touching. It is however just a fairy-tale.

  175. Jonn Cousland wrote on

    My problem is simple, regulate all you want but do some with consistency. Your bias is already demonstrated on this post by stating an example including only white supremacists. ISIS, BLM and other groups posts things from white children getting hanged to killing cops on the street. Those websites and posts are still online without a shred of criticism. Your failure to mention other “dangerous” speech group already defeat your point.

    The way it will go will that only certain hate speech will be banned and others will stay up. Who will decide what is hate speech or not? I don’t like Nazis, I don’t like Black Supremacists, I don’t like Extremist Muslims but we have to defend their free speech in order to guarantee free speech for everyone. And if is such a bad ideology, which it is, why silent and confine it to the Dark Web? The best way to defeat an ideology is bring it to the light and destroy it with arguments where everyone can see. So what if a bunch of supremacists have their glorified swasticas or black power pictures on their profile? So what if they spew hatred towards people just because the color of their skin? You know what, they will continue to be what they are, a minority that we can laugh at.

    We, the majority, are able to identify “hate speech, bad speech, stupid speech” on our own. That way you don’t even have to worry about censorship, society will ostracize the bad apples. Or, if by all means you will apply the ban hammer on groups because their speech, do it equally for all groups. Single out white supremacists without mentioning the others will work for a short amount of time with the sheep but it might end up, as we seem in many history cases, fueling the very thing you want to erase. Resentment is a powerful feeling.

  176. Tony wrote on

    Never agree to be muzzled. The correct way to address misuse of Free Speech is to school the offender with facts in an open dialog. See who really knows their stuff. Nowadays real facts have taken a back seat to manufactured information. Repeat the same message over and over again in as many different forums as you can and guess what? The world becomes flat. The harder one tries to state otherwise the harder the regulations become. How is that possible? Because you wanted it.

    Management 101: How to get people to do what you want them to do because they want to?

    Don’t be pooned
    Don’t be a useful idiot
    Don’t watch TV
    and Don’t take the easy way out of an argument by ranting “conspiracy, racist or any other cry wolf” expression.

    Vigilance my friends, Vigilance.

  177. Paul Patton wrote on

    The fact that our right to free speech only applies in our relationship to the government, and not to privately owned and controlled spaces is something that I find troubling. Although I find white supremacism abhorrent, I have visited the Daily Stormer website on several occasions, and found it a useful window into that culture. A genuine supporter of free speech will defend the free speech rights of people they profoundly disagree with. In this sense, I believe it was inappropriate to shut down The Daily Stormer. If private businesses can shut down websites for ideological reasons, will they only ever shut down racist sites? Or will their censoriousness eventually creep in to other matters, such as, for example, wealth inequality and the enormous wealth controlled by private businesses. Anti-racists can better oppose sites like the Daily Stormer by expressing anti-racist views on-line and supporting free speech rather than by seeking censorship of some ill-specified category of ‘hate speech’.

  178. Les S. wrote on

    Yes – private companies who own a chunk of the Net definitely have a right to allow or forbid whatever they see fit.
    While I vehemently disagree with any kind of regulation – I grant them this right….as it is prerequisite to the concept of private property.

    What I hate, though, is the amount of hypocrisy involved (well, there is no law against being hypocritical, but I digress…)

    If white supremacists are being censored – then Islamist propaganda should be in the same basket.
    If right-wing views (whatever that means) are being considered as a no-no – the the same should apply to the lefties.

    There is no law stating that a private company owning a part of the net can not propagate its own political, social and any other agendas – by blocking, removing or censoring anything they do not like.

    There is, however, a caveat: the Net is not limited to the technical means of communication, servers and their ownership: the WWW is nothing without the participants – that is us, the users.
    In that sense the private companies who own the net (and in many cases handsomely benefit from it) – can not be treated strictly as the old-time companies: the WWW is a new phenomenon – and not only terms. What we see is a new kind of ownership really…

    What we are observing – is the attempt to apply old laws and rules to something entirely new – with mixed results. Maybe we need new laws…

    Laws which would take notice of the fact that participation in, and using of the WWW creates value – so in that sense we, the users, are also de facto owners of the WWW.
    This would allow to regulate the behavior of the companies which – like Facebook, Google, YouTube and many others – actively discriminate against people who are not (in these companies view) politically correct.
    Facebook is nothing without millions of users. Google is nothing without millions of users. These users should have the right to define what is right and what is not.

    This is not quite in line with the current concept of private property, I know. But – as I said –
    companies like this are a new phenomenon: their biggest assets (and, in a sense – co-owners) are the users . So – it should be left to the users to define what goes and what does not. The owners of the physical assets should be happy with the profits.

  179. SMH….What!!!! wrote on

    Turn the machine off. Can not anguish over what you do not see. Your freedom of speech is showing……

  180. Tery wrote on

    I am going to say what I say to every IRC, Forum and Game user that complains about moderators and chat rules…

    Freedom of speech does not mean you can say and do whatever you want and whenever you want with impunity as it doesn’t absolve you of Responsibility.

    The freedom to express your own beliefs and point of view? Yes.
    The freedom to flame and defame others? No.

    No matter your beliefs or outlook, it still does not give you the right to make claims, hate speech or any other statement that would otherwise harm or offend another persons beliefs, views and outlooks. Nor does it grant you open forum to attack those who’s views, beliefs or outlook you don’t agree with.

    The internet is filled to the brim with anti-social customs that has become almost laughably acceptable and it doesn’t matter how you look at it, it is filtering through to our youth, culture and social interactions Outside of the internet undermining and degrading it’s moral fiber. The youth are learning that it’s acceptable, even encouraged to treat others in demeaning and defamatory ways and to show no respect what so ever to authority figures.

    Freedom of speech Should not be a license to wield words as weapons or the entire concept collapses and if it continues to be allowed as such, freedom of speech is nothing more than painting a target on your forehead for social assault and battery.

    If we can’t even rely on grown men and woman, let alone children, to act in a Responsible and socially Acceptable manner on the internet, how then can we expect companies … no matter their motivation behind it … to “Reserve the right of admission”.

    If you want to act like a child, be prepared to be treated as one.

    1. Tery wrote on

      NOT to “Reserve the right of admission”

    2. Richard Wicks wrote on

      I don’t have an objection to moderation.

      What I do object to is allowing somebody to decide what I’m allowed to see. Sure – moderate, but just give me a button to see everything. All I’m asking is the ability to see everything, everybody writes.

      But that option isn’t available anywhere. Why do you think that is?

      I guess I just found a patent… OR – the real reason there is moderation, is censorship.

      1. Tery wrote on

        Well lets just put it to you this way … if people didn’t have the “Anonimity” that they have on the internet, do yo u think they would still say the things they say? No they wouldn’t as they would have to face up to social repercussions … even lawsuits a.l.a defamation of character and so forth.
        The internet is allowing people to say and do things that would otherwise not be tolerated in society.

        Secondly, age can not be verified on the internet, unless they somehow implement biometrics and a child’s mind are VERY impressionable. The argument of “oh but the parents should bla, bla, bla” is moot as no parent even realize the PG ratings of their kids games let alone what they read on the internet.

        People who object to censorship knows that what they want to say or read is inflammatory, defamatory or just plain attention seeking, a.k.a trolling. If what a person wants to say or going to read is more likely going to incite even more hatred and flaming, why allow it to begin with? Are we so bored these days that we seek out cheap thrills by reading rants and raves from possibly a misguided youth looking for attention or looking to incite?

    3. Richard Wicks wrote on

      You know, I see all my comments end up in moderation.

      I’ll check tomorrow on another IP address to see if they ever show up. If they do not, I wonder what else I’ve not been allowed to see.

      Again, I believe a moderator should be able to, by default, hide threads and certain comments, but should never prevent anybody else from seeing them. I should be able to select an option that allows me to see every comment that has been moderated. It should be my choice to see what is posted, not a 3rd party. One is moderation, the other censorship in my opinion.

      Why would anybody object to this idea? Just allow people who don’t want to have the moderator determine what they see, see what the moderator deems unsuitable for the conversation?

      By default simple disable access to any responses to the “moderated” comment, but if you want to venture into it, let everybody see what everybody writes.

      Why would anybody object to that?

      1. Tery wrote on

        On a public forum, it is the operators right to maintain a safe area where all can communicate on the subject at hand without fear of flaming or hatred. Just simply hiding posts would still allow the forums community to rage and hate at leasure and is not a option.

        It comes down to using common sense. Instead of immediately attacking, as you see a LOT on games forums, participants could happily discuss topics in a civil manner but no. Gamer’s seem to think they are entitled to immediately attack the company or gamer’s that they don’t agree with.

        Witht that said, there are MANY reasons why topics get locked on forums and not only due to supposed “suppression of freedom of speech. Otherwise it would just devolve into a boiling stew of hatred and rage … trust me I have seen it happening and the discarding of such rules completely ruin the game/community etc for everyone involved apart from the deprived members whom are just out to get a cheap thrill of upsetting others.

        The same result would be evident in any online interaction.

    4. joe walker wrote on

      terrible argument, who was the last word leader who wanted to ban hate speech?… Stalin. hate speech and offensive speech is all free speech, and remember it is your right to debate speech you dont like.

      1. Tery wrote on

        Seriously? Hate speech is good? What’s next, “freedom of physical assault”?

        There’s a difference between reasonable and civil debating of a topic and outright hatred for another’s views.

  181. Richard Wicks wrote on

    The purpose of freedom of speech is, in part, so you can identify who the lunatics are.

    Let the KKK talk, the NeoNazis, the radical feminists, the communists, the Libertarians, the Christians, the Scientologists – anybody, to say anything.

    I cannot speak for all governments, but I can see my government – the United States misusing this. My government staged a false flag, the Gulf of Tonkin incident, in order to justify the war in Vietnam which killed over 58,000 Americans, and 1/2 million South Vietnamese. Mike Gravel read the Pentagon Papers into the congressional record making it public record, so reporters who were previously being threatened with charges of treason, could report on it.

    16 years ago, my government lied us into a war in Iraq. Back then you could freely comment on almost every news story and there were a significant number of people pointing out holes in the official claims of the government. Yahoo was particularly active, but all those comments have been deleted. You will never see what a profound resistance there was to that war. You will hear today that “nobody knew the US was making that ‘mistake'”.

    You have access to wikileaks, detailing war crimes of both the Bush and Obama administration. Crimes of the Democratic National Committee, and I’m certain soon enough, crimes of the Trump administration. The United States has attacked 7 nations in this century alone. It’s been a century of continual warfare, and it appears this is not going to stop any time soon. Do you know what these 7 nations are or why the United States attacked them?

    I’ve been on the Internet since before there were web browsers. In the early to mid 1990’s, there was a proposed bill called the Communications Decency Act. I was just out of college, but still on the net. Just before this bill was introduced, UseNet which was like world wide communications forum, was inundated with the most unimaginable filth imaginable. There were groups for that sort of thing, we didn’t care, but all of a sudden pornography and Neo Nazis and the like started showing up on dog appreciation groups, and people interested in science. When the CDA failed, all these new posters, posting the worst and most vile garbage, went away. What a shock.

    Anybody can ignore people, and that’s a good thing to do when you’re talking to somebody who is a lunatic or just plain scum – but if you censor them you may never hear about the Downing Street Memos, Bradly Manning, Hillary Clinton’s emails (which are all online on Wikileaks BTW), or many other interesting, scandals, and criminal acts by your own government.

    That’s what this current censorship push is for. Not to protect the public, but to protect the government.

    1. Richard Wicks wrote on

      I made an error with the number of Vietnamese killed because of a false flag. it was 1/4 million on 1/2 million.

      Regardless, this is still a terrible tragedy, and a reminder of why an absolute freedom of speech is necessary. A quarter of a million in a small country like Vietnam, imagine that sort of massacre in the United States which has a population of 350 million.

      Government screams for limitations of freedom of speech, but for their protection, not for yours. We can all get along, and we all have common interests. Allowing us to freely talk allows us to find our common interests.

  182. Tumurbaatar Ariunaa wrote on

    People are free to say what they like. The internet should never regulate free speech.

    1. Tery wrote on

      The problem with that is in person … most would not say what they say on the internet due to social repurcussions. On the internet no one knows you so “Hey, lets have fun upsetting others for kicks, they can’t touch me”

  183. Christian wrote on

    I think that everyone should be able to say anything they want.. as long as they are not purposefully trying to hard someone in any way

    1. Tery wrote on

      Agreed

  184. Sam wrote on

    The freedom of speech on the internet should follow the same principles in which we speak in normal life (a) considerate and (b) not-offensive

    You can have a point of view but do not need to be an arsehole while making your point.

    1. Tery wrote on

      Exactly!

  185. ian wrote on

    teach people to understand one another and learn to accept difference and accept the choice of others

  186. Howard Cihak wrote on

    Of course, owners of sites must be able to restrict undesirable content if only because failure to do so can be interpreted by some as support for those ideas. However, a case can and should be made for placing limits on what can be said, especially when it comes to content that aims to foment illegal acts that would physically injure (or worse) others.

    I personally think that much of the undesirable content would become self-regulated if a way could be found to eliminate anonymity. If every person or organization were clearly identified by name and location, then verbal extremism would doubtless become less pervasive than it is at present.

    1. Tery wrote on

      Absolutely!

  187. joe walker wrote on

    the argument that free speech should be moderated is absurd, without un-moderated free speech, we would not have had ANY of the civil rights movements, ie sylvia panchurst, malcolm x, and martin Luther king all offended people with their ideas and led to a better world, the idea that speech should be banned as it causes offense is pure crazy, also do people calling for offensive speech be banned remember the Spanish inquisition? freedom of speech is why the catholic church reformed as their ideas and were challenged. no one person, religion or ideology should be above criticism, and even if the views are backward, racist, or offensive to someone or a culture, it is our right to challenge them in free and open debate. censoring speech is not only backwards it is an Orwellian nightmare, to any one trying to ban free speech in whatever form, thanks for taking us back to the dark ages. wake up and evolve and debate. offensive speech comes under the same banner as free speech, to argue against this is absurd, if you don’t want to hear certain language then dont listen, its your right just as it is intrinsic to western society to be able to say what you believe.

    1. Tery wrote on

      It’s not about banning freedom of speech … it’s understanding what it entails. Society to an extent is self regulating, the internet is not due to anonimity of identity and age. It’s missing that crucial factor that premotes restraint in real life.

  188. Rayne Orr wrote on

    Free speech is the essence of democracy and should never be restricted. I am +80 and my mother always taught me “Sticks and stones will break your bones but names will never hurt you.”
    Switch off the phone or pad or move away from the “abuse”. Better still if you can turn the abuse into a compliment or turn it on the abuser. I realize everyone can not do that so just switch it off.

    1. Tery wrote on

      The problem is not in the ignoring of what is being said. The problem is malicious intent from individuals who only join the topic with the intent of sowing descent and derailing the core of the topic.
      If a person posts their view on something and you don’t agree, fine and well to ignore it. If a person enters the discussion with the sole intent of inflaming, inciting or derailing of the topic, they will find a way to do so without you noticing. Minor inconvenience in a casual discussion … anarchic result in discussions of importance.

  189. Rod Parker wrote on

    The fact of the matter is that even in a democracy, all speech is not free. Even in America there are certain things that you cannot do such as shouting fire in a theater when this is none or inciting a riot. The problem today is two fold. Anonymity without accountability, and wide scale ignorance as to how technology spreads ideas that threaten our very existence. In other words, the philosophy, psychology and legal frame works have not kept up with the technology. With that in mind, we should always keep in mind that every single form of technology which man has created for good has ultimately been weaponized. For example the same knowledge behind medicine for cures is also the knowledge behind biological warfare. The bike became the car which became the jeep and the tank. Our desire to fly was ultimately used for the purpose of dropping bombs from the sky. The WWW is no different, computer programming became computer hacking and data manipulation. It fundamentally goes back to Hobbes Leviathan. The problem is the nature of man in that he is at war with himself and his fellow man, always seeking to dominate the other. The WWW is just another tool of self destruction. So regulate away, it won’t matter. We will just find another way to hate and kill each other.

  190. scott wrote on

    NO there is no freedom of speech,,,because in some parts of this universe disrespect can lead to war…so try and be respectfull !!!

    1. Tery wrote on

      Freedom of speech when used in the right context and used with the right mindset is not an issue … the issue is everything can and will be abused. In real life, that is regulated by law and stature … on the internet, it’s a free for all.

  191. Christiana Senibo wrote on

    Interesting perspective Matthew! I wouldn’t have seen it in that light, but I guess that’s what freedom of speech is about.

  192. Bob wrote on

    What if instead of regulating internet we could use filters to protect our sensetive minds from all the macabre..?
    Sounds so crazy that it might just work!
    Internet should be free as it was invented. Any regulations of it is just businesses trying to get more profit.

    Regarding crimes done on the internet: what about doing actual work and investigating?

    I won’t support this stance of mozilla and in my boycott won’t use any mozilla software and services anymore. And won’t recommed to anyone else again.

    1. Tery wrote on

      The problem with “investigation” is one of Identity. ISP’s does not Always have to bow down to requests of IP records as it’s “international waters” so to speak.

      The “protection of our fragile minds” in real life is self regulated by identity. On the internet there is no identity.

  193. Godfrey L. Kerr wrote on

    There are a wide variety of opinions offered here and that is my understanding of the freedom of speech and while some are a little excited others are presented as comparatively sober statements.
    The concept of “Freedom of Speech” is an ideal and will always be subject to the moral and emotional point of view of the individual. Anyone can make a statement which is technically correct but offensive to one degree or another to someone else.
    That is the reality of living on planet Earth which also has a number of challenges other than those posed by other humans.
    Even the suggestion that anything is suitable fare if it enhances or improves life for someone without causing harm to anyone or anything else will almost certainly attract criticism from someone.
    I can think of a few possible comments regarding that but will leave the fertile mind of the reader to explore the possibilities.
    I have no quick fix magic wand to persuade everyone to think as I do but we all enjoy a freedom that did not exist 40 years ago by the fact that if we are reading this we are using one of the most beneficial services mankind has ever had at their disposal!
    Is there any possibility that we could at least respect the incredible value this offers us by not jeopardising the continued service with disrespectful content or statements that might give cause for anyone to discontinue our use of the wonderful Internet.

  194. IAN wrote on

    Free speech – and I mean completely free – is crucial to and non-totalitarian state. I should be able to reserve the right to say and to believe whatever I choose. If someone else does not want to hear it, don’t listen. If they don’t agree, that’s fine too.

    For centuries in the Middle East, which was the cradle of modern civilisation, races and religion from all over the known world, as far afield as China and Russia, lived and traded successfully with each other.

    Now I am not allowed to criticise or comment on any race, religion, on gay marriage, and many other subjects without the risk of arrest.

    The slow control of free speech is the beginning of a slow decline towards a “democratic” totalitarianism which will be very unpleasant.

  195. Mike Langley wrote on

    Free speach is still absolutly imperative.
    It should however not be anonymous.
    I believe the time has come for pseudonyms to be linked to digital IDs so that in say 3 clicks you can discover a ‘true’ identity.
    This is a small price to pay for freedom and would stop trolling, encouraging more reasoned debate. Your phone company, search engine and credit card supplier already know all about you. Think of the fraud it would stop !!
    Imagine the web as a force for good rather than a playground for the pervs, foul and dangerous.

  196. Emmanuel Michael wrote on

    Your freedom stops where mine begins.

  197. Joseph wrote on

    Unelected officials (in this case, private businesses who are beholden to nothing but the dollar) having ungranted authority over whether or not people have a right to express an idea is antithetical to the very concepts of western civilization.

  198. Nona Me wrote on

    This is absolutely ridiculous, once you start censoring the internet in any way you seem fit you instantly start going against everything you once stood for, mozilla. Once you start filtering the internet for me and everyone else in any way, once I know that I’m not getting full access to the worldwideweb, I with many others will abandon this ship without a second thought. I hope you realize that this will be a change with potential to ruin your browser which many have loved for all these years for the privacy and transperency that other were not able to provide. If you decide to do this, no longer will you stand with everyone, you will have chosen a side, that will no longer leave you in the right for everyone, only for those that dont care. I hope this censorship never happens because I always had respect for this company for firmly standing for what it believed even though everybody else just looked for easy profit, that will no longer be the case assuming this goes through. Please reconsider and be an example for other to follow like you have always been.

  199. Maris Zadinans wrote on

    Free speech is free speech! I will fight to my death to let it exist!

  200. Sam Crees wrote on

    I believe in Total Freedom of speech! Took and argued cases while in Constitutional law classes, and no matter how one argues any case on Freedoms, if they are impinged upon in any way then they are not Free!
    So with that said; regulation? Many countries/boundaries? And computer systems and algorithms, that can be fines tuned to do the most amazing things… it is possible to compromise to suit all; BUT it is not, nor will it ever be Freedom of Speech/Expression, Ever!
    So I build and repair some computers at home, esp. those with viruses/maleware ect. I search their logs 1st. Many you would not think about go places a good person should not, in doing so they get this stuff. I fix it and never say a word, except this is where viruses come from most of the time. I myself, do not go to these places, by choice, Ever, and I have had no problems in any arena in almost 5 years straight… including hate, the news is disturbing so I go else where! sc

  201. john wrote on

    The golden rule to follow is never speak about someone or say somthing to them online any differently than you would to their faces, if you follow that rule, youll never go far wrong in my experience

  202. Colleen wrote on

    Freedom of speech is important, everyone should be able to say what they want online or not. Someone is going to get offended no matter what you say so why not speak your mind?

  203. Dale Oakley wrote on

    Technically, free speech is free as long as it is within the legal lines but I think what we describe as free speech can be dangerous too. Our world has changed now and why stir up people who are mentally unstable and causes someone to be killed due to free speech but it was a hateful speech. I am an older person and I miss the politeness that was fairly common before the Viet Nam War. I think we can accomplish so much more good by being polite even if one is being critical of another. When writing to a stranger on the Internet, we don’t know what that person has been going through and even his mental stability. As the old saying goes, honey goes alot further than lemon.

  204. Amy wrote on

    If it’s regulated, how can it be free speech? We aren’t going to like everything, everyone says, all the time, but you have to put your big kid pants on and walk away. Sometimes that means unplug, log out, and go do something else for a while. It’s not that difficult to figure out. Also, if you are going to put your opinion of “free speech” out in the world, be prepared to hear opposite opinions because I can assure you, there will be a few.

  205. Tim Wakeford wrote on

    THe 1st amendment is an enumerated Right, the 1st one on the Bill of Rights.
    Don’t violate it or contribute to Washingtons mission-creep of infringing not just the 1st Amendment, but ANY of them or we will all lose them if we continue down this path.
    Defend your Rights learn to filter information to your own goals and ends.

  206. LOREN wrote on

    Really? Its not free speech in any format if its regulated!!

  207. Tena wrote on

    Our freedom of speech is threatened more every day and unfortunately there is no answer for how to prevent hate. My question on this topic is WHO or WHAT will determine what is, or is not, allowed. All human beings have their opinion and there will always be others who will disagree with them. That said, any AI used to make the decision of what is or is not allowed is programmed by a human being – and that programmer has opinions on right and wrong. There is no way to stop hate, discrimination, or evil. There will always be people we disagree with and will flinch at when we read their “comments” or “speech”. But that does not give us, or anyone else, the right to stop them from speaking their opinions. Right and wrong is obvious to me, in my mind, but that does not make it so in another person’s opinion. That being said, once again, WHO or WHAT can determine right or wrong? There is no way this can be controlled without infringing on someone’s rights.

  208. Gloria Callahan wrote on

    I don’t think free speech should be regulated on line, it somehow stops being free then…. doesn’t it? However, with cyber bullying and keyboard warriors running amuck – I am all for ACCOUNTABILITY. One should be entitled to speak as the believe, see fit, feel compelled to. One should be able to present constructive criticism of their government, university, etc. Journalists should be able to do their jobs and write the news stories people deserve to know about. Yet with that opportunity should come the responsibility of making sure you have proper ground to stand on and are willing to stand by your words.

  209. Rob Caluori wrote on

    Regulated speech is not free speech!

    The Internet, arguably the last free society on Earth, needs to stay as such!

    Government needs to keep their hands off. Figure out how to solve real crime before you start coming after my right to express my views. If we let them regulate the Internet then the voice of the few will be drowned out by the shouts of the many. Its a mob mentality.

    I love all my Constitutional rights, but the first one is the gateway to the rest. Compromise that and the rest are as good as lost. After all, if you can’t speak up for your freedom, what’s to stop them from taking it away!

  210. Yevgeniy A. wrote on

    As much as people care about speech harming someone, speech is just that — speech. It cannot harm anyone if it is not forced on anyone. Going online is voluntary, and so is visiting any website or page. By saying that speech may incite violence, we deprive perpetrators of violence of their agency. Those who are unlawfully violent must be persecuted according to law — no less, but no more. Speech should be free.

  211. Will wrote on

    I work online and often use the internet to look up information on things I don’t know. I find the comments sections quite amusing at times and am amazed at how angry people can be and shocked at some of the things people can be bothered to write.
    But it has now gotten to the point where the light is getting overshadowed by the dark. Political agendas are pushing us apart more than ever and the internet is fueling this fire. I am really worried that peoples anger is getting the better of them and it is over-spilling into reality more than ever. At one point I thought Hey at least they are writing this stuff and getting it out of they’re system but the politicians are making too much use of platforms like Facebook and Twitter and this makes it more real.
    We have to turn the internet off. It’s our only hope. Peace!

  212. Michael wrote on

    Free speech should not be regulated. People should say whatever they like. Anything other than free speech is Marxism and I aint putting up with that shite.

  213. Elfiny wrote on

    If it’s regulated my question would be : who decides what is “hate” and what is not. I think it should be a democratic process where people from all perspectives / cultures / races can decide together what we as humans consider offensive or not. The internet transcends borders and governments. Regulation of it should also. It should not be done by American employees of a private company who, most likely, live in an echo chamber of ideas and might simply use such a tool as censorship of ideas they do not believe in.

  214. Rich Jenkins wrote on

    Our First Amendment rights: “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.”

    Of course, no internet existed at the time TJ penned these words, but I’d say it falls under the category of ‘press’. If we can agree that internet services fall in that category, or any category, protected under the First Amendment, then the government SHALL NOT get involved. Please, don’t ask it to. It only opens the door to further abuses of our rights.

    That said, internet services have every right to restrict how users interact with their service. Market dynamics will naturally move to control abuses: if a social media outlet, for example, becomes too zealous in cracking down on certain content then users will flee the service. The hit to the bottom line as their advertising revenue begins to dwindle will provide a signal to that company, as well as others, that they have gone too far. Then then must choose: do they want to coddle the sensibilities of the fragile, or can they toughen up and let their users speak their mind. For my part, I’d rather risk having a disagreeable post in my feed than know that some jack-booted internet patrol might come after me for a late-night drunken rant that sent some college kid into their safe space. But, the main thing is, regardless of how the internet content providers choose to handle this, we DO NOT need the government involved.

    1. Mark R. White wrote on

      Well said.

  215. Joel Kronk wrote on

    Free speech online most certainly MUST NOT be censored. Its already being recorded, stored and parsed by the US government, why the hell would any freedom loving citizen want to see our internet turn into a politically correct friend zone where everyone agrees and there is no hate? Welcome to the internet, put your big boy pants on and realize not everything on here is for you.

    Maybe I am just jaded since I have seen the internet grow from nothing to what it is today, but I think a free and open internet is the most important thing to an American democracy outside of the bill of rights.

    Mozilla used to be a champion of free speech, now they are writing articles planting seeds of censorship? What happened to this company? I stopped using them a little while ago when I saw a few blog posts by employees that were viciously attacking people with other ideas. Mozilla engineers are brilliant people, but it seems like this company has a superiority complex that needs to get fixed. YOU ARE NOT THE GATEKEEPERS OF INFORMATION. YOU DO NOT GET TO DECIDE WHAT PEOPLE TALK ABOUT.

  216. Richard Kennedy wrote on

    Who imagines themselves worthy to be the arbiter of what is and what is not acceptable speech?

    What extreme of narcissism must be present to think of oneself as being so immaculate and so divine!?

  217. Dan French wrote on

    Yes, free speech should always be the rule of law. It should be protected with all the power this country processes. The democratic party condones the acts of violence committed by their radical left wing organizations, Antifa, black liver matter ect. in attempts to shut down our free speech. Our law enforcement officers are ordered to stand down by their liberal city mayors and city counsels while these liberal terrorist attack peaceful American citizens, destroy private and public property. Remember— When you do not respond to acts of terrorism you only encourage more of the same. We need to treat these criminals like what they are–terrorist, organized crime and the enemies of The United States of America——— Dan French

  218. Pete wrote on

    “Regulated free speech” is an oxymoron. How can regulated speech be free???

  219. Burt wrote on

    I think in a physically open forum, such as in a school, a park, a theater or in a home free speech must be protected.
    I quote Voltaire on Freedom of speech: “Tho I despise what you say…I will fight with my life for your right to say it.”

    But the Internet exposes free speech to manipulation and censorship. If the censors don’t agree with your speech it will be blocked. If they knowingly censor hate the censors must be admonished and the platform avoided.
    There are risks within all freedoms. The second amendment for example. You have the right to self defense and to overthrow a government with force if the government becomes a dictatorship. But if you are a criminal and use that Right to kill innocents or rob banks, as evil as that is, the Right must remain sacrosanct for the greater good.
    The farmers at concord defeated the powerful British army because the people were armed. If the Brits succeeded in disarming America we would not be an independent nation today.

  220. Joe wrote on

    Hate speech is the ONLY speech that needs to be protected. And protecting it is of the utmost importance. A society that outlaws speech and/or attaches extreme social scorn to speech will never progress, only regress. If what is acceptable is the only thing allowed, then nobody can ever change the world. Yes, people will be hurt, but we should expect adults to suck it up.

    We live in a strange time. Where people are now suggesting new blasphemy laws. Imagine how ridiculous this would sound to civil rights leaders. To the people prosecuted for teaching evolution. To those put to death for the wrong ideas at the wrong time. We can’t go there.

  221. jaykyu wrote on

    Freedom of speech is citizens’ protection from ruling power. It will not protect you from other individuals. Why? They have the same rights as you.

  222. Joe Zasada wrote on

    Free Speech should be protected, period.
    Along with Free Speech comes the freedom to make a fool of yourself
    If someone says something you don’t like… say something back to them… don’t try to shut down their speech.

  223. Jim Ponczak wrote on

    Free speech is not ‘Free’ if it is regulated. Fortunately or unfortunately, Freedom to express ones views obviously works both ways: Enlightened, meaningful discourse and dark, hate fueled rhetoric.
    I believe that the value of free expression in the advancement of liberty far outweighs the inconvenience of being reminded from time to time of our lesser selves. We are after all, Human.
    Purposefully relinquishing an intrinsic ‘right’ (the freedom to express oneself) in the hopes of some nebulous, what, ‘protection’? Is a slippery slope indeed. What other rights are you willing to give up on?

  224. Troy wrote on

    I feel like there needs to be a clear, fair, and absolute definition of the term “hate speech”. As of right now, I believe that the current definition of hate speech is very biased towards and for certain individuals of certain races, ethnicity’s, religions, cultures, and politics. Until this is changed to be fair for everyone, I say let it be a free-for-all.

  225. Matt wrote on

    I think companies have every right to provide “safe spaces”, fora where offensive content is moderated and censored for the benefit of more sensitive users. But I also think not every space on the web should be held to that same standard. It depends on the users.

    It’s a question of culture. With different geographical populations, we have very different cultural values. How people might behave in country A might seem bizarre or even offensive to people in country B, even if those in country A don’t feel that way about their behavior at all. And the feeling often goes both ways. The same is true for different “internet populations”.

    I participate in many online communities that adhere to the standard of being polite and conscientious to others, and in these moderated communities offensive talk is usually deleted and the offenders banned. I know the rules there and I stick to them because that’s how the culture works there, it’s what you have to do to participate in those communities. But there are other communities where the standards are more “wild west” and being occasionally nasty to other people is not only perfectly acceptable, it’s actually expected. It seems barbaric to those looking in from the outside, but to the members of that community it’s just the way of things.

    Leaving content moderation up to people who actually interact with the users of those communities seems like the way to go. I wouldn’t want any over-arching authority stating that people just aren’t allowed to call each other assholes any more.

  226. Ace Wheely wrote on

    The First Amendment guarantees you the right to say what’s on your mind. It, however, does not guarantee that I have to listen, nor agree with you. The NFL players have the right to take a knee. That means that if I don’t like what they’re doing I can boycott football. Everyone is free to agree/disagree with what they’re doing. The First Amendment gives you the right to protest against the POTUS if you don’t agree with his views. It DOES NOT give you the right to trash the streets like it’s your personal playground! In the end, we can agree to disagree. The founders (slave owners or not) wanted a free society. not a society that can be trashed like everyday garbage! Look beyond the past; mistakes were made, but the beautiful thing about mistakes, you learn not to repeat them.

  227. Chiff wrote on

    FYI relegating The Daily Stormer to the Dark Web did not stop its users being who they are. All it did was make them more pissed off and less likely to listen to opposing arguments. It’s like burning a book rather than creating a new book to point out the flaws of the old one.

  228. Robert wrote on

    My big concern is that I do not trust the political leanings of those who work for internet companies and would be the actual persons making the decisions as to what is allowable and what is not. For instance, while the author above mentioned one far right wing “white supremacy” group in her written article, she did not mention any left wing hate groups, ANTIFA, the New Black Panthers etc. which also proliferate on the internet and often express hate for white or right wing people. It seems to me that there is a lack of political balance in these corporate structures today with too many hard line left wingers seeing to it that left wing groups are protected from censorship, while the right wing is closely monitored and held up as the only side that practices hate speech. I do not trust the people who work at Mozilla or Google or Facebook etc to be politically fair. It needs to be so that BOTH sides of the political spectrum are offered free speech, not just the side that you happen to agree with or the side that .

  229. Robert wrote on

    ( to complete the above)…..or the side that the corporate bosses happen to support.

  230. Michael Mciver wrote on

    Reading the statements here, I notice with irony that the writer only mentions “White” extremists, however, there is a much bigger threat to our way of life from the “religion of peace”. and their left wing liberal appeasers. I belong to neither group but would advocate a fair and balanced view in any article published by Mozilla.

  231. Justin Case wrote on

    No. Free speech can not be regulated. If so then it ceases to be free. You can not bring down the high principled free speech but instead those who abuse it must raise the bar within themselves. Society has within itself all necessary tools to impose restraints and incentivize those who may be recognized as antagonist abusers.

  232. Chris wrote on

    Freedom is a liberty we not only take for granted; but one we can easily loose. The problem with regulating speech is that people do not agree. What is “Hateful” to one may be “Apparently Obvious” to another. If you allow one’s speech to be regulated because it it offensive to you; it may not be long till you find someone is regulating your speech, because it is offensive or hateful to someone else. The problem with “minding your own business” is that many people cannot speak out for themselves and need advocates. Treating others the way you want to be treated (Jesus) and Being the change you want to see in the world (Ghandi) are much more effective tools, than trying to stop someone from saying what they already are thinking. If people begin to hide who they are for fear of censorship or worse; their ideas have no way of being challenged and the problem doesn’t disappear it just goes underground.

  233. Seth Hulzebos wrote on

    It is in my belief that free speech is FREE SPEECH, not free speech everywhere except the internet because people may be offended or disagree with what you say. I do, however, also accept that private companies have a right to refuse service to someone who does not comply with their regulations. It is their right, as they own that company. What I do not believe, though, is abusing this power to control what people say online. The only difference between the real world and the internet is that I can sit at my desk and talk to people halfway across the world, and that people will say what they want online because they don’t think there will be consequences.
    Maybe things that are said online should be treated the same way as if they were said in real life, then. Let people know that if one spouts hateful words in a forum, they should be able to say it to their target’s face(s). This sense of “internet bravery” is not bravery at all. Distance is a cushion that provides cowards the support they need to finally speak their mind, and that is what the internet has become to them; a tool. Free speech should be free speech everywhere, but it should not be abused.

  234. Le Hunt wrote on

    Other than threatening to physically harm someone, there should be no limits on free speech. If you don’t like what someone is saying, block them or go to another site. I’ve been sworn at, had people wish I would get ebola, and called all sorts of nasty names. Would I want to stop these people from doing that? No way. Either speech is free or it isn’t. You get to say what you want or you are being controlled, period.

    1. Lurk wrote on

      Completely agree. There are no “buts” at free speech. Only threats, doxxing and defamation should be forbidden, and even this should result in deletion of only those posts that brake rules, not suspension of whole accounts.

      And as even US Supreme court recently confirmed:
      > Supreme Court unanimously reaffirms: There is no ‘hate speech’ exception to the First Amendment
      > The U.S. Supreme Court voted 8-0 on Monday to reaffirm that hate speech is still free speech.
      > “…but the proudest boast of our free speech jurisprudence is that we protect the freedom to express “the thought that we hate,” Justice Samuel Alito wrote on behalf of four of the justices.

  235. John wrote on

    I hate you all. I hate your opinions!!

    I have lived in several countries where I can publish that I hate you.
    But with the United States, which aren’t really united “states” anymore, compared to Japan at least and probably most of Europe, we have such terrible privacy laws that how could you expect your opinions to be anymore valued than your privacy.

    I don’t mind private companies pulling down the messages of my hatred for you. But if a newspaper puts up an article and welcome comments and then delete those opinions they disagree with keeping up only those they agree with… well I hate them even more than I hate you…. Ohhh drats, I just realized I don’t really hate you…. errgg maybe I love you!!!

  236. Jess Huffman wrote on

    The test of one’s belief in Free Speech is one’s willingness to accept the right of a person to express an opinion with which you do not agree. It requires no commitment to principle to defend the rights people with whom you agree.

    If we truly believe in freedom of expression we must accept the expression of ideas we dislike or even abhor, and trust in the listener to discern right from wrong. Anything less, and we are censors who would try to control the thoughts of others by denying them access to a complete range of available ideas an opinions

  237. John Williams wrote on

    All comments should contain the name and address of the poster. This would deter some of the more flagrant and objectionable posts which are currently hiding behind anonymity.

  238. Ellie S wrote on

    I not only agree with Joe Q but applaud him for his wisdom.
    Both Free Speech and right to bear arms are under attack. If these are gone we have no way to defend our beliefs nor our bodies. We need to read about World War ll or we are gonna repeat it.
    I believe we should keep free speech…it is the essence of America and the glue that keeps everything else in tact. I am not ready to give up my agency to choose…that’s what it will come to if free speech is taken.
    I will always fight for Agency, Liberty, Religion, Speech and right to bear arms in the defense of our rights.

  239. Stephnie Clark wrote on

    Check and balance for freedom of speech on-line. Before you hit the send button, ask your self three questions.
    1. Is this message important enough to chisel in stone? (with this chiseling comes: a mastery of skill; reducing the earths rocks to powder and a plethora of time)
    2. Will this message set-up a chain reaction for the purpose of mentally and physically harming people?
    3. Can this message alienate you from future events, such as a job you had your eye on.
    If it is humanly possible, be honest with your self and your words.
    question 1 – yes – send it
    question 2 – yes – erase it
    question 3 – yes – erase it
    Now we have a safe environment in which people can talk freely with-out reprisal.

    1. Lurk wrote on

      This makes safe environment where you cant speak you mind without being afraid you will offend some fragile cry-bully that will get you fired over some joke.
      This is opposite of free speech. This is censorship through fear of intimidation. Facebook and twitter are good examples what happens if you employ this. Both become garbage biased propaganda.

      Sometimes you have to offend people. When people are acting stupid and posting stupid shit you need to call them out.

  240. Paul wrote on

    Free speech is abused a lot online. It doesn’t mean politefully expressing your opinion any more. It means you can hurt people, abuse people, mock their looks or beliefs as much as you want. There is a difference between free speech and bullying, but online this difference often doesn’t exist.
    Ironically sometimes bullies don’t even think what they say (like when they tell someone they suck). They could say so just because they are jealous. On YouTube for example both thumbs up and thumbs down are often fake. People give good stuff a thumb down because they are just jealous sometimes. Facebook only has thumbs up, often completely fake or “mutual admiration”.
    Cyberspace has become ridiculous and a source of lies and scams. For vulnerable people it is even dangerous as some people (in particular young people/teens) have committed suicide because of online bullying. I certainly think something should be done to regulate free speech.

    1. Tery wrote on

      Exactly … there’s nothing to regulate the abuse, That’s the problem. People see it as freedom of speech being revoked and that’s not it at all. It’s about protecting your right to freedom of speech against those who abuse it.

  241. Billy wrote on

    free speech in any sense is important, people should not be censored for their words/thoughts or opinions just because they might not conform to the general consensus.
    i think the internet is a place where people feel comfortable expressing opinions that they might not feel comfortable expressing in the real world, and if somebody says something truly heinous that deserves consequence then there are ways of dealing with it already.

    keep the internet the way it is, don’t turn into nannynet.

    “I don’t agree with what you say but I will defend to the death your right to say it.” ~Evelyn Beatrice Hall

  242. M D Vora wrote on

    Expressing insult and disrespect through comments/remarks (words) on the persons of dignity for various religions should be regulated and banned. Even bad words causing insult/disrespect to the individuals/residents of other countries should be avoided by the people on net.

  243. Mark R. White wrote on

    I’m a former Marine, a systems engineer that has primarily worked for tech startups over the last decade, and a proud proponent of the entire Constitution. Unfortunately, too many people in the tech world, Mozilla included, like to cherry pick which parts of the Constitution they want to uphold. The entire left side of the political spectrum is overrepresented in Hollywood and the tech industry. This allows for a horribly skewed view of our world because the tech industry and Hollywood have massive soapboxes from which they can pepper the entire world with their opinions, even though those opinions don’t necessarily represent our country. These leftist ideas most likely represent only about a third of our country as is evident by our past presidential election and lack of participation in said election. I offer this preface because there is a certain hard truth that the people on both sides of the spectrum don’t want to believe.

    The hard truth of the matter is that there are only two types of speech in this world: free and censored. There is no such thing as hate speech; there is no such thing as discriminatory speech. There is only free or censored speech. These judges that convict citizens over speech are traitors, and should not only be removed from the bench, but imprisoned themselves for gross constitutional violations. Speech, of any type, is legal if you are an American citizen on American soil.

    There is another hard truth that people fail to see, and that is the Constitution only protects us from the government. Our first amendment right means the government cannot infringe on our speech, whatever that speech may be, but it doesn’t protect us in our places of employment. If you are an activist, and your employer doesn’t feel you represent them well because of your activism, under federal law, they have every right to terminate you. Additionally, the First Amendment doesn’t protect us in private spaces unless it’s our own private space. No company is required to host a website for a white supremacy or Muslim extremist group, and no one is required to allow you to trespass on their property for their free speech rights. And for any of you social justice warriors out there that want to cry about how someone’s free speech hurt your feelings, you need to take a moment and contemplate what our world would be like without our Constitution and Bill of Rights. Pick up a copy of George Orwell’s 1984 and practice some serious introspection before you decide to lashing out about how your feelings are more important than anyone else’s rights.

  244. Lurk wrote on

    Fact that you even mentioned idea of “safe space” online makes me start looking for alternative browsers.
    Free speech on internet is a must.

    There is no “hate speech”. All platforms that use undefined terms like “hate spech” in their ToS need to change that or they will inevitably turn into echo chambers where wrongthink is not allowed. Facebook and twitter are already gone. Both left wing echo chambers.

    I find it appalling when I see authoritarian SJW crybullies trying to shut down websites like The Daily Stormer or Gab by reporting them to ICANN top domain resellers.

    “What is freedom of expression? Without the freedom to offend, it ceases to exist.” – Salman Rushdie

    “If we do not believe in freedom of speech for those we despise we do not believe in it at all.” – Noam Chomsky

  245. Richard Tebaldi wrote on

    I agree with free speech, as long as you take responsibility for what you say. The issue is that people have varying viewpoints based on their present beliefs and often look for confirmation of those beliefs. Consequently they seldom look to other concepts about a particular subject. As Ayn Rand has written, if you look for the quality of what one says, even if it’s one part of the whole, if it has credence or probability, it’s worth listening to. Instead, when many folk see an opposing view, they see it as an insult to theirs, so instead of listening and thinking, they spew forth venom. There is too much garbage on the web. I know when I write about politics in America, I often get stupid reply’s, name calling, no facts just immature garbage. I have to shut them off. Dialogue that shows me where they’re coming from and why they disagree, if they do so intelligently is interesting and educational. I hate lies! I like interesting points of view. As someone once wrote:
    I’ve never learned as much from people who think as I do, as I have from people who don’t”!

  246. Josh Jackson wrote on

    Quite simply, Freedom of Speech is all-or-nothing. Once you make the conscious decision to censor anything at all, you will inevitably go down the slippery-slope of bias, vested-interests, political agendas, lobbyists, PACs, and so on.

    First it’ll be “ban white-supremacists” / “pro-nazi” speech, which sounds great on the surface. But how exactly do you define “white-supremacist”? Where do you draw the line between “white-supremacist” and “alt-right” for example (because the great majority of the time, it isn’t as crystal-clear as “don’t let the guy in the white hood speak”). How do you define “hate speech”? Are Cristian views considered “hate speech” (we already see this argument being made in places)? Is this now an infringement of First Amendment rights?

    Who gets to decide this? Do you leave it up to the tech companies in control of the infrastructure (which typically lean left politically)?

  247. Anthony J. Fotakis wrote on

    Upper Management of companies have the right to impose on their employees what to say in regards to internal company affairs however, cannot impose their employees what to say in the social or other media or try to inhibit their believes provided they are presentable and of course do not try to represent or express company policies.

  248. Jerry Johnston wrote on

    If free speech was regulated online it wouldn’t be free speech anymore. It would be censorship.

  249. Jessy wrote on

    I think that some internet regulation is helpful to maintain public morals.