For example - Twitter is very pro freedom of speech.

Some online forum - their home - their rules - their Terms & Conditions.

I do not like the fact that I was banned, without breaching any rules. I actually did follow all the rules - such as posting in the open thread and asking why my previous post was removed.

I guess someone did not like it:

enter image description here

But maybe I am in a position to evidence beyond reasonable doubt and convince a judge:

  • freedom of speech is fundamental human right
  • online forums are categorised as public spaces
  • there should be some statutory right to appeal the ban

I think that overall it would move the humanity forward. We are 2023 and there is no universal law for discussion on the internet.

Normally I would not care, but the matter is pretty important, AI alignment metric is a hot topic. My personal blog and Twitter - hardly any audience. That's why reachout, collaboration and sharing and receiving feedback is important.

If you are curious, here is the post that was not approved (saved as PDF and uploaded to my personal website)

EDIT / UPDATE: Less litigious version... Accessing my data. Accessing conversation via DM with the admin (they made some good points that I would like to share). In the EU hell yeah I have GDPR and surely I can access it. Is there anything similar in the US?

I know loads of US websites do 451: Unavailable Due to Legal Reasons... Maybe I can move the humanity forward by using this angle of the law?

EDIT / UPDATE: WOW, WOW, WOW... Thank you for all comments. Interesting matter indeed. Terms & Conditions have "dispute resolution" section and I may as well use it. Matter is important. AI alignment is important:

Mitigating the risk of extinction from AI should be a global priority alongside other societal-scale risks such as pandemics and nuclear war.

For the sake of simplicity let's assume that I have some unique insights that require scrutiny and fact-checking. The forum I want to post is "de facto" a Schelling Point (place where everyone hangs out) and I would do a disservice to humanity if my content didn't have a chance to receive critical feedback.

Getting banned is not an option, initiating arbitration.

I could be delusional too. In that case it makes sense for me to understand it. Public forums are not public spaces? Metaverse multiverse laws are in the early days, I'm happy to explore these matters in 3D IRL courts ⚖️

enter image description here

Repurposing XKCD: https://xkcd.com/2347/

  • 1
    I believe you should go to a forum which encourages advocacy and debate, rather than a Q&A site like Stackexchange. Stackexchange has grown out of IT questions, where a problem could have multiple workable solutions, some better suited to the problem than others.
    – o.m.
    Aug 31 at 5:55
  • "In the EU hell yeah I have GDPR and surely I can access it" => If they have it. The GDPR does not protect you from them just deleting it.
    – nvoigt
    Aug 31 at 6:07
  • Related: rewind.ai - makes me want to use it... Sep 1 at 0:31

3 Answers 3


Usually you have no remedy.

The terms of service of the online forum will usually reserve absolute discretion on the part of the forum administrators to ban you.

Free speech rights do not apply to the actions of non-governmental actors. This is why bans of access to the accounts of government officials can often be litigated, but other bans and regulations of forums cannot be litigated.

No form of litigation of any kind in the United States gives rise to a right to an apology.

  • Thank you. In that case I will need to arbitrate in Berkeley, CA according to Terms & Conditions: intelligence.org/files/PrivacyandTerms-Lesswrong.com.pdf Aug 29 at 21:38
  • 8
    It doesn’t seem like you read the answer at all. The venue doesn’t matter. You have no legal argument.
    – SegNerd
    Aug 29 at 22:26
  • It doesn't seem like I've read but I've read the answer. Terms & Conditions have "Resolution of Disputes" section. I think there is a dispute and I'm just following the process. Aug 29 at 22:39
  • 3
    There is no dispute. They threw you out. They don't know you. Game over. Like you knock on my door and ask for a cup of coffee. I say no and close the door on you. There is no dispute.
    – gnasher729
    Aug 30 at 0:00
  • 2
    One thing is certain: You on your own will achieve nothing. So you should get a lawyer. If he isn't totally unscrupulous he will tell you that you don't have a leg to stand on and charge you for an hour of his time for the advice. If he is unscrupulous he will take them to court, get laughed out of court, but your money in his pocket is compensation for that.
    – gnasher729
    Aug 30 at 0:12

There is no such law.

Per xkcd:

enter image description here


You offer 3 ideas:

  1. freedom of speech is fundamental human right
  2. online forums are categorised as public spaces
  3. there should be some statutory right to appeal the ban

Of the three, only ONE is true, and that only partially: Yes, freedom of speech is recognized as a fundamental right, or rather, in the US it is enshrined as:

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.

I did bold the very first word for a reason: The First Amendment regulates what Congress can and can't do. It has no weight about private citizens allowing anything in their own place. This is where your second idea fails: Online Forums are most decidedly not Public spaces, and the providers are not the government.

And here, your third idea is absolutely wrong: There can't be such a right, as that would be a law that limits the platform's speech. And Congress - the only ones who may regulate the internet - can not do such a law. Banning somebody or something is the platform's speech.

For further information, I suggest listening to Ken White, Make No Law podcast #11: Deplatformed.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .