83

Trump was an officer of the government, and Twitter wasn't. The First Amendment forbids the government and its agents from viewpoint discrimination, but private companies are not bound by it and can discriminate as much as they please. (There was a question as to whether such discrimination might affect whether the company enjoys a shield from liability ...


58

Bobstro gave the practical answer, that it's a stupid idea for many reason. This is for the US in general, states may have laws that say otherwise. It is not illegal to provoke someone or a government official (police), it's done all the time in protest (not riots). It is not illegal to run from a cop who has not detained you in any way, or has not ...


48

There is no law against a person creating and distributing such a poster, to the best of my knowledge. However such a poster pretty clearly implies that the person shown is guilty of a crime, or at least strongly suspected. If the store somehow made an error, pulling the image of a person who did not use the stolen card or there is some other error, the ...


47

That really depends what they lie about In the United States, there's no general law against lying. The fact that a statement is false doesn't inherently strip it of protection under the first amendment. Public figures lie to the public all the time. That's why news companies have fact checkers. Was it defamatory? It is, however, illegal to defame someone....


35

Yes The 1947 constitution abolished Lèse majesté in Japan.


34

In most of the United States, the answer is yes. The First Amendment protects your freedom of speech from government interference, not from private interference. You don't have to be friends with someone who says "war sucks," and you can kick someone out of your house for opposing the invasion of Libya. But corporations enjoy mostly the same First Amendment ...


32

It might be more helpful to reverse the analogy. Unprotected speech is a box, and everything that doesn't fit inside the box is free speech. The box is small and strangely shaped, and therefore, very few things will fit inside. The government has spent centuries trying to cram things into it, so we have a pretty good idea of what fits and what doesn't: ...


30

The question actually asked, "what legal theories would support or harm...", is somewhat unclear. But what the questioner seems to be asking is, basically, what would happen if you tried it? The answer, it seems to me, is pretty straightforward. In the hypothetical case, you have been publishing a notice for years, saying "I have not been served with a ...


30

Mockery is allowed; hate speech isn’t While freedom of speech is guaranteed under French law it does have limits. Since 2004, these limits have applied to gender and sexuality. Mockery is contemptuous or insulting speech; hate speech or vilification incites hatred, serious contempt or ridicule. The boundary between them must be established on a case-by-case ...


28

Short answer: It depends on the state and exactly how you do so. Stating how you voted, by itself, is fine; however, taking a photo of your ballot instead of just saying how you voted is illegal in some states, especially if the photo was taken within a polling place. Laws banning these so-called "ballot selfies" may be unconstitutional, and have ...


28

This would seem to fall under "negative" freedom of association; that is, the freedom to not associate with certain other people. This article discusses the matter in the context of individuals who refused to join a trade union: the ECHR decided that the right to not join a union is just as much a part of freedom of association as the right to join ...


26

you can still have a free and open moderation-free internet in a post-Sec 230 world Sure, but remember what moderation-free means: no moderation whatsoever. That means no removal of offensive content like trolling, profanity-laden or racist rants, or even outright spam. Stack Exchange, for example, gets thousands of attempted spam posts a day, despite the ...


25

The answer depends on what state they are in. In some states, both parties must consent to being recorded. In the rest, only one party must consent. If the two are not in the same state, it may also depend on which states they are in. Here's a nice summary of the issues, and a fairly detailed list of the laws in each state. (Caveat: As the discussion in the ...


25

This is entirely legal and commonly done. The risk of defamation liability to the suspect is minimal. Under New York Times v. Sullivan 376 U.S. 254 (1964) and related cases, to prevail in defamation case with a media defendant, a public figure plaintiff, or a matter of public concern, the plaintiff must show "actual malice." In Rosenbloom v. ...


21

The First Amendment guarantee of free speech includes the right to lie. U.S. v. Alvarez, 567 U.S. 709 (2012) ("Absent from those few categories where the law allows content-based regulation of speech is any general exception to the First Amendment for false statements.") There are a variety of exceptions, but for the most part, everyone is free to ...


19

Short Answer The facts described by the OP do not, alone, constitute a crime. However, they are likely to begin a chain of causal events that can lead to a crime following a natural sequence of escalatory stages if the "suspect" does not change their behavior to stop the progression. Let's analyze how this might happen... Analysis Stage One: "...


19

Short Answer It was probably legal to rant and probably illegal to shut down the person doing the ranting. Analysis Generally speaking, "content based" restrictions on speech are very limited, although "time, place and manner" restrictions are allowed if they are reasonable and not a backdoor way to restrict content, under the First Amendment. The "time, ...


19

An analogy. I own a meeting hall. I rent it out to the US Forest Service, who frequently has public hearings on matters of policy e.g. whether to open a sector for logging or recreation, seal up abandoned mines or leave them for explorers, that kind of thing. Some of these can get pretty loud. The Forest Service decides to let all the loggers into the ...


18

Denver lawyer David Lane has said, “The First Amendment lives in a rough neighborhood and if you can’t stand the neighborhood move to China … or somewhere the First Amendment does not exist.” "One man's vulgarity is another's lyric." Cohen v. Cali. 403 U.S. 15, 25 (1971) At this point, we need to define illegal as used in your question. For instance, do ...


15

Yes. Japan has adopted Free Speech and other western liberal democratic institutions following the 1945 surrender to the United States and subsequent occupation, though it wasn't the first attempt at some westernization. Beginning in 1868 with the Meiji Restoration and lasting until the 1945 surrender, Japan underwent a major period of industrialization ...


14

There are lots of times when it's illegal to lie. Among them: impersonating a federal agent (18 USC 912) lying to a federal agent (18 USC 1001); health care fraud (18 USC 1035 and 1347); mail fraud (18 USC 1341); wire fraud (18 USC 1343); perjury (18 USC 1623); False Claims Act (31 USC 3729-33); and libel and slander (common law). But you're right that ...


14

The main relevant bit of constitutional law is Employment Division v. Smith, 494 U.S. 872, where it was held that a general law against use of peyote does not violate the Free Exercise clause, though in Church of Lukumi Babalu Aye, Inc. v. City of Hialeah, 508 U.S. 520 a law specifically designed to restrict Santeria animal sacrifices is an undue burden on ...


14

Mocking, or criticising homosexuality, or LGBT as a concept is OK. For example, former governement member Christine Boutin said "Homosexuality is an abomination", and it was considered OK (after appeals, she lost in lower courts, but eventually prevailed). Mocking, or criticising LGBT people is not. For example, far right magazine "Minute"...


13

Private entities are not restricted by the First Amendment. The First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution is: 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 ...


13

You can't. In order for an action to be enforceably prohibited for everybody, there has to be a law to that effect, enacted by the government. Your local legislature will not make it a crime to discuss peanut butter, generally or specifically with you. In some countries, such as the US, such a law would be unconstitutional. Your only hope is to offer ...


13

The precedent arising from the Millard Gillars treason prosecution is Gillars v. United States, 182 F.2d 962 (D.C. Cir. 1950). There were numerous issues raised on appeal but portion of the opinion regarding what counts as treason is as follows: The theory of this contention is that treason may not be committed by words, that all vocal utterances are, by ...


13

In the U.S. it has long been acceptable for private citizens and organizations to sponsor rewards for information leading to a criminal's apprehension. Oftentimes, in the American West, the "Wanted" posters that offered rewards were funded by citizens and victims own pockets since law enforcement bodies at the time were very underfunded (no "...


12

Taking the US as an example, the Constitution states 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. Congress or a state government ...


12

I don't know of any law that prohibits the disclosure of your choices on a ballot. It would certainly be invalidated on First Amendment grounds. There are laws outlawing the disclosure of pictures of your ballot, but there is little remaining debate that these laws violate the First Amendment. New Hampshire's ballot-selfie law was invalidated in 2015, and ...


12

Since the mod welcomes answers from other jurisdictions a short note on the situation in Germany. In 2017, the head of the federal election commission ("Bundeswahlleiter") filed charges against several persons who took selfies of their mail-in ballots in their homes and published them. He referred to §107c of the penal code that forbids to violate ...


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