84 votes
Accepted

What is the legal distinction between Twitter banning Trump and Trump blocking individuals?

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 ...
Nate Eldredge's user avatar
69 votes

Can Tucker Carlson be penalized or punished by the US government?

The first amendment to the US constitution says: Congress shall make no law [...] abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; [...] This constitutional hurdle is a very high obstacle to ...
Philipp's user avatar
  • 7,346
49 votes
Accepted

Does a private citizen in the US have the right to make a "Contact the Police" poster?

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 ...
David Siegel's user avatar
45 votes

Is it really legal to knowingly lie in public as a public figure?

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 ...
Ryan M's user avatar
  • 10.3k
43 votes

University prohibits professors from testifying

It’s important to bear in mind that there is a difference between expert witnesses and witnesses of fact: expert witnesses must consent to testify (with or without payment), witnesses of fact can be ...
Dale M's user avatar
  • 205k
40 votes
Accepted

Would a giant "F*** BIDEN" flag mounted on a truck be first amendment protected?

The First Amendment controls in the US, so it does not matter if this is Idaho or Berkeley CA. This is clearly an expression of a political viewpoint, which is protected by the First Amendment. Any ...
user6726's user avatar
  • 215k
38 votes

Would a giant "F*** BIDEN" flag mounted on a truck be first amendment protected?

Let me paint you a picture. It's April 26, 1968. We're in the corridors of an LA courthouse. Paul Robert Cohen is wearing a leather jacket, upon which he has written in white lettering 3 words. Some ...
Trish's user avatar
  • 37.3k
35 votes
Accepted

Can people criticize the Imperial Family in Japan?

Yes The 1947 constitution abolished Lèse majesté in Japan.
Dale M's user avatar
  • 205k
35 votes
Accepted

Can legal action reasonably be taken against someone unsavory for endorsing your product/company?

My question is, does the company have any legal action they can reasonably take against the unsavory person? No. Free speech entitles someone to endorse anything they want. Defamation is an exception ...
ohwilleke's user avatar
  • 206k
34 votes

In the USA, can treason be protected by the First Amendment?

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 ...
bdb484's user avatar
  • 58.2k
33 votes
Accepted

Was the recent ruling against Jordan Peterson an infringement of his free speech?

Everyone agreed that the decision of the College of Psychologists of Ontario impacted Peterson's freedom of expression. The College's decision itself said this. The question was whether the College ...
Jen's user avatar
  • 51.5k
32 votes

Can I put up a joke sign on my private land that reads "Active Minefield"?

My alternative is to put up a sign "Keep Out: Testing Lasers from Space" which is a derivative of this idea and (IMO) would be considered humor. I know there is a line, how and where is that ...
ohwilleke's user avatar
  • 206k
31 votes

Can Tucker Carlson be penalized or punished by the US government?

what are the chances of the US government sanctioning Tucker Carlson and can it actually be done? Nil. The memo does not allege collusion with Russia or any other foreign power, or working as its ...
ohwilleke's user avatar
  • 206k
30 votes

Is it prohibited to mock the LGBT community in France?

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 ...
Dale M's user avatar
  • 205k
28 votes

Is it illegal for a US voter to disclose their ballot choices?

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 ...
Ryan M's user avatar
  • 10.3k
28 votes

Can I deny people entry to a political rally I co-organise?

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 ...
Paul Johnson's user avatar
  • 13.2k
28 votes
Accepted

Can you get sued for producing excessively violent materials in the form of a book, movie or video game in the U.S.?

You cannot be successfully sued nor charged with a crime in the US merely because a movie, book, or other work is violent. Consider the rape scenes in the movie Deliverance, or John Hersey's The Wall,...
David Siegel's user avatar
27 votes

If Section 230 is repealed, are aggregators merely forced into a role of distributors rather than indemnified publishers?

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 ...
Ryan M's user avatar
  • 10.3k
27 votes
Accepted

Legal jeopardy for advocating assassination of an unspecified evil leader?

In the United States, at least, it's quite clear that merely arguing that the assassination of a leader would be a good policy decision is protected by the First Amendment. The United States Supreme ...
bdb484's user avatar
  • 58.2k
26 votes

Does a private citizen in the US have the right to make a "Contact the Police" poster?

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 ...
ohwilleke's user avatar
  • 206k
26 votes
Accepted

Is it legal under Czech and EU legal system to punish people with prison sentences for publicly expressing their political views?

For a challenge under the European Convention on Human Rights (to which Czechia is a signatory) the relevant articles are 10 and 17. Article 10, on the right to free expression, has the caveat that it:...
Og8219's user avatar
  • 806
23 votes
Accepted

Can an "FBI domain seizure" April Fools joke land you in jail?

I can't comment on what the legal situation would be in your home country, but as a matter of U.S. law, the hypothetical scenario you've described is not illegal. First, because you aren't a U.S. ...
bdb484's user avatar
  • 58.2k
22 votes
Accepted

What is the status of songs that glorify illegal activity in different countries?

What is the status of songs that glorify illegal activity in different countries? germany Depends on the crime and the lyrics. For historical reasons, glorifying genocide is banned. Calling for ...
o.m.'s user avatar
  • 16.5k
22 votes

Is it considered harrassment in the US to call a black man the N-word?

The spectrum of "illegal" is broad. One way in which racial epithets are (indirectly) illegal is via anti-discrimination laws, indeed labeled "harassment" by the EEOC Harassment ...
user6726's user avatar
  • 215k
22 votes
Accepted

Legality of busking a song with copyrighted melody but using different lyrics to deliver a message

A song with the same melody and different lyrics is a derivative work. It does not matter whether the song is to be sung for money, or not. The copyright owner still retains the rights to the melody, ...
serencog's user avatar
  • 571
22 votes
Accepted

Does Elon Musk have any grounds for legal action against people who track his plane?

Specifically, the threatened action is about stalking and implicit threats to his family. I'm not suggesting that there is a lot of merit to the claim, but that is how he is presenting the argument. ...
user6726's user avatar
  • 215k
20 votes

Is it really legal to knowingly lie in public as a public figure?

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 ...
bdb484's user avatar
  • 58.2k
19 votes
Accepted

Was it legal to rant against trick or treating via loudspeaker during halloween?

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, ...
ohwilleke's user avatar
  • 206k
19 votes

What is the legal distinction between Twitter banning Trump and Trump blocking individuals?

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 ...
Harper - Reinstate Monica's user avatar
19 votes

University prohibits professors from testifying

The legal basis for the restriction is, according to UF that the "university denied requests of these full-time employees to undertake outside paid work that is adverse to the university’s ...
user6726's user avatar
  • 215k

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