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 ...


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....


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

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

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 ...


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

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

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 ...


12

You really asked two different questions, so let's take them one at a time: Publisher Within the scope of 47 USC 230, Stack Exchange is defined as a provider of an "interactive computer service," which is defined as follows: Interactive computer service The term “interactive computer service” means any information service, system, or access ...


11

The quote from the EFF: Section 230 says that any site that hosts the content of other “speakers”—from writing, to videos, to pictures, to code that others write or upload—is not liable for that content, except for some important exceptions for violations of federal criminal law and intellectual property claims. Is a little over-broad. In traditional US ...


11

The main reason for this asymmetry is, as the other answers say, that Twitter is a private company and Trump was a government official. It is a little more subtle, in that Twitter is not a regulated public utility. Various businesses such as gas, water, electricity are deemed to be public utilities which serve the basic needs of the general public, and ...


10

The "Hitlergruß" In Germany, statements and even gestures that are identified with the nazi ideology are a criminal offence under StGB §86a (Dissemination of Means of Propaganda of Unconstitutional Organizations) and StGB $130 (Volksverhetzung), leaving a gap only for art, science, research or teaching. This makes the "Hitlergruß" with or ...


10

As a adult of sound mind, you are responsible for your actions. Background checks for job applications are common place to determine suitability. The employers have the right (and responsibility) to choose what is in their best interest. If through your previous and present actions, they come to the conclusion that you will become a liability to their ...


10

In Germany, the organizer or someone designated by them can exclude people from the event, but enforcement is up to the police. A police coordinator will be near the organizer during the entire event. Stewards report disturbances they cannot clear themselves to the organizer, who then coordinates with police. A good summary is on the ver.di website. In ...


10

It is usually illegal to lie with the intention to influence share prices, and then use the change you caused when trading these shares.


9

Though not in the USA, something very similar happened in Ireland in 2014. A homeowner was burgled while absent, but his CCTV system caught clear images of the intruders. He supplied this data to the police, who were pleased to have it. However, he also posted the videos on Youtube. He was subsequently ordered to take them down again because he was violating ...


8

What do you mean by “record”? If “record” means taking notes, even verbatim notes if the journalist knows shorthand (which is a great skill for a journalist), then, absolutely. If “record” means an audio recording with a piece of technology, then, it depends on where each person is and what technology is used and,perhaps what is being discussed. The ...


8

In the UK, it's a crime to take any photographs or images inside the polling station. Photographing a ballot paper is a big no-no. Although prosecutions to my knowledge are extremely rare and you would realistically probably just get a telling-off from the police. Unless you did something really egregious like walk around a polling station photographing ...


8

Treason, like free speech, is in the Constitution To add to bdb's point that the First Amendment is not absolute, the relation of treason to free speech is also complicated by the fact that treason itself is in the Constitution. (In fact, treason is the only crime that is defined in the Constitution.) That treason is in the Constitution means it has a ...


8

I worked with forums that hosted User Generated Content (UGC) ... both before DMCA landed and also shortly after, before it was certain how courts would interpret DMCA. Yes, lack of a well-tested Section 230 had a chilling effect on site monitoring and oversight. Naturally, we "ate our own dogfood" and read and participated in the UGC. So we saw ...


7

You don't explicitly say (this being an internationally visited and populated site), but based on your question, I will assume that you are in the US. For the question you asked: Is the company the government? If not, then NO, you cannot successfully sue a company (or person for that matter) for violating the freedom of speech granted by the First Amendment ...


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