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U.N. Resolution 16/18, freedom of expression, and "...incitement to imminent violence..."

 
Bert Bates
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I guess a couple of years ago Obama and Clinton led the charge to get this compromise with the OIC (Islamic UN block) ratified:

U.N. Resolution 16/18

I'm pretty damned concerned about 5f, and frankly the whole damned thing.

Please tell me why this doesn't start chipping away at freedom of expression in it's most crucial moments?

Please tell me who you think is qualified to decide when a given statement might be an "incitement to imminent violence"? Would the Danish cartoons qualify?
 
fred rosenberger
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the right to free speech has always been tempered with 'the greater good'. The textbook example is that I do not have the right to yell "Fire" in a crowded theater (unless there actually IS a fire).

I would think that "incitement to imminent violence" would be along the lines of "let's go kill person X", whereas posting something that might piss someone (or even a large group of someones) would not.

How a judge or lawyer interprets it will most likely be more situational.
 
Campbell Ritchie
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fred rosenberger wrote: . . . The textbook example is that I do not have the right to yell "Fire" in a crowded theater . . .
Which would cross the boundary between freedom of opinion/speech and freedom to lie.
 
fred rosenberger
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Not sure what you mean. I have the right to yell "Fire", whether there is one or not, in my own home. The difference is that in a crowded theatre, yelling it could cause panic, injury, etc. The compelling good of the masses limits my free speech rights.

Truth does not really enter into it here.
 
Bear Bibeault
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Here's an example that has me thinking: I saw someone wearing a t-shirt with a picture of an assault rifle and the slogan "When all else fails, vote from the rooftops."

So, is recommending assassination as a political tool "inciting to violence", or is it "free speech"?
 
Campbell Ritchie
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fred rosenberger wrote: . . . Truth does not really enter into it here.
I agree that the overwhelming benefit to the many …

But, if you shout, “fire!” at home, everybody there knows whether it is true.
 
Bert Bates
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The context for this resolution was specifically aimed at curtailing criticism of religion, and was initiated and relentlessly driven within the U.N. (for a decade?) by the OIC (Org. Islamic Cooperation).

So the question about the Danish cartoons wasn't really rhetorical. In this example, the resolution would call on the Danish government to censor the cartoons criticizing Muhammad. It could be applied also to stopping Neo-Nazis in the U.S. from parading through Jewish communities, and so on.

Another non-rhetorical question is: Who do you think is unbiased and smart enough to judge such situations?

And another: Isn't free speech most critical when tyranny is on the march?

My own take is that - in an imperfect world - we should err on the side of strongly defending free speech.
 
Campbell Ritchie
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Any religion worth its salt can stand up to criticism.
 
Bert Bates
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The actual "shouting 'fire' in a theatre" idea was actually part of a bad legal decision, ah well.

XKCD's take: XKCD, free speech
 
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