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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jul 2004
    Posts
    2,361

    Freedom of Speech in forums

    Hello everyone,

    Recently I had to bann a guy from my forum for been too rude, when visitors found him irritating.

    He was saying to people pictures, "You are real ugly", "You are one fat girl, you need to diet", "Whenver I look at this pic, I always want to cum back for more", etc.

    Q.1: Would such user be banned from WHT ?

    And he defended himself as speaking the 'truth', stated the First Amendment. To be frank, yes he was quiet truthful, the girl was fat, etc.

    Revoking the ban would anger a lot of other people. And IMO, I think he should be banned. But what is my defense ? Suggest a good one.

    LOL.
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Freedom...d_the_Internet

    I just want to be reasonable.

    Thanks.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Aug 2000
    Location
    Tacoma, Washington
    Posts
    9,576
    The best way to put it is this. The first amendment gives you the right to say what you like. It doesn't however give you the right to be heard.

    In addition a forum is a privated operated area. The 'law' is generally dictated by whoever owns that forum.
    Former Webhost... now, just a guy.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jun 2001
    Location
    Kalamazoo
    Posts
    32,889

    Re: Freedom of Speech in forums

    Originally posted by hellind2
    . . .

    Q.1: Would such user be banned from WHT ?

    . . .
    He'd first be warned and the offending posts removed. Then, if he continued, he'd be banned.

    Some people take the term "Freedom of Speech" too literally. It has little to do with one being able to say whatever they want whenever they want to. The first amendment states, "Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech . . ."

    You ain't Congress. And you can limit what is stated on your forum.
    .
    There is no best host. There is only the host that's best for you.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Nov 2003
    Posts
    494
    Freedom of speech guaranteed by the First Amendment is not absolute. This has been made clear by the United States Supreme Court.

    Unprotected Speech
    --------------------------
    Defamatory Speech
    Speech that violates criminal law (threatening, pornography, etc)
    Speech that is likely to incite others to respond violently
    Obscene Speech (1973 Miller vs. California)

    I believe obscene speech applies in this scenario. Obsessive speech if one that:
    1- The average person finds that it violated contemporary community standards
    2- Obsessive interest in sex
    3- Patently offensive sexual conduct
    4- Lack serious redeeming literary, artistic, political of scientific merit.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jun 2003
    Location
    FT Worth, TX
    Posts
    5,098
    This is the internet not the United States of America. We setup our own rules for forums and people must abide them. I had setup some rules for Mike Rowe Forums and people starting bitching at me for them. Oh well the 14-year-olds on the forums need to get a life. They hate me now because I was putting a stop to the spamming, rudeness, and so forth.
    Kerry Jones

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Nov 2002
    Location
    paradise
    Posts
    6,190
    Ignoring works most times.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Nov 2003
    Posts
    494
    just adding to what akashik said.

    btw: yes this is the internet. Just beacuse it is the internet does not mean that the law does not apply to you (refering if you are posting from the US to a server in the US)

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Mar 2004
    Posts
    1,468
    If somebody is being disrespectful, you dont want that person being part of your comunity.

    He has freedom of speech, you have the freedom to ban him.
    Haven't been on WHT for 6 years!

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jul 2004
    Posts
    2,361
    Thanks for all the replies.

    I knew it was a right thing I did, but my 'engineer' senses was craving for a solid-reason. You know science people.

    I didnt' want to sound like "This is my place, follow or leave", sound too authoritarian? Anyway....... So I replied back to him with Saffar's suggestion:
    Freedom of speech guaranteed by the First Amendment is not absolute. This has been made clear by the United States Supreme Court.

    Unprotected Speech
    --------------------------
    Defamatory Speech
    Speech that violates criminal law (threatening, pornography, etc)
    Speech that is likely to incite others to respond violently
    Obscene Speech (1973 Miller vs. California)

    I believe obscene speech applies in this scenario. Obsessive speech if one that:
    1- The average person finds that it violated contemporary community standards
    2- Obsessive interest in sex
    3- Patently offensive sexual conduct
    4- Lack serious redeeming literary, artistic, political of scientific merit.
    Well it does sound legal enough. That guy was back at my forum and is yet to see his defense. So far so good.

    Can I say "The Freedom of Speech doesnt' apply to a community, in cyber and in real, eg. A school music club" ?

    PS. All this is for a healthy argument. That guy is cool. I just need my reasons in words.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jun 2000
    Location
    Southern California
    Posts
    12,121
    My advice... ban him, ignore his emails, be done with it.
    HostHideout.com - Where professionals discuss web hosting.

    • Chicken

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Jun 2003
    Location
    FT Worth, TX
    Posts
    5,098
    A forum community is privately owned....
    Kerry Jones

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Dec 2003
    Location
    Fairfax, Virginia
    Posts
    6,835
    There is no question in this situation. It is at your discretion to ban or do whatever you want to punish him, as long as it's not hurting him directly, i.e. putting a virus on his computer.

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Dec 2002
    Location
    chica go go
    Posts
    11,858
    We take the "Be Polite" rule very seriously! We do not tolerate any rudeness. Any member who is intentionally unpleasant or disruptive may be banned without warning.
    http://www.webhostingtalk.com/misc.p...on=forum-rules

    but, what you do with your website is your business, if he goes off saying you're violating his free speech right, then you could probably give him some smart answer like "Ohh, i was just excercising my power of the first amendment to delete your post.".

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Oct 2003
    Location
    Tas, Australia
    Posts
    2,488
    Well, you should tell him that there is freedom of speech and that you aren't stopping him fro voicing his opinions elsewhere, but this is your site and your forum and you don't like him there. Besides, as webmaster, you have the freedom of banning people

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