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There's no freedom of speech on the Internet

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_Rick_

Diamond Member
Apr 20, 2012
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Is this a bad thing?

As for the why: The Internet consists of a number of privately owned servers and interconnects. These privately owned entities have the right to enforce what message is being spread via their equipment. And while in theory P2P would allow for freedom of speech, as no other entity has to take responsibility for what is being provided from their services, the precedent has been set, where using P2P for file sharing makes your provider blacklist you from ever connecting to the 'net again.

Is is desirable to have a part of the Internet where freedom of speech is guaranteed? If so, would it have to be a part that is nationally segregated, to prevent legal issues from arising? Who would fund and operate it? Who would use it, if they'd have to suffer a million P&N-trolls?

As many here (anyone posting in Discussion Club), I'd rather have censorship than that :D
 
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JTsyo

Lifer
Nov 18, 2007
10,985
247
106
Freedom of speech on the internet means the government can't persecute you for something you expressed on the internet. While the private companies might be able to control what is displayed on their sites, you still can't be persecuted by the government so freedom of speech exists.
 

Broheim

Diamond Member
Feb 17, 2011
4,592
2
81
freedom of speech is between private citizens and the government, not private citizens and other private entities.
 

waggy

No Lifer
Dec 14, 2000
68,145
9
81
Is this a bad thing?

As for the why: The Internet consists of a number of privately owned servers and interconnects. These privately owned entities have the right to enforce what message is being spread via their equipment. And while in theory P2P would allow for freedom of speech, as no other entity has to take responsibility for what is being provided from their services, the precedent has been set, where using P2P for file sharing makes your provider blacklist you from ever connecting to the 'net again.

Is is desirable to have a part of the Internet where freedom of speech is guaranteed? If so, would it have to be a part that is nationally segregated, to prevent legal issues from arising? Who would fund and operate it? Who would use it, if they'd have to suffer a million P&N-trolls?

As many here (anyone posting in Discussion Club), I'd rather have censorship than that :D
/facepalm
 

_Rick_

Diamond Member
Apr 20, 2012
3,892
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freedom of speech is between private citizens and the government, not private citizens and other private entities.
Precisely. You cannot expect freedom of speech on the Internet, as long as it is a number of private entities. You're always shouting your paroles in someone's front yard.
So while the private entities that make up the Internet might not care what you say about the government, there's no guarantee that they do, leaving you with no cyber-place, where freedom of speech is guaranteed - unless the government provides such a platform, as it is the only entity that is bound to guarantee that you can make your point against them.
 

FallenHero

Diamond Member
Jan 2, 2006
5,659
0
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Precisely. You cannot expect freedom of speech on the Internet, as long as it is a number of private entities. You're always shouting your paroles in someone's front yard.
So while the private entities that make up the Internet might not care what you say about the government, there's no guarantee that they do, leaving you with no cyber-place, where freedom of speech is guaranteed - unless the government provides such a platform, as it is the only entity that is bound to guarantee that you can make your point against them.
I'm not sure you are fully understanding what we are saying. You still have that freedom, as only a government entity can violate those rights.

The same concept you are talking about exists today as well. If you walked into a business and suddenly shouted "I do not like gay people" that business could ask you to leave because of what you said. They are not violating your right to free speech, as they are not a governmental entity and can simply deny your business for any given (reasonable) reason. You could then walk to the business next door and say the same thing and be welcome to shop there, as that business also has a choice.
 

lxskllr

No Lifer
Nov 30, 2004
54,952
4,880
126
Make your own place, and guarantee freedom of speech. Freedom has to be seized. It isn't bestowed on you by governments or anything else. Governmental "rights" can be taken as easily as they are given as recent news events show.
 

GasX

Lifer
Feb 8, 2001
29,033
6
81
You always have the right to say whatever the hell you want. You also have to live with the consequences of your words. "Freedom of Speech" just means the government will not persecute you for your words. It doesn't mean dropping N bombs on Martin Luther King Boulevard is a fine idea...
 

Broheim

Diamond Member
Feb 17, 2011
4,592
2
81
Precisely. You cannot expect freedom of speech on the Internet, as long as it is a number of private entities. You're always shouting your paroles in someone's front yard.
So while the private entities that make up the Internet might not care what you say about the government, there's no guarantee that they do, leaving you with no cyber-place, where freedom of speech is guaranteed - unless the government provides such a platform, as it is the only entity that is bound to guarantee that you can make your point against them.
it's "freedom of speech", not "free soapbox". the government's job is to ensure your rights are not infringed, not to give you a venue to exercise your rights (although they do this today in some situations because otherwise they would be infringing on your rights and it's generally a grey area constitutionally speaking).
 

_Rick_

Diamond Member
Apr 20, 2012
3,892
58
91
Oh no, moved to the cesspool :(

Anyway, what I'm getting at, is that there's no public space in the web, due to its very nature. On the other hand, a large part of our daily communications are now using this self-same web. In fact, the potential reach of something on the web makes it quasi-public. On the other hand, being excluded from the web, for commercial reasons is a possibility. Making your own place is often a far fetched notion. Leasing any decently peered line, often requires leasing a location where that kind of line terminates, and is prohibitively expensive. You need to integrate with DNS, and you need to obtain an IP. In every case, commercial interests prevail.

The web is not a P2P network, yet de facto it's the Internet's key service. Of course, this can be compared to setting up your own printing press and pony service in the last century. But even small scale reach cannot be guaranteed, as it would be were you to access a metropolitan area and get on a soapbox.

The Internet being the medium that it is - should there not be a provision of a "public space" in it? Or maybe, there really shouldn't, because it's a bad idea. But imagine what would happen to free speech, if all public space would suddenly be private. You would depend on the whims of the owner of the street, if you wanted to protest in front of the White House.

That's the situation on the net.

So while technically, of course, you have freedom of speech, it doesn't matter for most of us. If your view is drawing the ire of your hoster, the government won't even have to bother.
 

justoh

Diamond Member
Jun 11, 2013
3,686
81
91
Internet freedom is a big concern, and expect it slowly (or perhaps quickly) to erode. "Ordinary" people don't understand the internet or internet culture and freak out when they see the way online gamers communicate with each other, for example. There are also legitimate concerns for undue influence on minors/sexual predators etc. as well as identity theft, the name a few, all of which will conspire to "force" sweeping legislation as the internet becomes more and more ubiquitous in the name of protection, which will ultimately transform it into something unrecognizable to us today. Probably.
 

lamedude

Golden Member
Jan 14, 2011
1,206
10
81
Its called Usenet. If the MAFIAA can't remove their warez from all servers I don't think the gov't can.
 

piasabird

Lifer
Feb 6, 2002
17,168
60
91
Guess again the government can prosecute you. Just start saying the wrong thing like that gamer guy making threats against a grade school and you will find out how fast you end up in jail. I suggest being a little careful about making threats. Insults we might tolerate. Some people have no tact.

Most sites like this one have some kind of agreement that all users must adhere to. Like personal attacks on users are not normally tolerated.
 
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