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We seriously need to consider criminalizing lies.

shortylickens

No Lifer
Jul 15, 2003
78,341
11,283
126
But the people needed to pass such a law are all professional liars.




Seriously, at what point does this go beyond the first amendment and into territory not protected by Free Speech because its genuinely dangerous?
And why is it only conservatives who keep pushing it?
 

hal2kilo

Lifer
Feb 24, 2009
16,462
4,378
136
But the people needed to pass such a law are all professional liars.




Seriously, at what point does this go beyond the first amendment and into territory not protected by Free Speech because its genuinely dangerous?
And why is it only conservatives who keep pushing it?
Yep, I noted that in the other thread about the hearings. The guys totally out in left field with a big helping of BS.
 

dank69

Lifer
Oct 6, 2009
26,325
6,432
136
I keep trying to figure out why it would be a bad thing to criminalize lying. Regardless, something HAS to be done to hold media outlets and politicians accountable for lying. We cannot keep ignoring this. It obviously is not self-correcting, and the only reason we are not a full-blown dictatorship right now comes down to pure luck that Trump was so incompetent.
 

fskimospy

Elite Member
Mar 10, 2006
71,163
20,865
136
I keep trying to figure out why it would be a bad thing to criminalize lying. Regardless, something HAS to be done to hold media outlets and politicians accountable for lying. We cannot keep ignoring this. It obviously is not self-correcting, and the only reason we are not a full-blown dictatorship right now comes down to pure luck that Trump was so incompetent.
This seems like a very, very, very bad idea.

Just enforcement would be impossible, and what is far more likely to happen is the people in power decide what a lie and what isn’t. Imagine a world where Trump is in power and lying is illegal - you think he’s going to jail for lying? No, you’re going to jail for ‘lying’ about how he’s lying.
 

Muse

Lifer
Jul 11, 2001
29,224
3,152
126
"A truth told with bad intent beats all the lies you can invent." - William Blake

Something to think about.
 

dank69

Lifer
Oct 6, 2009
26,325
6,432
136
This seems like a very, very, very bad idea.

Just enforcement would be impossible, and what is far more likely to happen is the people in power decide what a lie and what isn’t. Imagine a world where Trump is in power and lying is illegal - you think he’s going to jail for lying? No, you’re going to jail for ‘lying’ about how he’s lying.
That's just it. I think it is a bad idea, but again, I am struggling to actually articulate why.

Now, you bring up enforcement, but I think that might be surmountable given a few guidelines:

The lie has to be proven. No he said she said shit.
If the liar claims ignorance, the punishment is a national apology tour where the liar has to inject into any interaction with the media that he was wrong about x and he now knows x is demonstrably untrue.
If the liar at any time after that repeats said lie, straight to fucking jail.
 

Jhhnn

No Lifer
Nov 11, 1999
61,670
13,748
136
I keep trying to figure out why it would be a bad thing to criminalize lying. Regardless, something HAS to be done to hold media outlets and politicians accountable for lying. We cannot keep ignoring this. It obviously is not self-correcting, and the only reason we are not a full-blown dictatorship right now comes down to pure luck that Trump was so incompetent.
Ugh. Trump failed because actual power holders in the military, DHS & so forth had the integrity to say no to Trump.
 

HomerJS

Lifer
Feb 6, 2002
25,741
10,807
136
Right wing rags are dumping on Gen Russell Honoree for saying some of the police were complicit. Guess what, some were. Meanwhile shit like this which is an insult to the good capitol police goes unchallenged.

I wish one of Dems would put an injured officer on the stand and that person can tell Johnson to his face what they think of him.
 

tweaker2

Lifer
Aug 5, 2000
11,855
3,081
136
Making lying a crime will be like sewing the Repub party's leadership mouths shut and cutting off their hands. Because the party favors and is beholden to the very wealthy yet has to rely on their working class voters to keep them in office, the party has no other alternative than to lie to their middle class and their poor, being heavily dependent on single issue drama topics ie - abortion, 2A scare tactics, "religious freedom" etc. to keep their supporters from realizing how they're being played big time by their supposed "representatives" in gov't.
 

UNCjigga

Lifer
Dec 12, 2000
22,805
5,157
136
But the people needed to pass such a law are all professional liars.




Seriously, at what point does this go beyond the first amendment and into territory not protected by Free Speech because its genuinely dangerous?
And why is it only conservatives who keep pushing it?
Ahh, yes, the Benghazi Doctrine. When someone tells you it’s just a rally that got out of hand, always assume a small band of terrorists were using the rally as cover!
 
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Sunburn74

Diamond Member
Oct 5, 2009
4,223
1,589
136
This seems like a very, very, very bad idea.

Just enforcement would be impossible, and what is far more likely to happen is the people in power decide what a lie and what isn’t. Imagine a world where Trump is in power and lying is illegal - you think he’s going to jail for lying? No, you’re going to jail for ‘lying’ about how he’s lying.
I think you can criminalize lies by elected officials.
I mean we make it illegal to lie to the FBI. We make it illegal for elected officials to falsify documents.

Why can't we make it illegal for an elected official to lie to the public?
 
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fskimospy

Elite Member
Mar 10, 2006
71,163
20,865
136
I think you can criminalize lies by elected officials.
I mean we make it illegal to lie to the FBI. We make it illegal for elected officials to falsify documents.

Why can't we make it illegal for an elected official to lie to the public?
Well at least for Congress that would be unconstitutional.

Broadly speaking we already do criminalize sworn statements that are false but this seems like a terrible idea generally. I mean is the idea that if a reporter asks the defense Secretary about a secret operation if he denies it he is prosecuted?

There is simply no workable way to do this without disaster. The answer is not to imprison dishonest politicians.
 

Moonbeam

Elite Member
Nov 24, 1999
66,733
3,560
126
What shall we do with people who say they don’t hate themselves? What shall we say to those who believe in good and evil, who think the self and the ‘something else’ exists?

Where is the truth teller who says’ “Oh my Beloved, wherever I look it appears to be Thou!”?
 

Sunburn74

Diamond Member
Oct 5, 2009
4,223
1,589
136
Well at least for Congress that would be unconstitutional.

Broadly speaking we already do criminalize sworn statements that are false but this seems like a terrible idea generally. I mean is the idea that if a reporter asks the defense Secretary about a secret operation if he denies it he is prosecuted?

There is simply no workable way to do this without disaster. The answer is not to imprison dishonest politicians.
I don't think anyone expects elected officials to be giving out classified information.

It's a simple law "if an elected official knowingly gives grossly false information during a session in congress or on a media platform aimed at influencing the public or other elected officials with false statements, they should be subject to penalties such as fines, community service, and or imprisonment (up to 1 year for repeated gross offenses), with discretion left up to the sentencing judge".

It's something you can easily take to a judge and something a judge can easily decide on. Did the person give false facts? Is it reasonable to deduce they know such statements were false? Did they give those statements to influence others? Judges can decide very simply and make a decision on fines, community service and or imprisonment. Many laws are this way. Libel laws, fraud laws, trademark infringement and copyright laws, etc etc
 

fskimospy

Elite Member
Mar 10, 2006
71,163
20,865
136
I don't think anyone expects elected officials to be giving out classified information.
So it’s okay to lie when it’s about national security? Sadly this is where most of the most egregious lies seem to happen.

It's a simple law "if an elected official knowingly gives grossly false information during a session in congress or on a media platform aimed at influencing the public or other elected officials with false statements, they should be subject to penalties such as fines, community service, and or imprisonment (up to 1 year for repeated gross offenses), with discretion left up to the sentencing judge".
This would be unconstitutional at least for members of Congress under the Speech and Debate Clause. When it comes to the executive, again we sadly rely on the executive branch to enforce criminal law and I doubt it will be jailing its own people any time soon.

It's something you can easily take to a judge and something a judge can easily decide on. Did the person give false facts? Is it reasonable to deduce they know such statements were false? Did they give those statements to influence others? Judges can decide very simply and make a decision on fines, community service and or imprisonment. Many laws are this way. Libel laws, fraud laws, trademark infringement and copyright laws, etc etc
Aren’t libel and defamation laws already basically this? I look at what Devin Nunes is doing with them already and that’s only for civil penalties.

Also, much of what you’re talking about wouldn’t be actionable anyway. Like when Trump says the election was stolen, that’s not going to be actionable anyway as it’s an opinion.

Again, if you make ‘lies’ criminal offenses what’s going to happen is the people in power get to decide what a lie is, and very quickly a lie becomes ‘statements they don’t like’.
 

woolfe9998

Lifer
Apr 8, 2013
12,361
7,068
136
You can't criminalize lies. You can criminalize lying causing damage, e.g. libel. Those laws are on the books.
Libel is a civil theory, not a crime. There hasn't been a crime of libel for hundreds of years.
 

woolfe9998

Lifer
Apr 8, 2013
12,361
7,068
136
People can tell lies but they these days they depend on private companies to amplify their lies to a much broader audience. The best we can do is de-platform them so their lies don't have the same reach.

Eski has already explained what is fundamentally wrong with criminalizing lies. It's a colossally bad idea.
 

pmv

Diamond Member
May 30, 2008
7,672
2,834
136
Libel is a civil theory, not a crime. There hasn't been a crime of libel for hundreds of years.
Are you sure about that timescale? I had the impression they only formally abolished the common law offense of libel here (UK) a few years ago. Googling it seems to suggest it existed in the US fairly recently as well. Not that I'm a lawyer or really know anything at all about the topic, I just know I've heard the phrase 'criminal libel' a few times over the years, so googled about it.




Many people think of libel as a civil wrongdoing, but it is also against the law in some states. Georgia used to be one such state until legislation quietly decriminalized libel in 2015.


In 1982, the Georgia Supreme Court ruled the criminal libel law unconstitutional in Williamson v. Georgia. This case involved an alleged “breach of the peace” charge against the defendant. An appeal resulted in the judgment getting reversed and the General Assembly limiting the breach of peace provision of the opprobrious language statute to “fighting words” only. Still, the statute remained effective, but not used often. It is believed the criminal libel statute vanished mostly because state prosecutors were using it to keep complaints against the government quiet.
 

woolfe9998

Lifer
Apr 8, 2013
12,361
7,068
136
Are you sure about that timescale? I had the impression they only formally abolished the common law offense of libel here (UK) a few years ago. Googling it seems to suggest it existed in the US fairly recently as well. Not that I'm a lawyer or really know anything at all about the topic, I just know I've heard the phrase 'criminal libel' a few times over the years, so googled about it.


You're right. They abolished it in the UK in 2010.


I don't know about UK, but I don't think libel has been enforced here as a crime for a long while, regardless of when it was technically repealed. Adultery was a crime in many states until fairly recently, may even still be in some states, but hasn't been enforced in a long while. My guess is Georgia was the last holdout in formally repealing criminal libel.
 

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