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police arrest teen for allegedly promoting ethnic hatred on Facebook

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posted on Jun, 17 2010 @ 05:35 PM

Originally posted by InvisibleAlbatross
reply to post by Retseh

I agree that anti-Semitism is shameful, but people do have the right to think what they want. They cannot act on that hatred in a violent way however. And ATS is not Canadian anyway.

I guess Canada defines "act on that hatred in a violent way" differently. In the US we take that to mean inciting violent behavior or physical attacks on someone. Typing hateful words in a web page isn't what I would call "acting in a violent way". I prefer American freedom of speech over hate speech laws you have in Canada any day, for one reason - when this case comes to court it will be up to one or a group of men and women to decide if his words were hateful. Making that determination on a case by case basis allows the bar to be set lower and lower for what is considered hate speech. How long will it be before something like "Shut up dude" will be considered hate speech? And don't say it won't ever be considered hateful speech, because it might. If the powers that be decide you said those words with hate in your heart then they can determine you to be guilty of hate speech. That goes to telling people how they should feel and what should be in their hearts and people have a God given right to feel whatever emotions they want.

[edit on 17-6-2010 by black cat]

posted on Jun, 17 2010 @ 05:39 PM
reply to post by black cat

Well right now we really don't know what this guy said. It is possible that he did indeed make threats, and that is illegal, even in the US

posted on Jun, 17 2010 @ 05:41 PM
Im going to have to agree here. It doesnt matter what was said, it is there right. And this is happening alot lately. Someone doesnt like what someone else is saying and they get arrested for it. Its ridiculous.

It says they were making threats though, so maybe this is why the arrest happened. Who knows what kind of theats they were making.

posted on Jun, 17 2010 @ 05:43 PM
reply to post by Jess_Undefined

The law is actually pretty clear. He can say he hates a group of people all he wants. He cannot urge others to attack that group or threaten to attack that group himself.

posted on Jun, 17 2010 @ 06:06 PM
How do we know this kid was spreading "ethnic hatred" (it should be racial hatred, but I digress)?

The NAACP thought Hallmark was doing it too with a graduation card that talked about Black Holes.

Need more info on this but your sentiments about free speech are absolutely correct.

Hate speech

We might as well make Love speech illegal too!

[edit on 17-6-2010 by Asktheanimals]

posted on Jun, 17 2010 @ 06:18 PM
ATS members so frequently scream about free speech. Guess what, it has its limits.

From this site:freedomforum

Will this act of speech create a dangerous situation? The First Amendment does not protect statements that are uttered to provoke violence or incite illegal action.

Justice Holmes, speaking for the unanimous Supreme Court, stated, “The question in every case is whether the words used are used in such circumstances and are of such a nature as to create a clear and present danger that they will bring about the substantive evils that Congress has a right to prevent.”

Fighting Words
Was something said face-to-face that would incite immediate violence?

In Chaplinsky v. New Hampshire, the Supreme Court stated that the “English language has a number of words and expressions which by general consent [are] ‘fighting words’ when said without a disarming smile. … Such words, as ordinary men know, are likely to cause a fight.” The court determined that the New Hampshire statute in question “did no more than prohibit the face-to-face words plainly likely to cause a breach of the peace by the addressee, words whose speaking constitute a breach of the peace by the speaker — including ‘classical fighting words,’ words in current use less ‘classical’ but equally likely to cause violence, and other disorderly words, including profanity, obscenity and threats.” Jurisdictions may write statutes to punish verbal acts if the statutes are “carefully drawn so as not unduly to impair liberty of expression.”

Also see What is the Fighting Words Doctrine?

Libel and Slander
Was the statement false, or put in a context that makes true statements misleading? You do not have a constitutional right to tell lies that damage or defame the reputation of a person or organization.

In June 1973 in Miller v. California, the Supreme Court held in a 5-to-4 decision that obscene materials do not enjoy First Amendment protection.

In Miller v. California (1973), the court refined the definition of “obscenity” established in Roth v. United States (1957). It also rejected the “utterly without redeeming social value” test of Memoirs v. Massachusetts.

In the three-part Miller test, three questions must receive affirmative responses for material to be considered “obscene”:

Would the average person, applying the contemporary community standards, viewing the work as a whole, find the work appeals to the prurient interest?
Does the work depict or describe sexual conduct in a patently offensive way?
Does the work taken as a whole lack serious literary, artistic, political, or scientific value?
One must distinguish “obscene” material, speech not protected by the First Amendment, from “indecent” material, speech protected for adults but not for children. The Supreme Court also ruled that “higher standards” may be established to protect minors from exposure to indecent material over the airwaves. In FCC v. Pacifica Foundation the court “recognized an interest in protecting minors from exposure to vulgar and offensive spoken language.”

Conflict with Other Legitimate Social or Governmental Interests
Does the speech conflict with other compelling interests? For example, in times of war, there may be reasons to restrict First Amendment rights because of conflicts with national security.

To ensure a fair trial without disclosure of prejudicial information before or during a trial, a judge may place a “gag” order on participants in the trial, including attorneys. Placing prior restraint upon the media usually is unconstitutional. In Nebraska Press Association v. Stuart (1976), the Supreme Court established three criteria that must be met before a judge can issue a gag order and restrain the media during a trial.

Time, Place, and Manner
These regulations of expression are content-neutral. A question to ask: Did the expression occur at a time or place, or did the speaker use a method of communicating, that interferes with a legitimate government interest? For example, distribution of information should not impede the flow of traffic or create

Inciting racism and hatred can fall under numerous conditions.

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