Regarding Free Speech of ATS forums/Constitution

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posted on Dec, 30 2012 @ 10:09 PM
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First of all I want to say that I am in no way shape or form trying to insult anyone of the ATS staff in making this thread. Nor am I making this thread out of any sort of revenge. I just wanted to give a little added perspective into the matter of Free Speech in privately owned places, such as this forum, and how this could potentially create a domino effect in this country. I also want feedback. Because if I am wrong in my thinking, I would want someone to teach me how this all works.

I was reading responses from the Forum Moderators regarding Free Speech on this forum, and some of them talk about how the Constitution does not apply to privately owned sectors, venues, forums, businesses, etc. What I am showing in this thread is a different viewpoint.

For instance. Take privately owned prisons. Free speech would not apply in these facilities. Now think about if all of the prisons became privately owned. Then nobody would have free speech. Other companies and businesses would start jumping on the bandwagon, and creating their own private venue, safe from Constitutional Law. Eventually, all organizations would be private, and nothing about Free Speech in the constitution would apply. Now, would you want to live in that scenario? I certainly would not.

Now, pardon me in my lack of knowledge in law (I know a little), but going by what you guys are saying about Free Speech on this Forum and how the constitution does not apply here, do I stand correct on my theory?

I understand that, yes, if someone came into my home, would I want them saying whatever they wanted? No, of course not. But then again, my home is not open to the public like this Forum is, there is a big difference. Anyway, I am not claiming to be an expert of the constitution, it was just a thought that occurred to me on this discussion.
edit on 30-12-2012 by WiindWalker because: (no reason given)




posted on Dec, 30 2012 @ 10:17 PM
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ATS is an international website, not soley American - therefore I do not think any one particular countries laws apply.



posted on Dec, 30 2012 @ 10:19 PM
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Maybe it is not as much about free speech as it is about common courtesies, Thats my take on it. We should always be a little more aware about being courteous in our expression don't you think? I think of the mods "censorship" as a helping hand in maintaining a courtly discussion that is welcoming to all.

Just my take.



posted on Dec, 30 2012 @ 10:20 PM
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Originally posted by Kryties
ATS is an international website, not soley American - therefore I do not think any one particular countries laws apply.


This is understandable. But, if this were the case for all businesses in the US. Since, they do have websites that are internally owned, wouldnt this make the Constitution useless?
edit on 30-12-2012 by WiindWalker because: (no reason given)



posted on Dec, 30 2012 @ 10:24 PM
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reply to post by WiindWalker
 


What annoys me the most is that they promote this idea that ATS is a haven of free, independant and critical thought, sporting the motto "Deny Ignorance" but all sorts of stuff gets censored or mods dictate the flow of conversation.

Then when people complain, you get the "Well you agreed to the rules when you signed up", "It's a privately owned forum", "If you don't like it leave it", often totally ignoring their own motto and betraying the very, supposed, essence of the site.

I'm not talking about removing profanity and such, this is a off course a great trait of ATS.



posted on Dec, 30 2012 @ 10:26 PM
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reply to post by WiindWalker
 


In a way, constitutional rights do not exist in most workplaces. There is a common understanding about how to conduct your communication that does not allow for total freedom of expression. It is in the home and in public that one has the right to express himself. One should look at online forums or social media almost as if it is a job site, or else all good conversation is lost in the unsavory ranting that goes unchecked.



posted on Dec, 30 2012 @ 10:26 PM
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Originally posted by Quauhtli
Maybe it is not as much about free speech as it is about common courtesies, Thats my take on it. We should always be a little more aware about being courteous in our expression don't you think? I think of the mods "censorship" as a helping hand in maintaining a courtly discussion that is welcoming to all.

Just my take.


I agree with this. But, lets make an example. If I were to speak truth about something that would hurt a lot of peoples feelings. They are not my opinions, but stated facts. Common courtesy would say: Hey I shouldnt be saying that. Then what good is the right of Free Speech? Does it really serve any real purpose?

I have heard of people being arrested for saying or doing things that were not courteous to others, so I was just wondering about how the Free Speech section of the constitution actually "does" anything for us.



posted on Dec, 30 2012 @ 10:28 PM
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reply to post by WiindWalker
 


I've only seen ATS stop excessively rude comments, off topic comments, Hitler admiration, and something about the Sandy Hook massacre(I'm ignorant of what it was exactly). Are one of those things what you're disputing?



posted on Dec, 30 2012 @ 10:28 PM
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reply to post by WiindWalker
 


When you example prisons, you are not exampling a forum where topics are under discussion. You're exampling an institution where people are held in duress as repercussion for their actions.

You're argument is not valid. Employees and guests of any institution who are at an institution of their own free will are more than welcome to voice any opinion about anything whey wish.
The operators of any said institution can then dis-employ, revoke guest status, and/or ask the free speaker to leave.

Feel free to make loud proclamations about controversial subjects at your own employment on a regular basis and you'll soon see some results which you probably won't like.

Prisoners of crimes, and prisons, though, that's another issue altogether, and private property or no, as prisoners, they still have rights, and those private prisons are only in operation by the graces of whichever state leases them opportunity to ply the prisoner confinement trade.
Any private prison found in violation of US and State laws will lose their license and/or pay hefty penalties that are bad for business and the bottom line.
Worst case, owners of said prisons could find themselves singing in their own canary cages.

We have free speech.
Wherever you go you can say what you want.
Whoever is in control or ownership of that location can also evict you, or in cases of some places around the world; install high velocity air conditioning holes into your body, offer you a scimitar haircut real close to the shoulders, or some other solution which usually gets the point across that you CAN say what you want, but, there's always consequences.




edit on 30-12-2012 by Druscilla because: (no reason given)



posted on Dec, 30 2012 @ 10:29 PM
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Originally posted by Quauhtli
reply to post by WiindWalker
 


In a way, constitutional rights do not exist in most workplaces. There is a common understanding about how to conduct your communication that does not allow for total freedom of expression. It is in the home and in public that one has the right to express himself. One should look at online forums or social media almost as if it is a job site, or else all good conversation is lost in the unsavory ranting that goes unchecked.


The problem with this is, America, at least in my area is nothing BUT privately owned businesses. There really isn't anywhere you can freely speak, if you get what I am saying.



posted on Dec, 30 2012 @ 10:31 PM
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Originally posted by WiindWalker
But then again, my home is not open to the public like this Forum is,

This forum is open to the public for anyone to join, but it's still a privately-owned forum and anyone that joins has to agree to the Terms and Conditions before they can join.

That's exactly the same way any other private entity works. Businesses may be open to the public for you to go in and shop, but it's still private property, and you have to respect the wishes of the owners (no food/drinks allowed, no firearms, must be wearing shoes/shirts, etc.) or you won't be allowed to shop there.

In essence, you have free speech on ATS as long as it falls in line with the Terms and Conditions that you agreed to when you joined.



edit on 30-12-2012 by _BoneZ_ because: (no reason given)



posted on Dec, 30 2012 @ 10:31 PM
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Originally posted by Druscilla
reply to post by WiindWalker
 


When you example prisons, you are not exampling a forum where topics are under discussion. You're exampling an institution where people are held in duress as repercussion for their actions.

You're argument is not valid. Employees and guests of any institution who are at an institution of their own free will are more than welcome to voice any opinion about anything whey wish.
The operators of any said institution can then dis-employ, revoke guest status, and/or as the free speaker to leave.

Feel free to make loud proclamations about controversial subjects at your own employment on a regular basis and you'll soon see some results which you probably won't like.

Prisoners of crimes, and prisons, though, that's another issue altogether, and private property or no, as prisoners, they still have rights, and those private prisons are only in operation by the graces of whichever state leases them opportunity to ply the prisoner confinement trade.
Any private prison found in violation of US and State laws will lose their license and/or pay hefty penalties that are bad for business and the bottom line.
Worst case, owners of said prisons could find themselves singing in their own canary cages.

We have free speech.
Wherever you go you can say what you want.
Whoever is in control or ownership of that location can also evict you, or in cases of some places around the world; install high velocity air conditioning holes into your body.

edit on 30-12-2012 by Druscilla because: (no reason given)


That really wasnt my focus point. I was using prisons as an example. I was really trying to convey that all privately owned businesses, prisons or not, are disregarding free speech from the constitution,



posted on Dec, 30 2012 @ 10:32 PM
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Business employees aren't allowed the free speech guaranteed in the Constitution. I can't sit there at work and bad mouth my boss to everyone no matter how badly I want to. Free speech is also governed by common sense. If you were working for a huge company, and they did something you didn't agree with, and you bad mouthed them about it, you'd expect consequences, right? It's the same here, ATS sets the rules, and if you break them, there are consequences.



posted on Dec, 30 2012 @ 10:33 PM
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Originally posted by trysts
reply to post by WiindWalker
 


I've only seen ATS stop excessively rude comments, off topic comments, Hitler admiration, and something about the Sandy Hook massacre(I'm ignorant of what it was exactly). Are one of those things what you're disputing?


No, it is regarding a closed thread:

www.abovetopsecret.com...



posted on Dec, 30 2012 @ 10:34 PM
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reply to post by WiindWalker
 


The free speech part of the constitution was put in there to clarify the point where we are not and will not become a dictatorship. At least that is how I take it to be. It is there to give us the ability to go out into public and blast away at our government without being prosecuted. I would guess that there should be some guidelines to this in order to keep the conversation civil.

That being said, there will always be countless examples of the "moderators" taking themselves to seriously and infringing on these rights simply because they disagree with what is being said, or by taking it as a direct insult.



posted on Dec, 30 2012 @ 10:36 PM
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Do you really think you have the right to go into a McDonald's full of kids, or a family home (even where you are invited), and rant and curse like a drunken sailor?

While ATS might be open to the public, it is not a "public forum" as legally defined, and the first amendment only applies to legally recognized public forums.

____________

There was another thread, i think regarding FB and the censorship of the Gandhi quotation, wherein someone made a very good point about free speech: The government itself might not need to implement a ban on speech or censorship because if the amount of privately owned entities, both physically and online, were to implement strict rules policy regarding speech (with or without the government's pressure, coercion, etc), it would effectively disrupt speech in itself, for there would be few places to have free speech, other than in truly public forums, which would shut down a lot of the free exchange of information (specifically through the internet and other types of media). We see this in comment sections on media websites, and other TOS in a variety of places.

This is a very real possibility. And what with the reach of, in particular, the internet, by enacting these policies the exchange of information would be greatly impeded.

edit on 30-12-2012 by Liquesence because: (no reason given)



posted on Dec, 30 2012 @ 10:37 PM
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Originally posted by WiindWalker

Originally posted by trysts
reply to post by WiindWalker
 


I've only seen ATS stop excessively rude comments, off topic comments, Hitler admiration, and something about the Sandy Hook massacre(I'm ignorant of what it was exactly). Are one of those things what you're disputing?


No, it is regarding a closed thread:

www.abovetopsecret.com...


LOL,




Enough said and thread closed.


Enough said? What was said that got that thread closed? ATS wasn't even mentioned.



posted on Dec, 30 2012 @ 10:38 PM
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The problem with this is, America, at least in my area is nothing BUT privately owned businesses.


And not one of them is what is being referred to by the First Amendment.

Sorry.

I really don't want to sound rude here but we have discussed this here on ATS many times.

We are not Congress. We are not a public venue. We are a privately owned website and are entitled to govern our site the way we please. The same way you could feel free to throw me out of your house if I walk in and start rambling about something you don't like.

We have an extraordinarily simple set of rules that every posting member here agreed to when they signed up. The First Amendment has absolutely no relevance to a privately owned website.

Do you really want a Government Amendment telling you what you can/can not have discussed in your home? Neither do we.

It's not the business of the government to tell this - or any - privately owned community how to run. We do that in a way that we have developed over the past years and we do the best we can. No one is perfect, and we well know that sometimes mistakes are made, hence the easily spotted "Contact Us" links all over the place. We have them so you can tell us if something's wrong.

Again I apologize for sounding abrupt here but Freedom of Speech or anything other freedoms are entirely irrelevant to this privately owned enterprise.

If the day comes that the Federal Government passes laws governing what can and can not be discussed on privately owned websites, in our homes, in our emails, in a restaurant... Well, God help us all.





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