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In UK, Twitter, Facebook Rants Land Some In Jail

timothy posted about 2 years ago | from the greater-good dept.

Censorship 233

concealment writes with this excerpt from an Associated Press story, as carried by the Houston Chronicle:"In Britain, hundreds of people are prosecuted each year for posts, tweets, texts and emails deemed menacing, indecent, offensive or obscene, and the number is growing as our online lives expand. 'Fifty years ago someone would have made a really offensive comment in a public space and it would have been heard by relatively few people,' said Mike Harris of free-speech group Index on Censorship. People take it upon themselves to report this offensive material to police, and suddenly you've got the criminalization of offensive speech. Figures obtained by The Associated Press through a freedom of information request show a steadily rising tally of prosecutions in Britain for electronic communications — phone calls, emails and social media posts — that are grossly offensive or of an indecent, obscene or menacing character — from 1,263 in 2009 to 1,843 in 2011. Justice Igor Judge said in his judgment that the law should not prevent 'satirical or iconoclastic or rude comment, the expression of unpopular or unfashionable opinion about serious or trivial matters, banter or humor, even if distasteful to some or painful to those subjected to it.'"

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Fucken heathens better beg for mercy (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41992687)

God says...

1:3 And David said unto him, From whence comest thou? And he said unto
him, Out of the camp of Israel am I escaped.

1:4 And David said unto him, How went the matter? I pray thee, tell
me.

And he answered, That the people are fled from the battle, and many of
the people also are fallen and dead; and Saul and Jonathan his son are
dead also.

1:5 And David said unto the young man that told him, How knowest thou
that Saul and Jonathan his son be dead? 1:6 And the young man that
told him said, As I happened by chance upon mount Gilboa, behold, Saul
leaned upon his spear; and, lo, the chariots and horsemen followed
hard after him.

How offensive! And perverted! (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41992953)

And the young man that
told him said, As I happened by chance upon mount Gilboa, behold, Saul
leaned upon his spear; and, lo, the chariots and horsemen followed
hard after him.

So Saul leaned on his "spear" *snicker* and the the horsemen followed "hard" after him - WTF is this?!? Some homosexual orgy story in the Bible?!?

Re:How offensive! And perverted! (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41993039)

There are quite a few homosexual relationships in the bible [religioustolerance.org] .

Re:How offensive! And perverted! (-1, Offtopic)

aristotle-dude (626586) | about 2 years ago | (#41993647)

And the young man that told him said, As I happened by chance upon mount Gilboa, behold, Saul leaned upon his spear; and, lo, the chariots and horsemen followed hard after him.

So Saul leaned on his "spear" *snicker* and the the horsemen followed "hard" after him - WTF is this?!? Some homosexual orgy story in the Bible?!?

No, you are the perv. You missed the part where Saul was dead. Do you have a learning disability? Saul was slumped over dead on a spear. The chariots were chasing the runner fleeing the scene to provide an account of the battle to David.

The British are the most polite people on Earth... (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41992703)

... because if they aren't they get locked up....

In Britain... (1)

Andy Prough (2730467) | about 2 years ago | (#41993491)

...Twitter unfollows you.

It is not just in Britain (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41993569)

It is basic human nature to try and stop people from doing whatever it is that they don't like.

The notion that we should respect the freedom of others, as noble as it is, goes against the path-of-least-resistance of human cognition.

So, even in countries that value freedom, you have large groups of the populace that strive to take it away from each other.

Eternal vigilance, and all that.

My slashdot posts (1)

Trigun (685027) | about 2 years ago | (#41992705)

Should have landed me in jail a couple of times, at least.

Re:My slashdot posts (1)

zlives (2009072) | about 2 years ago | (#41992927)

not enough pictures/games on slash dot to get the right people to "monitor" it ?

Re:My slashdot posts (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41992939)

I lost count of how many times I should've gone to jail for something I said in 4chan. Anonymity and the internet do get the worst out of us.

Re:My slashdot posts (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41993003)

I lost count of how many times I should've gone to jail for something I said in 4chan.

How may times SHOULD you have gone to jail for saying something: 0.

Re:My slashdot posts (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41993185)

Anonymity and the internet do get the worst out of us.

Some people make that argument to motivate mandatory registration on internet forums.

From what I have seen on forums that require people to register with their real name anonymity have nothing to do with it and removing anonymity does not help to create a better world.
A far more likely explanation is that when you say something completely retarded on internet you do not get punched in the face within the minute, in fact it is easy to just state something and then leave without having to face the response.

Re:My slashdot posts (1)

Andy Prough (2730467) | about 2 years ago | (#41993511)

Should have landed me in jail a couple of times, at least.

The judges don't want to corrupt the rest of the inmate population.

FUCK BRITS (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41992709)

Bad-toothed limey motherfuckers.

-- Ethanol-fueled

Re:FUCK BRITS (3, Insightful)

arisvega (1414195) | about 2 years ago | (#41992821)

Stay cool, no need to troll like this: the message here, I believe, is "don't even think for a second that internet makes you anonymous: we (the authorities) can and will find you, and make this public as a warning to everybody else".

This is not about the Brits, this is happening all over the world. It is just that in the UK they seem to be a tad more diligent in enforcing the "nobody gets away with it" regime --remember how some rioters that were caught on camera were eventually tracked months later and -perhaps disproportionally- [guardian.co.uk] punished a while back.

Re:FUCK BRITS (5, Insightful)

fustakrakich (1673220) | about 2 years ago | (#41993015)

...this is happening all over the world.

Yes, but the US is special:

Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.

Re:FUCK BRITS (4, Insightful)

kelemvor4 (1980226) | about 2 years ago | (#41993637)

...this is happening all over the world.

Yes, but the US used to be special:

Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.

They have made such a law. Read about it here: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Patriot_act [wikipedia.org]

Re:FUCK BRITS (2)

fustakrakich (1673220) | about 2 years ago | (#41993753)

Yes they have. And it needs to be stricken down. Plus, it's not the only violation. As it stands, the 1st amendment, and the rest of the bill of rights are mostly ceremonial and rather toothless. But, they're still on the books, should we ever decide to take action to enforce them.

Re:FUCK BRITS (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41992975)

I don't always curse on Internet, but when I do, I do it in proper English.

"Offensice speech" (4, Insightful)

serviscope_minor (664417) | about 2 years ago | (#41992721)

Turns out it was a slippery slope after all!

who knew, eh?

(apart from everyone who pointed it out)

Wow... (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41992733)

That guy really picked the right career.
-AnonoPosty McCoward

No comment from our friends in the U.K. (5, Funny)

CQDX (2720013) | about 2 years ago | (#41992739)

Big Brother is watching...

Re:No comment from our friends in the U.K. (1)

The Grim Reefer (1162755) | about 2 years ago | (#41992931)

Big Brother is watching...

Apparently Big Brother is doing a little more than watching.

Re:No comment from our friends in the U.K. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41992965)

"See something? Say something!" says Big Sis Janet Napolitano.

Re:No comment from our friends in the U.K. (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41993257)

Or according to the article, Big Brother isn't watching... ... but will prosecute you when Mrs Smith of 45 Acacia Avenue complains to the police that she was offended when you suggested drowning babies on Twitter.

"People take it upon themselves to report this offensive material to police, and suddenly you've got the criminalization of offensive speech."

Yet another reason NOT to visit the UK (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41992781)

They can keep their warm beer, rotting teeth, bad food and dictatorship.

Re:Yet another reason NOT to visit the UK (0, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41992831)

Good!

Fewer obese, ignorant and close minded Yanks coming here -- Result !!!

Re:Yet another reason NOT to visit the UK (2)

partyguerrilla (1597357) | about 2 years ago | (#41992967)

Not to shit in your corn flakes but Brits are about as obese as Americans.

Re:Yet another reason NOT to visit the UK (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41992987)

If only that attitude suited you useless pricks in 1940.

Re:Yet another reason NOT to visit the UK (1)

trevc (1471197) | about 2 years ago | (#41992849)

You're just jealous...

Re:Yet another reason NOT to visit the UK (-1, Troll)

Gordonjcp (186804) | about 2 years ago | (#41993119)

Heh, obviously an American - have you ever seen even *one* American with healthy teeth? Nope, they're either all rotten and squint because they can't afford dentists, or dead white and covered with artificial veneer to prevent them decaying. Lovely.

Can you think of *one* example of good American food? Oh, yeah, chitlins and grits! Pig intestines boiled until they don't taste of piss any more, and corn boiled in drain cleaner, mmmm...

Oh and lets' not forget American "beer", which has to be chilled to the point that it freezes your taste buds before you actually taste how vile it is.

Increase your sample size. (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41993373)

I'm sure if we sample the most crime-ridden portions of each of our countries we'll find lots of people with bad teeth.
Living in a nice middle class neighborhood, all the kids have braces or straight teeth and an adult with yellowed teeth is called a "smoker."

As for American Beer, try our microbrews, not the Pepsi-subtitutes from BevCo. As for complicated recipes for turning cheap ingredients into tasty ones? Try a prize winning Peach Pie in Georgia. For good food in the Pacific NorthDamp, we eat fresh fish and good steak we import from the Mid-West. Applying the "not invented here" standard to your food will make for a pretty lousy diet in any country.

It's not paradise, but tooth decay and crappy food are conscious choices here, not the only options.

Re:Increase your sample size. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41993501)

I wish I had the link... I read an article about the stereotype of "bad teeth" coming from Brits simply having the natural slightly-yellow tooth color while Americans are more willing to take drastic measures to whiten their teeth, some even went as far as having all their teeth replaced with fake ones just to make them white and straight. Brits don't actually have more damage to their teeth, they just don't bother prettying them up.

Re:Increase your sample size. (1)

Gordonjcp (186804) | about 2 years ago | (#41993755)

As for American Beer, try our microbrews

I have, and many of them are pretty good - but you don't chill them to the point where they freeze your mouth into numbness. The whole "chilled beer" thing comes from the US, where thanks to Prohibition (and after that, laws banning brewing without prohibitively expensive licences) people pretty much forgot how to make beer until about five years ago.

Re:Yet another reason NOT to visit the UK (4, Interesting)

wierd_w (1375923) | about 2 years ago | (#41993517)

My, what a lovely pile of straw you have created! I hope you didn't have to murder too many strawmen to make it!

1) most dental hygenists I have met take very good care of their teeth, and most don't resort to veneers. Contrary to your vicious assault on that strawman, there *are* american dental hygenists, and they DO take care of their teeth. Fluoride? The effect it has in supressing tooth decay came from american dental hygenists. Fancy that.

2) French Toast. Created at the French House, an american bed and breakfast, according to several noteworthy gastronomists.

3) all beer tastes vile. The manner in which it is served does not matter. It is an acquired taste, much like black liquorice. Arguments over beer are like arguments over religion. Foolish from the beginning, and without real substance, created exclusively to divide and enable spear rattling and jingoistic ego masturbation on the part of the arguer. Insisting upon an objective truth being present in such an intrinsically subjective experience as "favor" is completely irrational.

That's 3 strikes. You're out.

Re:Yet another reason NOT to visit the UK (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41993587)

The teeth thing is due mostly to the use of dental braces being more common in the US. They're just not as commonly used in the UK. The same applies for Northern Europe.

Imperfectly aligned teeth seems a small issue compared to the US tendency to routinely trim baby penises. God never made a direct deal with women, meaning that baby girls can grow up without having their labias similarly shortened. Odd Jewish habit for an ostensibly Christian country.

Yet another reason NOT to visit the UK (1)

uM0p ap!sdn (2446386) | about 2 years ago | (#41993705)

They can keep their warm beer, rotting teeth, bad food and dictatorship.

Rookie, I take it you've never been there, and this is coming from an American errr Obamacan I wouldn't mock the Brits to much, there same Fords, Chevy's, get twice the amount of gas mileage that we get cell phone plans lol, don't even go there the monthly plans we pay for tv,,internet is a freaking joke compared to the tv license you pay once a year and that is cheaper than what I pay per month to watch hundred's of channels of paid advertisement and commercials (adverts) every 4-5 minutes I would say that America is much much more of a dictatorship than the UK I am a born & raised American, and also own a house in the UK Greed, Corruption, Monopoly's, ruined this once great Nation Don't knock a place just because you have never been there

Good for them! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41992793)

I find humor in all this, despite its infringement on freedom of speech. I find satisfaction in the idea of rude people being prosecuted.

Re:Good for them! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41992919)

Sure, there are a few people we can all agree are jerks and take visceral pleasure in their getting smacked down.
But that doesn't make this OK.
It really truly is a slippery slope. I'm a very polite guy with few serious bigotries, but even I could be prosecuted under something like this if I share some of my opinions on religion or politics.

Re:Good for them! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41993055)

I simply prefer to eat them...

Utter Bollocks (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41992815)

"Hundreds?" try 10 and most were thrown out of court lol

So far (1)

second_coming (2014346) | about 2 years ago | (#41992853)

Most if not all were being deliberately obnoxious rather than just voicing a genuine opinion.

Re:So far (5, Insightful)

Psyborgue (699890) | about 2 years ago | (#41992947)

A genuine opinion can also be deliberately obnoxious. Who the fuck gets to choose which is which, anyway, and therein lies the problem. All restrictions on speech do is maintain the status quo and ensure that what is now considered "offensive" will always remain so.

Re:So far (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41993379)

Who gets to choose which is which... a judge at first guess.

Turets may be a defense in your case.

Re:So far (1, Flamebait)

Psyborgue (699890) | about 2 years ago | (#41993469)

A judge? Gotcha. Ever seen a judge make a bad decision? It's not like we don't hear about 'em day in and day out on this site. How about this instead. How about we let free people decide for themselves whether a comment is offensive or not and if it's offensive, they can choose not to read it.

And Tourette fucking Syndrome is spelled with two "t"s and an "ou". Fucking limey moron. Surprised with all the pointless "u"s you're always adding to words you didn't already know that.

Re:So far (1)

fahrbot-bot (874524) | about 2 years ago | (#41993651)

Most if not all were being deliberately obnoxious rather than just voicing a genuine opinion.

A genuine opinion can also be deliberately obnoxious.

Besides, there a place for stuff like that: 4chan ... (especially /b/ - yikes!)

Re:So far (1)

Psyborgue (699890) | about 2 years ago | (#41993769)

You don't think the same folks who will try to regulate speech in meatspace would try and do the same online?

Re:So far (1)

The Grim Reefer (1162755) | about 2 years ago | (#41992957)

Most if not all were being deliberately obnoxious rather than just voicing a genuine opinion.

How do you determine the difference and who is responsible for making that decision?

Re:So far (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41993129)

Most if not all were being deliberately obnoxious rather than just voicing a genuine opinion.

How do you determine the difference and who is responsible for making that decision?

By random number, which makes EEE responsible since they published the official random number spec (it's 4).

^fri5t stop (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41992873)

shit-filled, accounts for less O^S. Now BSDI is mo5t. Look at the

Re:^fri5t stop (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41993791)

Hey, look, it's the retarded BSD lover again.

Too bad (4, Funny)

phantomfive (622387) | about 2 years ago | (#41992875)

If they're going to round up people, I wish they'd round up youtube commenters. Those idiots need some help and re-education.

Re:Too bad (1)

aicrules (819392) | about 2 years ago | (#41992907)

Except then we wouldn't have those hilarious youtube videos where youtube "stars" read those comments how they think they would sound if they had been spoken instead of typed. Comedic gold. Well..some of them anyway.

Re:Too bad (1, Flamebait)

Psyborgue (699890) | about 2 years ago | (#41993005)

Really? I think we should round up all the commenters on the Daily Kos, not necessarily for re-education, but rather for a good ol-fashioned hippie beat-down. I think they're offensive and therefore by your logic I should be able to violate their liberty. Why not?

Re:Too bad (1, Troll)

phantomfive (622387) | about 2 years ago | (#41993191)

Typical comment from Daily Kos: "I wonder what circle of Hell Breitbart's in now. He wasn't influential enough to be in the 9th circle. The bottom rung is reserved for Lords. He's probably in the 7th with the whores."

Typical comment from Youtube: "FUCK THE PRICESSES THE HORSE IS DIED!"

I only mention the youtube comment there because it got 72 thumbs up. Certainly Dailykos is an echo chamber for people of a certain political persuasion to visit and feel good talking to people who agree with them. That is silly but understandable.

Youtube users need to be rounded up because they need help, not because of any free speech issue. Someone should find those people for their own good [xkcd.com] .

Re:Too bad (3, Funny)

houghi (78078) | about 2 years ago | (#41993251)

You know what they say:
First they came for the youtube commenters ...

Re:Too bad (5, Funny)

phantomfive (622387) | about 2 years ago | (#41993311)

First they came for the youtube commenters

And I helped because it made the world a better place? :)

Fuck you Mary Whitehouse (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41992923)

This has to be her fault...

pacifying the mob (4, Interesting)

Azarman (1730212) | about 2 years ago | (#41992959)

Its 2 faced and all about pacifying the mob, the UK is starting to get very mob like, witch hunts for pedos, people stoning MPs, people in the UK are very unhappy lately but we are not allowed to come out and say it in case we offend someone and have to spend a night in jail.

A direct Example of the 2 facedness of the system here: check out Franky Boyles Twitter, the stuff that comes out on there is generally very offensive (I love you Boyle!! regardless of what i say here), yet he is not in jail. Yet we see the poppy burner, the guy that said mean things about someones dead dad, and a few others all in get arrested. The mob wants them to pay, and the police then back up the mob, such a bad precedent but too late now.

Another reason for the police jumping on this is that they are trying to look like they are not just there to collect speeding tickets and rounding up pot dealers so they have deciced to start a new war on socail media, hell the war on drugs was a good spinner maybe this is will be equally good. I dont want to sound completely negative, but where i live the police are not that well liked, in context it took 8 police offices to remove a man from a swimming pool for swearing at some teenage kids that were splashing him,

In closing my understand with UK law is that if you piss off someone powerfull enough the way the UK law is structured means they will always have something on you. I think thats the goal of the system to make sure they have something on everyone and then keep everyone in their places and no one gets above their station.

iMe

Re:pacifying the mob (1)

swb (14022) | about 2 years ago | (#41993567)

I think thats the goal of the system to make sure they have something on everyone and then keep everyone in their places and no one gets above their station.

I think that's both the unintended consequence AND the desired state of affairs for the cops.

It's an unintended consequence of there being too many laws -- we tend to outlaw the same kinds of things, over and over in different ways, and at least in the US, at different levels of government, too. Not even freedom from double-jeapordy can help, as you can always be tried again for a different legal violation for the same act.

And generally speaking, I think the cops like the "extra" laws as it gives them the freedom to enforce as they see fit, picking and choosing what they'll enforce depending on whether or not they want at somebody.

I think it's why they want pot kept illegal; not because they care if people smoke pot (certainly pot smokers are a hell of lot less work for them than drinkers), but because it gives them a reason and justification to be intrusive and bullying or go on other fishing expeditions. Legalizing it would make investigations into other drug activity actually harder because they would need to work at it a lot more to credibly suspect someone.

Automobile law enforcement is another area where they love a lot of excess laws and ambiguity because it gives them nearly infinite freedom to pull you over. There was a recent dustup over a local women's pro basketball player being pulled over; she's African-American and the reason was she had something dangling from her mirror -- yet you can't even count fast enough to count the number of cars you see with shit hanging from their rear view mirrors, it's just not a law the police bother enforcing.

The same is true with window tint; I had my windows tinted when I bought the car and the installer was real careful to make sure I didn't tint too dark due to state law, yet every day I see several cars with obviously illegal window tint. Again, you *could* get pulled over, but they don't bother unless they want to fish for something else.

The mob rules (1)

concealment (2447304) | about 2 years ago | (#41993581)

Its 2 faced and all about pacifying the mob, the UK is starting to get very mob like, witch hunts for pedos, people stoning MPs, people in the UK are very unhappy lately but we are not allowed to come out and say it in case we offend someone and have to spend a night in jail.

It seems to me this is the underlying problem.

We can demand absolute free speech on the internet, but it won't help if people are very unhappy. It's doubly not going to help if there's a mob which waits for someone to be offensive, and then pounces on them.

Maybe free speech only happens in happy societies. They don't mind the complaining. Unhappy societies are unstable and punish it.

Looks like the solution is to make society more happy.

Mommy! (1)

eggstasy (458692) | about 2 years ago | (#41992961)

He's being mean to me!
*sigh*

Too bad it's not applied consistently... (4, Insightful)

benjfowler (239527) | about 2 years ago | (#41992963)

If offensive speech and behaviour got everyone into trouble, then Anjem Choudhury and his mob would all be in jail.

Strangely enough, this hasn't happened... In Britain, you can only be racist, bigoted or offensive if you're white. Brown people get a free pass.

Re:Too bad it's not applied consistently... (1)

Psyborgue (699890) | about 2 years ago | (#41993097)

It has nothing to do with race, rather the fear of upsetting the more religious Muslims. Please. There is a difference and it's not at all a subtle one. This is why people think organizations like the EDL are racist. Many of the members seem to have trouble distinguishing a religion from a race. I know it's sometimes difficult, but not all brown people, not even all arabs, are Muslims and not even all Muslims take their religion seriously (there are a whole bunch who are simply too scared to leave or otherwise simply don't give a fuck).

Re:Too bad it's not applied consistently... (1)

JaredOfEuropa (526365) | about 2 years ago | (#41993249)

Why do you think that is? Suppose you get the job to head the subcommittee to look into offensive speech on the internet. You might think it should be a free-for-all, but hey, it's a pretty sweet assignment for an up and coming bureaucrat so you accept. Then you recruit a few cronies and set to work. You're all for free speech, but what do you know, so you schedule meetings with a few other committees. And there are committees for everything and everyone these days, all too eager to tell you how public bad-mouthing of their target group is detrimental to society. Committees for every group... except of course for while males. And why would there be one? So... after everyone has had their say, the rules neatly cover every contingency except that one missing group.

The problem isn't having committees or advocacy groups for minorities per se, by the way. It's bored bureaucrats looking to extend their circle of influence. As Grand Visor of Internet Censorship, what glory is there to be had declaring all speech to be free? As Supreme Eradicator of Discrimination against Asian Line Dancers, would you tell your constituency to suck it up like adults if there's a derogatory comment about them on YouTube? You'd be out of a job right quick. No, you exert your power, have meetings, grant favours, and make sure your influence is felt as widely as possible. That way you won't only have a job but a career as well.

By the way, this phenomenon is much, much worse in the EC.

Majorities never defend themselves (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41993699)

Committees for every group... except of course for while males. And why would there be one?

Majorities never defend themselves because they have many concerns, where for smaller groups the quest is much simpler: get power and get influence.

Re:Too bad it's not applied consistently... (1)

fredrated (639554) | about 2 years ago | (#41993347)

... In Britain, you can only be racist, bigoted or offensive if you're white. Brown people get a free pass.

Your statement makes no sense. 'You can be racist if you're white' and 'Brown people get a free pass' mean the same thing, twit!

Re:Too bad it's not applied consistently... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41993519)

Probably meant that if two people say the same racist, bigoted thing, the white person will be branded 'racist' while the brown person won't be branded 'racist'

Re:Too bad it's not applied consistently... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41993521)

He's not using "can" in the "allowed to be" sense. He's using it in the "is it even possible" sense.

Example: Blacks can be born with sickle-cell anemia. Everyone else can not.

That's not saying that blacks are allowed to choose if they have this affliction or not - it's saying that they are the only ones capable of doing so.

Same structure above.

Re:Too bad it's not applied consistently... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41993545)

So you can't understand anything that's said twice?

Society hates white people for being a majority (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41993591)

In Britain, you can only be racist, bigoted or offensive if you're white.

That's because white liberals hate the idea of a majority.

They want us to be pluralistic, so there are no standards.

That way, anything goes.

The raging Ego is made happiness by (a) the absence of standards and (b) guaranteed reward.

To Mrs Queen: FUCK YOU (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41992995)

And I mean it from my heart. And no, I don't wan to fuck you personally. Maybe the Old Fuck Of Hannover And Pimpelsberg-Rattenhofen can do it.

Polite civil party line speakers disgust me! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41993037)

Polite civil party line speakers disgust me!

Please arrest them, they are so offensive to me, they are causing me to revolt. I blame them for all my problems and the problems in the government.

Only Klingons should be allowed to use the internet.

Q'pla.

So, what are we meant to do? (0)

Gordonjcp (186804) | about 2 years ago | (#41993075)

Just leave people to continue making threatening and abusive phone calls, emails and posts on social media?

I wonder if timothy would be happy for me to phone his house at all hours of the day and night and threaten to murder him? Probably not, I imagine.

Re:So, what are we meant to do? (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41993227)

Sigh.

Actually threatening someone is already covered under criminal law in the U.S. (and I'm sure in the UK). It's still up to the police, judges, etc. to determine whether a reported "threat" meets the legal criteria.

Literally any speech could be "abusive" depending on who's receiving it. Perhaps I find your thought about calling Timothy abusive or offensive. You wouldn't have a problem with paying a fine or serving jail time for it, right?

Re:So, what are we meant to do? (1)

JaredOfEuropa (526365) | about 2 years ago | (#41993269)

Citizen 186804, I find your post offensive. Please remove it and refrain from further comment or I shall file a complaint with the police.

See how that works? It's all about definitions and slippery slopes.

Re:So, what are we meant to do? (1)

Gordonjcp (186804) | about 2 years ago | (#41993505)

Go ahead. I can even give you the phone number of my local police station if you want.

The police will tell you that "no reasonable person would find that offensive", and hang up on you.

Re:So, what are we meant to do? (1)

randm.ca (901207) | about 2 years ago | (#41993703)

I'll bet the guy who said "Crap! Robin Hood airport is closed. You've got a week and a bit to get your shit together otherwise I'm blowing the airport sky high." expected the police to do the same thing. Guess how that turned out for him.

Re:So, what are we meant to do? (1)

Gordonjcp (186804) | about 2 years ago | (#41993845)

Look at how it turned out - he got off with it. If he'd been in the US, he would have been "disappeared" to Guantanamo Bay, and he'd still be there.

I'm against censorship but... (3, Insightful)

simoroth (2766069) | about 2 years ago | (#41993101)

Two of the examples given were blatant miscarriages of the legal system and we should all be concerned about them. However the vast majority of these messages are not be protected under free speech. If someone sends death threats, racially abuses someone etc then I am entirely happy for them to be prosecuted. Calm down a bit and have some perspective.

Re:I'm against censorship but... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41993275)

If someone sends death threats, racially abuses someone etc then I am entirely happy for them to be prosecuted.

Fine then, please move to a country where you can be jailed for "racially abusing" someone. When you say "but that's a misunderstanding, not racial abuse!" and still get convicted because someone else claimed it was abuse, and that's the law, I'd encourage you to "calm down and have some perspective".

Uhhh (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41993117)

I was under the impression that this was the reason for the internet. Making offensive opinions and disturbed comments.

Offended (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41993123)

I feel deeply offended by the fucking bloody cunts who invented these telecommunication laws!

Igor? (1)

Conspiracy_Of_Doves (236787) | about 2 years ago | (#41993151)

People actually name their kids "Igor"?

"Justice Igor Judge"? (1)

uCallHimDrJ0NES (2546640) | about 2 years ago | (#41993163)

Am I the only one who thinks this is funny?

Re:"Justice Igor Judge"? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41993243)

Am I the only one who thinks this is funny?

No, Conspiracy_Of_Doves does as well.

Re:"Justice Igor Judge"? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41993253)

It's pronounced "Eye-Gore"....

Everywhere.... (1)

mseeger (40923) | about 2 years ago | (#41993177)

Everywhere in the world you can get investigated, charged and arrested for saying something stupid. The Brits don't have a monopoly on that.

Saying something stupid is not a crime (1)

saibot834 (1061528) | about 2 years ago | (#41993417)

Saying something stupid is not a crime. The simple fact that you are not telling the truth does not constitute a crime, nor does your ignorance in making false statements.

What you were probably referring to is saying something offensive or insulting. I think you're right insofar as free speech is indeed under attack in a lot of countries, but that should be all the more reason to defend it. It has been proven numerous times that in practice it is impossible to outlaw insulting statements without harming free speech.

For example, in the UK, a teenager was arrested [guardian.co.uk] for calling the "Church" of Scientology a cult. You can't tell me that this is not a ludicrous undermining of free speech laws.

Re:Saying something stupid is not a crime (2)

mseeger (40923) | about 2 years ago | (#41993537)

Try to say "I hope you'll dont find the bomb" while being patted down by the TSA. That will get you in handcuffs faster than you can say "free speech".

That's stupid, but neither insulting or offensive.

There ain't such thing as total freedom as long as you share this galaxy with others.

Boundaries are being checked and moved every day.

Currently they are moving the wrong way (in UK and elsewhere). We have to hold against it. But don't live under the assumption, there ever will be no boundaries.

It's Section Five of the Public Order Act (5, Insightful)

saibot834 (1061528) | about 2 years ago | (#41993273)

In the UK you can get arrested for all kinds of things you say: Calling a police horse gay, for example. If someone feels like something you say could insult [wikipedia.org] someone, you get arrested. Now, not all of these (ludicrous) charges are successful, but still I think there already is a bad chilling effect.

Listen to Rowan Atkinson's (Mr. Bean) [youtube.com] excellent 10 Minutes speech on the topic and why he is part of the campaign "Feel free to insult me".

Re:It's Section Five of the Public Order Act (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41993429)

A shame that the comments seem to be full of rants about 'the left' and 'anti-whites'. Sigh.

Re:It's Section Five of the Public Order Act (1)

UnknownSoldier (67820) | about 2 years ago | (#41993745)

Mod parent up +insightful

That is a *brilliant* speech on the idiocracy of Political Correctness!

Poppy Burning (3, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41993277)

http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/cartoon/2012/nov/13/remembrance-day-burning-poppy-cartoon

Mod parent up (1)

saibot834 (1061528) | about 2 years ago | (#41993495)

The incident to which the AC is referring is about a poppy burning [independent.co.uk] which was in the news just a few days ago. A man was arrested for burning the poppy on Remembrance day.

This is probably similar to the flag burning controversy in the US. (See also the excellent Futurama episode [watchcartoononline.com] on why it makes not sense to defend freedom of expression by abolishing it)

Good for product reviews. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41993343)

"I'd give you my honest opinion but that'd be illegal."

Thus spake Anthrax to Tipper: (2)

pla (258480) | about 2 years ago | (#41993561)

Now I'm gonna tell ya a story, a tale of wrong and right; and freedom is the reason you can't take it without a fight.
So now I'm startin' up a posse (suck my dick, suck my dick) to come and look for you; we're gonna put a stop to what you want to do.
You fucking whores (you fuckin' whores), that's all you are!

You say our records are offensive (you're a douche, you're a douche), our messages ain't right, you say "We're gonna label records so our kids can grow up right".
You fucking whores (let them decide), that's all you are!

"Shit, fuck, Satan, death, sex, drugs, rape", these seven words you're trying to take.
"Shit, fuck, Satan, death, sex, drugs, rape", right or wrong it's our choice to make.
America the beautiful, land of the free - Don't change the words to land of hypocrisy!

Now I'm startin' up a posse (fascist scum, fascist scum) and we'll damn sure make you see, something that offends you may not be offensive to me.
You fucking whores (you fuckin' whores) That's all you are!

Now you might take offense to a word like "fuck" or "shit" (dick!); but you fuckin' don't have the right (cunt!) to discriminate me for saying it!
You fuckin' whores (you fuckin' whores), that's all you are!

So now I'm startin' up a posse (motherfucker, motherfucker) to fight for freedom of choice, to fight for freedom of speech, we're gonna make you hear our voice.
And now I don't do this to shock you (that's the end, that's the end), I don't do this for spite; you've got the choice, don't buy it, don't read it, and don't say your opinion's right
You fucking whores (you fuckin' whores), that's all you are (cunty, cunty, cunty, cunt)!

You know you can't censor my feelings, you can't censor my thoughts. Censorship's against everything America stands for.
You fuckin' whores (let us decide), that's all you are (and this ain't sexist, either)!

Slippery slope of slippery slopes (2)

kheldan (1460303) | about 2 years ago | (#41993641)

If anything is going to utterly destroy the Internet, it's going to be censorship, because once you open the door to censoring one type of speech, you start an avalanche of censoring all types of speech. It's like bigotry and racism: Once you cross that line and devalue one group of class of people, you can devalue any group or class of people. Before too long the only way to avoid eventual prosecution would be to stay off the Internet completely.

Exceptions on free speech in the UK vs US (1)

Lashat (1041424) | about 2 years ago | (#41993681)

According to Wikipedia
"However there is a broad sweep of exceptions including threatening, abusive, or insulting speech or behavior likely to cause a breach of the peace (which has been used to prohibit racist speech targeted at individuals),[63][64] incitement,[65] incitement to racial hatred,[66] incitement to religious hatred, incitement to terrorism including encouragement of terrorism and dissemination of terrorist publications,[65][67] glorifying terrorism,[68][69] collection or possession of information likely to be of use to a terrorist,[70][71] treason including imagining the death of the monarch,[72] sedition,[72] obscenity, indecency including corruption of public morals and outraging public decency,[73] defamation,[74] prior restraint, restrictions on court reporting including names of victims and evidence and prejudicing or interfering with court proceedings,[75][76] prohibition of post-trial interviews with jurors,[76] scandalising the court by criticising or murmuring judges,[76][77] time, manner, and place restrictions,[78] harassment, privileged communications, trade secrets, classified material, copyright, patents, military conduct, and limitations on commercial speech such as advertising."

Compare to US.
"There are several common law exceptions including obscenity,[88][89] defamation,[88][89] incitement,[89] incitement to riot or imminent lawless action,[88][89] fighting words,[88] fraud, speech covered by government granted monopoly (copyright), and speech integral to criminal conduct. There are federal criminal law statutory prohibitions covering all the common law exceptions other than defamation, of which there is civil law liability, as well as making false statements (lying) in "matters within the jurisdiction" of the federal government,[90] speech related to information decreed to be related to national security such as military and classified information,[91] false advertising,[89] perjury,[89] privileged communications, trade secrets,[92][93] copyright, and patents. Most states and localities have many identical restrictions, as well as harassment, and time, place and manner restrictions."

God screw the Queen. (0, Offtopic)

overmoderated (2703703) | about 2 years ago | (#41993711)

Then kill her.
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