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Newswise WASHINGTON, DC (October 23, 2014)One billion Facebook users generate 2.7 billion likes per day (or 1,875,000 every minute). Increasingly, social media has become a form of social and political engagement, and 47 percent of Facebook users have liked political cause-related comments. Protected free speech is a luxury the Western world has long enjoyed. Does clicking the universally understood thumbs-up like constitute actual speech? It conveys a message understood by most, but should it command constitutional protection? A recent article in the National Communication Associations First Amendment Studies journal explores legal precedents surrounding this form of communication and surveys Facebook users attitudes.

In the case of Bland v. Roberts, an employee was fired for liking a campaign lobbying against his boss. The employee claimed the right to free speech, but the judge ruled that in the absence of sufficient speech, the case could not proceed to trial. The employee was not reinstated. An ensuing debate revealed that large numbers of individuals felt this judgment would lead to fear and inhibition, and deter free expression of ideas and opinions onlinethe chilling effect. Ironically, the First Amendment protects symbolic language, even rude gestures such as the finger. If it can stretch this far, then surely it is not unreasonable to expect coverage for the Facebook thumbs up. In the context of todays morphing methods of communication, is the law failing to keep up?

The authors developed a study of Facebook users and devised a First Amendment Scale to examine the value of computer source code communication and its relation to free speech. Four hundred forty-four participants took part. More than half had liked political content in the past. Four hypotheses were tested and all proved true:

1. Like users most certain of who would see their like expected recipients to understand their meaning. 2. Those who felt they had sent a message with a like were sure that recipients understood. 3. Participants believed when using like on political content that their posts were constitutionally protected. 4. Those using like to convey a message believed that this should be protected by the First Amendment.

The most common interpretations for like amongst participants were agree, support, and generally endorse a person, place, or idea. Overall, participants believed that a like was akin to speech as described in the First Amendment.

The twist in the tale is that on appeal, the Bland v. Roberts judgment was reversed, finding that the thumbs up indeed qualified for protection. In both offline and online domains, each community of social practice negotiates its own language conventions and creates its own democracy of meaning. The parsing of the First Amendment will continue to be influenced by these communities, note the studys authors, Susan H. Sarapin of Troy University and Pamela Morris of the University of WisconsinLa Crosse. They finish by urging further research on the chilling effect and its potential negative impact on freedom of speech online.

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NOTE TO JOURNALISTS

Excerpt from:
Should a Facebook "Like" Be Protected Free Speech?



Police Officers Arrest Man for Swearing in Public
Suit claims police violated his constitutional right to free speech – LoneWolf Sager. Know your rights when talking to a police officer: There's no law that requires you to talk to a police…

By: daiseki0402

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Police Officers Arrest Man for Swearing in Public – Video

Im glad to hear this, since I think the dissenting judge on the panel had the much better argument. Here is the post I put up about this when the decision came down on Aug. 27:

The free speech rights here were as in many free speech cases the rights of pretty rude speakers, certainly ones whose message and manners I do not endorse. But the First Amendment protects the rude as well as the polite, especially given how subjective government judgments of rudeness usually end up being.

Here are the facts, from the majority opinion in Bible Believers v. Wayne County (6th Cir. Aug. 27, 2014) (some paragraph breaks added throughout the block quotes below):

The City of Dearborn in Wayne County, Michigan, has hosted the Arab International Festival every summer from 1995 until 2012. A three-day event that was free and open to the public, the Festival welcomed roughly 250,000 attendees and featured carnival attractions, live entertainment, international food, and merchandise sales. [The panel later agreed that the festival was a "traditional public forum" at which public speech is fully constitutionally protected, rather than private property or even public property that was temporarily exclusively leased by a public organization. -EV]

[T]he Bible Believers came bearing strongly worded t-shirts and banners:

[Chavez] wore a t-shirt with the message, Fear God on the front and Trust Jesus, Repent and Believe in Jesus on the back. Fisher wore a t-shirt with the message, Trust Jesus on the front and Fear God and Give Him Glory on the back, and he carried a banner that said on one side, Only Jesus Christ Can Save You From Sin and Hell, and on the other side it said, Jesus Is the Judge, Therefore, Repent, Be Converted That Your Sins May Be Blotted Out. Other messages conveyed on t-shirts, signs, or banners displayed by the [other Bible Believers] included, among others, Fear God, Trust Jesus, Repent and Believe in Jesus, Prepare to Meet Thy God Amos 4:12, Obey God, Repent, Turn or Burn, Jesus Is the Way, the Truth and the Life. All Others Are Thieves and Robbers, and Islam Is A Religion of Blood and Murder.

One Bible Believer carried a severed pigs head on a stick, which Chavez explained protected the Bible Believers by repelling observers who feared it. Appellants soon began preaching using a megaphone, and a small crowd formed around them almost immediately. [The police eventually told the speakers that megaphone use was forbidden by ordinance, and the speakers stopped; that restriction is not challenged here. -EV] Chavez castigated the crowd for following a pedophile prophet and warned of Gods impending judgment. As this evangelizing continued, the crowd yelled back. At this point, a ribbon-cutting at the opposite end of the Festival occupied a majority of the [Wayne County Sheriff's Office] officers, but one officer watched from the outskirts of the crowd.

As the Bible Believers moved deeper into the Festival, the crowd a good portion of which appeared to be minors continued to gather and yell. Some people started throwing debris including rocks, plastic bottles, garbage, and a milk crate at the Bible Believers. Someone in the crowd also shoved one Bible Believer to the ground. Some WCSO officers detained debris-throwers while other officers hovered at the edges of the crowd. Eventually, after about thirty-five minutes, the Bible Believers temporarily stopped preaching and stood as the crowd harangued them and hurled objects. Several officers, including some mounted units, attempted to quell the crowd.

After about five minutes of standing quietly, the Bible Believers began to move and preach again. As they did so, the cascade of objects intensified. Deputy Chiefs Richardson and Jaafar approached them a few minutes later. Jaafar explained that they could leave and that their safety was in jeopardy because not enough officers were available to control the crowd.

The Bible Believers, however, continued to preach, followed by what had swelled into a large crowd. Richardson and Jaafar then took Chavez aside to speak with him. Richardson noted his concern that Chavez was bleeding from where a piece of debris had cut his face. Richardson explained that he was responsible for policing the entire Festival, that Chavezs conduct was inciting the crowd, and that he would escort the Bible Believers out of the Festival

View post:
Volokh Conspiracy: Sixth Circuit agrees to rehear hecklers veto decision



Mumia Abu Jamal Speaks Out from Jail on New Pennsylvania Law Silencing Prisoners
Pennsylvania Republican Gov. Tom Corbett is set to sign into law a bill critics say will trample the free speech rights of prisoners. Last week, lawmakers openly said they passed the legislation…

By: freespeechtv

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Mumia Abu Jamal Speaks Out from Jail on New Pennsylvania Law Silencing Prisoners – Video

San Francisco, CA – infoZine – The Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF), along with reddit and the Internet Archive, filed formal comments with the New York State Department of Financial Services opposing the state’s proposed regulations for digital currencies such as Bitcoin. In the letter, EFF argues that on top of damaging privacy and harming innovation, New York’s “BitLicense” regulatory scheme also risks infringing on First Amendment rights to freedom of expression and association.

The State of New York is currently considering BitLicense, a sprawling regulatory framework that would mandate licenses for a wide range of companies in the digital currency space. The regulations would force applicants to submit significant personal information to the state, including fingerprints and head-shot photographs. The policy would also require these companies to maintain detailed records about all transactions for 10 years, including identity data of users.

EFF notes that digital currency protocols are used for more than just paymentsthey have expressive and associational uses, too. Bitcoin-like systems are used for organizing and engaging with groups or communities. In addition, Bitcoin block chains frequently contain political speech, such as famous quotes and portraits of prominent historical figures. As currently written, EFF argues, the BitLicense regulations place an unacceptable burden on free speech and association.

“The courts have long recognized that code is speech protected by the First Amendment,” EFF Special Counsel Marcia Hofmann said. “At their core, digital currency protocols are code. Attempts to regulate code must include robust protections to ensure constitutionally protected speech is not stifled, and the BitLicense proposal would undermine those First Amendment principles.”

On Oct. 15, EFF launched an online activism campaign encouraging Internet users to oppose the BitLicense proposal by submitting comments to the New York State Department of Financial Services.

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EFF, Internet Archive, and Reddit Oppose New Yorks BitLicense Proposal



Frank Furedi: free speech is the ultimate freedom
Author and philosopher Frank Furedi explains why freedom of speech is our most fundamental freedom. Frank was addressing IPA members in Melbourne on Monday 6…

By: Institute of Public Affairs

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Frank Furedi: free speech is the ultimate freedom – Video



White House Censors Petition To Stop Ebola
Alex Jones covers the news and breaks down the fact that the white house has decided not only do they want Ebola in the country, they want to take your free speech as well. http://www.infowars.com…

By: TheAlexJonesChannel

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White House Censors Petition To Stop Ebola – Video

Oct 212014



Free Speech Watch App
A demo of my free speech watch app for my CS 160 User Interfaces class at UCB.

By: Corey Short

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Free Speech Watch App – Video



Government Is Using Political Correctness To Destroy Free Speech
Alex Jones breaks down the continued war on free speech and the first amendment using political correctness as their weapon. http://www.infowars.com/the-secret-life-of-gov-paid-trolls/ Follow…

By: TheAlexJonesChannel

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Government Is Using Political Correctness To Destroy Free Speech – Video

Oct 212014



Kip Addotta 10 18 14
Kip Addotta on Randolph Robinson, copyright infringement, Scott Bucalo a good guy and my cousin, Melissa Hurser defends foul language as free speech and my granddaughter's birthday celebration,.

By: Kip Addotta

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Kip Addotta 10 18 14 – Video



Oppression Of Free Speech In England UK
oppression of free speech.

By: Sameoldfitup Tameside

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Oppression Of Free Speech In England UK – Video

Just a few weeks ago, oil painters in eastern Beijings Songzhuang art district had welcomed foreign reporters into their studios to show off their works tackling such touchy subjects as Chinas prisons and Communist Party politics.

Over lunch, they candidly lamented the state of free speech in China while chewing on chicken and downing glasses of beer.

In a tightly controlled society where dissent is quickly quashed, the artists of Songzhuang appeared to be enjoying a rarely seen degree of creative and political freedom. But then, on Oct. 1, that illusion was shattered.

Police first detained poet Wang Zang after he posted a picture and message on Twitter supporting democracy demonstrators in Hong Kong. The next day, police rounded up another seven people who were heading to a poetry reading advertised on social media as supporting Hong Kong protesters. A total of 13 people living or working in the art colony were ultimately detained on charges of creating trouble, according to Wang Zangs wife, Wang Li.

This past weekend, the police buildup was everywhere, with uniformed officers patrolling the aisles of Songzhuangs art shops and riding in golf carts through its sleepy winding streets. Artists who weeks earlier had opened their studio doors wide were apologetically warning away visitors, fearful that speaking too freely could get them into trouble.

Since Songzhuang was founded two decades ago, its artists have largely avoided official harassment by following a few tacit rules: If they produced provocative work, they showed it only to each other, and if they sold it, they did so privately. Most importantly, they kept a low profile.

Painter Tang Jianying, known as one of Songzhuangs most outspoken artists, said his neighbors had crossed that line by taking their dissent to the Internet.

Among friends, we can speak freely, Tang said by phone hours after police had called to check in on him. But if youre in public, you have to watch what you do. If youre on the web and you speak too freely, theyll get you.

Although Chinas Constitution promises free speech rights, in reality, figuring out what you can say or write has always been a guessing game.

Authorities have in recent months tolerated grass-roots protests on environmental issues but at the same time, violently cracked down on Muslim Uighurs in the countrys far west Xinjiang region who have denounced the central governments policies on minorities.

Link:
Free-speech illusion at Beijing artists colony shattered by detentions



Political Correctness More Important Than Fighting Ebola
Alex Jones breaks down the continued war on free speech and the first amendment using political correctness as their weapon. http://www.infowars.com/the-secret-life-of-gov-paid-trolls/ Stay…

By: THElNFOWARRlOR

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Political Correctness More Important Than Fighting Ebola – Video



Fight for Free Speech (Thank You Pat Roberts)
Greg Orman would silence dissent. Thank you Pat Roberts. Keep fighting for free speech. Paid for by American Commitment.

By: AmericanCommitment

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Fight for Free Speech (Thank You Pat Roberts) – Video

BEIJING (AP) Just a few weeks ago, oil painters in eastern Beijing's Songzhuang art district had welcomed foreign reporters into their studios and shown off works tackling such touchy subjects as China's prisons and Communist Party politics. Over lunch, they candidly lamented the state of free speech in China while chewing on chicken and downing glasses of beer.

Continued here:
Chinese art colony's free-speech illusion shatters

MANCHESTER James Foley, the New Hampshire journalist murdered by ISIS forces in Syria last summer, has been named this years recipient of the Nackey S. Loeb First Amendment Award.

The freelance journalist and videographer, who grew up in Wolfeboro, was announced yesterday as the recipient of the 12th annual award given by the Nackey S. Loeb School of Communications.

A panel of judges decided to honor Foley for his work in telling the personal stories of people trapped by war and senseless violence.

He gave voice to people in places where there is no free speech or free press, and he gave his life because of it, said school executive director David Tirrell-Wysocki.

The award will be presented posthumously at the Radisson Hotel in Manchester on Nov. 12. The evening event will also feature an address by Donald Trump, who joins a notable group of national figures who have donated their appearances on behalf of the nonprofit school.

The First Amendment Award was established to honor New Hampshire organizations or residents who protect or exemplify the liberties granted in the First Amendment.

Past honorees include former state Attorney General Philip McLaughlin, former Keene Sentinel Editor Thomas Kearney, state Rep. Daniel Hughes, Dover City Councilor David Scott, First Amendment attorney William Chapman, ConVal School Board member Gail Pierson Cromwell, The Portsmouth Herald, David Lang and the Professional Fire Fighters of New Hampshire, and The Telegraph of Nashua.

Foley had reported from Iraq and Afghanistan and was kidnapped in Libya for 44 days in 2011. His work appeared in Stars and Stripes and GlobalPost, among others. He went to Syria in 2012 to report on conditions there and was taken by militants at Thanksgiving that year. His parents, Dr. John and Diane Foley of Rochester, did not hear from him for more than a year.

He was executed in August of this year, becoming the first American civilian to be killed by Islamist fanatics called ISIS (Islamic State in Iraq and Syria). Foleys beheading shocked the world. His parents plan a funeral Mass for him in Rochester this Saturday, which would have been his 42nd birthday.

Nackey Loeb, the late president and publisher of the Union Leader Corp., founded the school in 1999 to promote understanding and appreciation of the First Amendment and to foster interest, integrity and excellence in journalism and other forms of communication. More than 7,000 people have participated in the schools media-related classes, workshops and other events.

Continued here:
Award to honor James Foley's work telling the stories 'of people trapped by war'



pART 2 Barack Obama his attack on free speech!

By: TommySotomayorLive

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pART 2 Barack Obama & his attack on free speech! – Video

Anti-racism law strengthens penalties for racist incitement and violence, but some fear it may curb free speech.

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Greek hate crimes law: Threat to free speech?



S Korea divided over journalist's indictment
South Koreans are divided over the indictment of a Japanese journalist on defamation charges amid international criticism that it violates the right to free speech. South Korean prosecutors…

By: Anglina Joly

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S Korea divided over journalist’s indictment – Video

ANALYSIS/OPINION:

This month marks the 50th anniversary of the Free Speech Movement at the University of California-Berkeley. The student movement that sparked the rebellions of the 1960s is widely celebrated, particularly at Berkeley, which has hosted several dozen special classes, sing-ins and lots of political poetry over the past month.

Berkeleys embrace of the FSM (as the movement is known to its admirers) is not subtle. The steps of Sproul Hall are named after Mario Savio, whose famous bodies upon the gears of the machine speech started it all. A campus dining hall is called the Free Speech Movement Cafe. Former FSM leader Sol Stern, who has since become disaffected with his old colleagues, calls it FSM kitsch.

UC Berkeley today is very much the FSMs kind of school. And it is even fair to say that the school is still run by its heirs.

As Mr. Stern describes it in the City Journal, the cultural ethos of New Left the driving force behind the FSM is Berkeleys reigning orthodoxy. A fawning biography of Savio, who died in 1996, is required reading for freshmen. The administrations Division of Equity and Inclusion requires all undergraduates to take a course on theoretical or analytical issues relevant to understanding race, culture, and ethnicity in America. Rest assured the course does not serve to encourage free and open inquiry.

But what of free speech? How is it faring 50 years after Savio first jumped on the roof of a police car to rally students to the cause?

Not very well. As Mr. Stern laments, The great irony is that just as Berkeley now officially honors the memory of FSM, it exercises more thought control over students than the hated multiversity that we rose up against a half-century ago.

At todays Berkeley, political protests are allowed, but only in two designated places. Certain causes such as defending Israel are frowned upon and often openly rebuked. A speech code in the student housing guide broadly warns against verbal abuse and hate speech. Students are urged to report what they think may be hate crimes. Posters for events must be submitted five days in advance to a housing review board before they can be posted. Even the Board of Regents of the entire UC system shares some of the blame, disinviting former Harvard President Larry Summers to speak to them because of a controversial statement he once made.

Whats gone wrong? How did a movement ostensibly dedicated to freedom of speech and expression become its opposite?

Because the FSM wasnt really about free speech. It was about the New Lefts campaign to overturn the old system. By portraying the liberal (for those times) administration of Berkeley as the moral equivalent of the Jim Crow South, the FSM showed its hand it wasnt standing up for the First Amendment of a country it denounced as racist and imperialistic, but declaring a cultural and political war on that country.

Go here to see the original:
KIM R. HOLMES: When free speech is anything but free



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