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redback911

Original Poster:

748 posts

153 months

[news] 
Tuesday 9th October 2012 quote quote all
Ok, slightly contentious I suppose but is anyone else slightly perturbed by the UK's attitude to "Free Speech"? The jailing of various individuals over the last couple of years for social media comments, made me question if free speech actually exists in the UK. This year the courts have jailed:

Fabrice Muamba: Racist Twitter user jailed for 56 days
http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-wales-17515992

April Jones: Matthew Woods jailed for Facebook posts for 12 weeks
http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-lancashire-19...

I am in no way justifying what these individuals said, but did they really deserved to be jailed? It smacks of hypocrisy when I see/hear MPs bemoan the lack of democracy and freedom of expression in other countries, yet in the UK we seem barely better than those we try to impose democracy on.






Edited by redback911 on Tuesday 9th October 12:23

Frix

678 posts

78 months

[news] 
Tuesday 9th October 2012 quote quote all
Can't see how jail is merited for either of these cases. The courts don't lock up people who have racially abused and often threatened other face-to-face. Why is it more serious where there is no fear of violence?

Ozzie Osmond

16,326 posts

133 months

[news] 
Tuesday 9th October 2012 quote quote all
Frix said:
The courts don't lock up people who have racially abused and often threatened other face-to-face.
Why don't you go into London, give the bus driver (buses have video recording you see...) a good long tirade of racial abuse and see how you get on?

Frix

678 posts

78 months

[news] 
Tuesday 9th October 2012 quote quote all
Maybe London courts have more sense than my local ones. Doesn't tend to happen round here.

redback911

Original Poster:

748 posts

153 months

[news] 
Tuesday 9th October 2012 quote quote all
Ozzie Osmond said:
The expression is "freedom of speech"

Not "freedom to behave like an utter tw@t".
Both are bigoted idiots, no doubt. However it seems you can be a bigoted idiot as long as you do not do it on the Internet.
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daz3210

5,000 posts

127 months

[news] 
Tuesday 9th October 2012 quote quote all
redback911 said:
Ozzie Osmond said:
The expression is "freedom of speech"

Not "freedom to behave like an utter tw@t".
Both are bigoted idiots, no doubt. However it seems you can be a bigoted idiot as long as you do not do it on the Internet.
Should Ashley Cole also be hauled before the courts then?


randlemarcus

9,541 posts

118 months

[news] 
Tuesday 9th October 2012 quote quote all
Its just a matter of the law catching up with social change. The law was written, and has been enforced based on print distribution. Consider your opinion if either of the above had written, printed and distributed their utterings in the High Street. In mine, they would deserve a bit of chokey for being so vile. The law sees this as exactly the same as their inane FacePokeTweetings, even though they are demonstrably not the same.

As I understand it, the DPP had a conference about exactly this yesterday, to try and clarify the treatment of idiots like this. Perhaps if we had a blanket law regarding idiocy, it might help solve a umber of social problems?

daz3210

5,000 posts

127 months

[news] 
Tuesday 9th October 2012 quote quote all
randlemarcus said:
The law sees this as exactly the same as their inane FacePokeTweetings, even though they are demonstrably not the same.
And the manner of clearing it up is different. Something printed and distributed has to be collected etc. On the net there is a button that is of use - its called 'delete'.


Breadvan72

19,963 posts

50 months

[news] 
Tuesday 9th October 2012 quote quote all
There is a disturbing trend towards criminalising speech.

A democracy should be able to cope with hate speech without criminalising it.

blindswelledrat

22,696 posts

119 months

[news] 
Tuesday 9th October 2012 quote quote all
daz3210 said:
randlemarcus said:
The law sees this as exactly the same as their inane FacePokeTweetings, even though they are demonstrably not the same.
And the manner of clearing it up is different. Something printed and distributed has to be collected etc. On the net there is a button that is of use - its called 'delete'.
What's your point? There is also a bin to put leaflets in.

Ozzie Osmond

16,326 posts

133 months

[news] 
Tuesday 9th October 2012 quote quote all
Breadvan72 said:
There is a disturbing trend towards criminalising speech.
Not so. The trend is of people being daft enough to do it in writing or when someone else has got their camera-phone at the ready.

Or to put it another way, the criminals are now getting caught.

Hopefully it will bring and end to the idiocy of the "you can say what you like on the internet" approach.

daz3210

5,000 posts

127 months

[news] 
Tuesday 9th October 2012 quote quote all
blindswelledrat said:
daz3210 said:
randlemarcus said:
The law sees this as exactly the same as their inane FacePokeTweetings, even though they are demonstrably not the same.
And the manner of clearing it up is different. Something printed and distributed has to be collected etc. On the net there is a button that is of use - its called 'delete'.
What's your point? There is also a bin to put leaflets in.
The point is that once distributed, leaflets are out of control, and can end up anywhere. On the other hand, if I put something entirely offensive, say on this site, it takes one person about five seconds to destroy what I put such that it no longer exists, and cannot be further distributed.

TTwiggy

5,030 posts

91 months

[news] 
Tuesday 9th October 2012 quote quote all
For a more reasoned discussion, see here:

http://pistonheads.com/gassing/topic.asp?h=0&f...

10 Pence Short

32,880 posts

104 months

[news] 
Tuesday 9th October 2012 quote quote all
Breadvan72 said:
There is a disturbing trend towards criminalising speech.

A democracy should be able to cope with hate speech without criminalising it.
Absolutely this. People will sometimes say things that are unpleasant or disagreeable, but where should the line be drawn between fair comment and criminal conduct?

I remember the case regarding a crass Twitter comment and Robin Hood airport that had to go all the way to the court of appeal before common sense prevailed.

I understand that the DPP is planning to issue guidance on prosecuting social media offences, and this can't come soon enough.

randlemarcus

9,541 posts

118 months

[news] 
Tuesday 9th October 2012 quote quote all
10 Pence Short said:
I understand that the DPP is planning to issue guidance on prosecuting social media offences, and this can't come soon enough.
It should be framed in Plain English, and say "Don't be a c*nt"

daz3210

5,000 posts

127 months

[news] 
Tuesday 9th October 2012 quote quote all
10 Pence Short said:
I understand that the DPP is planning to issue guidance on prosecuting social media offences, and this can't come soon enough.
How will this leave those already convicted if the guidance suggests they shouldn't even have been prosecuted?


mercfunder

3,742 posts

60 months

[news] 
Tuesday 9th October 2012 quote quote all
Ozzie Osmond said:
Hopefully it will bring and end to the idiocy of the "you can say what you like on the internet" approach.
Why would that be a good thing?

Surely the internet is the last true place you can say what you like or would you rather it was policed by governments and everybody towed a party line?

10 Pence Short

32,880 posts

104 months

[news] 
Tuesday 9th October 2012 quote quote all
randlemarcus said:
It should be framed in Plain English, and say "Don't be a c*nt"
One person's c*nt is another's voice of reason.

Freedom of expression is a fundamental right and should remain unfettered save for intentional harm.

As for Daz's question, it really shouldn't affect earlier convictions. The guidelines create a buffer between legislation and enforcement. Many offences are committed, detected but not prosecuted.

blindswelledrat

22,696 posts

119 months

[news] 
Tuesday 9th October 2012 quote quote all
daz3210 said:
The point is that once distributed, leaflets are out of control, and can end up anywhere. On the other hand, if I put something entirely offensive, say on this site, it takes one person about five seconds to destroy what I put such that it no longer exists, and cannot be further distributed.
I don't disagree,but we don't make laws according to how easily a crime can be undone. Im just confused as to the relevance?

daz3210

5,000 posts

127 months

[news] 
Tuesday 9th October 2012 quote quote all
blindswelledrat said:
daz3210 said:
The point is that once distributed, leaflets are out of control, and can end up anywhere. On the other hand, if I put something entirely offensive, say on this site, it takes one person about five seconds to destroy what I put such that it no longer exists, and cannot be further distributed.
I don't disagree,but we don't make laws according to how easily a crime can be undone. Im just confused as to the relevance?
The earlier comment was that the law doesn't discriminate between the two, and considers both to be the same action (as you seem to agree).

The difference is that the impact of any offence caused by such an action can be far less by a speedy deletion of any offensive message put out there. Look at Ashley Cole this week. He twittered something offensive about the FA. He has now deleted that himself. If he had handed out leaflets, it would not have been so easy to remove the offensive message.

To use your argument regarding making laws according to how easy things can be undone. We do to a degree, but word it more as according to the impact on society.

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