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Tom Daley Twitter row: why is everyone jumping on the free speech bandwagon?

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    (Original post by Friar Chris)
    If 'free speech' is a 'bandwagon', then I want to be on that wagon the full way. I'm not a fan of what a liberal minority consider to be the 'greater good'; free speech is an end in itself as far as I'm concerned.

    If in his tweeting he has thereby committed a separate crime anyway - blackmail, threats of violence etc. then that's one thing; but to say that something should be illegal just because it's offensive is scary. As far as I care, the putative idiot would best be let to rot with the ridicule and hatred he will (and has) in turn received from society.
    I believe his arrest was for threatening behaviour? It was harassment and people should not have to put up with being threatened in that manner. His tweets are open if you have a twitter account.
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    (Original post by Snagprophet)
    There's freedom of speech and then there's death threats and e-thuggery. This nonce's death threats to multiple people hit the news due to his stupid attack on a 17 year old athlete attacking him for being a particle away from coming first in a competition which he had trained hard physically and mentally for seeing as his father and coach had recently died of cancer. That is evil.
    (Original post by Clare~Bear)
    Drawing a picture of Muhammed is different to sending death threats. The former somehow insults people, the latter makes someone fear for their life.
    I am well aware that he has been arrested for death threats and not just his trollish dad comments, but afaik, the news sites aren't allowed to report the death threats bit, or at least, the BBC aren't reporting that, so the majority of the fuss (on my social media etc) has been for the comments saying things like his dad would be unhappy etc. Regardless of how evil it is, you can't say one thing for one situation and another thing for another situation. There has to be absolutes.


    Mocking religious beliefs is completely different. The Danish cartoonists have never attacked anyone in this way. Mocking Islam is like mocking any other ideology and it's hypocritical and complete nonsense to place Islam higher than Christianity in sacredness in what is meant to be a secular society. If an ideology is so sensitive to you that it makes you murder for it then you're obviously doing it wrong and you're obviously not fit to live in the Occident.
    I don't care where Christians place themselves, as a Muslim, I'm not happy about the kind of jokes they made, which only fuelled misconceptions of Islam. If society deems that there is absolute free speech, then obviously I can't do anything about it, but otherwise, it shouldn't be happening. I'm going to let the rest of your comments go by, I cba for this debate.
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    At the end of the day, he was sending death threats. It is illegal to do that regardless of what communication tool you use.
    Regardless, even without the death threats it would still class as harassment.
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    (Original post by Straight up G)
    When the Danish Cartoonists insult Islam it's free speech but when Team GB's golden boy (or is that 4th-placed boy :teehee:) is insulted there is a massive fuss and widespread outrage :rolleyes:
    How can you compare drawing a picture of a man who has been dead for centuries to sending death threats to someone alive?
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    (Original post by Lady Maleficent)
    How can you compare drawing a picture of a man who has been dead for centuries to sending death threats to someone alive?
    Please read an earlier reply of mine.
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    (Original post by Elwyn)
    Freedom of speech wasn't brought about to allow people to be hateful and malicious. People who think freedom of speech means he can get away with being a worthless scumbag need to think again.

    I came across this whilst browsing my twitter feed:


    This was posted from The Student Room's iPhone/iPad App
    People say that sort of thing a schools everyday.

    The police don't have the manpower to arrest the lesser spotted internet chav every time he tweets.
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    (Original post by Straight up G)
    I am well aware that he has been arrested for death threats and not just his trollish dad comments, but afaik, the news sites aren't allowed to report the death threats bit, or at least, the BBC aren't reporting that, so the majority of the fuss (on my social media etc) has been for the comments saying things like his dad would be unhappy etc.
    The media is irrelevant. This is a debate on the state limiting freedom of speech, and the state has done so with regards to death threats in this case - not the comments about Daley's father.

    Regardless of how evil it is, you can't say one thing for one situation and another thing for another situation. There has to be absolutes.
    Who says there has to be absolutes? That's a false black and white dilemma, and does not reflect reality.

    The state is free to decide what is acceptable free speech and what should be limited. Blasphemy is no longer illegal - yet death threats are. This strikes the correct balance.

    I don't care where Christians place themselves, as a Muslim, I'm not happy about the kind of jokes they made, which only fuelled misconceptions of Islam. If society deems that there is absolute free speech, then obviously I can't do anything about it, but otherwise, it shouldn't be happening. I'm going to let the rest of your comments go by, I cba for this debate.
    Again, you're presenting a false black and white dilemma. Society can allow blasphemy or religious satire, but can outlaw death threats.
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    (Original post by Chi019)
    Free speech should be absolute.
    Why?

    The only argument I ever really see for this is "because it should be". Doesn't really answer anything...

    I just don't understand why "freedom of speech" is so absolute, whereas others are perfectly fine to restrict - like freedom of movement for example.
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    apparently the guy included a a death threat in one of his tweets, or at least thats what I've seen from some of the posters here

    if so, why has this not been mentioned in the media at all? so far all that has been said is that he sent a message saying that tom let his father down which I think any reasonable person would think isn't a crime, a death threat however is a totally different
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    (Original post by Lady Maleficent)
    The media is irrelevant. This is a debate on the state limiting freedom of speech, and the state has done so with regards to death threats in this case - not the comments about Daley's father.

    Who says there has to be absolutes? That's a false black and white dilemma, and does not reflect reality.

    The state is free to decide what is acceptable free speech and what should be limited. Blasphemy is no longer illegal - yet death threats are. This strikes the correct balance.

    Again, you're presenting a false black and white dilemma. Society can allow blasphemy or religious satire, but can outlaw death threats.
    Well, I mentioned 'the fuss', and related it to the father tweets. I agree, if threatening someone with death is against the law (as it should be) then that man should prosecuted. However, as I said before, from my own experience, the majority of the fuss has been regarding the vile father comments, and as I mentioned, the state shouldn't be censoring those unless it has a clear policy on all things provocative/malicious. The reason there has to be absolutes is that it's impossible to decide which tweets cross the threshold into malicious.

    It isn't blasphemy, it's racism designed to fuel misconceptions and provoke people.
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    (Original post by Jack93o)
    apparently the guy included a a death threat in one of his tweets, or at least thats what I've seen from some of the posters here

    if so, why has this not been mentioned in the media at all? so far all that has been said is that he sent a message saying that tom let his father down which I think any reasonable person would think isn't a crime, a death threat however is a totally different

    He sent the death threat afterwards. Tom Daley retweeted the message and so the kid called him a load of vile things then said he would hunt him down and drown him in his swimming pool.

    I also saw some tweets of his (while momentarily interested in what he'd said) where he said he'd kick someone's pregnant mum until she miscarried and told someone whose sister died that he'd dug her up and raped her corpse, and was digging up their grandmother next. He's a vile person and needs to step away from the internet for a while.


    The reason the media didn't pick that up so much, though, is that there was only an hour window between him posting the death threat and having the brainpower to make his page private so the media couldn't read it so easily.
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    It isn´t a ´bandwagon´, its a human right which gets neglected in favour of not offending minorities.
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    (Original post by Lady Maleficent)
    Poor analogy.
    I don't understand where this was posted
    Am I missing something obvious :confused:
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    He shouldn't have been arrested.
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    (Original post by sugar-n-spice)
    People say that sort of thing a schools everyday.

    The police don't have the manpower to arrest the lesser spotted internet chav every time he tweets.
    And your point being?

    They don't have the man power to arrest everyone who uses drugs either does that mean they should all get away with it? If you're going to send communications like those on a public forum to a public figure you're asking for trouble.
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    (Original post by Elwyn)
    And your point being?

    They don't have the man power to arrest everyone who uses drugs either does that mean they should all get away with it? If you're going to send communications like those on a public forum to a public figure you're asking for trouble.
    If the police service doesn't have the resources to investigate each incident of this nature the law should be changed.
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    (Original post by Straight up G)
    Well, I mentioned 'the fuss', and related it to the father tweets. I agree, if threatening someone with death is against the law (as it should be) then that man should prosecuted. However, as I said before, from my own experience, the majority of the fuss has been regarding the vile father comments.
    Well, I suppose most can relate to the comments about Daley's father. Everyone has a father for whom most are close to, and most would be offended if they were on the end of such comments. It has long been a social taboo to insult a person's dead relatives. And I suppose Daley's innocence and popularity has an effect. In contrast, the drawing of Muhammad is pretty much exclusively a Muslim source of offence. It is also doctrinal, as it doesn't involve what is traditional considered offensive but the drawing of a picture - which happens to be sacrilegious under the tenets of Islam.

    And as I mentioned, the state shouldn't be censoring those unless it has a clear policy on all things provocative/malicious. The reason there has to be absolutes is that it's impossible to decide which tweets cross the threshold into malicious.
    The state does have a clear policy in the form of legislation and precedent, such as the Malicious Communications Act 1988.

    And, I believe the state can strike a balance between acceptable and unacceptable free speech. We see this in practice - if you send someone racist abuse, you will probably be arrested; whereas, if you insult a television program someone is a fan of - you won't be arrested. Both could be interpreted as 'provocative/malicious' by those on the receiving end, yet the state determines what is acceptable and unacceptable free speech - not what individuals believe to be 'provocative/malicious', that is how restrictions on free speech work.

    It isn't blasphemy, it's racism designed to fuel misconceptions and provoke people.
    It is the very definition of blasphemy.

    I don't disregard the fact that it offends some Muslims, but in what world can it be deemed 'racism'? It is insulting the figure of a religious ideology, race is not involved.

    It is apparent that many do it in attempt to reinforce their belief in free speech and religious satire, so not everyone drawing Muhammad does it purely for the reasons you describe.
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    (Original post by Aspiringlawstudent)
    Well, excuse some of us for believing that what people say ultimately is of no concern of the state. It's positively Orwellian.
    But that's bull****. The problem here is kids are not aware of what the internet is; a method of communication.

    If someone wrote a letter, or phoned up a person, and said the **** that was said, people would not think twice about condemning such actions. The issue is kids seem to think the internet is a pseudo sort of communication and that it is somehow different. It's not. These laws are to prevent people from harassing, intimidating and unquestionably offending others.
    If the kid had said it on his wall to no one but his followers, okay, that's your thoughts and you are keeping them to a select group of people. But to actively seek a target for your remarks shows anti-social behaviour with malicious intent.

    The kid has had a rude awaking to reality. :teehee:
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    (Original post by Friar Chris)
    If 'free speech' is a 'bandwagon', then I want to be on that wagon the full way. I'm not a fan of what a liberal minority consider to be the 'greater good'; free speech is an end in itself as far as I'm concerned.

    If in his tweeting he has thereby committed a separate crime anyway - blackmail, threats of violence etc. then that's one thing; but to say that something should be illegal just because it's offensive is scary. As far as I care, the putative idiot would best be let to rot with the ridicule and hatred he will (and has) in turn received from society.
    Completely agree: there are very old laws that make blackmail/threats to kill etc. illegal. Recent laws criminalising causing offence are a massive threat to free society.

    And I didn't agree with Liam Stacey being prosecuted.
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    It seems like the most significant argument anybody's made is that it hurt people's feelings, which doesn't really seem like a good reason to police speech. I think that the people using terms like 'Orwellian' are entirely justified, considering that state intervention seems to have no limits, even if it is not always expressed. I hate that people use the internet to abuse others, but the nature of the platform decreases its strength phenomenally. In reaction to one person being abusive, so many others reacted in returning the abuse, and rallying behind Daley. If anything, the state needs to stop policing the international internet, and people themselves need to learn how to ignore the idiocy of a few, that doesn't actually harm anybody. And should the state find itself with more time to pursue other things, there might be fewer actual criminals on the streets.

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