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    Online Speech Protection bill 2017. Joecphillips (Seconded by Soggycabbages MP)




    A

    BILL
    TO

    Repeal section 127 of the Communications Act 2003



    BE IT ENACTED by The Queen's most Excellent Majesty, by and with the advice and consent of the Commons in this present Parliament assembled, in accordance with the provisions of the Parliament Acts 1911 and 1949, and by the authority of the same, as follows:—

    1- Repeal
    (1) S.127 of Communications Act 2003

    2- Citation and commencement
    (1) This Act extends to the United Kingdom.
    (2) The provisions of this Act come into force on Royal Assent
    (3) This Act may be referred to as the Online Speech Protection Act 2017


    Notes:


    It is important to protect people's rights to be able to be able to freely express themselves and remember offence is not given it is taken.

    Legislation
    http://www.legislation.gov.uk/ukpga/2003/21/section/127

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    Hmm. I am very much for the second half of the section to be repealed but not as much for the first.
    EDIT: (accidentally pressed reply) Grossly indecent is rather subjective, but for it to be a criminal offence is perhaps too far. It is an aye from me.
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    Aye.
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    I would have liked it if you had explained what the legislation in question is in the notes. But having read that section of legislation, which prevents people from sending messages that are 'grossly offensive or of an indecent, obscene or menacing character', I see no reason for it to be repealed. What arguments are there in favour of scrapping this?
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    Aye
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    aye
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    Aye grow a pair
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    Nay. There is a way of expressing every sentiment that does not amount to 'grossly offensive'. The section in question is no limitation at all on freedom of expression.

    Also, the Bill is terribly drafted. Quality control.
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    (Original post by TheDefiniteArticle)
    Nay. There is a way of expressing every sentiment that does not amount to 'grossly offensive'. The section in question is no limitation at all on freedom of expression.

    Also, the Bill is terribly drafted. Quality control.
    Whenever you give discretionary to the government such as to interpret what is and isn't grossly offensive, you're asking for political prisoners and gulags, as much as the far left would enjoy that. There have been too many instances in the modern day of individuals being fined and imprisoned in democratic liberal countries for things as harmless as questioning the holocaust and criticizing Islam for me to have faith in government in this area.

    Also how am I supposed to criticize Donald trumps fake wig and small **** w/o fear of retaliation?
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    (Original post by Gladstone1885)
    Whenever you give discretionary to the government such as to interpret what is and isn't grossly offensive, you're asking for political prisoners and gulags, as much as the far left would enjoy that. There have been too many instances in the modern day of individuals being fined and imprisoned in democratic liberal countries for things as harmless as questioning the holocaust and criticizing Islam for me to have faith in government in this area.

    Also how am I supposed to criticize Donald trumps fake wig and small **** w/o fear of retaliation?
    They are entitled to question the holocaust and criticise Islam in a constructive way. That's all freedom of expression, properly interpreted, requires.
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    (Original post by TheDefiniteArticle)
    They are entitled to question the holocaust and criticise Islam in a constructive way. That's all freedom of expression, properly interpreted, requires.
    Im surprised you don't see the fallacy in that logic comrade. It's up to who ever is in power to define constructive.
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    (Original post by Gladstone1885)
    Im surprised you don't see the fallacy in that logic comrade. It's up to who ever is in power to define constructive.
    Nah, it's not. The question, properly expressed, is 'if we criminalise this expression, can the same sentiment be expressed in at least one other less offensive manner?' Offensiveness is not that subjective a quality.
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    Nay, this doesn't pass the 'is there a social benefit?' test imo.
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    (Original post by TheDefiniteArticle)
    Nah, it's not. The question, properly expressed, is 'if we criminalise this expression, can the same sentiment be expressed in at least one other less offensive manner?' Offensiveness is not that subjective a quality.
    There are many, many...many objective things in this world. Offense is definitely not one of those things, as it varies considerably based on situation, skin density, subject matter, public perception and taboo. The notion that a government couldn't manipulate that is naive
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    (Original post by Gladstone1885)
    There are many, many...many objective things in this world. Offense is definitely not one of those things, as it varies considerably based on situation, skin density, subject matter, public perception and taboo. The notion that a government couldn't manipulate that is naive
    Nothing is entirely subjective or entirely objective.

    Also, it's ridiculous to prepare Bills for an authoritarian government when they could pass something to repeal them in five minutes anyway. We should prepare for a reasonable government.
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    Aye for content, nay for formatting ;p

    In seriousness, this is an important issue that needs to be dealt with; let's stop cowtowing to the totalitarian, social justice left and repeal this legislation!
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    I support the repeal of the 'grossly offensive' bit (I take the view that you don't have the right not to be offended), but not the 'indecent, obscene, or menacing' bit. Freedom of speech is not and should not be freedom to threaten or harass, and I'm concerned that the repeal of this legislation would make it significantly easier to do that.
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    We have to remember that this Act was passed before the advent of social media. Personally, I believe it's outdated and in need of reform. As I understand it, it was written in order to protect the direct recipients of unsolicited communications, primarily via e-mail or instant messaging services, from grossly offensive material, just as they would if it was received via post or telephone - a stance I generally agree with. Frankly, I don't believe you have any particular right to bully or abuse somebody just because you're using technology to do so any more than someone should suffer such abuse while walking down the street.

    That being said, I don't believe the Act is particularly appropriate for some modern forms of communication, particularly the likes of Twitter and Facebook. Here, it is possible to create posts which would fall foul of the Act, but which one would have to explicitly subscribe to the poster's content in order to be shown. So long as it is not sent directly to someone who clearly does not wish to receive it, I don't believe a prosecution under the Act would be appropriate.

    Therefore, I'm going to say No to this Bill, which I believe goes too far in the right direction and results in a worse situation than what we have at current, but I would like to see pragmatic legislation to modernise the balance of free expression with freedom from abuse and harassment.
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