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College students unclear about Free Speech - FIRE

 
nonverbal
 
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nonverbal
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28 July 2019 11:52
 
icehorse - 28 July 2019 10:27 AM
mapadofu - 28 July 2019 10:22 AM

It is not obvious to me that such disruption is not speech.  The literal state of affairs is that the person is speaking.  Can you clarify when speaking constitutes speech that falls under the rubric of freedom of speech and when speaking is no longer speech but instead disruption?

It seems pretty black and white to me, as long as you remember that free speech includes the freedom to listen. The moment the disrupter is abridging the listeners’ rights, the disrupter is no longer behaving in a protected manner.

Freedom to listen? Which amendment refers to such a thing?

I’m not attempting to support a side here. Just saying.

 
 
icehorse
 
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icehorse
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28 July 2019 11:57
 
mapadofu - 28 July 2019 11:18 AM

As long as the rally is hosted by an on campus group, then no recourse?

Well a rally might introduce some wrinkles that a lecture - in a hall - would not. In general any outdoor event has to abide with noise ordinance’s, and not blocking public paths and roads and such.

Now I’m sure that in practice, administrations often block a group from hosting a controversial speaker. My just saying that - IMO - that such blocking ought to be an extremely rare event.

So what would be an example of a group sponsored speaker you think ought to be disallowed?

[ Edited: 28 July 2019 12:09 by icehorse]
 
 
icehorse
 
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icehorse
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28 July 2019 11:59
 
nonverbal - 28 July 2019 11:52 AM
icehorse - 28 July 2019 10:27 AM
mapadofu - 28 July 2019 10:22 AM

It is not obvious to me that such disruption is not speech.  The literal state of affairs is that the person is speaking.  Can you clarify when speaking constitutes speech that falls under the rubric of freedom of speech and when speaking is no longer speech but instead disruption?

It seems pretty black and white to me, as long as you remember that free speech includes the freedom to listen. The moment the disrupter is abridging the listeners’ rights, the disrupter is no longer behaving in a protected manner.

Freedom to listen? Which amendment refers to such a thing?

I’m not attempting to support a side here. Just saying.

Isn’t it implied when you combine freedom to assemble and freedom of speech? Isn’t it also implied in any discussion of censorship?

[ Edited: 28 July 2019 12:01 by icehorse]
 
 
icehorse
 
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icehorse
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28 July 2019 12:00
 
Nhoj Morley - 28 July 2019 11:40 AM
mapadofu - 28 July 2019 10:30 AM

ok, so what kinds of policies should a university adopt in order to respect these multiple competing considerations?

This is where trioon’s Malarkey Scale would come in handy. A university could insist, without offending any group, that any speaker demonstrate a capacity for four continuous steps of reasoning in the context of their topic. I’ve never heard a abhorationist of any stripe who didn’t blow a brain gasket trying to reach three.

Candidates would start by declaring their basic reasonable position. They would then be given a “yes, but…” followed by a thoughtful inquiry. If the inquiry is accommodated while staying true to the context of the first step, another “Yes, but…” is earned. If a candidate can pass four “Yes, but’s… ” without undermining their original position, appealing to authority or threatening violence, they’re in.

Man, I’d love it if we could have some threads run under the Malarkey rules.

 
 
mapadofu
 
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mapadofu
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28 July 2019 12:41
 
icehorse - 28 July 2019 11:57 AM
mapadofu - 28 July 2019 11:18 AM

As long as the rally is hosted by an on campus group, then no recourse?

Well a rally might introduce some wrinkles that a lecture - in a hall - would not. In general any outdoor event has to abide with noise ordinance’s, and not blocking public paths and roads and such.

Now I’m sure that in practice, administrations often block a group from hosting a controversial speaker. My just saying that - IMO - that such blocking ought to be an extremely rare event.

So what would be an example of a group sponsored speaker you think ought to be disallowed?


I don’t know of any.  Despite this I’m still unsure that all of the decision making power resides in the student groups, nor would I think assigning the administrators an unmitigated veto authority is a good idea…

For me, student group sponsored lectures are not the first thing that comes to mind as examples of hateful or offensive speech on campus.  Instead I think of something more like a group of students harassing people on the quad or similar.

[ Edited: 28 July 2019 13:06 by mapadofu]
 
Garret
 
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Garret
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28 July 2019 12:54
 

The problem I have with the imminent harm test, is that that is not the only type of harm that we understand.

I understand that this is the standard test the Supreme Court uses, but that only evolved in the late 60’s and 70’s.  Imminent harm is not the test that has been in use for the majority of the existence of the US.

[ Edited: 28 July 2019 12:56 by Garret]
 
nonverbal
 
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nonverbal
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28 July 2019 13:14
 
icehorse - 28 July 2019 11:59 AM
nonverbal - 28 July 2019 11:52 AM
icehorse - 28 July 2019 10:27 AM
mapadofu - 28 July 2019 10:22 AM

It is not obvious to me that such disruption is not speech.  The literal state of affairs is that the person is speaking.  Can you clarify when speaking constitutes speech that falls under the rubric of freedom of speech and when speaking is no longer speech but instead disruption?

It seems pretty black and white to me, as long as you remember that free speech includes the freedom to listen. The moment the disrupter is abridging the listeners’ rights, the disrupter is no longer behaving in a protected manner.

Freedom to listen? Which amendment refers to such a thing?

I’m not attempting to support a side here. Just saying.

Isn’t it implied when you combine freedom to assemble and freedom of speech? Isn’t it also implied in any discussion of censorship?

Uh—sure, icy.

Again, I don’t disagree with your take itself.

 
 
Jefe
 
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Jefe
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28 July 2019 13:19
 
nonverbal - 28 July 2019 01:14 PM
icehorse - 28 July 2019 11:59 AM
nonverbal - 28 July 2019 11:52 AM
icehorse - 28 July 2019 10:27 AM
mapadofu - 28 July 2019 10:22 AM

It is not obvious to me that such disruption is not speech.  The literal state of affairs is that the person is speaking.  Can you clarify when speaking constitutes speech that falls under the rubric of freedom of speech and when speaking is no longer speech but instead disruption?

It seems pretty black and white to me, as long as you remember that free speech includes the freedom to listen. The moment the disrupter is abridging the listeners’ rights, the disrupter is no longer behaving in a protected manner.

Freedom to listen? Which amendment refers to such a thing?

I’m not attempting to support a side here. Just saying.

Isn’t it implied when you combine freedom to assemble and freedom of speech? Isn’t it also implied in any discussion of censorship?

Uh—sure, icy.

Again, I don’t disagree with your take itself.


Freedom of assembly specifically includes ‘defending ideas’.
If protesting, or questioning of ideas cannot take place during assembly, isn’t that also an abridgement of rights?

 
 
icehorse
 
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icehorse
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28 July 2019 13:20
 

nv - I don’t think I’ve ever claimed to be a legal scholar. That said, I’d bet dollars to doughnuts that the freedom to listen has been established in our legal system as a very direct consequence of the freedom to assemble and speak. Is this forum turning into law school?  wink

 
 
nonverbal
 
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nonverbal
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28 July 2019 13:28
 
icehorse - 28 July 2019 01:20 PM

nv - I don’t think I’ve ever claimed to be a legal scholar. That said, I’d bet dollars to doughnuts that the freedom to listen has been established in our legal system as a very direct consequence of the freedom to assemble and speak. Is this forum turning into law school?  wink

Sorry—my mistake. Such an interpretation seems to be coherent to the courts.

 
 
burt
 
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burt
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28 July 2019 15:26
 
icehorse - 28 July 2019 12:00 PM
Nhoj Morley - 28 July 2019 11:40 AM
mapadofu - 28 July 2019 10:30 AM

ok, so what kinds of policies should a university adopt in order to respect these multiple competing considerations?

This is where trioon’s Malarkey Scale would come in handy. A university could insist, without offending any group, that any speaker demonstrate a capacity for four continuous steps of reasoning in the context of their topic. I’ve never heard a abhorationist of any stripe who didn’t blow a brain gasket trying to reach three.

Candidates would start by declaring their basic reasonable position. They would then be given a “yes, but…” followed by a thoughtful inquiry. If the inquiry is accommodated while staying true to the context of the first step, another “Yes, but…” is earned. If a candidate can pass four “Yes, but’s… ” without undermining their original position, appealing to authority or threatening violence, they’re in.

Man, I’d love it if we could have some threads run under the Malarkey rules.

Yes, but…

 
icehorse
 
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28 July 2019 16:21
 
Jefe - 28 July 2019 01:19 PM
nonverbal - 28 July 2019 01:14 PM
icehorse - 28 July 2019 11:59 AM
nonverbal - 28 July 2019 11:52 AM
icehorse - 28 July 2019 10:27 AM
mapadofu - 28 July 2019 10:22 AM

It is not obvious to me that such disruption is not speech.  The literal state of affairs is that the person is speaking.  Can you clarify when speaking constitutes speech that falls under the rubric of freedom of speech and when speaking is no longer speech but instead disruption?

It seems pretty black and white to me, as long as you remember that free speech includes the freedom to listen. The moment the disrupter is abridging the listeners’ rights, the disrupter is no longer behaving in a protected manner.

Freedom to listen? Which amendment refers to such a thing?

I’m not attempting to support a side here. Just saying.

Isn’t it implied when you combine freedom to assemble and freedom of speech? Isn’t it also implied in any discussion of censorship?

Uh—sure, icy.

Again, I don’t disagree with your take itself.

Freedom of assembly specifically includes ‘defending ideas’.
If protesting, or questioning of ideas cannot take place during assembly, isn’t that also an abridgement of rights?

That’s distinct from making such a constant ruckus that the speaker cannot be heard. And again, the protestors can go across the street to protest.

 
 
Garret
 
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Garret
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28 July 2019 16:29
 

The speaker can go across the street to speak.

If a speaker is so popular that people want to hear them, but they are worried about protests on a college campus… rent a venue not on the campus.  You can even give free tickets to people with a student ID if you are so inclined.  Why is this not the solution in the “marketplace of ideas”?  Why not just let the free market sort it out?

Universities and colleges are not places that exist to support traveling speakers.  Sure, they can host them, but that is not the primary purpose.  They exist to educate the students who pay tuition to attend them.

Every speaker who has had a protest against them immediately gets dozens of interviews, lots of newspaper articles, and hits go up on their social media accounts.  If you are for the promotion of these ideas, or just the general spread of the ideas… the protests actually do more to promote the speaker than the 30 flyers that went up on the campus.  So again, I don’t see what the problem is.  The speakers message is actually amplified, which would suggest that your complaints are void.

[ Edited: 28 July 2019 16:38 by Garret]
 
icehorse
 
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28 July 2019 16:51
 
Garret - 28 July 2019 04:29 PM

The speaker can go across the street to speak.

If a speaker is so popular that people want to hear them, but they are worried about protests on a college campus… rent a venue not on the campus.  You can even give free tickets to people with a student ID if you are so inclined.  Why is this not the solution in the “marketplace of ideas”?  Why not just let the free market sort it out?

Universities and colleges are not places that exist to support traveling speakers.  Sure, they can host them, but that is not the primary purpose.  They exist to educate the students who pay tuition to attend them.

Every speaker who has had a protest against them immediately gets dozens of interviews, lots of newspaper articles, and hits go up on their social media accounts.  If you are for the promotion of these ideas, or just the general spread of the ideas… the protests actually do more to promote the speaker than the 30 flyers that went up on the campus.  So again, I don’t see what the problem is.  The speakers message is actually amplified, which would suggest that your complaints are void.

Look at this from the point of view of the listeners. Those who set up the talk in the first place.

Or, look at this from the point of view of a group hosting a conference. Would you say it’s fine for people who don’t like Bach to disrupt a concert and force the musicians and audience go across the street?

 
 
Garret
 
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Garret
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28 July 2019 17:02
 

If you are defining prohibited speech as only that speech which causes imminent harm, then you have to demonstrate the actual harm caused by the protest.

Inconvenience does not absolve the government of its obligation to tolerate speech. - Anthony Kennedy

Demonstrate that the protest is anything other than inconvenient.

I’m actually in favor of more restrictive rules on speech.  I’m a strong proponent of the freedom of speech, but I think it also gets abused.  Right now, I am merely applying the standards that YOU have set so far.  If the protest isn’t imminently harmful, it cannot be restricted, since it falls under the freedom of speech.  If you want to add a new standard to how we discuss it, I’m all ears.

For example, I’m in favor of going back a little further and using the standards established in Beauharnais v. Illinois.  If you make public statements that are against a group of people and they are in any way untrue, you are potentially liable for libel or slander.  This wouldn’t apply to casual speech, but say printed and distributed flyers, or an organized public speaking event.  In this way if Richard Spencer claims that black people are lazy at a rally, he could be taken to court and required to back up his claims.  If he can’t sufficiently demonstrate them, he’d be subject to fines.

[ Edited: 28 July 2019 17:08 by Garret]
 
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