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Thread: The value of Free Speech

  1. #11

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    Quote Originally Posted by 2nd_Alto View Post
    And how does free speech stand up against racial hatred and vilification Gilli? I really have a problem with that - do you allow that sort of free speech? How far do you go with the "I don't agree with what you say but I will defend your right to say it" (or words to that effect!)
    Free speech has to be free speech - there is always the caveat that people are free to think of you as a moron if you exercise your free speech moronically (hate-speech etc)

    Once you start policing what people can and cannot say, you are guilty of thought-police and we know where that ends.....
    The worst bigots in the world are those who most loudly proclaim their ‘tolerance’

  2. #12

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    Quote Originally Posted by Hoffi coffi View Post
    I really share your concerns Gilli, I think that there is a real debate to be had about freedom of speech here. It is complicated and can see 2nd alto's point too. Where do we stand on FB not stamping down on people like Tommy Robinson although in the end they did.

    I am pro vaccine but don't think people should be stopped from discussing it online
    Quote Originally Posted by Gilli View Post
    I agree. My personal policy is to not say anything online that I would not say to a person's face and to never regard someone disagreeing with my opinion as a personal attack on me. There is no doubt that people do take advantage of the anonymity to say things which they would not say in the pub or post office where they are known.
    Quote Originally Posted by Gilli View Post
    I never saw anything Tommy Robinson posted on facebook, but I am not particularly active on fb. If his postings were vile, which they may have been, surely it is better for him to show himself in his true colours and be identified as an extremist (or as an unpleasant man whose company you would not wish to spend time in) on the basis of what he says or posts rather than on the basis of what others say about him.
    I always go with the proverb - Better keep your mouth shut and be thought of as an idiot than open your mouth and remove all doubt...

    I have serious misgivings about policing opinion - quo custodiet ipso custodes!?
    The worst bigots in the world are those who most loudly proclaim their ‘tolerance’

  3. #13

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    Dr Ben Goldacre: RCGP AC 2018 22 minutes


    Because the video is aimed at the speaker and not at the display screen it's necessary to open the slides from here Ben Goldacre slides You'll need to scroll through these as he is talking.

    You may want to turn the sound down a bit on the You Tube presentation as he does rant a bit (and I've not got my hearing aids on)

    It's relevant here because he mentions the worst offenders for failing to publish results from trials are the vaccine researchers.
    It would be reasonable to think that if Public Health England want to convince everyone about the value of vaccines and keep us updated on recent research then a policy of ensuring research findings are published in a timely and efficient manner would be a prime concern.
    It's perhaps not surprising that in the climate of attacks on cholesterol deniers, no one is prepared to point out in public that if research is to be of any value it needs to be published and made freely available in a timely manner and that applies to Public Health England and vaccine research, as well as Big Pharma companies and drug trials.
    Last edited by TedHutchinson; 1st April 2019 at 10:35 AM.

  4. #14

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    Thanks Ted. I look forward to watching that later.
    Gilli - DLTBGYD

  5. #15

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    Breaking news: Seidelmann, et al. did not collude with EAT-Lancet. Obstruction of Science still unsettled.
    Feinman admitted that it was the most substantial body of work on low-carbohydrate diets that did not study any low-carbohydrate diets.
    We need to be encouraging those who challenge orthodox consensus opinion by pointing out the flaws underlying much recent diet/nutrition research.
    It's as crazy to call diets where the minimum carb daily intake is 100 grams daily a low carb diet study as it is to call 2000iu daily vitamin d daily a high dose vitamin d trial.
    Human skin naturally produces 10.000-20,000iu cholecalciferol when exposed to UVB and will continue to produce that amount daily (given full body sun(UVB) exposure) until 25(OH)D levels reach a natural equilibrium around 125 nmol/l is attained/maintained.

  6. #16
    Club Plus Member Sarah(sjc)'s Avatar
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    I have always been a defender of free speech - however, I do not think it is acceptable to allow such items as self-harming/suicide etc, and the same with trolling, but I'm not sure that there is an adequate set of laws to deal with this. The same with the posting of videos and live streaming of executions/massacres.

    There is a line to be drawn, but I don't envy those that have to draw it!

  7. #17

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    Quote Originally Posted by TedHutchinson View Post
    Breaking news: Seidelmann, et al. did not collude with EAT-Lancet. Obstruction of Science still unsettled.


    We need to be encouraging those who challenge orthodox consensus opinion by pointing out the flaws underlying much recent diet/nutrition research.
    It's as crazy to call diets where the minimum carb daily intake is 100 grams daily a low carb diet study as it is to call 2000iu daily vitamin d daily a high dose vitamin d trial.
    Human skin naturally produces 10.000-20,000iu cholecalciferol when exposed to UVB and will continue to produce that amount daily (given full body sun(UVB) exposure) until 25(OH)D levels reach a natural equilibrium around 125 nmol/l is attained/maintained.
    Crikey! - Totally agree with you! How it even passes for science baffles me!
    The worst bigots in the world are those who most loudly proclaim their ‘tolerance’

  8. #18

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    Quote Originally Posted by Sarah(sjc) View Post
    I have always been a defender of free speech - however, I do not think it is acceptable to allow such items as self-harming/suicide etc, and the same with trolling, but I'm not sure that there is an adequate set of laws to deal with this. The same with the posting of videos and live streaming of executions/massacres.

    There is a line to be drawn, but I don't envy those that have to draw it!
    I can see exactly where you are coming from - the problem, for me, arises when you (anyone) suffixes 'I believe in free speech' with a 'but we can't...' or a 'however, we must ban...' For me, that has kind of negated the free speech part of the equation. We have laws to mitigate slander and libel so you can't just say X is a criminal and get away with it (well you can but there are consequences). Hmmm...

    I guess the line is drawn when there are 'close consequences' for someone exercising their right to free speech.. Ie. I'm sure I could easily find the chemical formula for TNT or how to tie a noose - Should either of those be illegal to disseminate? I don't know.. It is like the 3d printer models for guns....

    Then, regarding 'hate speech'.. Most comedians would be banned from performing.

    It really is a minefield!

    I find it personally ironic that Katie Price is campaigning for 'Harvey's Law' when she has been guilty as hell of trolling and revenge porn regarding one of her ex's but then she's [not really known for her brains is she]*


    *could be construed as hate speech / trolling.. But not really libellous as it is not defamatory
    The worst bigots in the world are those who most loudly proclaim their ‘tolerance’

  9. #19

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    Quote Originally Posted by Mat View Post
    I can see exactly where you are coming from - the problem, for me, arises when you (anyone) suffixes 'I believe in free speech' with a 'but we can't...' or a 'however, we must ban...' For me, that has kind of negated the free speech part of the equation. We have laws to mitigate slander and libel so you can't just say X is a criminal and get away with it (well you can but there are consequences). Hmmm...

    I guess the line is drawn when there are 'close consequences' for someone exercising their right to free speech.. Ie. I'm sure I could easily find the chemical formula for TNT or how to tie a noose - Should either of those be illegal to disseminate? I don't know.. It is like the 3d printer models for guns....

    Then, regarding 'hate speech'.. Most comedians would be banned from performing.

    It really is a minefield!

    I find it personally ironic that Katie Price is campaigning for 'Harvey's Law' when she has been guilty as hell of trolling and revenge porn regarding one of her ex's but then she's [not really known for her brains is she]*


    *could be construed as hate speech / trolling.. But not really libellous as it is not defamatory
    Mat that is the chemical formula for TNT - Tri-nitro toluene - but it doesn't show you how to make it or use it!

    I believe we have to allow speech to be free, all speech, because otherwise we are on a slippery slope towards censorship. There are laws which protect people from being incited to commit crimes or to harm themselves and such laws should be enforced. Outside of unlawful speech/writing everything must be allowed.
    Gilli - DLTBGYD

  10. #20
    Club Member Hugh Mannity's Avatar
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    For me the boundary between "acceptable" and "unacceptable" speech lies where it slips from expressing an opinion into calls for action.

    e.g. Acceptable speech (note: I'm not necessarily in agreement with any of the below-- they are for illustration only):

    "Theresa May is a twit and her Brexit plans are ruining the country" or
    "Donald Trump is a brilliant politician and the leader we need right now" or
    "People who recommend a low-carb/Paleo/Keto diet are misleading their audience" or
    "The US is a Christian country and Muslims should be kept out " or
    "Homosexuality is immoral and gay marriage should be banned"
    "The Vegan diet is the best diet for all people"


    Unacceptable speech:
    "It's time to shoot all the Tories" or "It's time to shoot all the Labour MPs" (hey -- I'm an equal opportunity hater )
    "Assassination is a valuable political tool and should be employed a lot more often -- starting with Donald Trump"
    "People recommending low-carb/Paleo/Keto diets should be banned from social media."
    "Kill all the faggots now!"
    "Expel all the Muslims from the US -- at gunpoint!"
    "Burn down every McDonalds!"
    "Round up all unvaccinated children & lock them up in FEMA camps"

    -------------------

    We should all be able to express our opinions -- regardless of how crazy or inane they might be. Dietary information, statin side effects, even vaccination*, should all be open topics for debate. Properly educated people should be capable of reviewing the information on most topics and ruling out those that are lacking in verifiable facts (flat earth anyone?).

    *Vaccination is a dodgy topic. There's good evidence that not all vaccinations are 100% effective -- even the CDC will admit that. There is also evidence that vaccines can harm people, if they were harmless then there'd be no need for the US to have a National Vaccine Injury Compensation Program and it wouldn't have paid out millions of $$. There's also evidence that vaccine acquired immunity not only wears off, it's also not passed on from mother to child, unlike naturally acquired immunity. But good luck trying to point this out to anyone insisting that the unvaccinated are going to cause a massive plague...

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