Tuesday, April 05, 2005

Freedom of Speech

Okay, so I have been reading through many online forums some of which are magic related and some of which are not. Regardless of the forum topic, it is inevitable that someone will shout (or type in BOLD rather) how he/she is being censored and that it is violating his/her freedom of speech. That complaint can be responded to in one word - BULLSHIT!

Here is the real deal about freedom of speech. You DO NOT have the right to say whatever you want in a private forum on the internet. You DO NOT have the right to say whatever you want in a private house, club, bar, restaurant, or any other establishment. You just DO NOT have such a right. If you go to someone elses place of business or home or online forum THEY have the absolute right to modify, censor, delete, or restrict ANYTHING you say.

Oh, but what about the Constitution (that is if you are in the States)? What about the First Amendment? Well, these things mean NOTHING to private citizens and private organizations. The First Amendment (and ALL the other rights included in the Bill of Rights) is meant only to protect you from the FEDERAL GOVERNMENT. Paraphrasing the Constitution, the First Amendment says that Congress shall pass no law infringing on freedom of speech. All this means is that the government can not pass laws restricting you freedom of speech. Any online forum that is not run the the government can restrict your speech as much as they want regardless of how much you whine.

From now on if you must improperly invoke a right while typing on an online forum please, please invoke your right to remain silent. We would all honor and respect your right to shut the hell up.

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