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Old 18th July 2019, 09:13 AM   #281
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Originally Posted by theprestige View Post
The issue is not with the courts or the parties involved not talking. That I understand and agree is reasonable.

The issue is with the courts prohibiting private citizens, not party to the case, from talking about the case.
Preventing miscarriages of justice (in either direction) is more important than uninvolved people temporarily being unable to gossip about ongoing trials.
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Old 18th July 2019, 09:15 AM   #282
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Originally Posted by theprestige View Post
Yep. We agree that what he did was an offense. My question is, should what he did have been prohibited in the first place?
Yes.

Quote:
It's too late now, but you seem to be replying to posts as the come, rather than reading on to end of the thread to see where the current discussion is. So we're recovering some of the same ground as yesterday
So what? Not everyone has time to be on the forum 24/7.
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Old 18th July 2019, 09:17 AM   #283
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Originally Posted by theprestige View Post
I'm holding a torch for the principle of free speech, and asking if it was right to suppress free speech in this instance.
Cultural disconnect. People being unable to jeopardise certain (not anything like all) ongoing trials until they're over is not "suppressing free speech." Yaxley-Lennon was perfectly free to comment on the trials once they'd concluded.
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Old 18th July 2019, 09:27 AM   #284
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Originally Posted by Information Analyst View Post
Preventing miscarriages of justice (in either direction) is more important than uninvolved people temporarily being unable to gossip about ongoing trials.
And I'd say it's better than adding further constraints on the freedom of the jurors, which is what happens with sequestration.
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Old 18th July 2019, 09:54 AM   #285
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Originally Posted by theprestige View Post
What I mean is, a lot of the discussion has been about what kind of criminal/terrorist/hooligan he is, rather than about what kind of crime he's actually committed in this instance.

Is it reasonable for the UK to criminalize what he did here? Who cares! Look at what a horrible person he is!.

Obviously justice in one case cannot depend on how much we dislike what the accused has done in other cases. But that seems to be the focus of the discussion.

Do you think it is reasonable to criminalise what he did?

Do you believe that the criminal knew in advance what he was doing was criminal.

Do you believe that we should all be able to ignore laws we think are unreasonable?
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Old 18th July 2019, 10:33 AM   #286
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Originally Posted by Information Analyst View Post
Yes.
Fair enough. Thanks.

Quote:
So what? Not everyone has time to be on the forum 24/7.
Which is why it's sometimes useful to read through to the end of the thread, to see if the posts you're just now coming to have already been addressed.
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Old 18th July 2019, 10:56 AM   #287
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Originally Posted by 3point14 View Post
Do you think it is reasonable to criminalise what he did?
I'm not sure. On principle, I'm extremely resistant to criminalizing this sort of thing unless absolutely necessary. However, the defenses of criminalizing it in this case seem to be heading towards an argument that might pass strict scrutiny: the state has a compelling interest in restricting the right, this restriction meets that interest, and no less restrictive solution exists.

If the three juries were already all empaneled, I would favor sequestration over this, assuming the compelling interest is demonstrated.

Quote:
Do you believe that the criminal knew in advance what he was doing was criminal.
Irrelevant to the question that interests me.

Quote:
Do you believe that we should all be able to ignore laws we think are unreasonable?
Irrelevant to the question that interests me.

I've already stipulated that he broke the law and was properly sanctioned for breaking the law. The question that interests me is whether it's a reasonable law to begin with.

---

Your last question is also interesting, and somewhat related, so I'll answer it even though it's tangential to what I'm actually talking about.

Obviously we're all able to ignore laws, with or without any justification at all.

However, I think it's generally important to the rule of law, that people who ignore the law may suffer consequences which they cannot ignore. We should not let lawbreakers go without consequences just because they think the law is unreasonable.

This is not to say that we should impose consequences on "criminals of conscience" every single time. I think a healthy society must have some slack in the system. Jury nullification is a good example of this. There are cases where the law is not in dispute, and the facts of the crime are not in dispute, but the law is at such odds with public opinion about the crime that the jury may choose not to convict. The acquittal is given not on the grounds that the crime was not committed, but rather on the grounds that it shouldn't have been a crime to begin with.

Similarly with passive resistance, and other forms of lawbreaking as protest. If you stage a sit-in, public opinion may be sufficiently on your side that you are safe from arrest for trespassing or whatever. On the other hand, if you do get arrested, I don't want to hear you complaining that it's not fair because you were protesting an unjust law.

In this case, I think it's reasonable to sanction Robinson for his lawbreaking, regardless of whether I think the law itself was unjust. If Robinson were to say that jail time is a price he's willing to pay, for protesting an unjust law, that would be far more respectable to me, than if he were to say that he should not be jailed because the law he's protesting is unjust.

But like I said, this is tangential to the question I've been focusing on.
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Old 18th July 2019, 11:06 AM   #288
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Originally Posted by theprestige View Post

Irrelevant to the question that interests me.


Irrelevant to the question that interests me.

I've already stipulated that he broke the law and was properly sanctioned for breaking the law. The question that interests me is whether it's a reasonable law to begin with.

---

Your last question is also interesting, and somewhat related, so I'll answer it even though it's tangential to what I'm actually talking about.

Obviously we're all able to ignore laws, with or without any justification at all.

However, I think it's generally important to the rule of law, that people who ignore the law may suffer consequences which they cannot ignore. We should not let lawbreakers go without consequences just because they think the law is unreasonable.

This is not to say that we should impose consequences on "criminals of conscience" every single time. I think a healthy society must have some slack in the system. Jury nullification is a good example of this. There are cases where the law is not in dispute, and the facts of the crime are not in dispute, but the law is at such odds with public opinion about the crime that the jury may choose not to convict. The acquittal is given not on the grounds that the crime was not committed, but rather on the grounds that it shouldn't have been a crime to begin with.

Similarly with passive resistance, and other forms of lawbreaking as protest. If you stage a sit-in, public opinion may be sufficiently on your side that you are safe from arrest for trespassing or whatever. On the other hand, if you do get arrested, I don't want to hear you complaining that it's not fair because you were protesting an unjust law.

In this case, I think it's reasonable to sanction Robinson for his lawbreaking, regardless of whether I think the law itself was unjust. If Robinson were to say that jail time is a price he's willing to pay, for protesting an unjust law, that would be far more respectable to me, than if he were to say that he should not be jailed because the law he's protesting is unjust.

But like I said, this is tangential to the question I've been focusing on.
I don't think it is. I think it's integral to the question. But my thanks for your answers.
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Old 18th July 2019, 01:29 PM   #289
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Originally Posted by 3point14 View Post
I don't think it is. I think it's integral to the question. But my thanks for your answers.
How would you say they are integral to the question?

Also, since there have been several questions bandied about (three in just your post alone, that I replied to), which one is "the" question, in this context?
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Old 18th July 2019, 09:09 PM   #290
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Originally Posted by theprestige View Post
The issue is not with the courts or the parties involved not talking. That I understand and agree is reasonable.

The issue is with the courts prohibiting private citizens, not party to the case, from talking about the case.
The order wasn't against people chatting about the case at the water cooler, it was against people reporting on the case.
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Old 18th July 2019, 09:16 PM   #291
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Originally Posted by theprestige View Post
If the three juries were already all empaneled, I would favor sequestration over this, assuming the compelling interest is demonstrated.
The problem is that once impaneled, the Jury comes under instruction to not look up reporting, or to discuss the case with anyone.

The orders on no reporting are to protect against people in the potential jury pool accidentally coming across opinion based reporting that can influence their opinions prior to being impaneled.
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Old 19th July 2019, 07:19 AM   #292
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My position is that the right to free speech is necessarily the right to public speech, and that "reporting" is nothing more magical or esoteric than people exercising this right.

---

Some people seem to make a fetish of reporting, like it's a branch of the government, practiced by privileged elites.

I'm not one of those people. I think the "privileged elites" are just individuals and corporations who have decided to monetize their right to free speech.
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Old 19th July 2019, 07:21 AM   #293
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Originally Posted by PhantomWolf View Post
The problem is that once impaneled, the Jury comes under instruction to not look up reporting, or to discuss the case with anyone.



The orders on no reporting are to protect against people in the potential jury pool accidentally coming across opinion based reporting that can influence their opinions prior to being impaneled.
Yes. I understand this. Hence the position I took in the post you replied to.
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Old 19th July 2019, 08:00 AM   #294
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Originally Posted by theprestige View Post
My position is that the right to free speech is necessarily the right to public speech, and that "reporting" is nothing more magical or esoteric than people exercising this right.
Yes, and if family members and business associates of the accused knock on the door of jurers at 3am in the morning to exercise their right to free speech then that is fine as well. The right to free speech must triumph over the right to a fair trial and the right to a fair and unbiased justice system.
Heaven help us if a country decides that the right to free speech be subject to a very short suspension for the duration of the trial.
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Old 19th July 2019, 08:03 AM   #295
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Originally Posted by theprestige View Post
Which is why it's sometimes useful to read through to the end of the thread, to see if the posts you're just now coming to have already been addressed.
Needlessly time-consuming. Easier to address points on the go.
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Old 19th July 2019, 08:18 AM   #296
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Originally Posted by theprestige View Post
If the three juries were already all empaneled, I would favor sequestration over this, assuming the compelling interest is demonstrated.
Not practical. There were three separate trials to deal with the large number of defendants (twenty in all), which were held sequentially, not concurrently. The first trial began in November 2017, Robinson disrupted the second trial in May 2018, and the third trial concluded in the following October, when reporting restrictions were immediately lifted. The juries will only have been selected at the start of each trial.
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Old 19th July 2019, 08:19 AM   #297
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Originally Posted by Lothian View Post
Yes, and if family members and business associates of the accused knock on the door of jurers at 3am in the morning to exercise their right to free speech then that is fine as well. The right to free speech must triumph over the right to a fair trial and the right to a fair and unbiased justice system.
Heaven help us if a country decides that the right to free speech be subject to a very short suspension for the duration of the trial.
You're begging the question that this particular case was so important that it necessitated an infringement of the right to free speech. And then yelling at me for not already just agreeing with you.
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Old 19th July 2019, 08:25 AM   #298
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Originally Posted by theprestige View Post
You're begging the question that this particular case was so important that it necessitated an infringement of the right to free speech. And then yelling at me for not already just agreeing with you.
No I am suggesting that a fair trial is more important than unconditional free speech.
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Old 19th July 2019, 09:18 AM   #299
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Originally Posted by Information Analyst View Post
Needlessly time-consuming. Easier to address points on the go.
Seems pretty redundant and time-wasting to me. For example:

Originally Posted by Information Analyst View Post
Not practical. There were three separate trials to deal with the large number of defendants (twenty in all), which were held sequentially, not concurrently. The first trial began in November 2017, Robinson disrupted the second trial in May 2018, and the third trial concluded in the following October, when reporting restrictions were immediately lifted. The juries will only have been selected at the start of each trial.
Originally Posted by theprestige View Post
Yes. I understand this. Hence the position I took in the post you replied to.
Q.E.D.
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Old 19th July 2019, 09:28 AM   #300
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Originally Posted by Lothian View Post
No I am suggesting that a fair trial is more important than unconditional free speech.
Nobody is arguing or even suggesting unconditional free speech.

---

No trial is going to be perfectly fair. No jury is going to be perfectly dispassionate and rational. Even under instruction, we're still dependent on simply trusting jurors to behave themselves. The process of keeping information and opinion out of people's heads is very leaky even under the best of circumstances.

If it were as simple as guaranteeing a fair trial by suppressing public speech about the trial, your suggestion would likely be the end of the conversation. Suppress the speech (temporarily), guarantee the outcome. Optimal trade-off, what's not to like.

But it's not as simple as that. The argument is not that suppressing a civil right guarantees the outcome. The argument is that suppressing the right makes the outcome more likely. And that raises the question of whether the increase in likelihood really is commensurate with the decrease in civil liberties. You're taking it for granted to the point where no discussion is even necessary. And you're yelling at me for not likewise taking it for granted, and for daring to actually discuss it.
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Old 19th July 2019, 09:50 AM   #301
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Originally Posted by theprestige View Post
...

But it's not as simple as that
but it is as simple as Brits not being trusted to be in a jury. Riiiight.
Quote:
and you're yelling at me for not likewise taking it for granted, and for daring to actually discuss it.
YELLING. Not yelling.

Last edited by Lothian; 19th July 2019 at 09:58 AM.
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Old 19th July 2019, 10:12 AM   #302
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Originally Posted by Lothian View Post
but it is as simple as Brits not being trusted to be in a jury. Riiiight.
That position was untenable and I have abandoned it. The discussion has moved on. Feel free to move with it.

Quote:
YELLING. Not yelling.
Either way, please stop it.
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Old 19th July 2019, 10:20 AM   #303
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Originally Posted by theprestige View Post
That position was untenable and I have abandoned it. The discussion has moved on. Feel free to move with it.

Either way, please stop it.
Happy to stop taking the piss out of your ***** arguements when you stop making ***** arguments.
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Old 19th July 2019, 10:21 AM   #304
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Originally Posted by theprestige View Post
But it's not as simple as that. The argument is not that suppressing a civil right guarantees the outcome. The argument is that suppressing the right makes the outcome more likely. And that raises the question of whether the increase in likelihood really is commensurate with the decrease in civil liberties. You're taking it for granted to the point where no discussion is even necessary. And you're yelling at me for not likewise taking it for granted, and for daring to actually discuss it.

And the process for deciding that is in the link I posted above. The discussion is on a case by case basis and the default position is open justice.



https://www.judiciary.uk/wp-content/...may-2016-2.pdf


Quote:
In recognition of the open justice principle, the general rule is that justice should be administered in public.
To this end:
Proceedings must be held in public.
Evidence must be communicated publicly.
Fair, accurate and contemporaneous media reporting of proceedings should not be prevented by any action of the court unless strictly necessary.
Therefore, unless there are exceptional circumstances laid down by statute law and/or common law the court must not:
Order or allow the exclusion of the press or public from court for any part of the proceedings.
Permit the withholding of information from the open court proceedings.
Impose permanent or temporary bans on reporting of the proceedings or any part of them including anything that prevents the proper identification, by name and address, of those appearing or mentioned in the course of proceedings.
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Old 19th July 2019, 10:47 AM   #305
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Originally Posted by Information Analyst View Post
Preventing miscarriages of justice (in either direction) is more important than uninvolved people temporarily being unable to gossip about ongoing trials.
Originally Posted by theprestige View Post
My position is that the right to free speech is necessarily the right to public speech, and that "reporting" is nothing more magical or esoteric than people exercising this right.
It's probably worth distinguishing between reporting and gossiping since the latter was not restricted.

People interested enough to attend could go to the trials and then talk about them to anyone and everyone they met. It was only publishing/broadcasting such reports to the public at large which was temporarily restricted.
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Old 19th July 2019, 10:54 AM   #306
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Originally Posted by Jack by the hedge View Post
It's probably worth distinguishing between reporting and gossiping since the latter was not restricted.

People interested enough to attend could go to the trials and then talk about them to anyone and everyone they met. It was only publishing/broadcasting such reports to the public at large which was temporarily restricted.
My position is that when it comes to exercising the right to free speech, there is no principled distinction between the two.
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Old 19th July 2019, 11:01 AM   #307
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Originally Posted by Jack by the hedge View Post
It's probably worth distinguishing between reporting and gossiping since the latter was not restricted.

People interested enough to attend could go to the trials and then talk about them to anyone and everyone they met. It was only publishing/broadcasting such reports to the public at large which was temporarily restricted.
You also wonder exactly what useful purpose would or could be served by what TR was doing. It was merely rabble rousing.

There was no public good to come from what TR did. No need to report on the trial. No need for him to be anywhere near the trial.
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Old 19th July 2019, 11:32 AM   #308
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Originally Posted by theprestige View Post
My position is that the right to free speech is necessarily the right to public speech, and that "reporting" is nothing more magical or esoteric than people exercising this right.
Quite right. Damn every other human right because free speech.

The right to a fair trial - as defined in English law - trumps that right in some circumstances.

Please do go and shout "The theatre's on fire!" next time you go to the movies, or "There's a bomb right here!" in a crowded stadium and let me know how you get on.
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Old 19th July 2019, 11:46 AM   #309
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Originally Posted by The Atheist View Post
Quite right. Damn every other human right because free speech.



The right to a fair trial - as defined in English law - trumps that right in some circumstances.



Please do go and shout "The theatre's on fire!" next time you go to the movies, or "There's a bomb right here!" in a crowded stadium and let me know how you get on.
Already addressed.
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Old 19th July 2019, 11:51 AM   #310
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Originally Posted by Archie Gemmill Goal View Post
You also wonder exactly what useful purpose would or could be served by what TR was doing. It was merely rabble rousing.



There was no public good to come from what TR did. No need to report on the trial. No need for him to be anywhere near the trial.
Citizens should not need to justify themselves to the government, in order to exercise their rights. Quite the opposite: The government needs to justify themselves to their citizens, in order to infringe on a right. What you're talking about is privilege. I think it's a mistake to think of human rights as if they were government privileges.
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Old 19th July 2019, 12:37 PM   #311
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Originally Posted by theprestige View Post
Citizens should not need to justify themselves to the government, in order to exercise their rights. Quite the opposite: The government needs to justify themselves to their citizens, in order to infringe on a right. What you're talking about is privilege. I think it's a mistake to think of human rights as if they were government privileges.
Please feel free to avail yourself of your right to joke about bombs around airport security. Making a joke can't be a privilege can it?
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Old 19th July 2019, 12:48 PM   #312
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Originally Posted by P.J. Denyer View Post
Please feel free to avail yourself of your right to joke about bombs around airport security. Making a joke can't be a privilege can it?
Prohibiting jokes about bombs in airports is entirely consistent with the principle that the government should have to justify itself, when infringing on a right.
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Old 19th July 2019, 01:46 PM   #313
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Originally Posted by theprestige View Post
My position is that when it comes to exercising the right to free speech, there is no principled distinction between the two.

Does the potential reach count in your opinion? If I were to say "<random co-worker> is a slut and sleeps around" to 1 or 2 people at work maybe nothing will happen, or I might be disciplined/fired. But if I were to take out an ad during the Superbowl and make the same statement I'd think the consequences would be further reaching due to how much more widespread my speech was.

Muddies the waters of course when we're not talking about such gross distinctions (2 people vs Superbowl is more clear cut than measuring Youtube subscribers or Twitter followers or the like). But does potential reach of the message count for you, even if the citizen/press distinction doesn't?
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Old 19th July 2019, 02:48 PM   #314
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Originally Posted by Joe Random View Post
Does the potential reach count in your opinion? If I were to say "<random co-worker> is a slut and sleeps around" to 1 or 2 people at work maybe nothing will happen, or I might be disciplined/fired. But if I were to take out an ad during the Superbowl and make the same statement I'd think the consequences would be further reaching due to how much more widespread my speech was.

Muddies the waters of course when we're not talking about such gross distinctions (2 people vs Superbowl is more clear cut than measuring Youtube subscribers or Twitter followers or the like). But does potential reach of the message count for you, even if the citizen/press distinction doesn't?
On the one hand, defamatory and libelous speech is already prohibited across the board. The difference in reach between 2 people and the entire Superbowl audience is addressed in the amount of compensation and the amount of punishment.

The court case is a little different. There, the degree of reach makes the issue qualitatively different. One could argue that wide publication creates a compelling interest for the government to intervene.
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Old 19th July 2019, 03:46 PM   #315
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Originally Posted by theprestige View Post
On the one hand, defamatory and libelous speech is already prohibited across the board. The difference in reach between 2 people and the entire Superbowl audience is addressed in the amount of compensation and the amount of punishment.

The court case is a little different. There, the degree of reach makes the issue qualitatively different. One could argue that wide publication creates a compelling interest for the government to intervene.
So if I understand you right, it's merely that the label of "journalist" on its own doesn't carry weight for you, but potential reach might, irrespective of journalist or not?
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Old 19th July 2019, 03:48 PM   #316
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Originally Posted by Joe Random View Post
So if I understand you right, it's merely that the label of "journalist" on its own doesn't carry weight for you, but potential reach might, irrespective of journalist or not?
Yes.

This might be the first time I've ever seen an "if I understand you right" type thing followed by a right understanding.

So you've earned a few credits with me. Let's hope your next argument spends them wisely.
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Old 19th July 2019, 03:55 PM   #317
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Originally Posted by theprestige View Post
My position is that when it comes to exercising the right to free speech, there is no principled distinction between the two.
Well clearly we can make a distinction if we choose to do so between the right to tell everyone you meet and the right to tell an unknown but large number of people you never meet. If that distinction is unprincipled I'm not sure quite why.

If you take free speech to be sacrosanct then one alternative is to infringe on the liberty of the jurors by sequestering them for a week or two. If you think their liberty is more sacrosanct maybe curious people will need to wait a couple of weeks to read the report over their cornflakes.
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Old 19th July 2019, 04:02 PM   #318
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Originally Posted by Jack by the hedge View Post
Well clearly we can make a distinction if we choose to do so between the right to tell everyone you meet and the right to tell an unknown but large number of people you never meet. If that distinction is unprincipled I'm not sure quite why.



If you take free speech to be sacrosanct then one alternative is to infringe on the liberty of the jurors by sequestering them for a week or two. If you think their liberty is more sacrosanct maybe curious people will need to wait a couple of weeks to read the report over their cornflakes.
Already addressed.
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Old 19th July 2019, 04:45 PM   #319
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Originally Posted by theprestige View Post
Yes.

This might be the first time I've ever seen an "if I understand you right" type thing followed by a right understanding.

So you've earned a few credits with me. Let's hope your next argument spends them wisely.

I don't actively post in many threads on this site - too much entrenched position-taking regardless of counter arguments for my taste. I hate having to qualify that a question I pose is actually a genuine question and not a back handed challenge. Your initial comment dismissing the difference between "reporting" and average 'citizen speech' seem to leave a rather problematic hole, but the clarification sorted all that. Thanks for taking the question in the non-combative mode it was intended.
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Old 19th July 2019, 05:22 PM   #320
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Originally Posted by theprestige View Post
Already addressed.
Excellent. Well, that's all sorted then.
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