Saturday, December 31, 2011

Free speech and threats

Am I the only person who thinks freedom of speech includes threats and falsely yelling "Fire!" in a crowded theater?

Over and over again I hear and/or read people talking about freedom of speech, but then they go and turn it into a privilege rather than a right by putting silly limits on it.

Recently, on Facebook, someone posted a comment to a link to one of my blogs and said something that could have been construed as a threat of violence. It was just confusing enough that I'm really not sure if that's the way it was meant or not.

Then, almost immediately after I saw that comment I watched a video about how Firefly fans "saved" freedom of speech at a university campus, but even the defenders of free speech fell for the myth that threats are not covered.

I don't buy it.

Now, if you act on a threat, or it seems credible that you might, your target is justified in acting to stop you. If you don't like that consequence maybe you should keep your threats to yourself.