If they want to imprison someone for clogging up someone else's forum or website, that's one thing.
But this regulation is dead wrong if it is used against a troll or whomever - doesn't matter - for what they say on their own website. And any victim of such an abusive regulation has every right to blow up the prison and kill the prison guards who hold them hostage, no different than Libyan rebels or Egyptian rebels or Greek rebels heroically rebel against THEIR repressive regimes.
I'll assume the former: that this law only attacks trolls for clogging up others' forums. That's fine.
I disagree. Printing something like, "President Obama Sells the State of Wyoming in Secret Deal with Paraguay," does not suddenly become legitimate journalism simply because you own a newspaper. Likewise, there are certain lines, ethical and/or legal, that continue to be relevant even in cases where the individual crossing said line(s) is the proprietor of the online resource used to produce the bad speech. We may all enjoy the liberty to travel freely without being idiots enough to imagine we have a right to sleep in the beds of complete strangers. By the same logic, bans on the worst extremes of belligerent or defamatory language do not constitute meaningful infringements on the right of free speech.
I do support the idea of a "turn the channel" defense -- it is unfair to prosecute a troll, proprietor or otherwise, for emotional distress that could have been entirely avoided if the alleged victim simply had the sense to stop visiting a particular Web site. In such cases, the bulk of the actual harm is self-inflicted. However, as far as I know, all the cases of jail/prison for trolling behavior involve adults engaged in extreme campaigns of schoolyard-style bullying by way of resources they do not own. These involved abuses of a community resource, not to mention a clear and sustained intent to inflict misery on others. The crudely insightful, "my right to swing my fist ends at the tip of your nose," idea seems to have bearing on this issue. Anyone childish enough to undertake an aggressive long-term crusade for the purpose of making a social enemy feel miserable is in need of the kind of adult supervision the criminal justice system may provide (though in an ideal society, this would be more of a mental health issue than a criminal justice issue.)
I don't know with whom you're disagreeing messydom: whether this law or with me.
Putting people into prison is physical violence. You can yap all you want with meaningless bullshit, but that doesn't change that fact. So, the one putting someone else into prison is the one who crosses a line.
It's not up to you to say what anyone may say on their own webpage or website - subject ONLY to limits of time and space: NOT
e.g. Fox News should NOT be allowed to own all the media. Putting people into prison for owning too much private property IS justified, because there are PHYSICAL limits to what can be owned, and owning too much DOES steal away from others in a finite world. That is a finite sum game. But NEVER due to content. (Again - clogging up the world with the same ideas over and over - like those stupid Holocaust-deniers or anthropogenic global warming deniers - there are ways to ban that, besides prison.)
And, yes - a person DOES have a right to fight back against imprisonment just because somebody - no matter whether that somebody is a judge or cop or lawyer or whomever - doesn't like what that person says on their own medium. There is NO difference between a "terrorist" and a "soldier". They BOTH use force to fight for a cause. What DOES matter is what the cause is: the + must outweigh the - and making sure one targets the oppressor (prison, dictator, voters who keep the dictator in power) and not innocent players.
And those who disagree with this logic are the ones who are "mentally ill".
Bottom line is, messydom: you are not mentally capable of logically consistently computing the consequences of actions, because that requires mathematical modelling. Because that is the only way to logically consistently determine the magnitude of things. And the harm from free speech - no matter whether a person believes David Cameron or Moammar Gaddafi or the President of China or their armies and soldiers should be tortured and killed - is ALWAYS less than the harm from REAL things, like multitrillion dollar financial terrorism like the kind committed by JP Morgan and Goldman Sachs. All human law as currently expressed is worthless bullshit. That is why I have zero respect for it or those who uphold or defend it. Because it's my legal right not to, and that's all that matters to them.
And, yes - I give your ideas as much respect as you give to the political opinions of absolutely anyone in prison, who believe that the laws that kidnapped and put them there are wrong.
And, yes - there is absolutely nothing morally "worse" than wishing death on someone over wishing imprisonment on someone, and yes - I DO have the legal right to wish death on someone just as you have the legal right to wish imprisonment on someone. (There's nothing morally "better" about it. Again, one has to sum up all the pros and cons.)
Because the right to free speech absolutely HAS to include the right to advocate making events legal that are not already legal, and vice versa, and NOT just demanding greater punishment for events that are already illegal.
P.S. I can tell you why I give your ideas as much respect as you would give those who lobby to make child slavery legal - because you bring up all this unprovable and unproven psychological bullshit.
Whenever I make a statement about a person's mental state, there IS only ONE statement that can EVER be made about another person: their degree of stupidity. That is IT. You cannot prove ANYthing else about someone else's motivations - unless they explicitly tell you. Stupidity - not insecurity or racism or sexism or hunger for power or cowardice or any of that bullshit - is the ONLY provable flaw. How much what they say contradicts their actions and decisions.
e.g. There is no difference between a person strung up on cocaine and someone who cannot do calculus. Neither individual maximally computes the consequences of their actions. Everything differs in magnitude, not kind.
When UMD mods ban trolls from the UMD, and they give reasons, that's great and I support them and we all sigh with relief. But, the comments from others who pile on with their PSYCHOBABBLE BULLSHIT about what the troll thinks or their motivations are - that ALMOST makes me side with the troll. No - NOBODY "knows" what the troll's reasons are.
Anyway, logically consistently with my own philosophy that one SHOULD allow bans based upon the total quantity of the same ideas being said over and over again, rather than the content of the ideas themselves, I have to stop now, before I get banned from the UMD.
I confess I usually only encounter this sort of thing from the nuts who think there is something noble about tax dodging. The truth is that incarceration is only violent if a detainee chooses to make it violent (or if an authority does, and I suppose there are still some jurisdictions where custodial abuse is not treated as the severe crime it ought to be.) Still, this is basically the rhetoric of a libertarian person who forgot to keep being a person while working hard to maximize dedication to an -ism. Sure, liberty is a noble value. Sharing is a noble value too, but that didn't prevent the worst extremists from doing harm in the name of communism. A rejection of sanity and decency in the name of extremist libertarianism is more likely to turn this nation into a dystopia than actually provide remedies to any sort of real problems our society presently faces.
To Dr. Zoidberg I simply say, "stop drinking the Kool-Aid. The guy holding the ladle is not your friend. There is a reality out here in the world where laws are tools that do not magically become evil and useless in totality because, like so many other tools, they have been abused in some instances in the past. If you join us in this reality, I believe you will be less unhappy." It can be a problem when through aspiration, the perfect becomes the enemy of the good. It is always a problem when, through absolutism, the perfect becomes the enemy of the sane.
If I don't take this position, then all the libertarians and rightwing conservatives are down my neck, preaching their lies and misrepresentations "You love Mao and Pol Pot!"
Since you and HappyCamper made ad hominem attacks, rather than give any logically consistent arguments against what I said, calling me "nuts", I have the right to call you the way I see it: mentally inferior. Stupid.
I never said all laws are bad. Some laws and good and some are bad. Any more than revolting against all laws is always good or always bad. In absolute terms, too, not just subjectively. But nobody knows what that absolute set of optimal laws is. However, some people - with mathematical computation - come to much better approximations of it than others.
But when you make the general statement: "Laws must always be upheld" then that HAS the same effect of saying all laws are good. And then when, on top of that, one goes and praises certain players for breaking the law, such as Libyan rebels who violate Libyan laws forbidding violently overthrowing their government, or NATO forces doing the same thing to Iraq in 2003, then you're an extreme hypocrite, either that or extremely mentally inferior and stupid.
And from such massive logical inconsistencies, everything follows.
And this applies right down to every law that restricts or allows what a "troll" says on the internet, or how much private property (physical, virtual) one may own or control before it impacts and takes away from others.
"All human law as currently expressed is worthless bullshit.
That is why I have zero respect for it or those who uphold or defend it.
Because it's my legal right not to, and that's all that matters to them. "
--Dr. Zoidberg on Friday
"I never said all laws are bad. Some laws and good and some are bad. "
--Dr. Zoidberg on Saturday morning
I suppose this could turn into a silly quibble about "as currently expressed" meaning that some existing laws are bad in practice yet might still be good in principle. Really though, I think this is just a case of very intense passion with a much less intense analytical rigor employed in the framing of argument.
In any case, I stand by the notion that any trolling central to the provocation of a suicide; trolling constituting slander/libel (i.e. doing major quantifiable material harm based on false claims;) as well as any trolling in the aftermath of a cease and desist order, restraining order, or otherwise warranted and authoritative restriction both does not and should not enjoy status as protected speech. Even with all that, the umbrella of free speech continues to shelter a wide range of horrible human behavior. I see no cause for alarm that it is not even more protective of willfully abusive conduct.
P.S. Never let your position be constrained by what a right-wing extremist might use to characterize you as a communist sympathizer. If the base of the 21st century Republican Party does not already see you as a communist sympathizer, then you are probably a profoundly ignorant person if not also a huge asshole. Do not let those who cheer for preventable deaths also cheer for you.
By pure dumb luck some laws are good and some are bad. Not because lawmakers have the mental capacity to understand the magnitude of things.
But, if I had to choose between obeying all of them versus none of them if one is required to be logically consistent with the philosophy "well, if you don't obey laws that YOU don't like that inhibit your behavior, then *I* refuse to obey laws that *I* don't like that inhibit my behavior" as one proceeds to overthrow corrupt dictatorships like USA, UK, China, Peru, Brazil, Iran, Iraq - the same way the United Nations just recently supported the illegal criminal but most likely justified overthrow of the Libyan government - then I choose none of them, if the calculations show that the total suffering is still less than obeying all of them - which they do - even at temporary personal risk.
Those who think "letting everybody do whatever they want" is worse than "obeying a set of imperfect flawed yet redeemable laws" do not understand that ABSOLUTE PHYSICAL CONSTRAINTS automatically restrict "letting everybody do what they want".
If A wants to kill B for chewing gum, and B wants to imprison C for consensual gay sex, here are the game theoretic PHYSICALLY ABSOLUTE consequences:
If B acts first then A, C gets imprisoned and B gets killed. Total suffering = 2
If A acts first, well, then, B can't act. So C doesn't get imprisoned. Total suffering = 1
Now suppose the law says "illegal to kill someone for chewing gum" and "illegal to imprison someone for consensual gay sex".
If A acts first, then B gets killed and A gets imprisoned. Total suffering = 2
If B acts first and then the law, C gets imprisoned (kidnapped), B gets imprisoned. A can no longer kill B who is in prison. Total suffering = 2
If B acts first, then A, then the law, C gets imprisoned, B gets killed, and A gets imprisoned. Total suffering = 3.
Assume it's only a probabilistic thing who acts first (A, B, law).
At least with the "no law" scenario there is a chance of minimal suffering.
Now generalize to N = 10^20 organisms (both humans and non-humans) and multiple objects: i.e. A has other interests besides seeing others not chew gum. B has other interests besides seeing gay sex banned.
Those other interests cause one to have to make difficult choices (A, B are good on some issues, bad on others, so not sure whether to take them out or support them), but the logic is the same.