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PostPosted: Wed 16 Apr , 2008 3:43 am 
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I am not necessarily disagreeing with the pro-freedom-of-speech-on-principle-no-matter-how-horrid people. But I will gently say that it is possible that some of you would find that principle to be sorely tested if you had an immediate family member who was starving herself, using "pro-ana" sites for "thinspiration." Once you have had the experience of trying to persuade her to consume more than 200 calories per day …. and she tells you that you are wrong and her friends belonging to a pro-ana Internet community and/or website are right that more than 200 calories is unhealthy and disgusting … suddenly there are other considerations that may seem to you to trump freedom of speech, when it is your loved one who is slowly killing herself.


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PostPosted: Wed 16 Apr , 2008 5:30 am 
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Oh I would probably do anything I could to get the site shut down. I don't doubt that.
But I also know I wouldn't be attacking the source of the problem. While I do agree with some regulations on certain things, generally speaking it is most often the people with the issue and not the industry or product.
Well in the case of modeling it is probably both and some steps should be taken. Maybe something along the lines of warning labels like those on cigarette or alcohol products.

As prohibition clearly demonstrated, banning a product doesn't cure the ill.


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PostPosted: Wed 16 Apr , 2008 9:25 am 
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Yova, one thing I've learned is that things like "Right to Free Speech" are sound bites. They sound great, and people can get behind them. But its not simple. I don't find it in any way laudable that the KKK get to hold rallies. Its taking an ideal to a ridiculous extreme. Like in most cases, we may disagree where the line is to be drawn, but there needs to be a line.

We had a situation here for a long time where publicly elected representatives could not be broadcast on TV. I'm talking about Sinn Féin of course. As the political wing of the IRA, they had MPs in the UK Government, yet they could not make political broadcasts on UK or Irish TV. Personally, I think that was drawing the line a little to close. They were elected public representatives. I would have no such compunction about the KKK.

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PostPosted: Wed 16 Apr , 2008 9:29 am 
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Holbytla wrote:
Just for the sake of discussion, how do you define "encourage a death seeking behaviour"? Do alcohol, cigarettes and greasy food fall into the same category?


No, because, as much as the media and health nuts would like to tell us otherwise, it is very much possible to live to a ripe old age even if you drink, smoke and eat greasy food.

Anorexia is a disease that will kill the person who has it. It isn't a product being sold - it is a disease. Considering some of those pro-ana websites encourage acts that are essentially recruitment to get other people to get the disease, I would say that they are very much at least one of the sources of the problem.

Like I said, I don't neccessarily agree with making sites like these illegal, but I do think that they should be made accountable and that they should be regulated, watched, and made over 18 only.

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PostPosted: Wed 16 Apr , 2008 11:27 am 
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Alatar wrote:
Yova, one thing I've learned is that things like "Right to Free Speech" are sound bites. They sound great, and people can get behind them. But its not simple. I don't find it in any way laudable that the KKK get to hold rallies. Its taking an ideal to a ridiculous extreme. Like in most cases, we may disagree where the line is to be drawn, but there needs to be a line.



They are only "sound bites" because most people are happy to compromise other people's liberties when presented with things they dislike strongly enough. I am not. It is not a sound bite to me - I actually believe all humans have an inalienable right to free speech, period.


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PostPosted: Wed 16 Apr , 2008 11:46 am 
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yovargas wrote:
I actually believe all humans have an inalienable right to free speech, period.


Yes - I agree. I remember when the KKK had a rally in Milwaukee, and I remember going to the counter rally across the street from it. I can't even imagine it being illegal for something like the rally and counter rally to happen. If some KKK member wants to get up on a podium and say that he thinks White Lutherans are superior, fine. He's wrong, but that's fine. Just let me get up on a podium across the street from him and let me tell him what a twat the rest of the world thinks he is.

At least so much as free speech isn't interpreted in such a way as to allow someone to show something that could cause permanent harm or to show something that is illegal. For instance, the assholes who recently posted a video on YouTube of a woman being raped, or people who start up porn sites showing actual rapes.

I find the whole "right to free speech" to be more of a sound bite in the UK than the US. Here, you have the right to say it, so long as no one in authority thinks you're doing something like "inciting racial hatred" or whatever other rules/laws there are regarding censorship - not being able to show a penis entering a vagina in privately owned pornography, for instance. In the US, say what you want - free speech there is not a sound bite. It is something we very much take for granted however. I never realized how much we were given in the way of free speech until I came to the U.K. I mean, yes, you can say "Fuck" on TV here, and you can show bare tits, ass, vaginas and penises on TV as well. However, if you express a strong opinion in a public forum which is on "the line" all it takes is one person in authority to decide you've gone over that line to get you into trouble.

I actually have a hard time comprehending that an opinion could basically land you in jail. Owning porn that actually shows, in detail, a penis entering a vagina could get you a huge fine, and put in jail. Hell, owning the miracle of birth video could get you a fine and put in jail since it shows a penis entering a vagina and ejaculating there.

I don't know how to explain it because there's such a difference of opinion on where to draw the line, or even whether or not to draw the line. There's even a basic difference in the government that talks about the line. I mean, I generally approve of socialism, but keep in mind, America was founded on the principle that the government should stay out of the peoples lives. Our government was founded in such a way as to allow protests and rallies, even, or more especially, on subjects that were disliked because it was a reaction to an overbearing, overcontrolling government.

Americans have almost an actual fear that if the government starts drawing the line, it will redraw it and redraw it until we end up like China or something, so we prevent that line from being drawn in the first place. Coming to Europe from that background, I can't imagine letting my government decide to draw the line and decide where to draw it. A European going to American probably couldn't imagine letting what is essentially a hate group, exist publically and loudly.

It's a fundamental difference in the psychology of government, and I have absolutely no idea how to even begin going into that in such a way as to properly talk about it and get into the nitty gritty of it.

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PostPosted: Wed 16 Apr , 2008 12:54 pm 
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yovargas wrote:
Alatar wrote:
Yova, one thing I've learned is that things like "Right to Free Speech" are sound bites. They sound great, and people can get behind them. But its not simple. I don't find it in any way laudable that the KKK get to hold rallies. Its taking an ideal to a ridiculous extreme. Like in most cases, we may disagree where the line is to be drawn, but there needs to be a line.



They are only "sound bites" because most people are happy to compromise other people's liberties when presented with things they dislike strongly enough. I am not. It is not a sound bite to me - I actually believe all humans have an inalienable right to free speech, period.


Then I actually believe you are wrong. And I feel it as strongly as you do.

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PostPosted: Wed 16 Apr , 2008 1:04 pm 
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We are getting sidetracked here, but freedom of speech is not all encompassing. According to the Supreme Court, that freedom does not exist in the workplace, and it takes a back seat to safety in some onstances. Like yelling fire in a theater etc.

Having said that the general principle is alive and well. In most cases where freedom of speech is pitted against other ideals, freedom of speech usually wins.

No you can't advertise cigarettes on tv here, but you can write a book or a movie detailing your love for cigarettes.


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PostPosted: Wed 16 Apr , 2008 1:14 pm 
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Another big problem. Look at the picture of the... stomach on top of this page. It was used as cover on a health/body magazine. (Text on the left says "How to get slim and fit in 31... [something]")

http://www.dagbladet.no/nyheter/2008/04/16/532735.html

According to the article, that girl's ribs were really sticking out all over the picture. They edited them out. Now she looks thin, but not famished. That's a distortion of reality and sending out a false message about what's healthy - people react to ribs! Magazines edit their models and celebrities all the time, of course, but I think it's even worse when it's a health magazine actively encouraging people: "This is what you should look like to be healthy!"

And I definitely think there should be some sort of restrictions on these sort of things. To me, editing away the ugly parts of extreme thinness is even worse than "Holocaust models" - at least on them you can see that something is wrong...

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PostPosted: Wed 16 Apr , 2008 1:31 pm 
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Alatar wrote:
Then I actually believe you are wrong. And I feel it as strongly as you do.


Well, obviously. :) Doesn't mean we can't talk about our differences though.
Just to be clear, though, which part are you disagreeing with? That humans do have the free speech is a human right? (Or perhaps the just idea of rights in general!)


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PostPosted: Wed 16 Apr , 2008 2:00 pm 
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Crucifer wrote:
The woman in that pic looks dead...


She is dead, if you read the article. Her anorexia linked death is what prompted the legislation.

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PostPosted: Wed 16 Apr , 2008 2:03 pm 
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Maria, can you resize your pic? It's stretching pages wherever you post.

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PostPosted: Wed 16 Apr , 2008 3:04 pm 
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yovargas wrote:
Just to be clear, though, which part are you disagreeing with? That humans do have the free speech is a human right? (Or perhaps the just idea of rights in general!)


Sorry, can't really parse your sentence, but I suppose the easiest way to state my case is that I believe in the right to free speech within reason. Not as some sort of holy grail in and of itself, but as a gateway to a better society. Stuff that inarguably damages society should not be tolerated. Its throwing the baby out with the bathwater, if you like. The same is true of any "right".

Person A's right to be a hateful bigot simply doesn't trump Person B's right not to be the victim of bigotry.
Person A's right to smoke doesn't trump Person B's right to smokefree air.
Company A's right to sell Alcohol doesn't trump Individual B's right to protect their children from damaging advertising.

Now, you might argue its my responsibility as a parent to educate my kids not to smoke. I agree. But I don't think I should have to do so in the face of constant advertising bombardment of the Marlboro Man as the epitome of cool. Thats why I say, everything within reason.

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PostPosted: Wed 16 Apr , 2008 3:23 pm 
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:yes:

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PostPosted: Wed 16 Apr , 2008 4:10 pm 
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I was especially impressed by the fact that Norway bans any advertising directed at children. That's a downright civilized thing to do. If advertisers could be depended upon to keep their messages factual rather than using faux peer pressure to persuade the viewer to buy an image they aren't selling instead of the product they are, it might be another matter.

Singling out alcohol and tobacco always seemed odd to me, too. Personally, I'd much rather have my child smoke and drink on occasion than turn into a Consumer and a Viewer.


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PostPosted: Wed 16 Apr , 2008 5:56 pm 
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It is speech that is not popular or unpopular that is in the most need of protection. If popular speech were the only protected free speech then free speech would not exist.

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Last edited by Cenedril_Gildinaur on Tue Feb 30, 2026 13:61 am; edited 426 times in total


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PostPosted: Wed 16 Apr , 2008 6:25 pm 
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yov --

I (mostly) agree with you, but here's my issue: it's one thing to proclaim that the Nazis have the right to march so long as they are a marginalized, despised fringe group. Assume, however, that the Nazi party in America is seriously a growing force, and they have a very simple message - all Jews and gays in America (for starters) must be relocated, exterminated, or both. For how long are you willing to fight for their "inalienable" right to free speech? Is there some point - at which 10, 30, 50, 70 percent of the population is persuaded by that message - where you'd feel that they should no longer have the right to express that message?


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PostPosted: Wed 16 Apr , 2008 6:41 pm 
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I'll continue to fight for their right to free speech, and will also fight them physically if they try to implement any of their proposals.

Besides, if 70 percent of the population agrees with them, it's my free speech that is under attack, not theirs. I won't be in a position to fight their right to free speech.

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It is a myth that coercion is necessary in order to force people to get along together, but it is a persistent myth because it feeds a desire many people have. That desire is to be able to justify hurting people who have done nothing other than offend them in some way.

Last edited by Cenedril_Gildinaur on Tue Feb 30, 2026 13:61 am; edited 426 times in total


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PostPosted: Wed 16 Apr , 2008 6:50 pm 
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C_G - at 70 percent, yes. The issue is at 5 percent, 10 percent - numbers which can still be stopped, and where stopping the spread of certain ideas (particularly those advocating violence/death/deprivation of others' basic liberties) could perhaps save millions of lives (referring to the number of people slaughtered by the first set of Nazis.) And that is where I am willing to allow pragmatism to trump principle and say, there are some ideas that are too dangerous to be expressed when it looks like they will not be defeated in the "marketplace of ideas." Who is in a position to decide which ideas are too dangerous? There's the rub - if we entrust that task to anyone, their human fallibility enters the picture. But I would rather that than wholly unrestrained free speech, which is not an unmitigated good. I understand that you disagree.

Understand: I'm with yov and you and others who support the right of the Nazis to march in America right now. But I drop off the bandwagon at the point where any critical mass of people starts to take them seriously, which means that I am not taking a fully principled stance ("some forms of free speech are okay as long as no one is really swayed by them.") I'm okay with that.


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PostPosted: Wed 16 Apr , 2008 7:16 pm 
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She is dead, if you read the article. Her anorexia linked death is what prompted the legislation.


My point is that she looks dead in the picture...

I agree with Alatar on this one. The right to free speech comes with the responsibility to respect the beliefs and rights of others.

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