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It's fine to have rules against posts that are obscene, racist, sexist, ablist, ageist, homophobic, or which include or incite religious hatred or intolerance (from the Terms of Service), but I don't think it's okay to say that -AND- claim to be supporting free speech, at least not to a U.S. audience (and I realize this site isn't tailored for the U.S.)

The U.S. supreme court holds that hate speech IS free speech.  That doesn't mean I think all of what is listed above is even "hate speech", but rather that if there is such a thing as hate speech, the U.S. supreme court holds that it's free speech.  Same for pornography, flag burning, and a multitude of other divisive and contentious kinds of speech.

Better, in my opinion, to just say that the rules are the rules and don't bring "free speech" into it unless you really do mean to support actual free speech.

This is more "We believe in frees speech, but ..."

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There is either free speech or no speech. ‘Hate speech’ is a made up term to prevent free speech by some quarters. What is ‘hate speech’? Who decides what’s included as ‘hate speech’? If you don’t like what someone’s saying then don’t listen to them. If someone wants to be racist, sexist etc then they can, but they’ll be judged by everyone else accordingly.

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I personally draw the line at inciting damage to person or property. Anything else should be completely legal. That way, if you are a racist nutjob everyone around you will know you are exactly that. You will be able to tell anyone you want what you think of group X or person Y, but don't expect them to be you friend afterwards.

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Free speech is a right/privilege from the state, not individuals or organisations.  You dont need right to say things in a public forum, you are free to say them on your own forum. 

Edited by Martlet

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Trolling is a form of freedom of speech but it is a very unproductive use of it, to the point of disrespecting freedom of speech. I just wish people were more responsible with it. And no, I'm not talking about all the PC nonsense these days. I mean real, sinister, toxic trolling and bullying. We had one such person on here a couple of weeks ago and thankfully they were banned. Yes they arguably should have a legal right to troll, but forum moderators should also retain the right to ban them if their presence and use of their freedom of speech is toxic.

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A privately owned forum such as this does not exist as a protector of free speech. It has to protect itself from possible future legal problems by being careful about certain matters, for sure. And we all know how things can quickly get out of hand as soon as someone shouts "...ist!!" or tries to blacken the site's reputation by making accusations of certain elements popularly recognised as "hate speech" in contemporary society... so this should be taken into consideration. I think it's a different matter on publicly owned platforms, where one can try to prove a point about allowance of free speech. No-one has a "right" on here to any kind of speech, on this private forum, other than the owners themselves.

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When it comes to free speech there is no ruling that will ever satisfy everyone or provide the perfect answer. Increasingly it seems we live in a world where people actively seek to be offended while at the same time there are increasingly loud individuals and groups who are happy to offend. I don't personally see the point of any of it especially where it is empty and not in any way constructive. I like @Avrocarr's response above as it allows for free speech as it should be while giving everyone the ability to avoid what they don't like/agree with.

Some people would do well to grow a bit more of a back bone though and not be offended by every other word uttered. One has to wonder whether or not this problem would exist if some people weren't so easily offended. If no one fed the trolls would they still exist?

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My view is that legally everyone has the freedom to say whatever they like.

Certain things people say will be deemed illegal to say by the powers that be.

Some things will offend people.

If these things are said in a way to deliberately offend, cause damage, insult or otherwise bully/troll then there is no place in my greater existence for those people who say them.

Deliberate trolling is a very serious thing and can have very significant impacts on mental health. The forum has every right to boot those off that do this and they have done so.

This week is mental health awareness week in the UK and if there are any ways we can keep the forum a safe place for people then I am all for it, whether this upholds the sanctity of "freedom of speech" in its truest sense I don't know, all I know is that the forum and the moderators do a great job in protecting its members.

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There is free speech here but people will get banned or posts will be removed when they appear to be enjoying making the forum a misery for other users.

The terms are pretty much a polite way of saying 'try not to be a **** to other users and everything will be fine'.

How angry can people really get in a thread about coin collecting anyway 🙄

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Just now, BackyardBullion said:

My view is that legally everyone has the freedom to say whatever they like.

Legally persons are not free to say whatever they like without penalties from the State. There are laws of slander and libel, there are laws of incitement and there is the nebulous entity called hate speech.

Just now, BackyardBullion said:

Deliberate trolling is a very serious thing and can have very significant impacts on mental health.

The major social media sites have the facility for one user to mute and block other users so they don't see the trolling - it is the click of a mouse. If you are upset by trolling you block the other user. It only has an impact on mental health if you start engaging with the Trolls - so unless you are someone who likes to get down and dirty, then block them - stop going to that website and if you don't its your own fault. 

Just now, BackyardBullion said:

 if there are any ways we can keep the forum a safe place for people then I am all for it....

On the internet more often than not you don't know who the other internet entity is or where they are. How are you unsafe? Just ignore the trolls. Trolls only do it for a reaction - i have trolled people and have done it to get a reaction. i might not even believe what i have posted, i have just done it for the reaction - i haven't done it here but i have done it elsewhere. So the solution if you are on the other side is to do nothing - don't react, just ignore as if the posts aren't there. The Troll gives up b/c they don't get the reaction.

Occasionally i have been in situations where i have received credible threats from for example those i expect are intelligence service, especially Mossad. Now that can be disconcerting. The solution is to 'leave the building' and it goes away. 

Edited by sixgun

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Reading through this thread.  Freedom of speech/expression is something I am in favour of, this does not mean freedom from any responsibility from what the person has said.  I have also noticed a growing minority of extremely easily offended people and people who get very offended on other members of the public's behalf!

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Being based in the uk this site doesn't have to endure any rights Americans expect, it's the same the other way round, the age of consent in britain is16, try that in the states...the age of drinking in the states is going to 21, try that in the uk.

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1 hour ago, savoyard said:

OK. let's make a quick test. Consider the following sentence:

"All white people should be killed".

Is this free speech or not?

No it is not. At least not in my opinion. That sentence is a clear and direct incitement to violence and should be illegal. Unless we agree that such speech is not ok, the authoritarian PC types will continue to make the case, and have evidence for banning alot of other forms of speech. Advocates of free speech must hold this line with vigour if we are to protect the principles of free speech.

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2 hours ago, savoyard said:

OK. let's make a quick test. Consider the following sentence:

"All white people should be killed".

Is this free speech or not?

Certainly. It's a personal opinion.

unless said person is talking to some people who are willing to carry out said "instruction" and actually attempt to do so. Assuming all are within the uk jurisdiction of course.

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15 hours ago, Lowlow said:

Better, in my opinion, to just say that the rules are the rules and don't bring "free speech" into it unless you really do mean to support actual free speech.

The part of the rules you are referring to were written at the very beginning, since then additional rules have been added and the guidelines modified. I can certainly look at the wording of that. At Platinum Members were given the opportunity for input into the rules (as well as mostly all decisions or improvements before they are made live)

I think for the most part people understand what is correct or incorrect as they can use common sense and judgment. Do bare in mind that the forum has users of all ages (members under the age of 13 require a consent form to be filled in by parents, this is due to COPPA in the US, which although does not technically apply to this website, this setting is enabled none the less as there are a lot of US members here)

The primary role of the forum is to discuss all things related to precious metals. There is also a non precious metals section, but this is not the main focus of the forum but just an additional area for members to have off topic discussions.

I would like the forum to be a place were members can discuss a wide range of topics in a respectful way to all members and to our community, however the main purpose of the forum is to build and maintain the biggest and greatest precious metals forum in the world, therefore in order to make sure this happens there may be situations where topics may need to be removed for whatever reason. Please see the link to the topic below and the main quoted point.

https://thesilverforum.com/topic/19158-deletion-or-editing-of-posts-on-the-forum/

Quote

Any topics that I deem to be detrimental to the forum and community’s long term survival and growth, will be removed. 

 

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21 hours ago, Martlet said:

Free speech is a right/privilege from the state, not individuals or organisations.  You dont need right to say things in a public forum, you are free to say them on your own forum. 

Free speech doesn't come from the state, individuals, or organizations ... it comes from God.  You were born free on this earth the same as any squirrel, deer, bird in the sky, or fish in the sea ... and other people have no more right to tell you what you can and can't say as they do to tell a squirrel where it can bury its nuts, or a bird which tree branch it can land on.

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