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Free Speech on the CAOS Forum

Started by Tyler, 2005-08-01T14:51:30-05:00 (Monday)

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A couple posts lately have hinted about free speech lately on the CAOS forum.

Where does everyone stand with free speech on the forum?  Tasteful free speech?  Unaltered free speech?  If tasteful, who decides what's tasteful?  Or maybe a disclaimer on the pages saying the content is user-submitted and is not affiliated or the responsibility of SIUE?
Retired CAOS Officer/Overachiever
SIUE Alumni Class of 2005


Cool, I inspired a thread.  Personally I think freedom of speech is just that, freedom of speech (with all of the usual implications, ex. yelling fire in a crowded room).  If you have a problem wiht the words I'm say, well chances are I have a problem with the words you are saying.  So who's words should be supported by freedom of speech?  I know I have a rather brash way of looking at things and have probably upset a few people.  Frankly, I don't care.  If I'm asked nicely to limit things I say, usually I'll comply.

While I think limiting freedom of speech is stupid, I do see that this forum is like someone's house.  If it were my house chances are I'd kick someone out for saying things I don't like.  Same principal applys.  However, I also think that it shouldn't be any one person deciding the rules of the forum.
Bryan Grubaugh
Quickly aging alumni with too much time on his hands
Business Systems Analyst, Scripps Networks.


Quotetfizzle wrote: a disclaimer on the pages saying the content is user-submitted and is not affiliated or the responsibility of SIUE
That might be a prudent move, regardless of how we censor posts, since anyone can register and post anything they want.  It is only after a post is made that it may be removed by a moderator.

As for my opinion, I don't mind distateful so much, so long as it is not obviously offensive--especially to those reading the forum.  I could say my neighbor is a jackass on this forum and nobody would care.  If I call Jerry a Jackass ;-), he might get mad and remove my post :banned:.

Although I am typically in favor of free speech in the purest sense, SIUE has to look out for itself.  So, I would be in favor of only removing posts that are obviously intended to offend, posts that could result in a lawsuit, and posts that have (justifiably) offended someone.  In general, I would err on the side of free speech, but one has to remember that offending the wrong person could land SIU in legal trouble.  So long as no one is complaing or expected to complain :ranting:, what is the harm?
"If Tyranny and Oppression come to this land, it will be in the guise of fighting a foreign enemy." -James Madison


I forget where I heard it, but I remember hearing once that freedom of speech is the freedom to tell someone something they don't want to hear. I think debate between different opinions is great--it makes this country so magnificent.

Personally, I am all for free speech.  But, at the same time, things can be stated in a respectful way.  By avoiding personal slams and such, it makes your argument more respectable and believable.  

For SIUE's sake, I don't think it would hurt to have some disclaimer about the content of the site being user-submitted because you never know what someone will say and you know Americans love to sue for no good reason.
Retired CAOS Officer/Overachiever
SIUE Alumni Class of 2005


In the U.S. there are forms of speech that are not considered protected under the definition of free speech.

At SIUE there is University Policies that specify types of speech (and actions) that are not tolerated (that is they have consequences). These include threats, intimidation, and sexual harassment.

Here are the links:

"Make a Little Bird House in Your Soul" - TMBG...

Brad Nunnally

I will be the first to tell someone exactly what is on my mind or answer a question with something that might offend them due to my strict policy of telling the truth. Personally I see freedom as speech as a way to protect those that preach the truth, because most of the time people are offend by the truth more so than by a lie.
However, as important as freedom of speech is people should use it responsibly. Just like it is our right to bear arms, it is also our right to use it in the correct way. Freedom of speech works the same way. If you are out for the soul reason to offend people then you are abusing your right and you should be able to face the consequences.

"If the freedom of speech is taken away then dumb and silent we may be led, like sheep to the slaughter."
George Washington
Brad Ty Nunnally
Business & Usabilty Consultant at Perficent
Former CAOS Hooligan


I like the idea of free speech, but I do agree with Jerry on the fact that this web site is hosted on a University campus and as such it must follow the rules of the University. Those rules should be posted here in a simplified form (lawyer speak gives me a headache). The User Registration screen can have the text modified to include those rules. That's in the admin setup somewhere, I just left it default. *whistles* The user agrees to abide by those laws upon registering, so if said user breaks the laws, he/she can be banned, by username or by IP address. Although, that is kinda hard if the IP is a school one. But, the University polices are good and would cover a lot of the concerns and would still allow people to post their minds as long as it is not super insulting.

Sorry I have been away so long. I have been busy, plus I went to Europe for awhile. That was fascinating. :D

Retired webmaster of CAOS.