Archive of UserLand's first discussion group, started October 5, 1998.

TV & the First Amendment

Author:Jeremy Bowers
Posted:10/22/1999; 11:20:16 AM
Topic:TV & the First Amendment
Msg #:12262
Prev/Next:12261 / 12263

I tried to make this point earlier about the First Amendment and Third Voice, but I couldn't find a link for it. Look at this story on the New York times site (which may require registration and I hope will work for at least a while):

It discusses a KKK rally. The point I find interesting and germane is that not only could the KKK hold a rally, but that the denial of the counter-demonstrators request to protest with loudspeakers and drown out the KKK was upheld. (Careful parsing that sentance "qbullet.smiley") You can say what you want to say, but can not just crowd out the other speakers by virtue of numbers and volume.

This is what I mean by "Webmasters should be able to 'speak' without inturruption". Third Voice posts on a page expressing an opinion, IMHO, boil down to a violation of the space the page should have to express an opinion. Others may disagree, state their own opinions, etc., but it just doesn't work if anybody can yell anything they want, anywhere; it drowns out the opinion of the minority, which is the only opinion that needs protecting. In other words, Third Voice & web annotation takes the most equitable free speech platform in the world, the web as it is now, and will reduce and has reduced parts of it to a mob scene, no different sematically from the counterdemonstrators trying to drown out the KKK; sure, the KKK's message is still there, but buried.

I feel Third Voice is actually a step backwards on the free speech front. (You may disagree with my logic, but I feel accusations [not on this forum, but others] that "all I want to do is take away free speech" is a straw-man; I'm at least trying to protect it.)

(I know the topic is a few weeks old, but the court case was apparently very recent, it was just in the Times yesterday, so I thought it germane to provide evidence for my assertions "qbullet.smiley")

PS: I do hereby declare the smileys are adequate punctuation for sentances. I'm sick of trying to work the periods in after them "qbullet.smiley"

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