Blasphemy, Bigoty, and #jesuischarlie

In a really interesting discussion of Charlie Hebdo and their satirical cartoons on her show, Melissa Harris-Perry mentioned definitions of bigotry and blasphemy that really help when talking about satire, particularly the kind Charlie Hebdo does, and “punching up.” This is the corresponding quote from an article by Mahmood Mamdani in which he defines these …

Free Speech, Citizens, and Twitter, Or: How Andrew Sullivan Misses the Point

Isn’t it awkward when professional bloggers don’t understand how social media works? A few days ago, widely read conservative white-but-not-straight blogger  Andrew Sullivan railed against the new cooperation between Women Action Media and Twitter. The micro-blogging platform and the non-profit will work together to better report, track, understand, and work against cyber harassment of users, primarily women. That this harassment is …

It’s censorship! It’s groupthink! It’s a slippery slope to an echo chamber! Free speech must be protected! Oh, please. These are arguments serious people need not entertain, when we’re talking about the ability to post comments on a privately owned website, as opposed to the ability to criticize one’s government without loss of life or …

“Debunking the First Amendment Myths Surrounding Revenge Porn Laws” – Forbes

Danielle Citron, law professor at the University of Maryland Carey School of Law, breaks down common arguments against the scourge that is “revenge porn” (nude or sexually explicit pictures of mostly young women posted on the Internet without their consent) and debunks them, using U.S. constitutional jurisprudence: Some object to criminalizing invasions of sexual privacy …

Free speech, like all marketplace activities, benefits those who are currently life’s winners, reinforcing their advantage while enabling them to say to themselves that they won fair and square. Perhaps only the threat of serious social disruption will shake the current complacency, so that in twenty or fifty years we will look upon hate speech …

Whose Diversity Is It Anyway?

Reading overviews of US court decisions on the 1 Amendment, particularly protection of “free speech” vs. hate speech in ‘campus code’ cases, really makes me thankful that I’m not in law school. One argument made in a court ruling in the early 90s is that while racist/sexist/heterosexist slurs etc. may offend the ‘sensibilities’ of minority students and …