Wikipedia talk:WikiProject Freedom of speech

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Voting rights and free speech[edit]

Hello everyone, I was wondering to what extent you think that voting rights-related articles fall into the scope of this WikiProject. At least in the United States, the freedom of speech restricts the ability of the government to impose unreasonable or discriminatory restrictions on suffrage, as determined by the Supreme Court in cases such as Anderson v. Celebrezze and Burdick v. Takushi, and lower courts have struck down many election laws for violating the First Amendment (and in many cases, for violating both the First Amendment and a federal voting rights law, like the Voting Rights Act or the National Voter Registration Act). The importance of the freedom of speech to suffrage is why a wikilink to the First Amendment is included in Template:Voting rights in the United States. And then, of course, there's the campaign finance cases like Citizens United v. FEC that involve the freedom of speech, and I've noticed that they largely are are already included in this WikiProject. Thus, I'm inclined to think that other suffrage-related articles fall in the scope of this WikiProject, but I thought I'd ask before I started tagging the talk pages of several voting rights articles (e.g., voter registration campaign, voter ID laws, voter suppression) with the WikiProject banner like I've been contemplating. –Prototime (talk · contribs) 01:49, 12 May 2014 (UTC)

The First Amendment is not freedom of speech. The First Amendment is freedom of speech, freedom of religion, freedom of assembly, etc. While some freedoms may "embrace" other freedoms, they are not the same, although teasing out that they are "distinct" may be quite an effort. But I argue that freedom of speech possesses values which are not possessed by the other freedoms affected by the First Amendment, and so it is distinct. But I do think that freedom of association intrinsically implicates freedom of speech. So, in essence, I think the question is whether this WikiProject's subject matter should be transitive; whether, since freedom of speech affects freedom of association, this WikiProject should also be about freedom of association, and hence, issues of suffrage.
Is the refusal of the government to recognize or act upon speech, e.g., recognizing votes, a violation of freedom of speech? If it was, would not any demand or claim against the government also be a freedom of speech issue? Would not any civil action against the government, a civil action being speech, be a freedom of speech issue? I'm sure there is discussion somewhere about it, but I am of the present opinion that, in general, freedom of speech is a negative right; that is, it is a right restricting the government from acting differently based upon the content of speech, not a right requiring the government to act based upon the content of speech. So I would not say freedom of speech requires the government to recognize a vote, unless such non-recognition was based upon the content of speech. It could be argued that voter suppression is retaliation based indirectly upon the voters' political views, but it could also be argued voter suppression is an opening salvo of a civil war or tyrannical war against the people, and therefore should be in WikiProject Military; a suppression of the working class or whatever, and therefore part of WikiProject Socialism and WikiProject Communism; a mathematical and statistical process, and therefore part of WikiProject Mathematics and WikiProject Statistics; having an affect on economics, therefore part of WikiProject Economics; etc. It is not hard to imagine more and more innovating theories and outright legal fictions to connect the practice to ever more remote subjects.
But I don't think there are, without more discussion on specific topics, concrete relations to these other WikiProjects, or concrete relations to freedom of speech, again, based upon my example analysis of voting not being content-based speech discrimination. Now, speech-related activities that are also voting-related are obviously freedom of speech issues, but only if there is a bona fide issue affecting speech-related rights; not all speech is a freedom of speech issue if it does not implicate legal rights, or legal rights are not being contravened or potentially contravened. (Again, considering the strength of the nexus.) Int21h (talk) 19:56, 12 May 2014 (UTC)
Thanks for your thoughtful response, Int21h. If the freedom of association intrinsically implicates the freedom of speech, then that would make this an easier question to answer. In many cases that have followed the U.S. Supreme Court's test for evaluating whether a voting restriction violates the First Amendment (as set forth in the Anderson and Burdick cases that I mentioned above), courts have explicitly decided whether a specific voting restriction violates either the freedom of speech, the freedom of expressive association, or both; for example, restrictions on voter registration drives are often held to violate both freedoms. But in other cases, like Crawford v. Marion, which upheld a voter ID requirement under the Anderson test, the court didn't distinguish between the freedom of speech and the freedom of association. So at the very least, based on the strength of the nexus, voting rights-related areas like voter registration drives that courts have ruled expressly implicate the freedom of speech are probably relevant to this WikiProject, but relevance remains debatable for those areas that courts have held implicate only the freedom of expressive association, areas that courts have not addressed which of the two freedoms is implicated, and areas that courts have not spoken on at all. Perhaps there is no bright line rule to answer this question, and it will require a case-by-case assessment of that nexus . –Prototime (talk · contribs) 21:06, 12 May 2014 (UTC)
Yes, there's definitely no bright line, given that I think we should err on the side that something is relevant, while staying cognizant that there should be a strong nexus. I think voter ID requirements are a category of freedom of association issues (for example when they are used for primary elections) that are largely unaffected by freedom of speech, for example. I think we should be cautious about transitive nexi, but I don't think there is a generic answer. And all this begs the question: Just how close should we tack to US Supreme Court (majority) opinions on these matters? If a good argument can be made, then so be it, the Supremes be damned. Int21h (talk) 22:42, 12 May 2014 (UTC)
Wow, this subject of voting rights is actually more complicated than I originally thought. If a voting restriction is used in the context of primary elections, which is in reality a form of political speech in an internal political party debate which decides its candidates for elections, it is a valid argument that preventing you from voting is, in effect, preventing you from expressing yourself in that party's internal debate. So... Yeah, I don't know. I'm going to look into it. Int21h (talk) 23:07, 12 May 2014 (UTC)
I want to note that I've tagged the following article talk pages for inclusion in this WikiProject: Anderson v. Celebrezze (a U.S. Supreme Court case that established the test for assessing whether an election law violates the freedom of speech or expression), Voter registration campaign (a type of speech that has been protected by various U.S. courts under the Anderson test), Voter suppression, and Voter suppression in the United States (these last two articles encompass registration on voter registration campaigns). I did not tag voter ID law-related articles or Crawford, because after looking into it more, it looks like the Supreme Court in Crawford upheld the voter ID law under the Equal Protection Clause, not the First Amendment, even though it used the Anderson test. I haven't looked into the freedom of speech as it relates to primaries, but I'd be curious to hear if you find out anything interesting! –Prototime (talk · contribs) 15:44, 19 May 2014 (UTC)

Request for assistance at Obscenity trial of Ulysses in The Little Review[edit]

The captioned article could use a review by someone with better access to the sources than me. The article is a creditable, one-off article by a student, I believe, but may not entirely reflect a full understanding of the sources (for example, in an assertion, now removed, that the secretary of the New York Society for Suppression of Vice was the district attorney who brought charges, which I think is unlikely). Thank you in advance for any assistance you can give. Kablammo (talk) 16:42, 20 May 2014 (UTC)

More than creditable. It's a very nice article IMO. Balaenoptera musculus (talk) 10:31, 21 May 2014 (UTC)
I've checked and the original editor is right about Sumner, secretary of the New York Society for Suppression of Vice. Additional sources: New York Times, James Joyce Centre. I'll add these sources to the article.
The article doesn't seem to claim that Sumner was the DA though, just the person who lodged the complaint. Do get back to me if I've missed it in the text somewhere. (Oh - "assertion, now removed" - right).
Balaenoptera musculus (talk) 10:36, 21 May 2014 (UTC)
A person unfamiliar with the law might use "DA" when he really meant plaintiff or complaining witness. JRSpriggs (talk) 21:25, 21 May 2014 (UTC)
A new book makes it clear that Sumner instigated the charges but did not prosecute; he instead was a witness. Birmingham, Kevin (2014). The Most Dangerous Book: The Battle for James Joyce's Ulysses. New York: Penguin Press. ISBN 978-1594203367. I will add that information to the article when time allows. Kablammo (talk) 18:46, 22 July 2014 (UTC)

Leaflet For Wikiproject Freedom of Speech At Wikimania 2014[edit]

Hi all,

My name is Adi Khajuria and I am helping out with Wikimania 2014 in London.

One of our initiatives is to create leaflets to increase the discoverability of various wikimedia projects, and showcase the breadth of activity within wikimedia. Any kind of project can have a physical paper leaflet designed - for free - as a tool to help recruit new contributors. These leaflets will be printed at Wikimania 2014, and the designs can be re-used in the future at other events and locations.

This is particularly aimed at highlighting less discoverable but successful projects, e.g:

• Active Wikiprojects: Wikiproject Medicine, WikiProject Video Games, Wikiproject Film

• Tech projects/Tools, which may be looking for either users or developers.

• Less known major projects: Wikinews, Wikidata, Wikivoyage, etc.

• Wiki Loves Parliaments, Wiki Loves Monuments, Wiki Loves ____

• Wikimedia thematic organisations, Wikiwomen’s Collaborative, The Signpost

For more information or to sign up for one for your project, go to:
Project leaflets
Adikhajuria (talk) 15:09, 13 June 2014 (UTC)

Someone should put the word "fuck" in giant bold letters with a quote of 18 U.S.C. § 4 underneath reminding people it is a crime to not report a crime, punishable by 3 years in prison, per violation. Because I think its important for people to know that speech cannot be criminalized, lest that speech be criminal and you become a criminal for not reporting it. Int21h (talk) 18:21, 13 June 2014 (UTC)
Or just list all the exceptions to freedom of speech in the UK (I've noted quite a few exceptions on the Censorship in the United Kingdom article) in their full legalese. I don't think there would be enough room on a leaflet, so you would have to overlap so much as to be unintelligible (as in its unintelligible what speech is illegal.) Int21h (talk) 18:27, 13 June 2014 (UTC)
Awwww. They require you to use a template? No creativity! How boring. Int21h (talk) 18:31, 13 June 2014 (UTC)


Can you create these articles, please?

Gce (talk) 22:59, 30 June 2014 (UTC)

Some related articles or sub-sections of larger articles already exist:

This isn't to say that the censorship articles shouldn't be created, just that there is some raw material available to help get started. -Jeff Ogden (W163) (talk) 23:32, 30 June 2014 (UTC)

UK law on torrents of beheading videos[edit]

In a discussion at [1] I have someone telling me, with a Guardian article as source, that it is illegal in Britain to view "extremist material" including the beheading of James Foley, and even claiming the same could be true in the U.S., which I doubt based on [2]. Nonetheless, I'm not a lawyer, and it would be prudent to nail down this issue with more confidence, if anyone would like to examine these claims. Wnt (talk) 00:49, 26 August 2014 (UTC)

I do not know about Britain and I am not a lawyer. But I am fairly sure that merely viewing the material is not an offense in the United States regardless of the circumstances. There are two possible things which could get you into trouble: (1) if you pay someone for the material and that someone is associated with terrorists, that could be crime; and (2) if you send a copy of the video to someone else who might reasonably construe it as an attempt by you to intimidate him, that could be a crime. JRSpriggs (talk) 08:07, 26 August 2014 (UTC)

Comment on the WikiProject X proposal[edit]

Hello there! As you may already know, most WikiProjects here on Wikipedia struggle to stay active after they've been founded. I believe there is a lot of potential for WikiProjects to facilitate collaboration across subject areas, so I have submitted a grant proposal with the Wikimedia Foundation for the "WikiProject X" project. WikiProject X will study what makes WikiProjects succeed in retaining editors and then design a prototype WikiProject system that will recruit contributors to WikiProjects and help them run effectively. Please review the proposal here and leave feedback. If you have any questions, you can ask on the proposal page or leave a message on my talk page. Thank you for your time! (Also, sorry about the posting mistake earlier. If someone already moved my message to the talk page, feel free to remove this posting.) Harej (talk) 22:47, 1 October 2014 (UTC)