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(BBC)   Man pleads guilty to joking about missing white girl. Unclear whether he will serve more or less time than the man who killed her   (bbc.co.uk) divider line 141
    More: Misc, Madeleine McCann, Chorley Magistrates, missing children  
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11715 clicks; posted to Main » on 08 Oct 2012 at 12:54 PM (1 year ago)   |  Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



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2012-10-08 04:40:58 PM

elysive: Last Man on Earth : machoprogrammer: jabelar: Sorry, but people continue to use "freedom of speech" wrong. Freedom of speech (even here in the good ole US of A) does NOT mean you can say anything you want. Like all rights, it is limited when it infringes on the rights of others. For example, despite freedom of speech it is still illegal to slander, lie under oath, misrepresent under contract, incite to riot, harass, threaten, conspire to commit a crime, relate information to which you are bound to confidentiality, violate noise bylaws, endanger, etc.

In this case, it could easily be considered to rise to the level of harassment, which would be prohibited here in US.

I doubt it would be considered harassment here in the US, since harassment usually only involves repeated action (if he posted it just once, it wouldn't likely be considered harassment). And yes, there are limits (i.e. slander, inciting riots, etc) but in general, freedom of speech is pretty good here.

True, but there's a basis for a civil suit under Intentional Infliction of Emotional Distress. Typically, that only really applies in extreme situations, like a cop or similar authority figure psychologically abusing someone reporting a rape (it's happened, there's been at least one case), but in context like this, the postings may qualify.

I can't confirm it with any of the news stories online (though most articles say that the guy posted the comments on "his Facebook page"), but the posters in this thread say that the family only learned about the offensive comments because some busy body took a screen shot of the comments and shared the image on the family support page. I don't see how anyone could make an argument for harassment or even "Intentional Infliction of Emotional Distress" unless the guy actually tried to share his jokes with the little girl's family.


Yeah, if that's the case, then I'd completely agree. If they weren't actually targeted by his comments, then he's in no way liable. He had no way of knowing they'd see it under those circumstances, nor any reason he should have known. He can't be held responsible for reposts. At least I don't think so. Thanks for correcting my fact pattern, I had it wrong.
 
2012-10-08 04:41:48 PM
Freedom isn't always pretty - it's not government's responsibility, role or even right to make YOU a better person.

what a load of nonsense
 
2012-10-08 04:42:42 PM

namegoeshere: Wow. So being a douchebag is illegal in Britain?


yeah - why do you think most of their celebrities move to America?
 
2012-10-08 04:43:20 PM

ElLoco: It's funny when an internet troll gets biatchslapped right back.


not like this it isn't.
 
2012-10-08 04:48:15 PM

Pathman: namegoeshere: Wow. So being a douchebag is illegal in Britain?

yeah - why do you think most of their celebrities move to America?


Jeremy Clarkson isn't in jail.
 
2012-10-08 05:09:26 PM

Perducci: My dog has no nose.


How does he smell?
 
2012-10-08 05:14:57 PM

Canned Tamales: Perducci: My dog has no nose.

How does he smell?


Well, I wouldn't lift his tail.
 
2012-10-08 05:16:14 PM

Pathman: man, england blows


..like a pendulum do
 
2012-10-08 05:16:29 PM

OgreMagi: mauricecano: Is that the America where a teacher has been disciplined for using the word "squaw", because someone found it offensive?

And what is stupid about that mess is "squaw" is not an offensive word. It means "woman" in the Algonquian language. That's it. Many people incorrectly think it is the word for female parts or slut, but they are wrong.


Algonquians need their mouths washed out with soap.
 
2012-10-08 05:30:42 PM

quietwalker: Think about it from this mindset: Your government locks down on speech, and you expect every other government to do so as well. Then someone in another country speaks badly about your religion, and they are NOT jailed! This means that country is EXPLICITLY supporting that viewpoint!


This. It's why every time someone says something offensive and the US government doesn't censor them, some group somewhere goes into THIS IS AN OUTRAGE mode.
 
2012-10-08 05:36:34 PM
www.issues.cc

Freedom isn't free, and this is the price we pay (see above). Is it worth it? Discuss.
 
2012-10-08 05:39:24 PM
Wow, just think of all the comics that would be jailed in America. I think of quite a few after the Colorado theater shooting alone.
 
2012-10-08 05:49:10 PM

orbister: JeffDenver: Stories like this make me so glad I live in America.

Yes the guy was an asshole. Being an asshole should not be a criminal offense. You are not entitled to not to be offended.

Is that the America where a teacher has been disciplined for using the word "squaw", because someone found it offensive?

By and large, you're free to be offensive in the UK. What you are not free to do is to cause distress - the courts interpret that as causing harm in much the same way as physical assault causes harm.


So much THIS.

You are free to criticise the government,the royal family,the police, etc. You can make sick jokes on any subject you like.

What you can't do is deliberately go out of your way to publish something deliberately that will, in all likelihood, cause huge emotional distress to a great many friends and family of a missing child and who are already gong through hell.

Joke down the pub to friends is one thing. Publishing something is different. Live with the consequences.
 
2012-10-08 05:57:21 PM

ElLoco: It's funny when an internet troll gets biatchslapped right back.


Yes, there should be real and significant consequences for having not acting like everyone else
 
2012-10-08 06:00:21 PM
I think it's past due for us to start referring to the UK by its rightful name: "Airstrip One".
 
2012-10-08 06:06:07 PM

machoprogrammer: Say what you want about America, but at least we have pretty damn good freedom of speech here. Despite a lot of peoples' efforts, you cannot be arrested for offending people here, thankfully.


Yet
 
2012-10-08 06:16:59 PM

Pert: orbister: JeffDenver: Stories like this make me so glad I live in America.

Yes the guy was an asshole. Being an asshole should not be a criminal offense. You are not entitled to not to be offended.

Is that the America where a teacher has been disciplined for using the word "squaw", because someone found it offensive?

By and large, you're free to be offensive in the UK. What you are not free to do is to cause distress - the courts interpret that as causing harm in much the same way as physical assault causes harm.

So much THIS.

You are free to criticise the government,the royal family,the police, etc. You can make sick jokes on any subject you like.

What you can't do is deliberately go out of your way to publish something deliberately that will, in all likelihood, cause huge emotional distress to a great many friends and family of a missing child and who are already gong through hell.

Joke down the pub to friends is one thing. Publishing something is different. Live with the consequences.


Posting on facebook isn't publishing. He put it on his wall, someone else put it on their page.
 
2012-10-08 08:04:01 PM

Saners: This was the part that really bothered me:"The reason for the sentence is the seriousness of the offence, the public outrage that has been caused and we felt there was no other sentence this court could have passed which conveys to you the abhorrence that many in society feel this crime should receive."So... British law is based on mob rule now.


What do you think trial by jury is?
 
2012-10-08 08:07:09 PM
A custodial sentence seems excessive for a bad-taste joke, especially when you read about people avoiding jail for physical assault causing permanent injuries.
 
2012-10-08 08:25:48 PM
So.. I thought the joke was pretty funny
 
2012-10-08 09:01:20 PM

orbister: JeffDenver: Stories like this make me so glad I live in America.

Yes the guy was an asshole. Being an asshole should not be a criminal offense. You are not entitled to not to be offended.

Is that the America where a teacher has been disciplined for using the word "squaw", because someone found it offensive?

By and large, you're free to be offensive in the UK. What you are not free to do is to cause distress - the courts interpret that as causing harm in much the same way as physical assault causes harm.


Oh, the progressive PC word police do their best to control thought through speech.

They might rally the troops to get you censured at work or do their best to have you shunned in public, but it still doesn't end up in jail time.
 
2012-10-08 10:21:44 PM

farkeruk: As a Brit, I consider this as not only against freedom of speech but also vindictive punishment.

The law they used is never normally prosecuted. Calling Tony Blair or David Cameron a coont also falls under this law. Technically speaking its illegal to cuss on the phone or send photos of your penis to your girlfriend.

That's what is most objectionable about this case and makes an ass of the law. The law should be applied equally. The UK instead has huge numbers of laws that are only prosecuted when the authorities feel like it, which is actually like a feudal state.


If sending photos of my penis is wrong, I don't want to be right.

/EIP
 
2012-10-08 10:46:23 PM

Last Man on Earth: Yeah, if that's the case, then I'd completely agree. If they weren't actually targeted by his comments, then he's in no way liable.


Except he is, and has already been convicted and sentenced. So if you've ever posted anything on the internet that might offend someone in Britain if someone were to take a picture of it and post it on someone else's web page, get out now if you're there, or don't go there if you're not.

/don't go to Canada or Australia either
//they're still bound by British law, even if their own laws are different
 
2012-10-08 11:35:57 PM

DammitIForgotMyLogin: serial_crusher: Does anybody who lives in a country that actually has freedom of speech have a copy of the joke? If it offended that many people, it's got to be funny right?

It's the Weeners here

As far as I understand it, it's not so much that he posted the joke (which isn't even particularly good), but that he posted it on the support page people had set up for the family.

If he'd said it within earshot of any of her family, or anyone who knew them, he'd probably be waking up in the hospital.


That being the case I'm kinda glad he lives somewhere they will punish him. I don't want free speech curtailed in the US, but this guy needs a bag of hammers upside the head for posting that on the family page.
 
2012-10-08 11:53:06 PM

notatrollorami: DammitIForgotMyLogin: serial_crusher: Does anybody who lives in a country that actually has freedom of speech have a copy of the joke? If it offended that many people, it's got to be funny right?

It's the Weeners here

As far as I understand it, it's not so much that he posted the joke (which isn't even particularly good), but that he posted it on the support page people had set up for the family.

If he'd said it within earshot of any of her family, or anyone who knew them, he'd probably be waking up in the hospital.

That being the case I'm kinda glad he lives somewhere they will punish him. I don't want free speech curtailed in the US, but this guy needs a bag of hammers upside the head for posting that on the family page.


If he didn't post it on the family page then I retract that and say Britain sucks.
 
2012-10-09 12:47:07 AM

Sticky Hands: Nightsweat: Girion47: Uchiha_Cycliste: Perducci: My dog has no nose.

How does he smell?

badly

fark, no. Awful. The answer is "awful". "badly" is not funny. Tell it right.

If one is going to blow a joke, this is the thread to do it in.
If one is going to blow a seal OTOH... eh probably still applies.


There was the guy who tried to buy an obviously fine and healthy horse from a Mexican man, who tried to persuade him, "This horse, he not look so good." "Well, I want to buy it anyway." "But this horse, he no look so good!" "Here's my offer, take it or leave it." The seller takes the money and hands over the horse. In a couple hours he's back and furious. "This horse is blind!" And the Mexican guy says "I tell you over and over again..."
 
2012-10-09 02:08:31 AM

Tatterdemalian: Last Man on Earth: Yeah, if that's the case, then I'd completely agree. If they weren't actually targeted by his comments, then he's in no way liable.

Except he is, and has already been convicted and sentenced. So if you've ever posted anything on the internet that might offend someone in Britain if someone were to take a picture of it and post it on someone else's web page, get out now if you're there, or don't go there if you're not.

/don't go to Canada or Australia either
//they're still bound by British law, even if their own laws are different


Canada and Australia are not BOUND by British law.
 
2012-10-09 02:10:57 AM
Malignant positive liberalism. Take a population with a history of being subject to the whims of monarchy and add an out of control system of nuisance laws at every level of government. This graduates from a nanny state to a nun with a ruler state.
 
2012-10-09 04:31:06 AM

Girion47: orbister: Girion47: Getting distressed over something posted on a privately-owned and maintained website is entirely optional. Facebook isn't a necessity or broadcast in any way. You actually have to point your browser towards facebook to see any of the content.

So what? Does that lessen the distress of people hurt by the deliberate and cruel actions of this man?

It makes it non-criminal.


Not over here it doesn't. As the twelve week prison sentence shows.
 
2012-10-09 04:33:28 AM

Pathman: Freedom isn't always pretty - it's not government's responsibility, role or even right to make YOU a better person.


So no prosecutions or imprisonments for rape, murder, fraud or exceeding the speed limit, then?
 
2012-10-09 04:40:01 AM

Phil Moskowitz: Malignant positive liberalism. Take a population with a history of being subject to the whims of monarchy and add an out of control system of nuisance laws at every level of government. This graduates from a nanny state to a nun with a ruler state.


Are you posting this from a country which allows the government to strap people to a table and inject a series of drugs in order to kill them, cold-bloodedly and deliberately. Because if so, I suggest you take your putative "freedom" and stick it where the sun don't shine.
 
2012-10-09 06:15:33 AM

quietwalker: Think about it from this mindset: Your government locks down on speech, and you expect every other government to do so as well. Then someone in another country speaks badly about your religion, and they are NOT jailed! This means that country is EXPLICITLY supporting that viewpoint!

What a change from what we see as Americans


Not really. Not-banning-something is seen as the government being overtly complicit in America quite often too.

That said, given where this came from, this is not overly surprising to me.
 
2012-10-09 06:53:29 AM

orbister: Pathman: Freedom isn't always pretty - it's not government's responsibility, role or even right to make YOU a better person.

So no prosecutions or imprisonments for rape, murder, fraud or exceeding the speed limit, then?


you can't possibly be serious with this retort to what i said.
 
2012-10-09 07:01:17 AM

orbister: Is that the America where a teacher has been disciplined for using the word "squaw", because someone found it offensive?

By and large, you're free to be offensive in the UK. What you are not free to do is to cause distress - the courts interpret that as causing harm in much the same way as physical assault causes harm.


orbister: machoprogrammer: Say what you want about America, but at least we have pretty damn good freedom of speech here. Despite a lot of peoples' efforts, you cannot be arrested for offending people here, thankfully.

On the other hand, we can post the N-word on websites without everybody getting into a fainting fit about it. Sure, it's deeply offensive, but what's the point of having freedom of speech if it doesn't cover deeply offensive stuff.



I don't know what you are talking about with that teacher getting in trouble for using the term Squaw but i doubt she was "disciplined" by the state.
the same goes for using the n-word on a website.

you seem to be unclear as to what the term "freedom of speech" means.
freedom of speech does not mean freedom from consequences.

For example, I am free to say "Burger King is better than McDonalds"
However if I work at McDonalds and say it at work, I might get fired.
That's not violating my freedom of speech.

Now if the police are waiting for me outside and arrest then my freedom of speech HAS been violated.
 
2012-10-09 07:26:17 AM

Pert: What you can't do is deliberately go out of your way to publish something deliberately that will, in all likelihood, cause huge emotional distress to a great many friends and family of a missing child and who are already gong through hell.


is that what he did, by posting his idiocy on his facebook wall?

nobody should be put in prison for making jokes we don't like
that's nonsense.

orbister made some vague and completely irrelevant to a teacher getting in trouble for using the term "squaw" to show that this sort of thing happens in America.

Perhaps a better example would have been THIS STORY about Jennifer Petkov, that asshole who harassed her neighbour's dying child over the internet and ended up getting herself arrested.

Freedom of speech isn't limitless - nobody is claiming that it is. But what this kid did should NOT have landed him in prison.

Also arrested for his own protection when 50 people circled his home? Seriously? I hope that was voluntary protective custody. Sounds to me like they should have arrested the mob.

Whatever way you slice it this is an egregious violation of liberty.
And like I said before, Freedom isn't always pretty - it's not government's responsibility, role or even right to make YOU a better person.

To clarify for any simpletons who might think that means i believe in anarchy or freedom to rape, steal or drive fast - what that means is simply your rights end where mine begin.

You do not have the right to violate someone else's rights.
So you have the right to not be raped or murdered which clearly means i don't have the right to commit rape or murder.

You do not have the right to not be offended by jokes on the internet or someone else's opinion on stuff.
 
2012-10-09 07:27:15 AM
vague and completely irrelevant reference to a teacher...

oops - i'm dumb. please don't lock me up
 
2012-10-09 01:32:54 PM

SkunkWerks: quietwalker: Think about it from this mindset: Your government locks down on speech, and you expect every other government to do so as well. Then someone in another country speaks badly about your religion, and they are NOT jailed! This means that country is EXPLICITLY supporting that viewpoint!

What a change from what we see as Americans

Not really. Not-banning-something is seen as the government being overtly complicit in America quite often too.

That said, given where this came from, this is not overly surprising to me.


I think of the difference in computer terms. In the US, freedom of speech means you can say anything, anytime, except there's a small blacklist (like shouting 'fire' in a theater). Everywhere else, freedom of speech is a whitelist: Everything is banned except what the government explicitly, with forethought and deliberation, allows. Those allowances are your 'freedom of speech'.

We really don't have problems with the government banning freedom of speech in the US. If that's the case, we wouldn't have to wait for the blues brothers to show up to get something done about those illinois nazis.
 
2012-10-09 03:14:55 PM

quietwalker: We really don't have problems with the government banning freedom of speech in the US.


Wasn't suggesting we did. But the complaint that the government not expressly forbidding something (lets say "gay marriage" or "abortion") makes it complicit in such activities is an all-too common rationale used by those whose agenda lies in those stagnant backwaters.

It's not really all that strange a concept to us.
 
pla
2012-10-09 07:57:30 PM
theMagni : He said, "What's the difference between [the guy who raped and murdered the kid]

Any particular reason why no one has said the actual joke yet, only a fill-in-the-blank version?

Or does the name "Mark Bridger" count as some sort of joke in its own right that I don't get? Like he actually works as the Queen Mother's wet-nurse or something like that, and has nothing to do with the missing kid?
 
2012-10-09 10:21:22 PM

pla: Any particular reason why no one has said the actual joke yet, only a fill-in-the-blank version?

Or does the name "Mark Bridger" count as some sort of joke in its own right that I don't get? Like he actually works as the Queen Mother's wet-nurse or something like that, and has nothing to do with the missing kid?


Because we might want to visit the UK some day, and we don't want to end up like that guy that insulted the King of Thailand and was jailed while visiting the country thirty years later for it.
 
2012-10-10 02:02:14 PM

Tatterdemalian: pla: Any particular reason why no one has said the actual joke yet, only a fill-in-the-blank version?

Or does the name "Mark Bridger" count as some sort of joke in its own right that I don't get? Like he actually works as the Queen Mother's wet-nurse or something like that, and has nothing to do with the missing kid?

Because we might want to visit the UK some day, and we don't want to end up like that guy that insulted the King of Thailand and was jailed while visiting the country thirty years later for it.


yeah....america is far from perfect, but it is because of the UK and crap like this that the US has its concept of freedom and liberty in the first place
 
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