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  • Is Freedom of Speech in Canada on Trial in Ontario Case?

    http://www.nationalpost.com/m/wp/blo...or-free-speech

    Is anyone following this and think that it is both crazy and scary?

    The guy is being charged because he had an online discussion via Twitter. The accuser claims she felt threatened by the conversation. The investigating officer testified that the guy never did or said anything of threatening nature but that's not what's on trial. If I'm understanding this correctly, what's on trial is the accuser's feelings.

    Online discussions that do not include clear threats should not be considered threatening. I mean if they win then pretty much anyone you disagree with online could conceivably take you to court crying foul; you threatened them based on their interpretation of the events.

    Sent from my Note 3 using Tapatalk

  • #2
    if the cops say no foul, odds are the justices will too. they have a pretty good understanding of the law.

    i don't think this is a free speech issue though. more like a cyber harassment issue.

    i would counter sue that her misinterpretations are threatening in nature and i felt for my safety when i thought about prison and how i never thought about that until she misinterpreted me. this can go on and on forever like a tv with a tv in it playing the same show etc.

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    • #3
      Miekenstien wrote: View Post
      i would counter sue that her misinterpretations are threatening in nature and i felt for my safety when i thought about prison and how i never thought about that until she misinterpreted me. this can go on and on forever like a tv with a tv in it playing the same show etc.
      If he wins he should sue for damages at least.

      And I do think it's a freedom of speech deal. Here's a scenario for you, a politician in your riding is doing something opportunistic and against the people's best interests. You launch an aggressive Twitter campaign to generate awareness and hopefully build enough pressure to get this politician to change his mind. Only instead of scoring a political victory you score a date in court because this politician now feels "threatened" by your protest. Let's say he wins even though you didn't actually threaten him and you go to jail because of the previously set precedent. You go to jail because of your political views that you shared over Twitter. Do you feel free to express yourself then?

      This hypothetical scenario is essentially the same thing that's going on in this case, though instead of it being private citizen vs. private citizen, its politician vs. private citizen and the implications are far more serious.

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      • #4
        Apollo wrote: View Post
        This hypothetical scenario is essentially the same thing that's going on in this case, though instead of it being private citizen vs. private citizen, its politician vs. private citizen and the implications are far more serious.
        i agree with this but that is an extreme of what is happening here and that politician would pretty much be destroying his career. if this was citizen vs state then it could be seen as a free speech issue but it isn't. people are allowed to bring frivolous suits at each other and let the courts handle them. if he was convicted we could argue free speech but as it stands it is a crazy woman who has no case and is probably going to try and get some money.

        i don't disagree that it could become a free speech issue but i think the thread title is a bit sensationalized

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        • #5
          It all comes down to interpretation. I'm looking at the big picture if the judge rules in her favour; what is suddenly possible and impossible, you know?

          No doubt that scenario would be political suicide but self serving people have and will obtain office and so you never can rule anything out.

          I guess what I'm getting at is when a precedent is set to protect one person or group it sometimes has unfortunate consequences to many others. I think you should be free to express yourself as long as you're not threatening or endangering anyone (ie: I may not like or agree with what someone says to me and I do not support what they say but I do support their right to say it). In this case clearly no one was threatened or endangered. Both sides should have the right to publicly disagree.

          And you're right that the courts will probably rule on this correctly. Whichever way the ruling plays out an important precedent will be set in Canada.

          EDIT: Just for you I slightly changed the title. It's no longer a statement and is now a question. It better reflects the content of the thread because there is no definitive answer in here, just a harmless, nonthreatening discussion.

          Sent from my Note 3 using Tapatalk

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          • #6
            I just read over this, and I think you're really freaking out over nothing, Apollo.

            I can't imagine any sane judge/jury ruling in the women's favour. I honestly think this guy has a bigger case to pursue a civil suit in response.

            I hate these kinds of "activists". These two women seem like complete self-important nutcases with no sense of how to properly engage in their feminist activism. The kind of "shaming" they've tried to engage in first with that game developer, then with this dude for his response to them, is one of the worst kinds of online harassment.

            Activism is supposed to be about changing minds, not attacking/silencing/marginalizing them.

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            • #7
              Come on man, I'm not freaking out. I didn't drop a single exclamation point in the whole thread!

              What I have done is create a thread about something I find interesting unfolding in Ontario. This crazy case is going to set a precedent going forward and so it is of importance and people who like how things currently are on the Internet should care about this case.

              white men can't jump wrote: View Post
              I hate these kinds of "activists". These two women seem like complete self-important nutcases with no sense of how to properly engage in their feminist activism. The kind of "shaming" they've tried to engage in first with that game developer, then with this dude for his response to them, is one of the worst kinds of online harassment.

              Activism is supposed to be about changing minds, not attacking/silencing/marginalizing them.
              I personally think activism should be about enlightening people so that they might come to a new conclusion on their own. Maybe they view this case as any publicity is good publicity?

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              • #8
                I would be blown away if the judge rules in favour of these women. The fact our tax dollars are even paying for this trial to happen is a farce.

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                • #9
                  Apollo wrote: View Post
                  Come on man, I'm not freaking out. I didn't drop a single exclamation point in the whole thread!

                  What I have done is create a thread about something I find interesting unfolding in Ontario. This crazy case is going to set a precedent going forward and so it is of importance and people who like how things currently are on the Internet should care about this.
                  It likely won't set any kind of precedent. There isn't enough "legal" stuff going on. It's two women pissed off at a way a guy communicated with them...without really harassing them in any way.....and trying to get legal action where there's really none to take.

                  Making a thread about it kind of is "freaking out" to me because it really doesn't seem like there's any substance to this case at all. :P

                  I understand why you care about it in principle...but it should be a non-story. It shouldn't really be getting media attention.

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                  • #10
                    Apollo wrote: View Post
                    Come on man, I'm not freaking out. I didn't drop a single exclamation point in the whole thread!

                    What I have done is create a thread about something I find interesting unfolding in Ontario. This crazy case is going to set a precedent going forward and so it is of importance and people who like how things currently are on the Internet should care about this case.



                    I personally think activism should be about enlightening people so that they might come to a new conclusion on their own. Maybe they view this case as any publicity is good publicity?
                    Then they need a new media consultant...or publicist...or whoever gives them advice about the public profile side of their endeavors. I can't see this doing anything but creating negative backlash for them. You can't enlighten people if they view you as an unenlightened bully looking for a fight, because that's frankly how their behavior looks. That kind of attitude may get you in the papers, but as an activist, lands you firmly on the wrong end of the spectrum in terms of "voice worth listening to".

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                    • #11
                      It's definitely the dog days of summer though, when this story becomes more interesting to talk about than anything in the other threads. Sigh...

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                      • #12
                        Harrasment is not a "freedom of speech" issue. I applaud Steph Guthrie and other women who are standing up against online harrasment and bullying, which is a huge and growing social problem that needs to be addressed, and my allegence is with them.

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                        • #13
                          white men can't jump wrote: View Post
                          It's definitely the dog days of summer though, when this story becomes more interesting to talk about than anything in the other threads. Sigh...

                          Just for you.


                          Quirk wrote: View Post
                          Harrasment is not a "freedom of speech" issue. I applaud Steph Guthrie and other women who are standing up against online harrasment and bullying, which is a huge and growing social problem that needs to be addressed, and my allegence is with them.
                          You must know more about this case than me; just heard about it early this morning. Can you explain to us how were they threatened?


                          I don't think anyone in here supports harassment or bullying. Those are both clearly threatening in nature.

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                          • #14
                            Quirk wrote: View Post
                            Harrasment is not a "freedom of speech" issue. I applaud Steph Guthrie and other women who are standing up against online harrasment and bullying, which is a huge and growing social problem that needs to be addressed, and my allegence is with them.
                            Even though they're actively trying to engage in the kind of bullying and harassment that they claim to be fighting? I'd never defend that game developer's actions in making that game, but trying to shame him and ruin his life through online action is hardly the best way to go about tackling the issue. And then trying to engage in similar actions with the guy who criticizes them, eventually leading to legal action (seemingly without a legal leg to stand on) is pretty bad too.

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                            • #15
                              yes please quirk, because i didn't see any of that. if we bring this back to free speech then using their money and convincing others as well to not buy is better. seems they are trying to get the most attention on themselves here and it is costing tax payers for their protesting.

                              much better ways to fight for your views in my opinion
                              Last edited by Miekenstien; Thu Jul 16th, 2015, 10:54 AM.

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