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  • Ranmaru
    +10

    Free speech means the government can't arrest you for what you say. It does however not mean that I can't throw you out of my house when you bloat hate speech. Reddit (or any internet community) is very much like private property. You're invited to the party as long as you follow the rules which are set up by the hosts/admins. If you don't, you'll be asked to leave. If that happens, your right to free speech isn't being violated.

    • KaliYugaz
      +4

      Oh, I was talking about free speech as a principle itself, and so were most of the armchair Reddit protestors. As a matter of government and legal policy, though, you're completely right.

    • Ranmaru
      +6
      @KaliYugaz -

      Generally, I think that everyone is entitled to whatever opinion they wish to hold, even if I don't support it or even hate it. But I don't think that every opinion has a place on every platform. Therefore I think that banning things you don't want on your message board is completely justified from an admin's point of view.

      If I don't like the policies of a message board as a user, I will leave and find myself another community, just as some users of the recently banned subreddits did with Voat. Reddit was very liberal with literally any kind of content for a very long time before they started removing things that didn't fit their "image." I guess people are pissed because they were allowed to have their playground for a while and then suddenly some admin threw them out. If they had rules from the beginning and, more importantly, enforced them from the beginning, the backlash would have certainly been less severe.

    • hallucigenia
      +2

      It sounds like you're talking about the First Amendment. The First Amendment protects your freedom of speech from the government, yes. Your freedom of speech in private spaces is up for grabs, though, and you have to defend it yourself, which is what the users were doing.

      I'm kind of on the fence about this one. You have a classic moral dilemma here: the users' right to free speech vs. the site owners' right to run their site as they see fit. Now, if it were something that was clearly illegal, and it would bring the law down on reddits' heads, then I'd be more sympathetic, but this is much more of a grey area. What reddit's leadership was alleging was that FPH were using the platform to coordinate harassment. FPH denies this.

      This would probably be less of an issue if it was a site like Facebook, where users don't expect to have free speech, but reddit has a tradition of allowing anything on their site, as long as it doesn't break the law. This is why users were upset: they felt like they'd been betrayed. I can't really blame them, and it does feel like a bad sign when communities start to get the axe, even when those communities are as odious as FPH.