Originally Posted by Enkidu of Abydos
Too bad idiocy isn't illegal...
This might not be exactly true (your statement). I mean even though you have freedom of speech you still can't legally say for example : "Kill the damn Jews !" or something like that, because you're incouraging a violation of someone else's rights (to live). By the same principle calling for a ban on speaking about piracy is incouraging a violation of someone else's rights (to free speech) and should therefor be a crime (not saying the two are equal in magnitude of course).
This varies on a nation by nation basis. Here in the US, it is legal to say or print such things as "Kill [insert group here]" Heck, when it comes to discussing Middle East politics, 'turn (insert country here) into a parking lot!' is an oft-heard refrain. What crosses the line here are specific threats against specific targets, i.e. "Let's go burn down the Mosque on yonder hill!" or "Let's poison the perrier at the local Unitarian after service brunch!"
According to Richard Kolko of the FBI, "It's usually a First Amendment right if they don't cross the threshold of making threats... There's nothing we should or could do."
Read more: http://www.foxnews.com/story/0,2933,...#ixzz1iWGu7C4a
The above statement was in reference to a 'prayer' posted on an 'Islamic' (NOT!) website that asked God to rather vile things to Jewish people. As disgusting as such speech is, here in the US it is protected. And, frankly, I don't think that nations that have laws that forbid such speech have demonstrated themselves to be sufficiently racially harmonious to justify the existence of those laws. On the other hand, I think the laws regarding conspiracy and 'material support' of terrorism are strict enough in the US to have the effect of banning speech that would be legal in other countries (say the UK or Canada).
[Disclaimer: I love Muslims, Jews, and Unitarians and I am emphatically not advocating that anyone do any harm to members of any of these groups.]
[Mods: If this is too off-topic, I apologize, but I think it is proper to emphasize that what is and is not protected under a legal right to freedom of speech is highly variable both across nations and across topics.]