free speech

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Game Developer Sues Online 'Harassers' for $18M

Digital Homicide founders say they've been stalked, harassed, and threatened online

(Newser) - Carping about a video game online to other players may be routine in the gaming world, but being sued by the game's developer isn't. But that's what may be in store for some online commenters who complained about Arizona's Digital Homicide Studios, a game-maker founded by... More »

Parents Furious After NC Teacher Tramples Flag

Lee Francis has been suspended; some want him fired

(Newser) - A history teacher says his lesson on free speech came with the unintended caveat that free speech isn't always guaranteed after it landed him a suspension. Students at Massey Hill Classical High School in Fayetteville, NC, say Lee Francis was discussing a court case that determined flag desecration was... More »

Sheriff Raids House to Find Online Critic

'If you're gonna lie about me ... I'm gonna come after you'

(Newser) - Jerry Larpenter, sheriff of Louisiana's Terrebonne Parish, appears to have launched a crackdown—on critics of Jerry Larpenter. The Intercept reports that six of Larpenter's deputies raided another police officer's home this week in a bid to find the author of the ExposeDAT blog, which calls itself... More »

Online Threats Against Cops Lead to Numerous Arrests

And that's bringing up free-speech concerns

(Newser) - People around the country are being arrested for anti-cop social media posts in the wake of last week's violence, and that's raising questions about the limits of free speech. A Connecticut man was charged with inciting injury when he called for the killing of police in a Facebook... More »

Man's Flag Burning Fires Up Internet, Gets Him Arrested

But it wasn't Bryton Mellott's free-speech exercise alone that brought the heat

(Newser) - In almost 30 years, the Urbana Police Department hasn't had to enforce a flag desecration statute on the books, but that changed Monday with the arrest of a 22-year-old Illinois man, Forbes reports. Bryton Mellott posted pictures on Facebook Sunday showing him burning the American flag (only one image... More »

Planned Parenthood Foe Sued for Being Too Loud

He's facing a restraining order and $5,000 fine

(Newser) - Maine's attorney general said Tuesday that she has sued a protester who she says yelled so loudly outside a Planned Parenthood facility that he disrupted health care services there. Janet Mills filed the complaint against Brian Ingalls, 26, under the state's civil rights act. Mills said he violated... More »

Judge: Hotel Sex Parties Are Not Free Speech

A hotel owner sued a Connecticut town and police force and lost

(Newser) - A small Connecticut community that Patch.com reports is ranked 31st in the state for its number of Ashley Madison users (more than 5%) is making the news again, this time for prevailing in a lawsuit brought on by the owner of a hotel that allegedly hosted sex parties visible... More »

Court: No, YouTube Didn't Have to Dump Anti-Muslim Flick

Actress wanted 'Innocence of Muslims' yanked after death threats

(Newser) - In a victory for free speech advocates, a federal appeals court says YouTube should not have been forced to take down an anti-Muslim film that sparked violence in the Middle East and death threats to actors. The 9th US Circuit Court of Appeals issued its ruling in favor of Google... More »

Let's Not Glorify Pamela Geller

Kathleen Parker: She isn't celebrating free speech, she's abusing it

(Newser) - Pamela Geller, the provocateur who organized the Muhammad cartoon contest that led to claims of the first ISIS attack on US soil, would have us believe that she's a stout defender of free speech. How sad the Founding Fathers must be, writes Kathleen Parker at the Washington Post . After... More »

Kansas Might Make It Easier to Prosecute Teachers

Educators may soon be on the hook for using 'harmful materials' in lesson plans

(Newser) - Kansas Democrats said they were caught "unprepared" by a discussion on a controversial bill, and now it's too late to make any amendments before it goes to a final vote. Senate Bill 56 would make it easier to prosecute teachers and school administrators in Kansas who use "... More »

2nd Shooting in Denmark: Now 1 Dead, 6 Wounded

Police haven't definitively linked them

(Newser) - Denmark is now investigating two shootings: First, a gunman opened fire on a Copenhagen cultural center, killing one man and wounding three police officers in what authorities called a terror attack against a free-speech event featuring an artist who had caricatured the Prophet Muhammad. After searching for the gunman for... More »

French Police Question Boy, 8, Over Terrorism Remarks

He wouldn't participate in moment of silence at school

(Newser) - Just how on edge is France after the Charlie Hebdo attack ? This might provide a clue: Police in Nice questioned an 8-year-old boy for a half-hour because he refused to take part in a moment of silence at his school and instead praised terrorists, reports AFP . “In the... More »

French Comic Arrested for 'Defending' Paris Terrorist

Dieudonne held for controversial Facebook post: cops

(Newser) - Dieudonne M'bala M'bala has been accused of hate speech by his government before. Now the controversial French comedian has been arrested for "defending terrorism" after a Facebook post in which he appeared to be sympathizing with the man who killed four people in a kosher supermarket and... More »

Teen Punished for Saying 'Bless You' in School: Report

School says Kendra Turner caused disruption

(Newser) - A high school senior in Tennessee says she was placed in in-school suspension because she said "bless you" after a fellow student's sneeze. Kendra Turner tells WMCTV her teacher told her that "bless you" is language for church. "She said that we're not going to... More »

Court to Town: No, You Can't Outlaw Criticism

Town of Ruidoso banned 'negative' comments about government

(Newser) - Imagine a world where people could say only nice things at your local town meeting—by law. If that world sounds just a wee bit problematic to you, you're on the same page as US District Judge James Browning, who yesterday struck down a rule that the village of... More »

Big Supreme Court Rulings Are Coming

Decisions due on TV, environmental rules

(Newser) - It's a big week for the Supreme Court, which wraps up its term next Monday. We'll be hearing from the justices on a number of key cases that have been argued since January, ranging from ObamaCare to free speech. USA Today outlines the highlights; this week's decisions... More »

Supreme Court OKs Challenge on Law Against Lying

Court also strikes down 'straw man' gun purchases

(Newser) - The Supreme Court ruled unanimously today that an anti-abortion group can challenge an Ohio law that bars people from making false statements about political candidates during a campaign. The high court said the Susan B. Anthony List does not have to wait until it is prosecuted under the law to... More »

Man Sues Cops After Arrest for Cursing

Says his right to free speech was violated

(Newser) - A western Pennsylvania man arrested for cursing in front of police has filed a lawsuit saying his right to free speech was violated. As the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette reports, Richard Pustovrh was arguing with his employers in September 2012 when they called the police. Pustovrh then repeatedly used an obscenity to... More »

High Court: IQ Test Alone Can't Decide Death Penalty

Plus: Justices favor Secret Service in free-speech ruling

(Newser) - The Supreme Court today ruled that states must look beyond an IQ score in borderline cases of mental disability to determine whether a death row inmate is eligible to be executed. The justices said in a 5-4 decision that Florida and a handful of other states cannot rely solely on... More »

Church Pulls 'Hell' Sign After Police Probe

Attleborough Baptist Church's sign was seen as 'hateful'

(Newser) - A Baptist church has agreed to take down a sign about hell after police investigated the message as a "hate incident," reports the Daily Mail . It all started when a passerby in Norfolk, England, complained about the sign, which suggested non-Christians would burn in hell, showing flames below... More »

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