[MUD-Dev] Re: Censorship

Shawn Halpenny malachai at iname.com
Fri Apr 30 11:17:49 CEST 1999

[ formatting recovered -sh ]

On Thu, Apr 29, 1999 at 11:00:27AM -0700, Matthew Mihaly wrote:
> On Thu, 29 Apr 1999, Ben Greear wrote:
> > Greg Munt wrote:
> > > 
> > > or disruption to your game.  I'm aware of some people who have
> > > been led to challenging the managers of the game, because they
> > > are insulted by the removal of their freedom of speech.  (Not to
> > > mention the fact that people get annoyed at censorship of their
> > > comments about cats.)
> > 
> > I'm not too concerned about any legal ramifications.  I mean, if
> > you go to the local bar and start yelling obscenities at
> > strangers, I should hope that they throw you out on your arse.
> I'm not a fan of censorship, but freedom of speech issues don't come
> into play here in legal terms.  Just as in my house I can toss you
> out for whatever I want, in my game, I can toss you out for whatever
> I want, or gag you in whatever way I want.  Players don't own their
> characters, the owners of the game do, and whatever they choose to
> do to that character is up to them (I'm speaking of free games here. 
> A pay game would probably be considered a bit differently in terms
> of character ownership, but not in terms of the freedom of speech
> issue).

[borderline OT -- not a reply in the true sense of the word, but applicable ]

The concept of freedom of speech is all too often bent to support any
person's argument when defending statements that person has made.

I think what has been lost is that the First Amendment was originally
instituted to protect the right of citizens to openly criticize their
government without fear of persecution.  Yelling obscenities in a
roomful of strangers is not protected by the First Amendment, contrary
to the protests that go on after you silence a player guilty of such.

I'm not claiming to be a legal expert on this.  A decent (IMO), short
examination of what the First Amendment is about can be found here:


While not a legal document, it does state the base principles and
might be a useful pointer to have under one's belt if such issues come

Shawn Halpenny |        Maniacal at I Ache, Ohm    |  "Universal Danger!"
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