Hey all. Freedom of speech and its relation to the running of this site comes up every now and again and the site moderators decided it was something we should have a response to. I volunteered to respond since Iím pretty well versed in the subject having just finished a teaching a college course titled, Freedom of Speech and Censorship. Is speech protected by the First Amendment? Yes. Does this mean anyone can say anything at anytime? No. Iím going to use freedom of speech in concerns to universities since that is my primary focus and I can explain it best. Numerous public universities and colleges have attempted to enforce Speech Codes in America and the Supreme Court has shot down every single one. If someone wants to espouse hatred and racism they can under the protection of the First Amendment. All speech is protected. However, this does not apply to private universities. The university property is under private ownership and the private university can set whatever Speech Code they deem necessary. This is something that someone attending a private university must accept. The Supreme Court has also backed this up on numerous occasions. The same applies here at Penciljack. As a privately owned and operated site, any form of speech regulation is well within the rights of the proprietors. Not only is it within their rights, but also it is in no way legally an impingement on oneís right to freedom of speech anyway. If someone wants to express themselves in a way that is not permitted on this board, they can start their own board, go to a different board, print a flyer and hand it out downtown, wear it on a shirt, sing it as they walk down the street, etc. A newspaper does not have to run someoneís article because they claim freedom of speech, as a privately owned entity they have full editorial control. The author of said article can still distribute it on their own, thus fulfilling their right to expression. If the government says that the article cannot be published or distributed in any way, shape, or form, this is an impingement the personís First Amendment rights.
As a person who voluntarily participates in the activities here at Penciljack, we are all accepting the rules and regulations of the site. If one does not agree with these rules and regulations, there are a number of other sites on which they should feel free to express themselves at. But here at PJ, our focus is to create a healthy environment for the furthering of all things comics.