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Resolved: The benefits of First Amendment protection of anonymous speech outweigh the harms.

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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 5/15/2015 Category: Philosophy
Updated: 1 year ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 3,468 times Debate No: 75350
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I stand in strong affirmation of the resolution Resolved: The benefits of First Amendment protection of anonymous speech outweigh the harms.

Firstly, We should have our say in issues that concern us, and along with that, we deserve to be anonymous when saying such things. As Americans, we should stress the fact that we are a free area, free of utter control over us, having the benefit of being able to speak your mind without having your identity shown is simply put: a necessity. For the same reason, many are angry at the NSA for breaking our privacy and viewing our personal email, at least, that's what we think they are doing. Why are we mad? because we know, as Americans, we have the right to privacy. We should be aloud to say what we want, where we want, when we want, without going to jail for it. This is one of the main reasons America is viewed as a great place to be, because as long as we don't kill anyone, life is pretty good.

(Anyone accept this debate?)


Thank you for making this debate possible; I accept the challenge. Before getting into refutations and the negative contention, I would like to start out by defining the words in the resolution and providing a judging calculus for the audience.
Benefits: The advantages of implementing this resolution
First Amendment: The first amendment of the US constitution that states, "Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the government for a redress of grievances."
Protection of anonymous speech: A legal measure intended to protect verbal or written down communication without an author.
outweigh the harms: Are greater than the negatives presented

Framework: "benefits" implies a net benefits framework. In addition, the judges should value short term impacts because anything long term is speculative, and short term impacts are the best way to pragmatically see how this will effect society.

1st: Regarding your first point about "deserv[ing] to be anonymous," the neg isn't saying that people can't speak, we're saying that their needs to be a recourse in order to encourage people not to say hurtful things and find the people that say the rude things.
2nd: Regarding your free point, we don't live in a state of anarchy without rules. We live by a set of laws that govern us and keep our freedoms in check. A freedom that opens the door for increased hate speech and lead to human suffering is unjust. An unjust freedom shouldn't count as a freedom and thus, shouldn't be weighted.
3rd: Speaking about the NSA point, that is speech where the people were identified, and so it isn't topical because we are discussing "anonymous" protection. Don't weigh this red herring in the round.
4th: Regarding your right to privacy argument, American's only deserve privacy if they claim ownership over it because it dissuades people from making brash statements and reduces hate speech.

Neg Contentions:
1st Contention: It's a net benefit to limit protections of anonymous speech because it reduces hate speech.

As the Privacy Association finds, "anonymity means that people can say and publish things that are hurtful and hateful without being identified. It is frequently the anonymous, careless, offhanded comment or posting filled with slurs and invective that adds to online hate. Odds are that if people knew they would be identified with their thoughtless slurs, they would not publish them (1)."
Analysis: If people know their actions are going to be identified, they are less likely to post them. This allows less rude and thoughtless speech to effect innocent civilians.

In addition, as the No Hate Speech Movement explains, "At [an] individual level, hate crime discriminates individuals and strips them of their dignity. At group level, hate crimes have the potential to reverberate among followers of the perpetrator, spark discrimination and spread fear and intimidation. At society level, hate crime jeopardises everyone"s human rights (2)."
Analysis: Hate crime has negative effects on human beings that jeopardize confidence, dignity, and human rights.

Impacts: There is one unique impact off of this. First, people are more likely to commit the crime due to impunity, which means more people are likely to be afflicted. This shows that more people lose confidence, dignity, and human rights.

Conclusion: With more and more people relying on social media and the internet to communicate and gather information, it is imperative that we put into place some type of safeguard to prevent people from using the Internet's cloak of anonymity to bully our children and make false accusations against local businesses and elected officials.

Debate Round No. 1


NGEpical forfeited this round.


austinpt7 forfeited this round.
Debate Round No. 2
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