Brad (braddotcom) wrote in lj_userdoc,

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FAQ on Indecency is legally wrong

This might sound nit-picky, but it is actually very important. In the FAQ on standards of decency, the answer refers to a Supreme Court Decision, widely known as the Miller case. The test listed in the FAQ answer purports to define "indecency." This is wrong.

The "Miller test" creates guidelines for defining obcenity, which is constitutionally unprotected speech (i.e. it can be banned). Pretty much anything else-- indecent or not-- is protected by the First Amendment to the Constitution. Of course, private parties such as LiveJournal can create whatever standards they want for themselves and their users. Nevertheless, the legal distinction between indecent speech and obscene speech is vital. "Miller" is completely irrelevant to LiveJournal's decency policy, and it is dangerous for everyone involved to mistake indecency for obscenity.

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