BB appears to be attempting to differentiate between legitimate but offensive freedom of expression and deliberate bullying. I would be interested to see how you would differentiate between the two.
And I was juxtaposing two quotes which couldn’t be reconciled:
Mike Harris, Index on Censorship
“Free speech includes not only the inoffensive but the irritating, the contentious, the eccentric, the heretical, the unwelcome and the provocative provided it does not tend to provoke violence. Freedom only to speak inoffensively is not worth having.”
If someone sets out to be deliberately offensive to somebody else, and does so with the intention that it will cause them to feel harassed, alarmed or distressed by it, they deserve a fine to remind them that you can’t go round being a bigoted and/or offensive arse to people just because you feel like upsetting them.
So would you consider the use of the word “arse” to be bigoted, offensive, harassing, alarming or distressing? Because I know people who’d find it all of those. But in defense of free speech they can go to hell – and probably will.