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  1. #1

    Default Is It Illegal in the U.S. to Be a "Conspiracy Theorist" Nowadays

    My question involves civil rights in the State of: Federal law

    I recently read an article that says that the FBI has recently come to consider fringe "conspiracy theories" as "domestic terrorism". What exactly does this mean for people who discuss such theories about the government? I'm honestly a bit confused. Because the same article says that according to the Brandenburg vs. Ohio case, unless the speech contains threats or is "directed at inciting or producing imminent lawless action" and "likely to produce and incite such action". And that such speech must be intending to incite violence. However, the same article said that the FBI has labeled these "fringe conspiracy theories" as a form of "domestic terrorism". So, I am a bit confused.

    What if the wacky conspiracy theory does not contain any threats or speech that's clearly intended to incite violence. For instance, if someone were to post some lunatic theory about the government being secretly run by Illuminati shapeshifting lizards from space nowadays, would such a post now end up on the FBI's radar? Or are they only referring to an individual who uses speech that is clearly intended to incite violence? Also, what about people who discuss common conspiracy theories, such as the fluoride in the water being a conspiracy, anti-vaxxers, the moon landing was faked crowd, UFO buffs, etc.

    Would these individuals be subject to scrutiny by the FBI? Because if so, it seems like such a high proportion of the population would be someone who they were keeping an eye on and/or subject to legal action. I literally read a study that said that 11% of millennials think the moon landing was fake. Does this change mean that people discussing such things are now having the FBI "keep an eye on them". In a way, it seems almost hard to believe. I mean it almost seems like they wouldn't have the time to starting reading through wacky internet posts on conspiracy theories.

    And if FBI agents started browsing through the idiocy spouted by random anti-vaxxers, 9/11 "truthers", Illuminati theorists, chemtrail "researchers", etc., it seems like that would be taking time away from working on actual cases. And actual leads on cases. Because there's a lot of ****ed up shit that goes on in this world. And a lot of truly evil people out there. It doesn't seem like the FBI would have the time on their hands to start scrutinizing the chemtrail idiots, anti-vaxxers, and all the morons who spout nonsense and utter bullshit about this sort of crap. Here's a link to the article I read:

    https://psmag.com/social-justice/is-...otected-speech

  2. #2
    Join Date
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    Default Re: Is It Illegal in the U.S. to Be a "Conspiracy Theorist" Nowadays

    This is not the place for "silly season" discussions. Go sign up at City Data's site. People talk about this stuff all the time, often incessantly.

  3. #3
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    Default Re: Is It Illegal in the U.S. to Be a "Conspiracy Theorist" Nowadays

    Quote Quoting Steve418
    View Post
    My question involves civil rights in the State of: Federal law

    I recently read an article that says that the FBI has recently come to consider fringe "conspiracy theories" as "domestic terrorism". What exactly does this mean for people who discuss such theories about the government? I'm honestly a bit confused. Because the same article says that according to the Brandenburg vs. Ohio case, unless the speech contains threats or is "directed at inciting or producing imminent lawless action" and "likely to produce and incite such action". And that such speech must be intending to incite violence. However, the same article said that the FBI has labeled these "fringe conspiracy theories" as a form of "domestic terrorism". So, I am a bit confused.

    What if the wacky conspiracy theory does not contain any threats or speech that's clearly intended to incite violence. For instance, if someone were to post some lunatic theory about the government being secretly run by Illuminati shapeshifting lizards from space nowadays, would such a post now end up on the FBI's radar? Or are they only referring to an individual who uses speech that is clearly intended to incite violence? Also, what about people who discuss common conspiracy theories, such as the fluoride in the water being a conspiracy, anti-vaxxers, the moon landing was faked crowd, UFO buffs, etc.

    Would these individuals be subject to scrutiny by the FBI? Because if so, it seems like such a high proportion of the population would be someone who they were keeping an eye on and/or subject to legal action. I literally read a study that said that 11% of millennials think the moon landing was fake. Does this change mean that people discussing such things are now having the FBI "keep an eye on them". In a way, it seems almost hard to believe. I mean it almost seems like they wouldn't have the time to starting reading through wacky internet posts on conspiracy theories.

    And if FBI agents started browsing through the idiocy spouted by random anti-vaxxers, 9/11 "truthers", Illuminati theorists, chemtrail "researchers", etc., it seems like that would be taking time away from working on actual cases. And actual leads on cases. Because there's a lot of ****ed up shit that goes on in this world. And a lot of truly evil people out there. It doesn't seem like the FBI would have the time on their hands to start scrutinizing the chemtrail idiots, anti-vaxxers, and all the morons who spout nonsense and utter bullshit about this sort of crap. Here's a link to the article I read:

    https://psmag.com/social-justice/is-...otected-speech
    I am going to give you a different answer than the other one...

    If someone spouting off fringe lunacy incites other people to break the law based on those fringe theories, then that can be considered to be domestic terrorism.

    That is the problem, that people break the law based on those fringe theories and the person inciting them to break the law needs to be held accountable for it.

  4. #4
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    Default Re: Is It Illegal in the U.S. to Be a "Conspiracy Theorist" Nowadays

    Quote Quoting llworking
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    That is the problem, that people break the law based on those fringe theories and the person inciting them to break the law needs to be held accountable for it.
    Simply spouting off some wacky conspiracy theory is not a crime. Even if some nut case goes off and commits some violent act based on that wacky theory. It would be a different matter if the person with the wacky theory was actually inciting others to immediate violence in addition to simply spouting the theory. Just stating the conspiracy theory itself though cannot be a crime. Making that a crime would violate the First Amendment.

  5. #5
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    Default Re: Is It Illegal in the U.S. to Be a "Conspiracy Theorist" Nowadays

    Quote Quoting Taxing Matters
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    Simply spouting off some wacky conspiracy theory is not a crime. Even if some nut case goes off and commits some violent act based on that wacky theory. It would be a different matter if the person with the wacky theory was actually inciting others to immediate violence in addition to simply spouting the theory. Just stating the conspiracy theory itself though cannot be a crime. Making that a crime would violate the First Amendment.
    My wording was obviously poor but I was specifically talking about inciting someone to violence, not just spouting wacky theories. Also, some of them do actually teach people to break the law, deliberately.

  6. #6
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    Default Re: Is It Illegal in the U.S. to Be a "Conspiracy Theorist" Nowadays

    Quote Quoting Steve418
    View Post
    My question involves civil rights in the State of: Federal law

    I recently read an article that says that the FBI has recently come to consider fringe "conspiracy theories" as "domestic terrorism". What exactly does this mean for people who discuss such theories about the government? I'm honestly a bit confused. Because the same article says that according to the Brandenburg vs. Ohio case, unless the speech contains threats or is "directed at inciting or producing imminent lawless action" and "likely to produce and incite such action". And that such speech must be intending to incite violence. However, the same article said that the FBI has labeled these "fringe conspiracy theories" as a form of "domestic terrorism". So, I am a bit confused.

    What if the wacky conspiracy theory does not contain any threats or speech that's clearly intended to incite violence. For instance, if someone were to post some lunatic theory about the government being secretly run by Illuminati shapeshifting lizards from space nowadays, would such a post now end up on the FBI's radar? Or are they only referring to an individual who uses speech that is clearly intended to incite violence? Also, what about people who discuss common conspiracy theories, such as the fluoride in the water being a conspiracy, anti-vaxxers, the moon landing was faked crowd, UFO buffs, etc.

    Would these individuals be subject to scrutiny by the FBI? Because if so, it seems like such a high proportion of the population would be someone who they were keeping an eye on and/or subject to legal action. I literally read a study that said that 11% of millennials think the moon landing was fake. Does this change mean that people discussing such things are now having the FBI "keep an eye on them". In a way, it seems almost hard to believe. I mean it almost seems like they wouldn't have the time to starting reading through wacky internet posts on conspiracy theories.

    And if FBI agents started browsing through the idiocy spouted by random anti-vaxxers, 9/11 "truthers", Illuminati theorists, chemtrail "researchers", etc., it seems like that would be taking time away from working on actual cases. And actual leads on cases. Because there's a lot of ****ed up shit that goes on in this world. And a lot of truly evil people out there. It doesn't seem like the FBI would have the time on their hands to start scrutinizing the chemtrail idiots, anti-vaxxers, and all the morons who spout nonsense and utter bullshit about this sort of crap. Here's a link to the article I read:

    https://psmag.com/social-justice/is-...otected-speech
    Sounds like a wacky conspiracy theory.
    "Where do those stairs go?"
    "They go up!"

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