Should 'being openly offended in a public place' be made illegal?

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  • Should 'being openly offended in a public place' be made illegal?
  • Steelfreak

    …in the interests of preserving free speech and the honest and open exchange of opinions?

    Premier Icon wwaswas

    so I can honestly give my opinion as long as that opinion isn’t ‘I’m offended’?

    Premier Icon Woody

    TBH I don’t really understand the question……………………..

    *reports post*


    What about taking offence by proxy?

    I expect a lot of folk on here would fall foul of that if they ever left their rooms

    Premier Icon aracer

    Is being offended in the privacy of your own home still allowed?


    What’s wrong with being sexy?


    Im sure you’re making some point here, but i’m buggered if I know what it is? You’ll have to be a bit less subtle for me i’m afraid.


    Think he might be having a dig at S.5 of the public order act.


    Seems as if there are a lot of proffesional easily offended peeps out there, that offended by most thingss if it get them attention.


    Not really making any particular point, just interested in peoples’ views about where the balance lies between the free expression of opinions and the need to avoid ‘causing offence’. (I’m talking about genuine opinions, not deliberate and direct personal insults intended to cause offence.)


    In Scotland, the type of behaviour you seem to be talking about would likely fall under a breach of the peace type thing … there are now a couple of variations of it, the common law one being the original … which is summarised pretty well below from a web page:


    Breach of the Peace
    Source: Common law

    Offence: When one or more persons conduct themselves in a riotous, or disorderly manner, anywhere, which alarms, annoys or disturbs the lieges (other people).

    Arrest: Common law powers of arrest.

    This offence can take place anywhere i.e. a house, a public street or a private office.

    Riotous: There is normally an element of noise, or ‘rowdiness’ or ‘brawling’ which is clearly causing concern to other members of the public e.g. swearing, challenging people to fight.

    Disorderly: There is a more subtle element. The behaviour doesn’t have to be noisy but still of a nature that would cause concern to other people. Examples include: ‘Peeping Tom’ type behaviour, persistently following someone, delivering ‘threatening’ letters and ‘streaking’ or ‘mooning’.

    To prove a Breach of the Peace the most important things to prove is that someone was Alarmed, Annoyed or Disturbed by the incident.


    So if being openly offended in public cause other people to be alarmed by it, then it would be an crime.

    In terms of causing offence aspect, probably the first line that gets crossed with the lowest level of intent would be racial type comments. To be classed as a racial incident, if its perceived by anyone to be a racist comment, then its considered one.

    A is talking to B and using free expression and words that neither A or B consider racist. C hears it, and C considers it to be racist. Even though C may have nothing to do with A and B’s discussion, its still considered a racial incident because of C.

    You can see how that would be an easy line to cross.


    Such people often seem to get very offended on behalf of other groups of people to whom they are not connected in any way, and said groups couldn’t give a toss one way or another.

Viewing 13 posts - 1 through 13 (of 13 total)

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