Some posts or videos may be considered racist or offensive, or they may just be parodying racist people (https://rationalwiki.org/wiki/Poe%27s_Law)

What are the philosophical thoughts that proposes a framework to judge (legally, morally or ethically) an act when intent (over that specific act) is impossible to judge?

Clarification about: "legally, morally or ethically": I added this to enforce the idea that I am not only interested if somebody should go to jail (or even be sued). Whenever somebody commits an act, we run an internal judgement. In despite of a video or post being legal or not, I want to know, eg, if I should allow myself to laugh, or share, or like such a post, in practice. What I think is probably nobody's business, but, I still want to know it myself -- can you understand that, I can keep on avoiding forever a decision, but the question remains? So this is why I added, beyond "legally", "morally". "Ethically" was added simply to avoid having to determine "ethical" vs "moral", and potentially diverging the discussion from the actual question (consider that I agree to you whatever you think about it).

  • I won't touch morally or ethically, but legally: if you believe in free speech, you can't generally harm people for what they're saying, regardless of whether they're serious or joking.
    – user935
    Mar 24 '18 at 14:48
  • 1
    Do 'morally' and 'ethically' have separate senses, so that the moral is not necessarily the ethical and vice versa? Also legal frameworks differ across jurisdictions, as presumably do their philosophical foundations.
    – Geoffrey Thomas
    Mar 24 '18 at 16:45
  • @barrycarter: "you can't generally harm people for what they're saying" => so, for instance, you don't agree that bullying is harmful?
    – ribamar
    Mar 25 '18 at 9:04
  • @GeoffreyThomas: I added a clarification. I would be happy if you could start with how is it done in one random jurisdiction of your choice =)
    – ribamar
    Mar 25 '18 at 9:06
  • @ribamar I cheated by using the word "generally" and saying "if you believe in free speech" :) Personally, I believe assault, fraud, and libel should be illegal despite being forms of free speech, but that "bullying" is too vague. In particular, telling someone they're ugly (or genetically inferior or should be wiped out collectively, etc) is harmful, but I don't believe it should be illegal. As long as you're saying and meaning "should", I don't see it reasonably being illegal (ie, "in my perfect world, there would be no X" isn't a threat/assault against all X).
    – user935
    Mar 25 '18 at 17:34

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