The First Amendment does not protect you from:
- Criticism: If you’re a comedian who makes a bad rape joke, people are allowed to point out that you’re not funny as well as an asshole.
- Shame: If you tweet something racist about President Obama on your public Twitter account that’s connected to your first and last name, people are allowed to say that is bad.
- The Right to Anonymity: If you take creepy photos of women without their consent and post them on Reddit, people are allowed to try and figure out who you are and post your information on the internet. No one is entitled to anonymity. It’s up to you whether to make it easy for people to find you.
- Mockery: If you put yourself out there that means your peers (and news outlets) have the right to LOL and comment.
- Consequences: If you publicly express yourself in a manner that is offensive, hurtful, or just plain dumb, strangers might contact your friends/family/school/employer and tell them what you did. That is not infringing on your right to free speech; it’s pointing out how you choose to exercise that right. Like the rest of the federal constitution, the First Amendment protects us from the government, not from private companies, which may be able to fire or otherwise punish you for stuff you say, even if it’s outside of work. The laws protecting the free speech of private employees vary from state to state, aside from specifically protected speech like labor organizing. Here are some guidelines for public employees and students.
Yep. Free speech doesn’t mean you are free to be an asshole with no consequence. If you dish it out, be prepared to take it.