Without freedom of thought, there can be no such thing as wisdom, and no such thing as public liberty without freedom of speech, which is the right of every man, as far as by it, he does not hurt or control the right of another. And this is the only check it ought to suffer, and the only bounds it ought to know.
– Benjamin Franklin
RightForge exists because it is committed to protecting Americans’ sacred rights to freedom of expression and other fundamental liberties set out in the Declaration of Independence and the Bill of Rights. These freedoms require an internet that is truly open, unlike much of the modern online environment that is under threat from large corporate entities acting not to further traditional American liberty but to promote radical and restrictive ideologies. RightForge provides infrastructure for that free and open internet.
These community Policies embody the simple notion of freedom of expression. Unless content stored on or distributed through a RightForge system reasonably appears to be unlawful — evaluated in terms of how courts of competent jurisdiction have applied constitutional principles — the content will be acceptable under these Policies. Viewed in the light of this notion, certain categories of content are clearly out of place on RightForge systems. Content that does any of the following violates RightForge Policies:
- Promotes violence: The First Amendment creates a wide swath for free speech. But speech that is directed to inciting or producing imminent lawless action and is likely to incite or produce such action is not protected by the First Amendment, nor should such speech expect to find a home with RightForge.
- Infringes intellectual property rights: Intellectual property rights are fundamental rights hardwired into the constitution and recognized as critical instruments for the promotion of science and creativity. Content that infringes or misappropriates intellectual property rights runs afoul of these RightForge Policies.
- Defames another: Statements about an individual that are false and that harm the reputation of that individual are not constitutionally protected. Defamatory content violates these Policies.
- Facilitates human trafficking or illegal sex work: Content that helps the trafficking of human beings as commodities, or that serves to enable other sorts of exploitative activities are contrary to the principles of individual liberty that guide RightForge.
- Enables the sale of illegal goods: RightForge systems should not be used as a marketplace for the buying and selling of goods that would otherwise be illegal in the jurisdictions where the parties to the transaction reside.
- Inflicts psychological harm or invades privacy: Certain content has the ability to wrongfully inflict devastating harm on others, and is not welcome on any RightForge system. This includes revenge porn and other content that is intended primarily to injure another.
- Distributes harmful software: Federal laws such as the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act serve to protect the private property interests of individuals and companies who engage in commerce and communications online. Using a RightForge system to distribute technology that is destructive of these interests violates these Policies
- Doxes another person: Americans enjoy a First Amendment right to speak anonymously, particularly on matters of political or other societal concern. RightForge will not aid any efforts to impede the exercise of this important right by permitting use of intimidating tactics to publicly identify individuals who wish to speak anonymously.
- Involves phishing, spamming or other unwanted or fraudulent communications: These types of actions and communications are not protected by any free speech interest and only serve to detract from meaningful participation in the marketplace of ideas.
RightForge welcomes discussion about these Policies. Please feel free to send us an email at email@example.com
Last updated: April 7th, 2021.