News: Null-Byte and Freedom of Speech

Null-Byte and Freedom of Speech

hello fellow hackers. lately, a certain topic has caught my attention, and that is the relation between null-byte and freedom of speech. because of recent conflicts also, i thought i would write an article on freedom of speech, and how it is applied here on null byte. in the hope that newcomers may better understand the concept of freedom of speech.

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Freedom of Speech Has Rules

Null Byte has it's rules. though null byte is freedom of speech-friendly, there are still some rules you need to obey. one of the most important rules is how we treat newcomers.

one thing that is hated across null byte is belittling newcomers. you see, we all started somewhere. now think, how would you feel if you joined a community, asked a question about the subject of hacking, and get belittled because you are new to the entire subject? yes, it is not funny indeed.

so how does this apply to freedom of speech on null-byte? well, freedom of speech has it's rules, just like null byte has rules.

you see, if you are a racist, you are free to say your opinion, but you are not allowed by the law to shoot someone because he is black, white, or asian.

and it is the same on Null-Byte! if you don't like someone or you think someone asked a noobish question that shouldnt've been asked, you are free to think and say that! but please, bring your opinion accross in a civil manner. and don't go insulting people or any other form of assault.

Freedom of Speech Has Responsibilities

besides rules, freedom of speech comes with responsibilities also. you can say what you want, but be prepared to take responsibilities for what you said.

what do i mean by this? what i mean by this is that you will encounter people on here who disagree with you. let's take it for example in real life again:

you may be a socialist on political views, but remember that not everyone is. there are capitalists, nationalists, liberalists, etc...

the same applies to Null-Byte. if you think OTW is a bad admin, that is fine. but be prepared that there are people who will disagree with that, and who will say OTW is the best admin ever. if you think my C/C++ series is bad, you are free to think and say that. but be prepared that there will be people who disagree with you and think that my series is fantastic.

furthermore, you are allowed to convince them of your opinion, but you are not allowed to force them. they too have the right of freedom of speech.

Some Other Points to Take in Mind

Here on Null-Byte, you are allowed to say what you think. but please, keep it civilized. if you do not agree with a post, don't just shout "OMFG HOW DARE YOU SAY THIS YOU ARE A HORRIBLE PERSON YOU SHOULD HANG YOURSELF!!!", but try to bring your opinion over in a civilized manner.

Others are also free to say what they want. this is important. you are free to say what you want, but so are the others. no matter who you are, whether you are a complete newbie to this forum to OTW himself, none of us have the right to oppress another person's opinion, no matter how much we disagree. the same applies to you.

Don't get pissed when people disagree with you like i said, people will disagree with you. but that doesn't mean you should go insult them, or worse. you are allowed to try to convince them, but do so in a civilized matter.

View null-byte as a workplace you see, the freedom of speech laws only shield you for freedom of speech against politics. the freedom of speech law doesn't shield you in your wokplace. when your boss tells you you can't belittle someone, he/she can fire you for it. the same applies here on Null-Byte. if you belittle a newbie, OTW can ban you.


Freedom of speech has it's limits, also here on null-byte. you may say what you want, but keep the community rules of Null Byte and the rules of WHT in mind. furthermore, take also note that freedom of speech comes with responsibilities.

i hope you all enjoyed the read.



thanks Phoenix
i love this place

We spent pages and pages to explain what Null Byte is.
Four words did it better than us.

I'm sorry but I have to disagree with the first point. No it doesn't have rules. Everything you have stated comes under responsibilities. If someone is hostile towards a noob, that is their opinion and they are within right to say that. They will then have to take the responsibility of their actions, such as a ban. I get that we are not allowed to talk down on newbies, but that is oppressing the freedom of speech and if we do we all understand we need to take the consequences of our actions. But don't tell us that we cant say it, tell us what will happen if we do. Its about morals and judgement here.


many people have different views on what freedom of speech truely means. some say there are rules to it, others say it is completely own responsibility.

that's because freedom of speech isn't a statement, but rather a concept. different sorts of people use different ways of describing this concept.


Freedom of speech, which is guaranteed by the US Bill of Rights, is aimed particularly at political speech. You have a right to criticize the government and politics. If you tell your boss he is a jerk and he fires you, that is not protected speech. If you incite a riot, that is not protected speech. If you slander someone, that is not protected speech.

Null Byte is like a work place, not a political forum. If you boss tells you that you can not belittle someone of a different race in your workplace, you can be fired. That is not protected speech.

Our rules are few here on Null Byte, but one I will enforce strictly is civility. If you belittle or "flame" others, you will be banned. People must feel safe here.

good point OTW! i will add that to this post!


Freedom of speech is freedom of speech!
Freedom of speech means nothing when it involves intent and/or malice.
Code of conduct and ethics is a different matter entirely.

Excellent post Phoenix750!

There is one thing above all that will not be tolerated here at Null Byte and that is belittling newbies. As you say, we all had to start somewhere and when we keep that in mind, we can be kind, helpful and supportive to those who are trying to learn.

thanks for the positive feedback, OTW!

i got quite tired of seeing people abuse the rights of freedom of speech, so i decided to make a post about it.


I like that a lot :P


What on Earth happened again?


PM'ed ya.


PM me too? I'm curious as to what exactly inspired this post. +1 btw.

Im curious, OTW since you are admin on this site /world are you then getting paid? I mean i can see someone have placed some ads on this site. Someone must get the money.

To the best of my knowledge; advertising revenue goes to the owner of the site which is then used to pay staff that keep the site running.

I assume OTW is one of said staff; but I can't be certain.


I also think its important to note that i have the feeling OTW would be doing this paid or unpaid. and for that we thank you

Freedom of speech may not cover disclosure of his WHT financials if en fact they exist.

You get a website with a server pool of back up servers and production servers, I'm pretty sure you would want to get some money to help cover operating/marketing/promo/branding costs of the site. VPS and dedicated are not the cheapest services either. My random banter to start the day off with.

Agreed, but this comment was more random than related to the free speech article. The free speech article was inspired by a certain user having a hissy fit over a decision.


Fuck me. It's not hard for everyone to get along. Null byte is one of the few places a lot of us have where we don't hate everyone.

Lets keep it that way.

The more times these posts have to be reposted, the more time that gets taken away from the wonderful VOLUNTEERS who donate their time

to posting articles. I for one like them posting education articles, not waving ban hammers.

Respect +
Thanks for your efforts Pheonix, OTW, Ghost and C|H and many others, Us newbies, Appreciate it alot. ;)

I totally agree, everyone in this community is very helpful and kind.

I Thanks you all, for every little effort you have provided. :)

I don't know...does that mean that Null Byte is as uncensored as deep web? I mean, let's say I said something that would feel bad to some violent extremist, then will Null Byte be safe for that?

If we talk about media, freedom of speech covers it somewhat.

It just feels like you're stabbed when you can't speak due to caution. I'm not talking about being harsh, since there are more reasons to it than pure caution/fear. And I hate being afraid.

Well, I hope you get the idea.

-The Joker

I'd suggest having a look at what OTW said.


A good post. There is one thing I think people are forgetting. One very important word, which was given by micheal connar, and that is "Respect".

Never forget to respect one another and rules won't matter very much because no one will talk down on anyone.

From what I have seen so far from looking around this site, I have seen nothing but a lot of respect from the majority of users. I have been a reader in the shadows, but finally decided to join up as I keep wanting to return. I don't sign up to any sites as I have yet to find any good places, until now. This is my first I hope to keep coming back to. So keep it up.

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