law & ethics
Comm 4313


Incitement terminology

Clear and present danger: Coined by Justice Oliver Wendell Holmes, clear and present danger is a doctrine that defines the point at which an expression loses its First Amendment protection due to its potential to cause serious harm. 

Fighting words: A narrow category of confrontational, lewd, profane and libelous words that are unprotected and fail to express ideas or enhance the truth.

Hate speech: Illegal expression that threatens and demeans others based on their race, religion, nationality, sexual orientation of any other such attribute. 

The heckler’s veto: The suppression of one's right to expression by those offended by the said expression. It usually occurs when those opposed to the expression become rowdy and agitated, hence causing public disturbance and forcing law enforcement to prohibit the speaker from expressing himself.

Incitement: Unlawfully expressions that are likely to cause imminent harm. These include: Death threats, conspiracy to do physical harm, calls to fights and riots and the disclosure of military secrets.

Imminent danger: Also called the 'Brandenburg incitement test,' this doctrine redefines the 'clear and present danger test' by narrowing the criteria used to determine whether an expression is incitement.