Anyone else think blackmail should be legal?

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Anyone else think blackmail should be legal?

Postby scratch123 » Sat Jun 11, 2011 7:01 pm UTC

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Blackmail
http://www.walterblock.com/wp-content/u ... e-1999.pdf
http://www.walterblock.com/wp-content/u ... n-2000.pdf

I was always thought blackmail being illegal was kind of strange and after reading these links I definately think it should be legal. If you ask someone for money it is legal and if you say you will reveal a secret someone told you it is also legal (unless there is a law specifically making it illegal like for medical stuff) but if you combine them together it is illegal for some reason. Considering blackmail as something similar to theft is just ridiculous. Instead of asking for money what if you ask them for some other favor instead. Where do you draw the line? My favorite part of these links is the part that compares blackmail to plea bargains. People only agree to plea bargains because they are being threatened with jail time. I guess blackmail is only ok if the law does it. If you are still not convinced with what I am saying go to these links because they explain things much better than I ever could.

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Re: Anyone else think blackmail should be legal?

Postby Izawwlgood » Sat Jun 11, 2011 7:05 pm UTC

I am becoming convinced you are simply a bot, based on your lack of responses to your wikipedia linked threads.
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Re: Anyone else think blackmail should be legal?

Postby scratch123 » Sat Jun 11, 2011 7:25 pm UTC

I am not a bot. The reason I link to wikipedia is because it backs up my opinion so people just don't have to take my word for it. The links I provide are only a small part of my topic anyway. I have also never seen a bot write in any way similar to me.

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Re: Anyone else think blackmail should be legal?

Postby Izawwlgood » Sat Jun 11, 2011 7:35 pm UTC

I saw your response in the other thread after I posted my question in this thread, so apologies for the accusation.

I'm not very well versed in law, but I'm under the impression that blackmail is one of those things that you can't really enforce, and shouldn't really bother. I would assume that a significant bulk of legal exchanges are effectively blackmail-interactions, and don't think there's much way to keep tabs on it. That said, I would bet that blackmail law was put in effect to protect the poor; people who are effectively being blackmailed due to not having the resources to protect themselves, and that's probably a good thing.
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Re: Anyone else think blackmail should be legal?

Postby scratch123 » Sat Jun 11, 2011 8:00 pm UTC

What do you mean protect the poor? A poor person can ignore someone blackmailing them the same as anyone else. The thing about blackmail is it takes 2 people agreeing to it in order to work.

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Re: Anyone else think blackmail should be legal?

Postby notzeb » Sat Jun 11, 2011 9:50 pm UTC

scratch123 wrote:http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Blackmail
http://www.walterblock.com/wp-content/u ... e-1999.pdf
http://www.walterblock.com/wp-content/u ... n-2000.pdf

I was always thought blackmail being illegal was kind of strange and after reading these links I definately think it should be legal. If you ask someone for money it is legal and if you say you will reveal a secret someone told you it is also legal (unless there is a law specifically making it illegal like for medical stuff) but if you combine them together it is illegal for some reason. Considering blackmail as something similar to theft is just ridiculous. Instead of asking for money what if you ask them for some other favor instead. Where do you draw the line? My favorite part of these links is the part that compares blackmail to plea bargains. People only agree to plea bargains because they are being threatened with jail time. I guess blackmail is only ok if the law does it. If you are still not convinced with what I am saying go to these links because they explain things much better than I ever could.
scratch123 wrote:What do you mean protect the poor? A poor person can ignore someone blackmailing them the same as anyone else. The thing about blackmail is it takes 2 people agreeing to it in order to work.
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Re: Anyone else think blackmail should be legal?

Postby Deva » Sun Jun 12, 2011 12:42 am UTC

Glanced at the articles. Will supply my own hypothetical situation. Took revenge on an ex-significant other two months ago in a fit of rage. Uploaded nude pictures of your ex to the Internet. Downvoted it. Also delivered a rotting animal carcass to their front door. Found a new significant other since then, who is wonderful. Had a really nice first date. Feels extremely promising.

Told me about your revenge. Threatens to inform your new significant other of this tale unless you pay me ten thousand dollars. Knows the person will drop you like a hot tuber if this truth comes to light. May eventually find out your secret, yes. Would likely be at a less damaging moment than right now, however. Views this as:

For you:
Without blackmail: +relationship
With blackmail: +relationship, -10000 or nothing.

For me:
Without blackmail: nothing
With blackmail: +10000 or nothing

Points out that "without" is always better for the person getting blackmailed. Receives a reward for throwing you under a large vehicle, though. Would never have told your new significant other without the money incentive. Do you really wish to give people a reason to be jerks to each other?
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Re: Anyone else think blackmail should be legal?

Postby Aaeriele » Sun Jun 12, 2011 1:08 am UTC

Deva wrote:Glanced at the articles. Will supply my own hypothetical situation. Took revenge on an ex-significant other two months ago in a fit of rage. Uploaded nude pictures of your ex to the Internet. Downvoted it. Also delivered a rotting animal carcass to their front door. Found a new significant other since then, who is wonderful. Had a really nice first date. Feels extremely promising.

Told me about your revenge. Threatens to inform your new significant other of this tale unless you pay me ten thousand dollars. Knows the person will drop you like a hot tuber if this truth comes to light. May eventually find out your secret, yes. Would likely be at a less damaging moment than right now, however. Views this as:

For you:
Without blackmail: +relationship
With blackmail: +relationship, -10000 or nothing.

For me:
Without blackmail: nothing
With blackmail: +10000 or nothing

Points out that "without" is always better for the person getting blackmailed. Receives a reward for throwing you under a large vehicle, though. Would never have told your new significant other without the money incentive. Do you really wish to give people a reason to be jerks to each other?


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Re: Anyone else think blackmail should be legal?

Postby Izawwlgood » Sun Jun 12, 2011 1:23 am UTC

I think our definition of blackmailing is a bit loose.
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Re: Anyone else think blackmail should be legal?

Postby Aetius » Sun Jun 12, 2011 1:39 am UTC

In my opinion if you have every right to do the thing you're threatening to do as part of the blackmail, it should be perfectly legitimate to provide them the option to convince you not to do it. If you don't have the right to do said thing, I think blackmail could easily be seen as ethically equivalent to doing said thing, and is equally reprehensible and legally actionable.

For example:

-"Give me $10,000 or I'll tell your girlfriend you cheated on her"
Assuming cheating actually did take place, I see nothing unethical about this.

-"Give me $10,000 or I'll upload these nude photos I have of you to the internet"
Thoroughly unethical and should be illegal, by virtue of you not having the right to upload said photos.

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Re: Anyone else think blackmail should be legal?

Postby Izawwlgood » Sun Jun 12, 2011 1:51 am UTC

That's a weird distinction: I don't see why your latter example is any worse than your prior. One involves proof, one doesn't.
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Re: Anyone else think blackmail should be legal?

Postby Aetius » Sun Jun 12, 2011 3:43 am UTC

Izawwlgood wrote:That's a weird distinction: I don't see why your latter example is any worse than your prior. One involves proof, one doesn't.


Well it proceeds from the assumptions that one does not have the right to disseminate nude photographs of a person without their consent, but does have the right to disseminate truthful information about a person.

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Re: Anyone else think blackmail should be legal?

Postby Izawwlgood » Sun Jun 12, 2011 3:46 am UTC

I don't necessarily see why that is a given. I've dated women in the past; do they have the right to slather my facebook or home with messages/fliers giving my exact penis size? After all, it's just truthful information.

Furthermore, what if 'truthful information' requires divulging of sensitive materials... as I'm sure is quite often the case...?

Frankly, I'm surprised I even have to spell that out for someone.
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Re: Anyone else think blackmail should be legal?

Postby Aetius » Sun Jun 12, 2011 3:56 am UTC

Izawwlgood wrote:I don't necessarily see why that is a given. I've dated women in the past; do they have the right to slather my facebook or home with messages/fliers giving my exact penis size? After all, it's just truthful information.

Furthermore, what if 'truthful information' requires divulging of sensitive materials... as I'm sure is quite often the case...?

Frankly, I'm surprised I even have to spell that out for someone.


Depending on the persistence of their campaign that may qualify as harassment, but as far as defamation goes as long as the information is true they should be on solid legal ground. My point was that it was an activity that if they had simply undertaken it instead of engaging in blackmail first they would be legally/ethically fine.

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Re: Anyone else think blackmail should be legal?

Postby Izawwlgood » Sun Jun 12, 2011 4:08 am UTC

You can't see the difference between defamation/harassment and 'ethical blackmailing'?
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Re: Anyone else think blackmail should be legal?

Postby Aetius » Sun Jun 12, 2011 4:24 am UTC

Izawwlgood wrote:You can't see the difference between defamation/harassment and 'ethical blackmailing'?


Perhaps we're having an issue of terminology, I'm not sure I understand your objection.

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Re: Anyone else think blackmail should be legal?

Postby Midnight » Sun Jun 12, 2011 7:34 am UTC

YEAH FUCK MORALS.


Sorry, this isn't gonna fly. It's dumb. You equate blackmail with 'revealing a lie, which is legal' and 'asking for money, which is legal', but it's a threat. And threatening people, as I recall, can indeed be illegal. Extortion is also illegal.
...but then again, I'm not much for blackmailing people. I see it as protecting the blackmailed, and heaven knows the world could use less blackmailers.
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Re: Anyone else think blackmail should be legal?

Postby Aetius » Sun Jun 12, 2011 7:49 am UTC

Midnight wrote:YEAH FUCK MORALS.


Sorry, this isn't gonna fly. It's dumb. You equate blackmail with 'revealing a lie, which is legal' and 'asking for money, which is legal', but it's a threat. And threatening people, as I recall, can indeed be illegal. Extortion is also illegal.
...but then again, I'm not much for blackmailing people. I see it as protecting the blackmailed, and heaven knows the world could use less blackmailers.


But to claim it to be a threat, you have to consider what you're threatening to do. And if you're threatening to do something 100% legal and 100% within your rights to do... I don't see where the illegality comes in.

Consider it this way. Bob can take action A, which, although it negatively impacts Dave, is perfectly legal and completely within Bob's right to do. Bob is also perfectly within his rights to refrain from taking action A (so we're not dealing with a situation where Bob has a duty to take action A). If instead of {Action A is taken}, {Dave pays Bob $1000 and Action A is not taken} is preferable to both Bob and to Dave, why is this a bad thing?

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Re: Anyone else think blackmail should be legal?

Postby TimelordSimone » Sun Jun 12, 2011 10:43 am UTC

Aetius wrote:If instead of {Action A is taken}, {Dave pays Bob $1000 and Action A is not taken} is preferable to both Bob and to Dave, why is this a bad thing?

Of course there's also the options {Dave pays Bob $1000 and Action A is taken anyway}, {Dave pays Bob $1000 and Action A is not taken, but then later Bob demands another $1000 or he'll take Action A anyway}, {Dave can't afford $1000}, and so on, and so forth.
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Re: Anyone else think blackmail should be legal?

Postby a_fuzzyduck » Sun Jun 12, 2011 11:12 am UTC

TimelordSimone wrote:
Aetius wrote:If instead of {Action A is taken}, {Dave pays Bob $1000 and Action A is not taken} is preferable to both Bob and to Dave, why is this a bad thing?

Of course there's also the options {Dave pays Bob $1000 and Action A is taken anyway}, {Dave pays Bob $1000 and Action A is not taken, but then later Bob demands another $1000 or he'll take Action A anyway}, {Dave can't afford $1000}, and so on, and so forth.


and this is exactly why the blackmail laws exist

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Re: Anyone else think blackmail should be legal?

Postby oagersnap » Sun Jun 12, 2011 12:58 pm UTC

Deva wrote:Glanced at the articles. Will supply my own hypothetical situation. Took revenge on an ex-significant other two months ago in a fit of rage. Uploaded nude pictures of your ex to the Internet. Downvoted it. Also delivered a rotting animal carcass to their front door. Found a new significant other since then, who is wonderful. Had a really nice first date. Feels extremely promising.

Told me about your revenge. Threatens to inform your new significant other of this tale unless you pay me ten thousand dollars. Knows the person will drop you like a hot tuber if this truth comes to light. May eventually find out your secret, yes. Would likely be at a less damaging moment than right now, however. Views this as:

For you:
Without blackmail: +relationship
With blackmail: +relationship, -10000 or nothing.

For me:
Without blackmail: nothing
With blackmail: +10000 or nothing

Points out that "without" is always better for the person getting blackmailed. Receives a reward for throwing you under a large vehicle, though. Would never have told your new significant other without the money incentive. Do you really wish to give people a reason to be jerks to each other?


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Re: Anyone else think blackmail should be legal?

Postby Izawwlgood » Sun Jun 12, 2011 2:31 pm UTC

To the above, no, you're not, and it's been mentioned numerous times.

Aetius wrote:Consider it this way. Bob can take action A, which, although it negatively impacts Dave, is perfectly legal and completely within Bob's right to do. Bob is also perfectly within his rights to refrain from taking action A (so we're not dealing with a situation where Bob has a duty to take action A). If instead of {Action A is taken}, {Dave pays Bob $1000 and Action A is not taken} is preferable to both Bob and to Dave, why is this a bad thing?

Because neither Bob nor Dave were forced into the arrangement? I.e., if a businessman is paid by another businessman to stop expanding into a market, that's a consenting decision both are making. If a businessman is FORCED by another businessman to stop expanding into a market, say, because the latter businessman has naked photos of the other screwing his secretary, than it's blackmail.

In that case, however, I can't really imagine legal recourse for the blackmailed that doesn't involve the surfacing of the photos. Pressing charges for blackmail would probably result in forcing a non-disclosure agreement to be signed, and even that's rather pointless given that the non-disclosure agreement is likely a publically visible document (meaning it's known that one was signed, not what is being hidden).
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Re: Anyone else think blackmail should be legal?

Postby Aetius » Sun Jun 12, 2011 3:54 pm UTC

TimelordSimone wrote:
Aetius wrote:If instead of {Action A is taken}, {Dave pays Bob $1000 and Action A is not taken} is preferable to both Bob and to Dave, why is this a bad thing?

Of course there's also the options {Dave pays Bob $1000 and Action A is taken anyway}, {Dave pays Bob $1000 and Action A is not taken, but then later Bob demands another $1000 or he'll take Action A anyway}, {Dave can't afford $1000}, and so on, and so forth.


In situations 1 and 2 the agreement is violated, which is wrong, and in situation 3 I fail to see how Dave is worse off than if Bob had simply taken action A without ever making the blackmail offer.

Izawwlgood wrote:Because neither Bob nor Dave were forced into the arrangement? I.e., if a businessman is paid by another businessman to stop expanding into a market, that's a consenting decision both are making. If a businessman is FORCED by another businessman to stop expanding into a market, say, because the latter businessman has naked photos of the other screwing his secretary, than it's blackmail.

In that case, however, I can't really imagine legal recourse for the blackmailed that doesn't involve the surfacing of the photos. Pressing charges for blackmail would probably result in forcing a non-disclosure agreement to be signed, and even that's rather pointless given that the non-disclosure agreement is likely a publically visible document (meaning it's known that one was signed, not what is being hidden).


But he's not being forced, he's simply making a decision on what is more important to him, expanding the his business into a new market, or keeping his sexual indiscretions private. This particular example is complicated by a few things as well. 1) What the blackmailing party plans to do with the photos which may in and of itself be illegal 2) whether the blackmailing party actually has a duty to reveal the photos (if it's a case of sexual harassment in the workplace because it's a boss/secretary relationship) and thus isn't actually in a position to offer not to reveal them, and 3) whether such an arrangement with respect to a business constitutes anti-competitive practice, price fixing, collusion or something along those lines.

The more I think about it the more blackmail laws seem to exist to maintain the third party apathy that keeps people's illegal and immoral behavior from becoming widely known.

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Re: Anyone else think blackmail should be legal?

Postby PAstrychef » Sun Jun 12, 2011 4:53 pm UTC

It's the extortion part of blackmail that makes it illegal. Getting money by threats. After all, in a mugging you can give the mugger your wallet, and hope he then just goes away. You have the right to keep private the legal things you do. Illegal things are crimes, right, which would make withholding information about them in exchange for money a separate crime, similar to aiding and abetting.
The OP posits that it's totally ok to threaten to publicly embarrass and humiliate someone in return for cash. How about other exchanges? A cushy job, or a set of city contracts?
Blackmail rarely ends up with just one bite, either. Why should the extortionist stop at at single payment?when this happens in grade schools we move to stop it because it's bad behavior. Grownups don't get a pass just because they can afford to lose their lunch money.
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Re: Anyone else think blackmail should be legal?

Postby Izawwlgood » Sun Jun 12, 2011 4:56 pm UTC

Aetius wrote:But he's not being forced, he's simply making a decision on what is more important to him

Do you honestly not see how, as PAstrychef pointed out, blackmailing is similar to a violent crime? It's a THREAT. It's giving someone the option between A and B, where A is giving lots of money and maintaining their way of life, and B is having something they care about lost. It's illegal, and should be, for the same reason mugging someone should be illegal.

As to enforcing it, that's a separate issue.
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Re: Anyone else think blackmail should be legal?

Postby Aetius » Sun Jun 12, 2011 5:07 pm UTC

Izawwlgood wrote:Do you honestly not see how, as PAstrychef pointed out, blackmailing is similar to a violent crime? It's a THREAT. It's giving someone the option between A and B, where A is giving lots of money and maintaining their way of life, and B is having something they care about lost. It's illegal, and should be, for the same reason mugging someone should be illegal.

As to enforcing it, that's a separate issue.


Mugging someone is illegal because the use of violence being threatened is illegal. A street performer "threatening" public shame by making a big deal of you not giving them money after a performance is not illegal, because publicly shaming you is not illegal. You have to evaluate "threats" based on the action being threatened.

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Re: Anyone else think blackmail should be legal?

Postby Midnight » Sun Jun 12, 2011 6:07 pm UTC

Aetius wrote:because publicly shaming you is not illegal.

Alright, I'm going to demand that you give me $500 so I won't tell the world that you don't know the law. Yes, publicly shaming someone can indeed be illegal--look at slander and libel.
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Re: Anyone else think blackmail should be legal?

Postby Izawwlgood » Sun Jun 12, 2011 6:09 pm UTC

Which is why it was mentioned that enforcing blackmail laws is sort of difficult to do. However, a street performer/beggar shouting that you're a heartless cheapskate is severely less threatening than a superior threatening to fire you unless you sleep with them.

Your situation with Bob and Dave amounts to a street performer yelling at someone for not giving them money. Reality includes a wider range of possibilities for blackmailing someone. Furthermore, the POINT of blackmail is that they don't really have a choice; if you put someone in a situation where their options are 'do whatever you ask' or lose everything, you've hardly granted them the luxury of risk/threat assessment, and the exchange ceases to be consensual.
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Re: Anyone else think blackmail should be legal?

Postby Aetius » Sun Jun 12, 2011 6:17 pm UTC

Midnight wrote:Alright, I'm going to demand that you give me $500 so I won't tell the world that you don't know the law. Yes, publicly shaming someone can indeed be illegal--look at slander and libel.


You're deliberately choosing to ignore the context of the example I gave.

Izawwlgood wrote:Which is why it was mentioned that enforcing blackmail laws is sort of difficult to do. However, a street performer/beggar shouting that you're a heartless cheapskate is severely less threatening than a superior threatening to fire you unless you sleep with them.

Your situation with Bob and Dave amounts to a street performer yelling at someone for not giving them money. Reality includes a wider range of possibilities for blackmailing someone. Furthermore, the POINT of blackmail is that they don't really have a choice; if you put someone in a situation where their options are 'do whatever you ask' or lose everything, you've hardly granted them the luxury of risk/threat assessment, and the exchange ceases to be consensual.


Again, since firing someone without cause isn't something your employer has the right to do, it is unethical to make your job conditional on sleeping with them (or really anything non-performance related). This is the whole point of the distinction I made in my first post, the difference between blackmail with a "threat" they have every right to do, and blackmail with a threat they don't.
Last edited by Aetius on Sun Jun 12, 2011 6:22 pm UTC, edited 2 times in total.

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Re: Anyone else think blackmail should be legal?

Postby Izawwlgood » Sun Jun 12, 2011 6:21 pm UTC

Just as you are deliberately choosing to ignore the reality of blackmail not really being about two businessmen arranging to not interfere with one anothers business, or by bringing up the notion of a street performer haranguing a passerby.
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Re: Anyone else think blackmail should be legal?

Postby omgryebread » Sun Jun 12, 2011 7:07 pm UTC

In the case of the businessmen, blackmail in this case is bad because it hurts other people. Right now, decisions to expand are based on profit, risk, cost, etc. If blackmail were legal, it would be based on a lot more of "oh shit, what does he know about me?" This is bad for competition, and the consumer.
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Re: Anyone else think blackmail should be legal?

Postby Midnight » Mon Jun 13, 2011 4:03 am UTC

Aetius wrote:
Midnight wrote:Alright, I'm going to demand that you give me $500 so I won't tell the world that you don't know the law. Yes, publicly shaming someone can indeed be illegal--look at slander and libel.


You're deliberately choosing to ignore the context of the example I gave.

Because you deliberately chose bad context. Like izawwlgood was saying, where does one draw the line between what's "just publicly shaming" as in a street performer, and "publicly shaming", as in slander?

And yeah, blackmail isn't exactly consensual. It's against your will. A street performer making fun of you for not giving money is also against your will, but it also doesn't cause harm, and proving harm is a pretty essential element in the law. Blackmail is exclusively non-consensual and either causes harm in the form of secrets-revealed (or whatever) or financial loss.






plus, i'm not really clear on the advantages of legalizing blackmail. who wins? cause your bob/dave example is terrible because it makes it seem like the 'win' for Dave is paying $1000... when that's clearly a lose. As is Bob telling Dave's secrets.
uhhhh fuck.

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Re: Anyone else think blackmail should be legal?

Postby ++$_ » Mon Jun 13, 2011 8:04 am UTC

Sometimes, keeping information secret is a crime (or at least unethical and antisocial). For example, if you see someone commit murder, and keep it secret, that's not okay. Blackmail should clearly be illegal in these cases, since you are offering to commit a crime (or at least do something unethical and antisocial) for money.

Sometimes, revealing true information is a crime (or at least unethical and antisocial). For example, if you post nude photos of your ex on facebook, that is not okay. Blackmail should clearly be illegal in these cases, since you are threatening to commit a crime (or at least do something unethical and antisocial) unless you are given money.

What about when neither of these cases holds? Perhaps blackmail should be legal then, but these situations are few and far between, because usually information that someone wants kept secret is either legitimately private (in which case revealing it is unethical) or is important for the proper people to know (in which case keeping it secret is unethical).

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Re: Anyone else think blackmail should be legal?

Postby The Mighty Thesaurus » Mon Jun 13, 2011 6:11 pm UTC

So it's legal for me to stand next to you, and it is legal for me to thrust with this knife, so why is it illegal for me to do both?
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Re: Anyone else think blackmail should be legal?

Postby Midnight » Tue Jun 14, 2011 3:00 am UTC

I think scratch123 or whatever is just a troll at this point.
uhhhh fuck.

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Re: Anyone else think blackmail should be legal?

Postby scratch123 » Tue Jun 14, 2011 1:21 pm UTC

Deva wrote:Glanced at the articles. Will supply my own hypothetical situation. Took revenge on an ex-significant other two months ago in a fit of rage. Uploaded nude pictures of your ex to the Internet. Downvoted it. Also delivered a rotting animal carcass to their front door. Found a new significant other since then, who is wonderful. Had a really nice first date. Feels extremely promising.

Told me about your revenge. Threatens to inform your new significant other of this tale unless you pay me ten thousand dollars. Knows the person will drop you like a hot tuber if this truth comes to light. May eventually find out your secret, yes. Would likely be at a less damaging moment than right now, however. Views this as:

For you:
Without blackmail: +relationship
With blackmail: +relationship, -10000 or nothing.

For me:
Without blackmail: nothing
With blackmail: +10000 or nothing

Points out that "without" is always better for the person getting blackmailed. Receives a reward for throwing you under a large vehicle, though. Would never have told your new significant other without the money incentive. Do you really wish to give people a reason to be jerks to each other?


This example doesn't work because doing these things, even without blackmail is unethical and probably illegal as well. The types of blackmail I have in mind are something like revealing someone is cheating on there significant other unless you pay them. There was even a news story about this happening fairly recently.

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Re: Anyone else think blackmail should be legal?

Postby rigwarl » Tue Jun 14, 2011 1:44 pm UTC

The Mighty Thesaurus wrote:So it's legal for me to stand next to you, and it is legal for me to thrust with this knife, so why is it illegal for me to do both?

^ this.

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Re: Anyone else think blackmail should be legal?

Postby Aetius » Tue Jun 14, 2011 5:06 pm UTC

The Mighty Thesaurus wrote:So it's legal for me to stand next to you, and it is legal for me to thrust with this knife, so why is it illegal for me to do both?


That's a terrible analogy. The difference between benign thrusting and a stabbing is a huge amount of harm done. The difference between doing {action a}, and asking for money and then doing {action a} when denied, is negligible; the consequences of action a are whatever they are, regardless of the money involved.

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Re: Anyone else think blackmail should be legal?

Postby Midnight » Tue Jun 14, 2011 5:19 pm UTC

Aetius wrote:
The Mighty Thesaurus wrote:So it's legal for me to stand next to you, and it is legal for me to thrust with this knife, so why is it illegal for me to do both?


That's a terrible analogy. The difference between benign thrusting and a stabbing is a huge amount of harm done. The difference between doing {action a}, and asking for money and then doing {action a} when denied, is negligible; the consequences of action a are whatever they are, regardless of the money involved.

No.
That's wrong. Because the general principle around blackmail is that there's either a huge amount of financial harm done, or a huge amount of some other kind of harm done.

And again, what are the ADVANTAGES? who has been helped by blackmail besides people that made money off of blackmailing someone? and is that a greater gain than the many many many that have been protected by blackmail laws?

The answer, again, is no.


...i'm done with this thread. this is silly trolling.
uhhhh fuck.

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Re: Anyone else think blackmail should be legal?

Postby Deva » Tue Jun 14, 2011 5:59 pm UTC

scratch123 wrote:This example doesn't work because doing these things, even without blackmail is unethical and probably illegal as well. The types of blackmail I have in mind are something like revealing someone is cheating on there significant other unless you pay them. There was even a news story about this happening fairly recently.

Fails to understand why unethical and/or illegal behavior disqualifies my example. Seems like an obvious blackmail target. Will just use your example, though. Wishes to pose this question: would you notify the significant other about the cheating without partaking in blackmail?

Is pointless to legalize blackmail, if yes. Tempts people to go against what they feel they should do.
Reveals that blackmailing is only about the money, if no. Places the victim in an unpleasant situation because someone wanted money, not because of ethics.

May argue that the money incentive drives people to do the right thing (for some value of right). Will alter a new variable then. Would it be ethical to blackmail someone who cheated yesterday? How about a year ago, and they are getting married in a week?

Feels like tossing in another example. Has an extensive automobile collection that she is ashamed of admitting to possessing. Notices the automobiles and asks her about it. Notes her embarrassment. Tells her to fork over forty-two dollars, or her secret comes out. Must pay because she wants privacy (and because of poor friend choice). Never did anything illegal or unethical. Does she deserve to be blackmailed? Does the horrible friend deserve to be rewarded for their behavior? Personally answers no to both questions.

Imagines blackmailing for a living now. Do you have any idea how hated one would be? Would essentially live off of fear and embarrassment. Hopes that no one gets the courage to admit things about themselves. May need to stage situations to strengthen their anxieties, if it ever looks like someone may gather the confidence. Cannot glean any positives from a profession like this.
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