I'll try to keep it short But I can make no promises.
In this case, the entity who's delivering the message is partially to blame, even if the message was from a friend. For example it's a very common thing here to have a "no unsolicited advertisement" sticker on your physical mailbox. Which tells the entity who delivers ads, that you do not want them on your property. From my moral point of view, something similar as you've already mentioned (opt out or even better an opt in) would be absolutely sufficient in order to resolve this matter. And this is what I believe to be the consequence of this. Some mechanism where you opt in and then receive all those updates, similar to a newsletter, which is not considered to be spam.
A blanket ban would not infringe those who welcome those ads. Since this is civilian law, a person who has been damaged or had their rights violated has to sue first. And if they do not chose to sue, it's none of the state's business. If a 3rd person chooses to sue on your behalf, but without your consent, they can't build a case, since no one was damaged. Just as with unwanted advertisements in your physical mailbox, usually the worst thing that will happen to the party that distributes unwanted ads are complaints. They might get some angry letters, faxes or phone calls. But virtually no one is suing about something that's so insignificant.
I'm not sure how our courts would view something like a profile on facebook. As far as I know there's no precedent. But I suppose, as long as the messages stay on facebook and are not delivered to your private eMail box, it's not considered as spam. But again, I'm not sure here. Depending on the judges and lawyers, they may very well find some odd loopholes for this.
Ultimately I'm not sure if this is much of a free speech issue. I was just replying to people who were trying to make it a free speech issue and pointing out that such an act would not be protected by free speech.
Yes, I know that the laws can differ greatly from state to state.
Here, where I live it's similar to what you're writing about Maine. Well, actually what I'm going to talk about here is federal law in Germany.
I also do not have the right to use force in order to get rid of trespassers or even burglars for that matter. I've got to call the police. And that's how it usually goes down, when it come to trespassing. You ask them to leave and if they refuse, non violently, you call the police. Then they'll be removed and possibly liable for the damages they've caused, if there are any.
I'm fine with this. I'm not a violent person and prefer a peaceful way of resolving a conflict.
But there's something else that bothers me a lot. It doesn't matter if they're breaking into my house, destroy everything in their way and threaten my children. If I hit them and hurt them, in a situation that didn't call for it, then I'll be having my day in court. And there's no jury which may emphasize with my situation. On the contrary, it's likely that there will be lawyers which are making me look like the bad guy, for not inviting the burglars into my house (doesn't matter if they didn't even bother to ask first) and share some of my wealth, because those burglars had a very difficult childhood and whatever. God forbid if I dare to shoot them with the guns that I legally own (I do not own any guns at the moment). Doesn't matter if they're armed as that would only entitle me to defend myself with non firearms. Since I'm basically not allowed to have a loaded weapon in my house. Doing that would pretty much result in jail time, even though I only protected my family from someone who forcefully broke into my home. Pretty much the only scenario where I'd be allowed to use weapons, is when they're armed and shoot first.
In fact what I'm supposed to do is retreating. Hiding, calling the police and wait until the burglars are long gone before they arrive. I'm not even allowed to capture the burglars by non violent means, like locking them in, because that's false imprisonment. Imprisoning them would be a violation of their human dignity, which is inviolable according to the very 1st article of our constitution.
Thanks for your explanation. I always appreciate first hand information about things.
Other than that, I'm not sure if I'm a good sample for the culture that I live in. Most Germans are very staunch supporters of zero tolerance gun control. They grew up in this environment and have this belief, that no one really needs a gun and that guns almost never can cause something that isn't bad. Basically everything, something gun related happens, like a shooting at a school, the blame is shifted to guns, besides of video games. Politicians push for even stricter laws and basically all political parties agree.
I used to be one of them, since it's not easy to escape the kind of peer pressure when it comes to opinions on gun laws. But after I've done some of my own research, looked into statistics for violent crimes, gun related crimes and compared it with the gun control laws of the respective countries, the realization was pretty simply and ought to have been obvious a long time ago.
Guns don't kill people. Sure, they're making it a lot easier, but in the end they're simply tools. Also, guns do not seem to promote violent or gun related crime. There must be some more important factors in that equation, other than gun ownership and lax gun laws. Maybe politicians should look more into socio-economic factors, it's not as convenient as gun restrictions or banning video games, but looking for a cause instead of treating the symptoms doesn't sound like such a bad idea to me.
I'm in favour of lowering the requirements for carrying permits and ownership here in Germany, but I'm also in favour of rigorous background checks, psychological evaluation, tests of marksmanship and gun safety. Unfortunately I'm pretty much alone with this. Except for some of my closest friends (all academics with advanced degrees), not many people accept my attitude. Again and again I can experience how hard it is for people to break out of the "I never needed a gun and you certainly don't either"-attitude.
Still, I'm currently working on my hunting licence, which will entitle me to buy and own two handguns and as much rifles as I want, as well as the required ammunition and additional equipment. Unfortunately, a carrying permit doesn't come with that, which means that I'm not allowed to transport guns for other reasons than going hunting, returning or for repairs, for example.
Lastly, when it comes to things like nationalism, I always have to think back what I learned in school. Pride and shame are emotions that are appropriate for events that you've caused. It's appropriate to feel pride for your accomplishments and same for your failures. But something like feeling pride for being born in some specific location on our planet, with specific genes and all the other things that you didn't get to decide, that's false pride. It's alright to be glad about your fortune, but pride is a tricky emotion since it can be hurt easily. And then you end up defending something, that you may not even stand for.
It made sense to me back then and still does.