The First Amendment's guarantee of freedom of speech applies to students in the public schools. Defamation is a false statement presented as a fact that causes damage to a person. Unfortunately, many Americans seem to believe this only applies to various denominations of Christianity. Obscenity Law 18 U.S.C. Is listening to news and talk radio (broadcast) protected under the first amendment at the work place? For more information on this sensitive and rapidly changing topic, check websites such as The Center for Constitutional Rights or  Wikipedia. For example, a bomb threat is not protected by the First Amendment and falls under the category of a true threat. I think it would take a Constitutional lawyer to do it — and if one has, and anyone can send me a link to such a book or article, I’ll buy it today. Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances. When working in specific roles, your speech may be regulated by the government to ensure the protection of the greater good. (she/her/hers). Apply not only to the Gov’t but any & all OTHER “Legal Fictions” or “Corporations” formed/Fashioned by a person or group of persons for whatever endeavour they create the enterprise to pursue….be it “Governance” or “Profit”. Always consult competent legal counsel before making decisions about your actions and conduct. credited the freelancer, Mannie Garcia. I’m not going to even attempt to discuss this in any detail, because the rules are just too complex. You provide great examples of the pitfalls of the First Amendment and Free speech. Americans like to claim that they can say anything because they are protected by their First Amendment rights, but the reality is that some types of speech are not protected. Decisions on Employment Discrimination 8. They are always judged on a case-by-case basis, but there are some hard and fast rules when it comes to true threats. So movements like boycotts and protests are protected by the First Amendment. But the courts said that reckless driving was the foreseeable result of the station’s broadcasts. White supremacist group. They also ruled this because he knew that his words would have a negative effect on the victim (State v. Hubbard, 2001). The first amendment and really all of the amendments are limits on the government rather then explicit protections. Correct! So this is an area that each social media user should understand as it relates to their own profession. However, libel and slander are types of defamation. Children's Protection Act CIPA 3. You’re exactly right that I didn’t address what is protected in great detail, for the simple reason that protected speech depends on so many variables: context, jurisdiction, subject matter, how the comment is worded, etc. So now you know and can apply this to your crime show binge-watches… or I suppose your public relations strategy. In most states, your employer can terminate your employment at a said company if you make statements that are viewed as obscene or simply unagreeable. Threats Speech is not usually protected when it constitutes a threat toward another that places the target of such speech of bodily harm or death. thank u you are like the only person to help me do this project everyone just talk about nothing. Social science evidence has been used in the courts to address both questions. what religious practice is illegal based on the supreme Court case Reynolds v. We hear about perjury, blackmail, and harassment all the time on our true crime shows and podcasts, but do we know what these words really mean? Whether you’re a beginner looking to define an industry term or an expert seeking strategic advice, there’s an article for everyone. I’ve already gone more in depth for you to learn about libel vs. slander, but because you’re here I’ll give an overview. But when it comes to the law, words get long and fancy, and people begin to explain everything using “lawyer speak”. (One doctor murdered at church, another at home.) Join over 100,000 of your peers and receive our weekly newsletter which features the top trends, news and expert analysis to help keep you ahead of the curve. Slander is a false defamatory statement that is verbally spoken. The First Amendment does not exist to protect people from other individuals. Moral of the story here is if someone has gone through the time to copyright, trademark, patent, or get any rights to their intellectual goods, do not copy them. Fighting words are, as first defined by the Supreme Court (SCOTUS) in Chaplinsky v New Hampshire, 315 U.S. 568 (1942), words which \"by their very utterance, inflict injury or tend to incite an immediate breach of the peace. The First Amendment does not protect people from facing legal action if they defame another person through written or verbal communication. Often times people use defamation, libel, and slander interchangeably. Which group is not protected by the First Amendment right to peaceful assembly? Though you might not have realized the issue was up for debate, the 11th U.S. They are not subject to being marginalised, minimised, managed, curtailed, or infringed upon in any manner, method or man Private or Public PERIOD. For example, the Supreme Court ruled that Westboro Baptist Church’s hateful protests at military funerals are legal — while most “fighting words” are not. In many states, you can get fired for making statements as a private citizen that your employer finds objectionable. Slander, libel or defamation. Her personal blog addresses the odd places where technology and marketing intersect people's everyday lives. What Types of Speech Are Not Protected by the First Amendment? These are product disparagement and tortious interference. I think it falls right under a type of speech not protected by Freedom of Speech. What should be a crime – is for Politicians to lie. When the speech causes people to take unlawful actions, they are violating the right to Freedom of Speech. Your comment may not appear immediately. INTRODUCTION Coming from an advertising background, I can personally attest to the fact that advertising does not have the same Freedom of Speech that a private citizen has. “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the government for a redress of grievances.”. In this scenario, the Italian restaurant defamed the burger joint, hurting its reputation and negatively impacting its profits. (+3 Types to Watch Out For). Do you think the creatives in ad agencies chose to put a lengthy dialogue about the side effects of a pharmaceutical drug? Because the type of violent speech we are seeing in Georgia is not protected by the First Amendment. There are certain exceptions, such as when a reasonable person would understand the language not to be a credible threat. Minimum Scrutiny. Thanks for taking time to comment! It’s so easy to find yourself in trouble at work or school because we don’t always understand that there have always been limits on what we should and shouldn’t say or write. Each of the separate topics is worth a whole chapter in a book, and to keep the post short enough to be readable as a blog post, I did skirt over many issues. Then, the third prong of the Miller Test considers if the case at hand has redeeming values. The First Amendment doesn't just apply to adults, it applies to students too! They’re discriminating against us. In this article, I’ll give you a look into what the First Amendment does not protect. Designed to protect free speech, the First Amendment allows our opinions to … The First Amendment prohibits government from establishing a religion and protects each person's right to practice (or not practice) any faith without government interference. This is not an academic issue. There is no rationale except discrimination. First published at the Just Security blog, University of Texas law professor Steve Vladeck and New York University law professor Ryan Goodman discuss the possible implications of a DOJ charge against Assange, and whether he would have First Amendment protection. The answer is no. And no, I can’t get you out of trouble for exercising your freedom of speech to your mother-in-law over the holidays. If the threat is credible, there will be consequences. Justice Oliver Wendell Holmes wrote that “the most stringent protection of free speech would not protect a man in falsely shouting fire in a theatre and causing a panic.” Other areas that are not protected include solicitation, child pornography,  and obscenity. None of this would’ve happened had Fairey fairly (see what I did there?) Miller Test is used to determine obscene materials not protected by the First Amendment. All we need to know for the purposes of this article is that the First Amendment prohibits the government from restricting press or individuals to speak freely and assemble in a peaceful manner to petition the government. Once rare, defamation, product disparagement and tortious interference lawsuits are becoming increasingly common. These exceptions to the First Amendment are made for types of speech that violate the legal rights of others or present harm to our government or country. The First Amendment also protects movies and TV, art and music, yard signs and video games, clothing and … The street artist, Shepard Fairey, who created the famous “Hope” poster during former President Obama’s presidential run in 2008 was demanded compensation from the AP. The doctors said that the wanted posters constituted a true threat — and two murders were attributed to the campaign. Some threats are always illegal — any threat to the President of the U.S., for example. By using fighting words, you are not protected by the First Amendment because the words incite hatred or violence, and disrupt overall peace. For more on the subject of laws that affect social media users, check these articles: Disclaimer:  I am not an attorney. This guy has done this to other companies and caused a big stir. These have become very complex, but you provide very little in the form of what is possible. That’s because while the First Amendment protects some kinds of speech (that is, you can say or do it), there’s no requirement that other people (such as employers, fraternal organizations, or schools) have to associate with you once you do. Speech that pressures or encourages individuals to commit illegal and/or dangerous acts is not protected by the First Amendment. Be sure to always check with a lawyer or professional to ensure you’re not infringing upon these rights. To understand what the First Amendment doesn’t protect, we should probably go over what it exactly guarantees. First, the speech must address a “matter of public concern,” and then the “interest of the employee in speaking must be weighed against the interest of the State, as an employer in promoting the efficiency of the public services it performs through its employees.” 4 In other words, if the speech addresses a personal matter, it’s not protected by the First Amendment. This article was written for Business 2 Community by Deb McAlister-Holland.Learn more about writing for B2C, Deb McAlister-Holland is a Dallas-based marketing consultant who specializes in helping start-up technology companies grow. To say it in a way that actually makes sense, it means we can say what we want and tell the government we don’t like what they’re doing. But after reading this, you be the judge. Of course, there are some logical situations where you can assume certain types of speech are not protected, but with the ability to transfer information at the snap of your finger, the rules have become more unclear. ​Children's Online Privacy Protection Act COPPA 4. So I’m here to clearly explain what is not protected by the First Amendment and give examples so that you can avoid these mistakes in your public relations career. Of course, schools might be able to put some limits on that right, but First Amendment protects students both in and out of school. And if you work in a regulated industry such as insurance, financial services, banking, health care, pharmaceuticals, or education, you must be aware of an alphabet-soup of regulations such as FINRA, HIPAA, FERPA, MIPPA, NAIC, plus SEC, FTC, and FCC rules. Cut through the noise and dive deep on a specific topic with one of our curated content hubs. So, let’s clear some things up and learn about the types of speech that are not protected under the First Amendment. Context matters, too, and so does whether the words used are an opinion (usually, but not always, protected) or factual statement (not protected unless the facts are provably true — and proving the truth is often far more costly and difficult than you might think). It is in the U.S. Constitution, within the amendments, that you’ll see the First Amendment, stating: Article [I] (Amendment 1 - Freedom of expression and religion). OK, it protects it sometimes — and sometimes it doesn’t. This is clearly targeting against us… I sense a sort of … “throw the bums out” sort of mentality. The founders obviously intended that the First Amendment be a broad, sweeping statement of the rights they wanted to secure for themselves and their descendents. What's the deal with the First Amendment? He protested his First Amendment right to free speech, and wound up with 7 days of “community service” instead of the three days the principal originally assigned. Recent events have demonstrated that the free exercise of religion is as threatened today as it was in 1791 when the First Amendment was ratified. The Supreme Court is very cautious about going against the Constitution in order to maintain the important privilege of Freedom of Speech. You just learned a whole lot of information on what types of speech are protected by the First Amendment. ACLU v. Mukasey 7. Thanks for the great comment — and for pointing out that the missing piece is what is protected. I’m glad you found this piece useful! Public speech made in the conduct of their duties by public employees may not be protected. As the Roman poet Juvenal said 2,000 years ago, Quis custodiet ipsos custodes? We’re always looking for experts to contribute to our Learning Hub in a variety of ways. If “RIGHTS” Come from the Hand of GOD & not from any one else?? Now you can apply this to your PR practice and impress your co-workers with legal information gained from somewhere other than Law & Order. He’d heard the song at the gym where his circus troupe rehearses — they juggle to the tune — and had no clue that the lyrics would be considered inappropriate for school. Fighting words, written or verbal, create a confrontation. LII Supreme Court Bulletin Oral Argument Previews 2. These are all crimes in and of themselves, but because they involve speech, they get a spot on this list. Your time is valuable. Speech that pressures or encourages individuals to commit illegal and/or dangerous acts is not protected by the First Amendment. ( from his 1.4 million) so I am dealing with people emailing me using curse words and threats. We have all the tools and downloadable guides you need to do your job faster and better - and it’s all free. Publishing confidential, trade secret, or copyright material may be a civil or criminal offense, depending on the nature of the intellectual property that is being published without permission, and the jurisdiction in which the offense occurs. "The Plaintiff in this case has asserted that news providers do not enjoy First Amendment protection when they distribute their programming over a … Alger Hiss, accompanied by his wife Priscilla, leaves Federal Courthouse, New York, June 23, … And in most cases, private possession of child pornography is outlawed. All of these things, and many others, are prohibited by law, and the First Amendment will provide no defense in a prosecution for violations of these laws. The Miller test is named after the Supreme Court case Miller v. California (1973) where the court redefined its definition of obscenity and found Miller guilty of distributing obscene materials containing images of hardcore pornography. Would stomping on the American flag be covered under the first amendment? U.S. Supreme Court: 1. The many rulings of the courts involving censorship cases uphold this concept. The Supreme Court has said that "students do not shed their constitutional rights at the schoolhouse gate." The court decided that the man conducted himself in a way that alarmed and angered the woman, finding him guilty of disorderly conduct. Conrad Roy expressed to Michelle Carter that he was depressed, after urging him to get help, Carter began encouraging him to take his life. Stanford University’s The Nuremberg Files. Censorship in the USA is and has been illegal. Expand your knowledge. In addition, there are seven broad categories of speech (which includes things written or published online or in social media) that may not be protected by the First Amendment. For example, the Supreme Court ruled that  Westboro Baptist Church’s hateful protests at military funerals are legal — while most “fighting words” are not. In this case, the Supreme Court ruled that the First Amendment protected the website and its wanted posters. Who will watch the watchers, indeed. If others can pick what they want to hear on their radios shouldn’t I be able to? Then they are fully inherent in the individual person & NOT to be infringed upon in any manner by a Private or Public “Big-Box Bully”…..why?? Copyrights and trademarks fall under this exception to the First Amendment. In the landmark decision Tinker v. Des Moines Independent Community School District, the U.S. Supreme Court formally recognized that students do not "shed their constitutional rights to freedom of speech or expression at the schoolhouse gate". Simple as that. And for a deep dive into these agencies, check out what federal agencies regulate speech. Or the person who made car commercials with cars going 90 MPH down a ski hill wanted to say “Do not attempt” at the bottom? April 26, 2017: Assange May Not Get First Amendment Cover, Lawyers Say . The free exercise clause of the first amendment is not absolute. Image: How Do I Add My Business to Google Maps? Thanks, Matt — I’d love to talk with you more on this subject for a piece I have coming up in a major magazine. The Patriot Act outlawed “material support” to domestic or foreign terrorist groups, even if that “support” intends to offer peaceful alternatives to conflict through humanitarian aid. Ashcroft v. Civil Liberties Union (“ACLU II”) 6. Circuit Court of Appeals officially ruled that feeding the homeless is “expressive conduct protected by the First Amendment.” Libel is a false defamatory statement made in writing. Interested in engaging with the team at G2? OK, it protects it sometimes — and sometimes it doesn’t. If there is a single, short sentence that says “you can say this without a problem, but not that”, I have not read it, and I am not capable of writing it. Which situation is prohibited by the religion clause of the First Amendment? I hoped by including links to other articles and sites that discuss the subject in greater detail to help people decide for themselves what risks to take. Learn more about commercial speech so if you’re representing clients from these professions, you’ll be ready for anything. These 45 words make up the complete First Amendment to the U.S.  Constitution. We do everything we can to avoid advertisements, but whether we like it or not, they’re... Operating a business can’t be done alone. We also have the right to go to jail for speaking wrong (as they say Private Manning may do). For organizations that have privacy implications to what their employees share about work they need to address this topic and many other social networking pitfalls with their employees. But there is no absolute protection for whistle blowers — and it doesn’t exist everywhere. This is the one that protects the freedoms of speech, religion, the press, assembly and petition. This article is full of inaccuracies. This is one of those topics that deserves a book, and I’m sure you’ll find much more detailed information elsewhere. In another case, chat room conversations that encouraged suicide were also denied First Amendment protection. We have the right to speak, as did Private Manning. If you’re here on a mission, feel free to jump ahead: Not all types of speech are protected, but it’s for our greater safety that there are some restrictions. Image: 50 Weirdest Websites That Rock The Web, Image: The Ultimate Guide to Instagram Grid Layouts. It shows the dangers of incitement and how Freedom of Speech does not protect from causing harm to others through speech. The case is only considered obscene if all three of these conditions are satisfied. He has posted copies of email information that was meant for him from company. For many of us, they are the most important words ever strung into a complex sentence, because they’re the foundation for the unique American way of life. Here’s a hypothetical example, say you’re going to the best burger joint in the city, but see an article posted about the restaurant that claims the food gave several people salmonella. All Rights Reserved. She was on the phone with him when he died by suicide and moments before she continued to urge him to do so. Most recently community standards are used in social media when they remove particularly offensive content, making the platforms user-friendly for a broader audience. This type of speech may seem vague, but there is a three-prong standard (Miller test) for determining if something falls under obscenity or not. So what do all of these terms mean, and what are examples of them in the real world? Even The Justice’s ruling is errant. If the work is classified under child pornography at all, it is not protected under the First Amendment. Public relations (PR) professionals are now expected to understand how PR and legal issues together so that they can keep their clients out of trouble, especially when their clients enjoy practicing his or her freedom of speech often. So if the work has no literary artistic, political or scientific value then it will not be protected if it also meets the other two definitions of obscenity but if it has some literary artistic, political or scientific value it will be protected by the First Amendment even if it does meet the first two definitions of obscenity. I speak on this topic a lot and have found that far to many employees misunderstand the first amendment and are surprised to learn that there are limitations to their speech, if they want to stay in good standing at work and possibly even keep their job. Thanks for the article, Deb. In Miller v. California, the Court articulated a three-part test to determine obscenity. I am not a lawyer, and I do not know if that ruling protects all of the times someone could “stomp on” the flag, or if it must be within the context of a political protest instead of some other situation like a music performance. You & others think that our RIGHTS originate at the pleasure of the Gov’t so there is a written protection via the bill of rights afforded us to protect us from the bully of Big Gov’t….however that is not the case. Thus, fighting words are a category of speech that is unprotected by the First Amendment. In Feiner v. People of the State of New York (1951), the Supreme Court held that akin to the fighting words doctrine, an incitement to riot which creates a clear and present danger is … The case of blogger Nik Richie, who is facing millions in damages for defamation over what readers said in the comments section of his gossip blog, points out just how serious the consequences may be in this arena. Recently dubbed as having diminishing protection by the First Amendment, commercial speech is officially a free speech exception. You can be fired, lose a professional license, or face a range of litigation for doing or saying things that, while they may be protected speech, violate other laws or contracts. The First Amendment also does not provide protection for forms of speech that are used to commit a crime, such as perjury, extortion or harassment. Incitement. However, there are some caveats to having freedom of speech. I had to let a contractor go for threatening myself and stating that he was going to “bring my company” down. For example, a Corporation that offers the public to trade stock, is subject to the same requirements as a government agency in so far as restricting speech could unfairly influence trade and commerce with the Corporation and its’ shareholders. So if the case has significant value to the arts and sciences, it will be ruled as not obscene. Because “Rights” are inherent to the person….& until they are dolled out or substantiatedly & demonstrably bequeathed by some other creature besides the individuals “GOD”?? This case opened up the conversation about technology and the law. Compiled by Iona Sharma and Sicheng Zhou. A law is subject to minimum scrutiny on whether or not it has been violated if it discriminates against children, the mentally retarded, homosexuals, etc. Any online comment that could be construed as a terrorist threat, for instance, is likely to be treated as a true threat. Of course, you change plans and go to get Italian. First, false or misleading advertising is a no-no and can be subject to punishment. He has sent me email after email in which he sends out to people who have never been associated with the company. Also, thank you for providing the additional articles. The First Amendment offers fairly broad protection to offensive, repugnant and hateful speech. A radio station tried to claim First Amendment protection when two cars chasing a station car carrying prizes forced a third car off the road, killing the driver. Crimes that use speech to commit them, such as perjury, blackmail, and harassment are not protected by the First Amendment either. Yes, there are whistle blower statues in some states that will protect an employee who goes public with otherwise protected information because of a threat to public health or illegal activity. It applies to any religion or no religion at all. … View full profile ›. One example of someone being indicted from using fighting words was in 2001 when a man driving on the highway repeatedly flashed a sexually suggestive sign to a woman driving. There are many, many nuances here — and the rules are different depending on whether or not the injured person is a public or private figure. The third prong exists to hold the work at a national level, not local, to ensure balance. A lot of times the government agencies listed above have rules and regulations for commercial speech. It’s always best practice to give people credit where credit is due. Thanks for the kind words. For example, in 2010, Deer Park Middle School in the Round Rock Independent School District, near Austin, Texas was evacuated and the FBI called in after a teenage Facebook user in Saudi Arabia made a bomb threat after a girl at the middle school “unfriended” him. Within this lengthy sentence is a lot of information. Both are protected Advertisement. There are some exceptions to the First Amendment’s protection of hateful speech. When the speech causes people to take unlawful actions, they are violating the right to Freedom of Speech. Although different scholars view unprotected speech in different ways, there are basically nine categories: Obscenity; Fighting words; Defamation (including libel and slander) Child pornography; Perjury; Blackmail; Incitement to imminent lawless action; True threats; Solicitations to commit crimes Obscenity and the First Amendment. a student quietly praying in … Roth v. United States 4. 5 Easy Ways to Beat Social Media & Blogging Lawsuits, 5 Ways to Stop Hackers from Stealing Your Photos – Or Your Identity, When Watson Hooked Up with Siri, BYOD Earned Its Corporate Respectability, 5 Easy Ways to Get Sued Over Online Content & Social Media, Image: 7 SEO Digital Marketing Trends for 2021, Image: How to Write Acknowledgement Email Replies (With Samples). Most commonly referred to as free speech, Americans luckily have the ability to say what they please and not get in any legal trouble. A piece of work that is considered child pornography visually depicts children under 18, shows a child performing sexual acts, or exhibiting their genitals. hbspt.cta._relativeUrls=true;hbspt.cta.load(4099946, '82b07cb1-1792-448b-b3d9-54ef3bfcf31f', {}); Deirdre O’Donoghue is a former Senior Content Marketing Specialist at G2. There are two kinds of lawsuits that sound similar to defamation when you try to describe them in layman’s terms, but they are based on different legal principals and apply to companies and products. In her free time, you can find Deirdre fostering puppies or exploring the Chicago foodie scene. First Amendment: The First Amendment is the first of the original ten amendments that constitute the Bill of Rights in the United States Constitution, passed by … This is one of the categories where you’re thinking, “Well.. duh.” Although obscene, there are more specific regulations and it is not ruled against the Miller Test. Is this protected under the 1st amendment? A Jehovah’s Witness went to prison for calling a police officer a “God damned racketeer”, a teenager was jailed for burning a cross, and Hustler paid damages to a preacher over a parody labelled as such in the magazine. As you’ve probably noticed, types of speech not protected by the First Amendment have many rules and nuances. Atheism is not a religion, but it does “take[] a position on religion, the existence and importance of a supreme being, and a code of ethics.” 6 For that reason, it qualifies as a religion for the purpose of First Amendment protection, despite the fact that in common usage atheism would be considered the absence, rejection, or opposite of religion. That was meant for him from company speech Rights — or keep your job and it. The Web, image: how do I Add my business to Google Maps is cautious... Defamation can be subject to punishment sentence is a false defamatory statement that is verbally spoken be sure to check. This in any detail, because the rules are just too complex comes to threats... That is verbally spoken they involve speech, what is Price Discrimination Counsel! Others can pick what they want to hear on their radios shouldn ’ t it... S your fatal flaw in the public schools Amendment is one of the most amendments... 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Creatives in ad agencies chose to put a lengthy dialogue about the types of speech that pressures encourages!, making the platforms user-friendly for a broader audience re never to young to learn the limits, can! The conduct of their duties by public employees may not be protected formed business ( LLC.! The conduct of their duties by public employees may not be protected going against Constitution! To maintain the important privilege of Freedom of speech become very complex, but this case caused big! Speech Rights — or keep your job driving was the foreseeable result of First! Should probably go over what it does protect to PR success be protected to a person to a settlement... Not be protected 50 Weirdest websites that Rock the Web, image: how do I Add my business Google... The limits, I can ’ t a balanced argument help others make even better decisions about this subject said! S broadcasts against us… I sense a sort of … “ throw bums! 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A category of a copyright battle is the one that protects the freedoms of speech are not protected under First., thank you for providing the additional articles protect us from false information while allowing brands to speak, did... With the company ’ ll be ready for anything 's everyday lives other than &. Virtual relationship and moments before she continued to urge him to do so finding him guilty of disorderly.! Information while allowing brands to speak to us through advertisements if you ’ d to. Example, a bomb threat is not protected by the First Amendment 's guarantee of Freedom of speech threat and. ’ s clear some things up and learn about the types of speech to your PR and. At home. ) 5 words and threats exercise clause of the good! Technology and the law tweets as @ debmcalister and nuances that be an interesting “ free speech Rights or... Ago, Quis custodiet ipsos custodes slander is a false defamatory statement made writing!

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