Free Republic

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Free Republic is an internet forum, activist and chat website that is a community of self-described conservatives, primarily in the United States. It's users, known as 'Freepers', post articles and comments pseudonymously in the forum section with a conservative view point (If they are posting an article of an opposing view point 'BARF ALERT!' is put in brackets at the end of the title), using screen names. The site was generally unmoderated until 2000, a policy central to the site's "fair use" defence in the copyright infringement litigation when it was sued by the Washington Post and the LA Times.

Copyright infringementEdit

In the early years of the sites conception, users were allowed to post copyrighted news articles in it's forum section in their entirety, regardless if permission had been granted by the content owners, until the site was sued in 1998 by the Washington Post and LA Times for copyright infringement. The newspapers obtained a permanent injunction, although stipulated damages of $1 million were reduced to $10,000 during settlement negotiations which allowed the defendants to drop their appeal. During the case the defendants adopted a "free use" defence in the copyright infringement litigation. "(t)he website operated by the defendants,, permits anyone who wishes to post news articles or other items and to post commentary about the article as well ... no censorship is made and all views are permitted." Despite this claim, Free Republic has a reputation of deleting comments made by liberally minded users and immediate banning of the 'offenders' account.


Not only do users run the risk of being banned for being too 'liberal', but it has been frequently documented that moderators of the site ban users who simply espouse an opposing view point they do not agree with, even fellow conservatives. During the 2000 United States Republican Primaries the sites founder James C. "Jim" Robinson delivered a scathing attack on George Bush and purged the site of Bush supporters (though later did an about-face and put his support behind Bush). In the 2008 Republican Primaries a similar attack occurred, with supporters of current front runners Rudy Giuliani having their posting rights taken away. Some subjects aren't even approachable on the site unless you are a veteran member.

The basic idea is that Free Republic calls itself a community for conservatives but is really just a hang out for neocons who are venemous against RINO's (Republican's in name only), or simply conservatives who aren't racist morons) as well as venomous against liberals and Democrat's. [1] Unlike liberal sites (for example,, FreeRepublic can be relied upon to swallow whole and reiterate whatever the conservative talking point of the day is.

Manipulating PollsEdit

A common tactic by Freepers to influence public opinion or at least mask the perception of what the public really believes, is to vote en masse in online polls in order to influence it in their favor. Generally entitled 'Freep this Poll!', users on Free Republic post links to online polls, that do not do sampling like formal opinion polls, and encourage each other to vote overwhelmingly for the agreed upon decision of the Freepers. Vlae Kershner, SF Gate News Director (and poll writer), claimed that Freepers manipulate the polls in other ways as well. He claims that it isn't hundreds or thousands of them voting, but maybe a dozen or two dozen who have figured out how to bypass the rules and vote several times. Freepers are also known to 'Freep' polls from other countries to put it in their favor, such as whether Canadian's should have the right of assisted suicide.


Free Republic is a breeding ground of racism and the majority of it's users devolve into racist language. In the early days of Free Republic it was prominently endorsed by the Drudge Report, until Matt Drudge claimed one day to have visited the link and seen the headline article entitled 'NIGGER BABY', when talking about a made up love child of Bill Clinton. Following that he took the link off his site. President Barack Obama has been referred to as Nigger, Monkey and many over slanderous racially based names. It must have hurt them that Obama got such powerful support from Mainstream American voters. There is a wide anti-Latino population on the site, some even advocating the shooting of all illegal immigrants. however these sentiments are not shared completely by the community as a whole.


There does seem to be a wide consensus against Muslims and Arabs. They are referred to as 'Muzzies' on the site as other derogatory names. When civilians are killed in Afghanistan, Pakistan or Iraq, freepers usually don't care. Even if it's a child, the excuse is one last 'terrorist in training'. When Muslims were massacred by the Tamil Tigers in Sri Lanka, many Freepers on the site expressed joy when reading that the women and children had their heads cut off, and claimed a 'dead Muslim is the best Muslim'.

Furthermore, there seems to be wide agreement that Muslims should be deported from the US and that they should have their civil liberties taken away. When a few semi-clear minded posters (who share in the hate of Muslims but realize such an act would basically destroy the constitution) object the response is that Islam is waging a war on the United States and they have to 'fight back'. A majority of the posters go so far as to deny that the genocide against Muslims in Bosnia during the Bosnian War ever happened, and it was a conspiracy by Bill Clinton and 'murderous' Muslims to bomb 'friendly' and 'Christian' Serbia, see Holocaust denial for similar refusal to face facts.

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