It's so unfortunate seeing so many not understanding the concept of freedom of speech. Freedom of speech is a guarantee that citizens are free to not be held to sanctions from their government for things they say or write or print. In the US, this is enshrined in the first amendment to our constitution, which begins "Congress shall pass no law." Meaning THE STATE.
THE STATE took ZERO ACTION in this instance. Neither the federal, state, city, county, or any other STATE ENTITY took any action against this asshole for anything he said. His freedom of speech remains 100% in tact, he suffered ZERO SANCTIONS from any government entity.
Freedom of speech DOES NOT, and NEVER HAS, meant one remains 100% free from responsibility for the things they say or write. If you were paying an employee, and he showed up for work everyday calling you AND YOUR FAMILY stupid, sub-human beings not worthy of the air you're allowed to breathe, you are free to fire him. And good for you. I'd fire his ass too. That has NOTHING TO DO with freedom of speech. No government sanctions (such as prison or government torture) occurred.
If one is the privacy of their own home and works for you and posts those same words about your family on Facebook, and you read them, again, YOU ARE FREE to fire him. And again, GOOD FOR YOU.
Freedom of speech means freedom from government sanctions for speech, it does NOT, and NEVER HAS, meant 100% freedom from responsibility for anything you say or write.
Why is this concept so difficult to understand? Do you really want a world where your coworker, sitting next to you 8 hours a day, 5 days a week, can sit there and constantly call you names, berate you for nothing but the color of your skin or the style of your hair or your sex, perhaps even make sexually suggestive speech at you, all free from responsibility??? Really???
Oh, and here's a news flash for you. Our "freedom of speech" is not deemed to be 100%. Hundreds of years of case law has resulted in there being some forms of speech regarded as worthy of regulation/retribution from government. Yelling "fire in a crowded theater" is, while perhaps the most famous example, but one of many.
Go over to your friends house tonight and tell them precisely how you're planning to assassinate the President of the United States, and then watch what happens if that friend happened to tape that "private conversation" and releases it. Maybe it will be just the lesson some need on the intricacies of "freedom of speech." It is not, nor should be, 100% universal. I'm rather fond of commercial speech being regulated and monitored. I don't think a company should have the right to advertise product A makes your penis larger for only $49.99 a month and then said product doesn't work. (For those unfamiliar, that's a real life example
of a company that had it's assets seized and distributed to former customers because their "speech" wasn't true. And good for the government for doing jus that.)
Yes if society didn't allow consequences for people's words, then society would become a troll's paradise. Yes, letting someone say something like "FIRE!!!" in a movie theater without any punishment afterwards would be foolish for society. But those consequences(the punishment), should be reasonable. We shouldn't cut out his tongue so he can never cause such panic again. or give him the death penalty. Our society shouldn't be a society where people are too afraid to say what they want because they don't want to die or get tortured or have overemotional people ruin their lives. Such a society reminds me of the dark ages and should not exist today or in the future. Such a society goes against the nature of the constitution, our founding fathers, our ancestors(I'm assuming some of your ancestors were American) and the USA.