Taking off bad ads on the street

Is this wrong because they weren’t put up by you? I mean paper ads on sign posts that people just put up. What if they are somehow very impure or against the faith?

Hm, you know, I have asked myself this too before. I am curious if somebody here knows the answer.

What I HAVE done is throw away flyers for night clubs that are just left on the sidewalk and on ATM machines, garbage cans and the like, because anyway that could be considered littering… when left on parked cars (tucked behind the wipers) already I am not sure if I am allowed to move them.

I’m wondering is it stealing?

Thanks for the reply, I’ve taken off ads for psychics or impure dancing or ads for events that would conflict with the faith… My intent was to help someone to not sin or be lead to something non Christian but I hope its not stealing?

I haven’t even thought about it in terms of stealing per se… more of it in temrs of being against the law, or against other people’s rights, because of the right of other people to advertise, free speech, etc… ??

I wish I had the right not to have people litter my car with ads. It always seems to rain and then I have the choice of littering or having pulpy ad mush in my car until I get home. I make a point of not patronizing those companies.

As for ads on signposts, if you mean things like when someone attaches a paper ad to a stop sign or a phone pole, I’m 95+% sure it’s illegal to put them on phone poles and about 75% sure it’s illegal to put them on stop signs, street signs, and the like. The phone poles, IIRC, are the private property of the phone company and they don’t like people using them as free advertising space. For the stop signs, street signs, etc. you could call the non-emergency number for your local police and ask them if it’s OK to put them up and/or take them down. I wouldn’t mention what kinds of ads you’re talking about, because that wouldn’t affect whether it were legal to put them up or take them down–only where they’re located would matter.

If you’re talking about those ads that have the little metal poles that stick in the ground (like the ones often used by politicians), I think those have a right to be there and you have to leave them alone.

Pieces of paper anywhere else, theoretically they are put around town so people can pick them up. I don’t think there is any way it could be illegal to take more than one of them (for example, all of them :slight_smile: ), when the whole reason they are distributed is for people to take them.


Thanks for the replies, I dont mean street sign posts or stop posts or telephone poles but big wooden posts that people staple ads to… They are not left for people to take but to look at and they are stapled. I’m really worried now that this was stealing since someone put them up and paid to print them etc :frowning:

Actually I need to check what the poles are sorry I never looked update to see what they are lol! But I’m worried about taking them off being stealing

We don’t have wooden posts for people to staple signs to here, so I’m not sure. A lot would depend on whether the posts were on public or private proprerty. If they’re on private property, I’m pretty sure you need to leave them alone. You probably want to stop taking them down regardless of whether it’s public or private property in the future.

I wouldn’t worry about what you did before. You didn’t realize that it might be stealing until after (which takes care of the sin aspect), and each sign can’t be worth more than $0.10 or so if they’re just paper (which pretty much takes care of the legal aspect).


I think its public property cause its just the street and the signs are all over the city but the signs look professionally printed like little posters… I read that we must make restitution,for theft if that’s what it is… I guess I need to find out I will talk to my priest…

The first question is whether the signs are up legally. It varies from town to town, city to city. New York City won’t let you post anything, anywhere, at any time. San Francisco will let you post things for a limited time under certain restriction. The small town I used to live in allowed for temporary non-commercial postings (e.g. yard sales, lemonade states, 5k runs).

The second question is whether it’s moral to remove the signs. That’s up to you I guess. I tend to only remove those signs that are out of date or other products in stores that were left by someone without the owner’s consent (e.g. flyers, Watchtower magazines, religious tracts).

Are you talking about street spam?


If yes, then it is OK to remove them. They’re littering, all you’re doing is cleaning up.

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