Comic Talk and General Discussion *

Is Censorship Counterproductive? /TLDR
El Cid at 7:08PM, Dec. 10, 2018
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Light over darkness.

This is something that's been rattling around unformed in my head lately, and while it does skim some sensitive territory, it is something I believe we especially as creators should devote some thought to. As some of you may be aware, there's been a lot of deplatforming going on lately, with controversial commentators being banned left and right on social media platforms. Apple CEO Tim Cook recently received a ‘Courage Against Hate’ Award for banning Alex Jones from iTunes. It's a worrying trend, and personally I've never been of the school of thought that banning or censoring unpopular or offensive viewpoints achieves anything constructive. I've always felt it's the better option to let people speak freely and combat bad ideas with better ideas.

This is something that actually happened to me just today. This morning, I was on Youtube and I watched a video about the upcoming land seizures in South Africa. In the comments section, someone posted an extremely racist comment about how black Africans are this and that, and can anyone name a single country in Africa run by them that isn't a Third World shithole. Naturally, I saw this as an opportunity to save a lost soul. I didn't flame or insult the individual (that never helps); instead I posted an informative reply that there are in fact several upper middle income nations in Africa run by black Africans (Namibia, Botswana, Gabon, Angola, etc.). I also informed him that the interior of Africa has major geographical hurdles which have prevented even Europeans from colonizing it when they tried, limiting them to places like South Africa and Rhodesia, which have temperate climates similar to Europe. Lastly, I suggested some reading material I felt would be helpful.

Fast forward to this evening, and I noticed my email hadn't registered a reply to my post, and when I went back on Youtube and checked, the racist comment had been deleted. Now, it's always possible that the person who posted it was contrite upon reading my response and deleted the post of his own volition, but for the sake of discussion, I'll assume it was flagged and deleted by Youtube. By deleting the offensive post, they rob us all of an opportunity to learn and discuss. It doesn't do anyone any good to pretend that people with misguided viewpoints such as the individual who made that post don't exist; his ideas just go on festering in the darkness. By letting him put his ideas out there, it allows others to illuminate why he's wrong, and everyone learns something, and just maybe a few minds will be changed.

And I'm not jaded enough to think that no good comes out of internet debates. I know that for me personally, a lot of the views I have today are very different from those I had ten years ago, and that's largely the legacy of countless people demonstrating to me that my comfortably held beliefs were hopelessly untenable. We lose the opportunity for that when our first response to someone saying something we disagree with is to silence them. Light is a better disinfectant than darkness. Reasoning changes minds better than authoritarian censorship tactics.
Ozoneocean at 8:07PM, Dec. 10, 2018
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These sorts of things always have to be something that is maintained- a balance that is always being managed.

There's this idea that we can be totally open or we can be totally protected- one or the other, without anything in between. That's bullshit. Neither approach can work. Total freedom leads to total anarchy which leads to someone else taking over and then having controls imposed, and vice versa: too much control leads to a system break down and anarchy leaking around the edges. It's a nasty cycle.

With your Google example I would bet money that it wasn't any algorithm that found and deleted that comment. It would have been reported. -“Flagged” as you say.

That's annoying in that it stifles debate and giving an idiot a chance to learn.
On the other side how much can be learned from youtube comments? And how long before it becomes a rallying point for similar racist comments, sparking a racist avalanche and all comments under the video are completely disabled by the uploader? Then there will be zero room for any debate and discussion.

Lots of freedom works on a place like DD where we're all pretty adult and respectful, but among people who don't you need to be a careful gardener and prune judiciously. That is a really hard job.
 
Ironscarf at 7:06AM, Dec. 11, 2018
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A very interesting point. But there's a good chance this was just one of the multitude of fake accounts whose sole purpose is to promote and propagate such garbage on social media. There's an endless supply of them on twitter and no doubt youtube has it's share too. By definition they are not going to be enlightened in any way, they exist only to sow the seeds of hate in gullible soil and they do so because it works. It's possible the comment was genuine but all things considered, if it was deleted and your excellent response still remains, I'd say we've gained more than we've lost.
 
Genejoke at 1:09PM, Dec. 11, 2018
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Yeah, a lot of things happening right now are counter productive. Society seems to be on a backwards swing at the moment. Youtube comments are a weird one, mostly it's all bile and bots but there's so many casual readers there's a chance a message will reach someone who wouldn't go looking for rational discussion. Surely going back to where questionable comments were hidden behind a warning so you had to click on them to read them would be better than deleting comments deemed questionable.
Ozoneocean at 6:40PM, Dec. 11, 2018
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I sometimes read YouTube comments for entertainment purposes but I've disabled notifications for replies to my own comments, so I'm almost never drawn into YouTube discussions XD
I only see when someone “likes” my comments.
That makes YouTube less stressful and more fun, knowing I'll never get caught up in arguments because it so easy…
 
Abt_Nihil at 6:16AM, Dec. 12, 2018
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Now, I don't mean this in any way as contradicting ElCid's original post, but to expand this topic:

Youtube was pretty much the first place I encountered internet hate comments. I'm pretty innocent, internet-wise - I don't hang out in any forums other than this one; I'm only on facebook and in the usual communities; I avoid reddit and 4chan etc. Now, what worries me is how the past years have seen the entire internet (as known to me) become that cesspool that was once the youtube comments section.

I agree that bans and limiting free speech shouldn't be the answer (although I'd distinguish between the legal guarantee of free speech and the way corporations can choose to simply restrict service to certain individuals). Now, my question to all of you is: What can and should be done in the face of this development?
last edited on Dec. 12, 2018 6:18AM
Amelius at 11:32AM, Dec. 12, 2018
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“Debating Nazis is Dangerous”
(lots of ads but please read it)
And another
No, I will not debate you
And if you're going to tl:dr my second link because it is as the tin says a “long read” let me pull a salient quote to sum things up nice and tidy:

If we deny racists a platform, they feed off the appearance of censorship, but if we give them a platform, they’ve won by being respectfully invited into the mainstream. Either way, what matters to them is not debate, but attention. There is no perfect choice.

But there is a choice, and this, to my mind, is the sensible one: To refuse to dignify these people with prestigious public platforms, or to share them. To refuse to offer them airtime or engage them in public debate.

Gunwallace at 11:49AM, Dec. 12, 2018
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It's a difficult question. Banning people from some platforms, but never all of them, runs the risk of making them martyrs. For people like Alex Jones being banned from an online space is a badge of honour, and they will often push the line again and again until they get that result.
David ‘Gunwallace’ Tulloch, www.virtuallycomics.com
bravo1102 at 1:32PM, Dec. 12, 2018
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In the United States Constitution the First Amendment starts with “Congress shall make no law…”

Social media platforms are not Congress. They are private entities free to limit speech however they want.

But you know when someone writes articles labeling any conservative as “far right” and “Nazis” makes me wonder. If a person whose views they agreed with voiced the similar fascist opinions would they call them out?

Except they never do. There is a tolerance for the fascist ideas of an individual who shares whatever political opinions and quite another for those who don't. It usually breaks down into left and right. Right is always a bunch of Nazis and we always forget about the totalitarian terror that is the left is always forgotten. Remember the Reign of Terror in the French Revolution and the killing fields of Cambodia were from the fair minded left to protect the population from the extremist views of the right.

But who's counting? As far as I am concerned the right are all nazis intent on concentration camps and genocide and the left are all Jacobins setting up guillotines for any one who speaks against them.

But that's me. Congress shall make no law, private entities are free to limit speech. No one is saying anyone can't set up their own platform to spew whatever they want, but they can be restricted from privately owned platforms.

And psychology teaches that threatening the closely held beliefs of someone usually causes them to hold onto those beliefs more strongly. So debate is often of little worth.
Tantz_Aerine at 3:46PM, Dec. 12, 2018
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This topic warrants a newspost and/or a quackcast. For sure.

Personally I've made it pretty obvious (I think) that I am never for censorship. And I don't believe that debating a racist bigot or a nazi is such a futile cause- if you're NOT expecting the nazi to change their opinion/rhetoric/etc. I believe that the rancid underbelly of everything odious is EXACTLY what should be pushed forth into the light and have the brightest, most clinical light shone upon it. It's the only way to demystify and strip the propaganda of its allure (the allure of the forbidden fruit) and its leaps in logic, argumentation pitfalls and traps, and so on, and expose it for what it is: drivel that should be rejected for purely logical and ethical reasons.

If we feel it can't be done and the only way to deal with it is to censor it, to gag it, to keep it in the dark where it can fester and grow, then we're indirectly admitting their arguments have a point (or many) we can't counter- i.e. that they're actually right in some aspects, and that should be hidden away lest we lose in our position. And that is a weak approach.

Certainly DON'T engage nazis and bigots and racists if you're not prepared to deal with their logical fallacies and dramatic accusations and ad hominems while they try to twist your words out of context and out of shape. Don't engage them if you just don't have time or energy or focus to do it. Mute them on social media or block them if you need peace in your feed.

BUT- gag them officially by deplatforming, censoring, applying ‘thought police’ policies, and you admit defeat without them needing to do anything else; let alone running the risk of becoming what you hate.

Don't deny them attention. Give it to them in every way they DON'T want it.

I might make a newspost on this after all (unless anyone would like to guest post an article, by all means- especially El Cid since this was your idea for a post)
 
El Cid at 7:02PM, Dec. 12, 2018
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My last article went over like a ton of bricks, so I'll leave that to the professionals!

I do get it though why sites like Youtube need to prune out some things to maintain a certain level of decorum for their visitors. It's the sensible thing to do; it'd be bad for business if your site became a nesting ground for hate groups. But the censorship should be viewed at best as a necessary evil, not something to be celebrated, and definitely not something to weaponize.

Abt_Nihil wrote:
…Now, what worries me is how the past years have seen the entire internet (as known to me) become that cesspool that was once the youtube comments section.

I agree that bans and limiting free speech shouldn't be the answer (although I'd distinguish between the legal guarantee of free speech and the way corporations can choose to simply restrict service to certain individuals). Now, my question to all of you is: What can and should be done in the face of this development?

If there is more hate speech out there now, does it represent a real hardening of attitudes among people? And if it does represent something real, then is it better to hide it or confront it?
Ozoneocean at 7:44PM, Dec. 12, 2018
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Abt_Nihil wrote:
Now, my question to all of you is: What can and should be done in the face of this development?
Do you mean in response to “hate speech”? If so the first response (mine) to El Cid answered that and in practical sense based on long experience: You judge things on a case by case basis and carefully weed out the bad stuff as best you can. The extremes of going full freedom or full control are equally ineffective and just lead to each other constantly. There IS no eternal solution to social unrest or people being dicks, it's just something you have to manage on an on-going basis.

Amelius wrote:

“Debating Nazis is Dangerous”
(lots of ads but please read it)
And another
No, I will not debate you
And if you're going to tl:dr my second link because it is as the tin says a “long read” let me pull a salient quote to sum things up nice and tidy:

If we deny racists a platform, they feed off the appearance of censorship, but if we give them a platform, they’ve won by being respectfully invited into the mainstream. Either way, what matters to them is not debate, but attention. There is no perfect choice.

But there is a choice, and this, to my mind, is the sensible one: To refuse to dignify these people with prestigious public platforms, or to share them. To refuse to offer them airtime or engage them in public debate.
Yes, I have to agree.

Often people with extreme ideas want to use them to incite others to acts of violence or to gain a following. Public debates are used by them as a vehicle for that. The “debate” is utterly irrelevant, the real purpose is to use the stage to legitimise their fringe ideas and broadcast them to a wider audience.

This has been the same with anti-feminist misogynists, antivaxers, racists, antisemites, Nazis, young earth creationists and many others.
They don't care that some clever person debated them and destroyed their silly arguments, the goal is to use the stage, coverage and the clever person (Bill Nye, Neil DeGrass Tyson etc) as useful idiot to dupe them into the debate as a way to achieve legitimacy.
The debate result is unimportant because it can be spun.
Meanwhile they have the fact that they debated at an important university with professors, celebrities and experts present and that strengthens their position ^_^

This is part of the reason that the cry “Free speech! Free speech!!! No matter what” is unhelpful, as are pretty much any unqualified approaches.
Thing need to be examined, moderated and judged on their merits. It's HARD to do, damn hard, but that's the only way to be fair.
 
last edited on Dec. 12, 2018 7:52PM
Ozoneocean at 8:14PM, Dec. 12, 2018
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I started moderating Drunk Duck in our early days when we were really busy and young.
I moved on to administrating the site when we were getting thousands of new members- they were drawn by the lure of getting picked up for pro deals in the Platinum Studios days.

I wasn't always a good moderator in the beginning, I made some bad mistakes (I still do). But people mostly liked me and I was popular so I was obviously better than I was bad. I've been doing that here for about 13 years or so… And whatever other group or forum or page or whatever I'm part of I tend to gravitate to that kind of role eventually. I have some experience managing online interaction and social communities.

It's not easy.
Policies are guidelines not laws or rights given by god and you have to deal with people as individuals when you can. Everyone is individual and it's individuals that make up communities or destroy them.
People can radically form into mobs and follow one or two charismatic individuals though, regardless of the merits or intelligence behind them.

In all my dealings I've learned that there is nothing more unhelpful or useless than having unbendable, strict rules like “don't delete anything, 100% free speech” or “Say this and get banned”.
 
last edited on Dec. 12, 2018 8:15PM
El Cid at 9:12PM, Dec. 12, 2018
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Hmm, gotta disagree about this whole ‘No, I won’t debate you,' and ‘Just punch them in the face’ business. Those are mantras for a narcissist who just wants to win, because they believe they're in sole possession of the Absolute Truth and Absolute Moral High Ground. But it's not how civilized people get along and exchange ideas and grow.

Science is very important to me, but I don't have a problem with flat-earthers or UFO enthusiasts or moon landing skeptics having a platform. I rather enjoy listening to what they have to say, and I don't mean that in a snide or snarky way at all. It's interesting. You learn things by challenging yourself, and listening to wildly different perspectives can be a great opportunity to apply the knowledge you possess and also point out areas where you don't know quite enough. If you're comfortable in your beliefs, you shouldn't feel threatened by such things.

And it doesn't bother me that lots of people will be exposed to these terrible ideas either. It is presumptuous and conceited for anyone to believe they know best what ideas other people can handle. Do you believe YOU would be transformed into a neo-nazi if you were exposed to their propaganda? So why do you think other people would? What makes you better than them? Aren't there legitimate reasons why people such as scholars and journalists might want easy access to learn about them and their rhetoric?

Again, I understand having some ground rules to maintain decorum, so users and advertisers will feel comfortable, but the idea that there is some moral imperative to deny certain people a voice is, ironically, intolerance masquerading as virtue.
Ozoneocean at 1:34AM, Dec. 13, 2018
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What I'm mentioning isn't hypothetical or theoretical I'm afraid El Cid.
YOU might not have an issue with those terrible ideas and that's great, but everything I said actually happens.

It's now a common tactic of fringe groups to weaponise “debates” and public forums as a way to legitamise, publicise, incite and spread simply because of the niave idea that it's all harmless.
This is why we have the spread of vaccine preventable diseases that were completely eliminated in the western world. This is why flat earth spread in the last few yeas from a fringe joke group into a world wide phenomenon.

Around the world science is under active attack on many fronts because of a completely, utterly false notion of an equality of ideas or knowledge.
No, not all ideas and opinions are equal. No matter how democratic and egalitarian we are Abt Nihil will still know more about neuroscience and philosophy than me, Bravo will still know more about tank driving and model making, Tantz will still know more about psychology, You and Genejoke will know far more about 3D modelling and rendering.

The more equal a platform that false ideas are given with the truth the easier it is to convince people to follow the wrong path.
And yes, anyone can be convince to follow stupid ideas, even you or me. We're all prone and vulnerable. History has proven that time and again.

One of the smartest people I know is a conspiracy theorist who believes in AIDS denial, Holocust denial, moon landing denial, a 911 truther… He wasn't always that way. We even used to laugh together at the idea of believers…

Ironically I even said to him one day that conspiracy theorists aren't idiots and anyone can fall into that trap if convinced in the right way, even myself.
He said that's never happen, especially to me…
And yet it DID happen to him.

So yes, ideas can be very dangerous. We SHOULD be very, very presumptuous and guard against stupid ideas. It's the hight of conceit to think that you yourself couldn't fall for them, let alone anyone else. And many, many people demonstrably DO know better- which is why we have elaborate qualifications and institutions to make sure that they do.
 
bravo1102 at 4:35AM, Dec. 13, 2018
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Ozoneocean is right about this. Weird ideas are in great supply and critical thinking is becoming a rare skillset.

This is especially true when many so-called researchers merely parrot long discredited secondary sources when a cursory glance at primary sources (many readily available online) would blow their whole belief system to little bits.

I love reading about this stuff even though tons of research led me to be a thorough skeptic and to love the work of Center for Skeptical Inquiry going way back to Martin Gardner's Fads and fallacies in the name of Science first published in 1952!

Michael Shermer's work includes fighting holocaust deniers and white supremacists. A beautiful theory can destroyed by one ugly fact. But there are hundreds of videos on YouTube promulgating ancient astronauts and I can count on my fingers the ones that present the actual archeology that blows it to bits.
last edited on Dec. 13, 2018 4:44AM
Abt_Nihil at 5:49AM, Dec. 13, 2018
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Thanks OZ, that's my thinking down to a T. I especially gravitate toward the vaccination metaphor you used. Not engaging obvious stupidity does not undermine serious debate, it ensures its survival. And that hasn't been my default position - when I was a student and had the time, I pretty much tried to debate every stupid idea I came across. But now I see that most of that time is just wasted; that those propagating stupidity do not care about how the debate goes, and that how the debate goes is not what's primarily projected to the bystanders; what's projected to them is the appearance of credibility which is lent to idiotic views by engaging them.

Plus, as someone trying to discuss seriously, you'll always have the main burden of presenting actual evidence and pointing out logical inferences/fallacies, which your opponent cares nothing about and will typically simply ignore. What is one throw-away line for him can amount to days of work for you. And when idiotic viewpoints are held by more and more persons online, engaging them seriously one by one simply cannot be done.

It's just Bullshit in Frankfurt's sense - just throwing stuff out there without any commitment whatsoever to its potential truth or falsehood.
last edited on Dec. 13, 2018 5:51AM
JustNoPoint at 7:48AM, Dec. 13, 2018
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Oz and Abt are hitting it on the head. I can barely put the effort in to debate anymore because I am exhausted in doing so with the ever growing numbers that don't have to back anything up or adhere to people that are professionals in the field. It used to be easy to debate someone and viewers could ascertain each side by their logic and merits. Now the opposition can just call you a name and masses eat it up.

I suppose BECAUSE they are tired of being looked at as “dumber” and what not. Basically large groups of less informed are banning together and advertising facts and logic as weapons to undermine and keep them under someone's thumb. Alex Jones literally ruined lives with his platform. By making people believe every school shooting was fabricated to push and agenda.

So the tragedy of a dead son or daughter wasn't enough. Now parents and survivors got death threats for staging it. That's nuts and should have been dealt with ages ago. But was allowed because doing so would be censorship… agh
bravo1102 at 8:45AM, Dec. 13, 2018
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And it's so sad that all the words here echo thoughts voiced by Cicero and Edmund Burke among others.

Except now we suffer from having a broader platform for the prattle of the ignorant than ever before. But to paraphrase Edmund Burke with great liberty comes great responsibility.

So web platforms need to exercise that responsibility. They might be overreacting in some cases to avoid complaints. However, foolish ignorant opinions will always find an outlet whether it's someone in a basement with a mimeograph machine or a professional website.

Keep putting the truth out there and demanding evidence. But there's the old saying “never debate a fool, they will drag you down to their level (of foolishness) and defeat you with their superior experience (at being a fool)”

So I find solace in satire.
El Cid at 9:49AM, Dec. 13, 2018
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ozoneocean wrote:
What I'm mentioning isn't hypothetical or theoretical I'm afraid El Cid.
YOU might not have an issue with those terrible ideas and that's great, but everything I said actually happens.

I never suggested that any of this is hypothetical, and I'm aware it happens. My point is that it doesn't matter. Looking at the responses I see here, the overarching problem is the assumption that there is a way things Ought To Be, and we should band together to keep Others from chipping away at this righteous ideal.

But who gets to decide what that ideal is? The “Experts?” Experts are people; people have biases. Specialized knowledge often just means you're better at supporting positions you actually hold for ideological reasons or self-serving professional reasons rather than purely intellectual ones. Experts are not saints, and they don't get to dictate on pure authority. That is totalitarian thinking.

We need to keep things in perspective. Youtube is an entertainment site. It is not and should not be anyone's primary source for information, and it should surprise no one that there are fifty times more videos on Youtube about ancient aliens and flat Earth. That stuff is entertaining, and the viewers - of their own free will and preference - gravitate to that more than they do to dry factual science. But if people start actually believing it, that's not Youtube's fault; that's why we have schools. If people are turning into neo-nazis, that is a failure of the community and of families. Don't blame the internet for that.
Tantz_Aerine at 10:06AM, Dec. 13, 2018
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ozoneocean wrote:
… Tantz will still know more about psychology, …


And yet, I am generally ignored in what points I made even in this very thread DESPITE those points stemming from my expertise, and everyone is agreeing with you instead- why, because censoring is convenient, and people go for convenience over diligence (that includes me, just not in this area).

I don't mind- life is trial and error and as a direct democrat I'm determined to let you experiment while I buckle up to survive the consequences I see coming. I'll just sit here and watch while y'all applaud censoring the idiots, the bigots and the criminals that are the (very obligingly willing) gateway to everyone that does matter getting a taste of that one way or the other, and not too far down the line. If we make it through, you won't need me to warn you about it any more.

EDIT

And an afterthought- the antivaxxer movement didn't spring from some crackpot nobody or some alex jones saying vaccines were bad. It sprung from a scientific article in a respectable peer reviewed journal that dropped the ball. Think about this principle, and how it applies to most other ‘extreme’ movements.

And lastly: critical thinking is a skill. You learn it, and you can teach it. It isn't some trait that is being weeded out by evolution and there's nothing we can do about it. It also happens to be the only thing able to keep people from becoming ‘radicalized’ and ‘extreme’ (assuming the labels are used properly). Otherwise, censorship has the same efficiency on the problem as the plague masks did during the Black Death.

I'll take my soap box now, carry on.
 
last edited on Dec. 13, 2018 10:19AM
JustNoPoint at 10:10AM, Dec. 13, 2018
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Going back to the Alex Jones example I can completely blame him for perpetuating the idea. Like it or not the internet is now a part of our communities too. You cannot just suggest it can have no influence. Teachers and parents can only do so much. Some things should not have a platform. I get that you worry it over reaches at times. But what Alex was doing was incredibly obvious. It was nothing but a detriment to society

Edit: tantz snuck a reply in while I typed. This one was meant for cid.
last edited on Dec. 13, 2018 10:13AM
Amelius at 10:29AM, Dec. 13, 2018
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El Cid, did you even read the articles, or yet again dismiss it out of hand without bothering to comprehend what it is saying? Because it sounds to me like you just read the link title and then followed up by demonstrating you didn't even remotely understand the quote I provided, either. You didn't even touch on the subject matter contained in either of the materials I provided. I only linked 2 because I figured any more would be a wasted effort, and I guess I was right.

I realize you have exactly zero respect for me, but I at least watched the video you linked, and the comment section was bloated with antisemitism and now youtube is suggesting some alt-right trash in my feed, so special no thanks for that.

I see my friends who are struggling with the very real consequences of hate speech say “I wish white liberals would fight for my rights as hard as they fight for the rights of nazis and homophobes to speak their violence in a public platform”

I'm far from assuming you're a liberal based on your past posts, but the point still stands. You're only thinking about the people that can be seduced into fascism as unfortunate but somehow acceptable consequences
of total freedom of speech and giving absolutely no regard to the victims.

You can call us conceited, presumptuous narcissists all you want, doesn't change the reality of what we're dealing with, especially in a climate with fascism on the rise.




Tantz_Aerine at 10:37AM, Dec. 13, 2018
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Amelius wrote:
I see my friends who are struggling with the very real consequences of hate speech say “I wish white liberals would fight for my rights as hard as they fight for the rights of nazis and homophobes to speak their violence in a public platform”



I think this is the gist of the matter. If double standards weren't applied (one way or the other, it doesn't matter) then we probably wouldn't even be having this kind of a debate. (As an aside, I'm surprised white liberals would do that, in my twitter feed they don't seem to be doing that at all, but I'll take your word for it Amelius. It is strange times we're living in)

Anyway, I definitely don't want to fight (or be in a fight or witness it) with anyone over this or be heated so I won't post here any further. I've said my piece anyway.
 
last edited on Dec. 13, 2018 10:41AM
Amelius at 11:06AM, Dec. 13, 2018
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Yeah, this topic is exhausting and frustrating, and I sort of regret stepping in it, this is one of those things where everyone's already made up their mind.

Sorry if you won't see my reply then Tantz, but yeah it's even mentioned in both articles I linked too, about white liberals being afraid of being called intolerant, and especially POC feel let down constantly by the party that ostensibly cares for their rights.

I don't think being liberal or left-leaning makes someone immune from stupid ideas or criticism. And for the record I also don't equate every conservative or republican as a nazi or alt-right, those are separate terms for a reason.

I am not here to vilify people for caring about what affect limiting speech can have– I understand the fear of overreach, I'm just pointing out why people disagree with the sentiment that these “ideas” deserve a platform.







El Cid at 11:11AM, Dec. 13, 2018
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This discussion may have outlived its productive life, so I may have to extricate myself from it.

@JNP: I actually don't know anything about the Alex Jones thing, but if you're doing something that harms people, then it's actionable in court. If it's not actionable, then there's nothing there. Without knowing the specifics, that's all I can say. It sounds like he pissed off a lot of people and they want to hurt him somehow, but the courts weren't having it.

@Amelius: I'm not sure where or how I've disrespected you in this thread, but if I did, it was certainly not intentional. The guy in the video I linked to is an extremely mild center-right commentator, but if clicking on it exposed you to something unpleasant, then I'm super sorry about that and will be more careful about posting such things in the future.

I did click on the articles you posted, but did not fully read them. The title of the first one actually advocated violence against people you disagree with, so that's a non-starter for me. The second one I read for a little bit, but the author was basically trying to justify his own deplatforming of someone who it sounds like had bested him in previous exchanges. It seemed self-serving and self-righteous so I lost interest very quickly. I just went off your summary. If there's something specific in there that you think I need to see, please point me to it and I'll have another look.
JustNoPoint at 12:16PM, Dec. 13, 2018
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It took a while (after he as already taken off the air) but he’s finally getting taken to court for it. This is a guy that tells people about the government using chemicals to turn people (and frogs) gay! I knew someone at my old job that believed the shootings were fake. Heck, you can’t always suggest that if something is harming people it’d go to court. What the courts decide is and isn’t harmful doesn’t hold water a lot either. I know Tantz would have several stories about that too!
El Cid at 12:34PM, Dec. 13, 2018
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No one would ever claim the court system is perfect, but I'll take it over public lynchings any day of the week. If Alex Jones receives a fair hearing and is found liable, then justice is served.
JustNoPoint at 12:43PM, Dec. 13, 2018
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Removing him from the air isn’t a public lynching though. And even if he’s found guilty that doesn’t automatically make the people that believed him go away. It just makes them think the government is keeping him quiet because he’s making too many people “woke” :p
El Cid at 12:51PM, Dec. 13, 2018
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posts: 1,280
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It absolutely is a public lynching. Not literally, obviously, but yes, if you're taking extralegal means to go after someone because you don't think the authorities are punishing them fast enough or severely enough, that makes YOU the bad guy. Again, I don't know anything about the Alex Jones story specifically, but it doesn't matter. Even if it turns out he did do something wrong, that doesn't retroactively make the lynching right.

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