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19 minutes ago, Eiuol said:

I think this is playing fast and loose with the term censorship. Censorship can be equated with moderation, but I think it should be. I've changed my mind recently to think of censorship as strictly government enacted. I think that's what the term refers to, and doesn't need to extend beyond that. I don't think there is a such thing as private censorship, there is only censorship performed by government institutions.

If you were right then the term "self-censorship" would only be able to mean "the government censoring itself."

But it is merely a terminological point. I prefer to call "government censorship" just that.

I also think there should be a term for when private citizens move to block others from having information, and though it may be legal and not an infringement of anyone's rights, there still needs to be a word for it. In many cases it is very rude behavior, and censorship is also not the kind of behavior one would expect of a person who is confident in the rightness of their ideas.

19 minutes ago, Eiuol said:

But moderation plays a role in maintaining healthy environments and forums for discussion. Not because certain ideas are scary, but because some people are toxic.

It's also a non sequitur to presume that, just because a person holds a certain idea, even a badly mistaken one, that they are rude or obnoxious or toxic or whatever.

It's fine to remove posts that are merely rude or obnoxious (or illegal), and even fine to ban people who seem to only produce those kinds of posts, but it's not fine to ban people on the basis of their ideas and then claim that it's because such ideas must necessarily lead to rudeness or obnoxiousness.

(I suppose the sole exception would be if someone's idea specifically was that they should have the right to be rude or obnoxious on someone else's dime, but even then they'd have to try to put that idea into actual practice in order for me to think they should be banned.)

19 minutes ago, Eiuol said:

offer weak evidence for widespread and pervasive fraud that would cause an election to be stolen

An election can be stolen without "widespread and pervasive" fraud. Sometimes just a few thousand well-placed fraudulent votes can be enough to flip the outcome.

Edited by necrovore
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4 minutes ago, necrovore said:

censorship is also not the kind of behavior one would expect of a person who is confident in the rightness of their ideas.

Try to use a different word be, because if you don't mean government censorship, don't say censorship. What do you mean by censorship here if you aren't talking about initiating force? What would be the rational goal of moderation? Don't the goals of moderation involve how people are behaving, not the ideas that they say necessarily? I think that engaging in that kind of dialogue is toxic, or at least the person deliberately trying to inject that in the conversation. It's poisoning the well.

23 minutes ago, necrovore said:

It's also a non sequitur to presume that, just because a person holds a certain idea, even a badly mistaken one, that they are rude or obnoxious or toxic or whatever.

It might, it might not, but either way, that's not the claim I made there. The person may be obnoxious or rude, and what makes someone obnoxious or rude is what they say. To express certain ideas is obnoxious - not because the idea leads to them being obnoxious, but because stating the idea is obnoxious. Obnoxious, as in against rational discourse and standards of communication or rhetoric. I'm saying that there are certain types of expressed ideas are part of rude and obnoxious behavior. 

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2 hours ago, necrovore said:
2 hours ago, Eiuol said:

offer weak evidence for widespread and pervasive fraud that would cause an election to be stolen

An election can be stolen without "widespread and pervasive" fraud. Sometimes just a few thousand well-placed fraudulent votes can be enough to flip the outcome.

Yes it is possible as in Gore vs. Bush. But this election would have required multiple states committing the fraud. No single county or state could have changed the result, Biden was too far ahead in electoral votes. And of course, the fraud had to be meticulous enough to give GOP and edge in congress but not for the presidency.

All in all, the evidence is weak.

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2 hours ago, Eiuol said:

Try to use a different word be, because if you don't mean government censorship, don't say censorship. What do you mean by censorship here if you aren't talking about initiating force? 

Unfortunately, even though you have a point that it ought not be used that way, you're not going to win the "term usage" battle, it's too ingrained. People say things like "don't censor me" in a simple discussion. Some also call it private censorship. It does confuse the element of governmental force. So the only way out seems to be to say specifically "governmental censorship", because they seem to define it as "to prevent or limit expression/communication" without regard to who is doing the preventing. It does not matter if it is your employer or the police (or even your decency that censors you).

The other issue that muddies the water is that there seems to be some crony relationship between government and Google Facebook et. al.  This relationship is used to imply that they are partially the arm of the government i.e. they are not exactly a private company. If that were true, then it would fall into the category of governmental censorship. But is it true?

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All in all, what evidence is weak? What court examined the 'evidence'? Courts determined the claims of vote counting malfeasance were too weak to be heard.

Zuckerberg gave hundreds of millions of dollars to facilitate and enhance the disruption of chain of custody of ballots , and then privately censors the discussion of those facts. Is that because his actions were well intentioned and he only seeks to maintain a non-obnoxious online community ?

 

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2 hours ago, tadmjones said:

Is that because his actions were well intentioned and he only seeks to maintain a non-obnoxious online community ?

Yes. Or at least, he values tolerance so highly above anything else in online communities that all he wants is for everyone to get along. You don't need some special conspiratorial motive here. Don't ask loaded questions. (My saying yes is not admitting that he did disrupt the election).

8 hours ago, Easy Truth said:

People say things like "don't censor me" in a simple discussion.

When they do, it becomes difficult to talk about anything to do with freedom of speech and censorship. If somebody insists on using the terms private and government in this context, that's okay, as long as they are always specific about which one. Otherwise, conceptually, both ideas are blurred together. I think it's better though to use different terms. That's why I keep using the word moderation if I'm referring to privately determining what people can and cannot say on public platforms.

8 hours ago, Easy Truth said:

This relationship is used to imply that they are partially the arm of the government i.e. they are not exactly a private company. If that were true, then it would fall into the category of governmental censorship. But is it true?

I don't think so, what past evidence do we have that Facebook or Google is willingly participating and even directly supporting the advancement of government censorship? Where do we have examples in the US of government censorship anyway? The FCC for sure, but I can't think of anything Google has done. I would be surprised if Google has received substantial money from the government, but that doesn't mean the terms for that money included censoring things for the government. Not any more than receiving Social Security means you are a statist who supports the welfare state philosophically.  Only that, it's pretty easy to tell in the US the difference between a private entity, and a partially government operated entity. In China the distinction is blurry, where social media companies really do censor on behalf of the government. Then again, there is no such thing as a private company in China. I don't mean that metaphorically - it's a communist government after all.

If anyone is wondering about the term self-censorship, it would refer to needing to censor yourself because of what the government might do to you. It's altering what you say under the threat of force.

Edited by Eiuol
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13 hours ago, Eiuol said:

On a broad level I really think that people who claim the election was stolen really are undermining standards of rationality

Would you cancel people for advocating faith in god or for claiming to have evidence that the earth is flat?

"Undermining standards of rationality" sounds like you're getting at motive, and that's often a difficult endeavor. You'll end up banning people simply for not being rational according to your standard of rationality, and then you risk forming an echo chamber of sycophants, like you see happening on the more cultish social media channels even within the Objectivist movement.

My policy would be pretty simple. No illegal stuff, because you have to obey the law. And no socialists, because they are the political enemy, fuck'em. The rest of the garbage can be segregated into the cesspool portion of the platform, where sewer rats and trash-pickers can go to be indecent. And if someone finds gold mistakenly dumped down there, well, they can petition to have it readmitted to the land of decency.

14 hours ago, Eiuol said:

and actively promoting subversion.

Subversion of what exactly?

14 hours ago, Eiuol said:

...I think even if you disagree about the [collusion] accusations, it's nothing like rejecting procedures of the government itself.

Which procedures? Should we automatically accept election procedures, even if we think there is evidence of foul play?

14 hours ago, Eiuol said:

Questioning the government is one thing, outright subversion and looking the other way when it comes to violence is significantly worse and more dangerous

Are you saying that claiming the election was stolen is subversion of the government? One, an election process is not a government. And two, Biden wasn't even part of the government when his supporters stole the election for him

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allegedly.

14 hours ago, Eiuol said:

I think the collusion accusations are valid...

I think you're wrong, but aren't you rejecting the government procedure that found no evidence of collusion with Russia? By your standard it sounds like you're subverting the government.

15 hours ago, Eiuol said:

Pulling videos by Manson risks lawsuits. Pulling videos by someone who talks about transgender issues in a cringey way doesn't really risk lawsuits, even if the algorithm was only intended to capture the most egregious violators. That person doesn't have enough money to be a threat. Easier to let them rot in appeal hell than improve the algorithm.

It sounds like you're saying that someone at YT is reviewing channels to determine whether the owner might sue over being nuked off the platform. Do you have evidence for that theory?

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34 minutes ago, Eiuol said:

That's why I keep using the word moderation if I'm referring to privately determining what people can and cannot say on public platforms.

Do you mean private platforms? A public platform would be something like a public park where the public (via its reps in government) determine the speech code.

Edited by MisterSwig
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2 hours ago, Eiuol said:

That's why I keep using the word moderation if I'm referring to privately determining what people can and cannot say on public platforms.

The problem with that is that having good manners can be mandated. The issue is where does voluntary behavior belong in this case. It's really about agreeing to the voluntarily agreed on rules that's the issue.

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2 hours ago, MisterSwig said:

Do you mean private platforms?

Yeah, that's what I meant. I misspoke. In my mind I was thinking large privately owned spaces where many people gather, not that the spaces are publicly owned.

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Moderation and censorship are not the same thing. Slashdot for example has an excellent moderation system; people moderate each other's posts, meta-moderation makes sure that moderation is fair, and trolls get voted down and hidden, but you can still see the downvoted troll posts if you want.

Censorship, by contrast, is when a person deliberately tries to prevent someone else from obtaining information. That's my definition. This can be an infringement of rights in some cases (e.g., if you want to go to the bookstore to buy a book, but I stop you), but it can also not be (e.g., if I own the bookstore and decide not to carry the book or even order it -- or if I buy up all the copies of the book in town, and burn them, so that you can't get one.)

Even in cases where censorship isn't an infringement of rights, I still think it's bad. I have the right to buy TVs and smash them to bits, too, but that doesn't mean it's a good idea.

I would also argue that even deliberate removal of information isn't necessarily censorship. Motive has to be considered. If I refuse to sell a book in my bookstore because I don't want you to read it, that's censorship, but if I receive death threats and decide to remove the book to stay alive, then I don't think that's censorship on my part, although in some cases it could be appeasement or cowardice. (I guess it depends on how much the police have been defunded.) The people issuing the threats are performing censorship, though.

It also wouldn't be censorship if I decided not to carry a book in my bookstore because it wouldn't sell, or because it was four feet tall, heavy, or super-expensive, or something like that. However, there are also cases where you can argue about what someone's real motive is in not carrying a book.

Edited by necrovore
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Posted (edited)

Censorship is the right to restrict speech on your own property. If you own a tavern, you can post a speech code and demand obedience under penalty of banishment from that private property. Applied to public property, this right looks like government officials creating laws and regulations for speech on public property. When government officials create speech codes for private property, that is not censorship. That's dictatorship.

The meaning of "censorship" pertaining to Roman censors is inapplicable to capitalistic nations today. The Roman censors were dictators, sometimes the Roman emperor himself assumed the role of censor. The only relevant aspect today is that the Roman censors were moderators of people's morality. Today that function is performed by private property owners on their own private property, and by our government officials on public property.

Edited by MisterSwig
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2 hours ago, necrovore said:

Moderation and censorship are not the same thing.

Of course not, I even said that they aren't. I'm not saying moderation as the alternative phrase for private censorship, I'm saying that everything moderation consists of is not censorship. Sometimes moderation includes leaving the posts up but down voting to de-prioritize posts that people see. Sometimes moderation includes deleting posts. In either case censorship usually refers to denying freedom of speech. That's what people mean. Sometimes people view setting constraints to what they can say in any context as denying freedom in the same way as physically taping their mouth closed. When people claim that they are being censored, even in the private setting, they are claiming that their freedom is denied. Perhaps you know better than to say that your freedom is denied, but historically and currently people are referring to denial of freedom when they say censorship. So do I. That's why I use different words.

So when I say moderation, I mean content control including what others say. When I say censorship, I mean the denial of freedom of speech. To say that censorship is trying to prevent someone from obtaining information is quite confusing. It could mean that you lock a document in a safe so that no one can see it. Is that censorship? Is telling a lie censorship? Is it censorship if a post is deleted not because the person is trying to prevent you from getting information, but because the person is trying to create a more polite environment? After all, you said motive needs to be considered. More specifically, I'm saying that your definition isn't helping analysis. Sure, censorship often involves controlling the flow of information, but I think it's neither important nor necessary.

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5 hours ago, MisterSwig said:

Would you cancel people for advocating faith in god or for claiming to have evidence that the earth is flat?

 

This depends on the platform. I think it greatly depends on the target audience and the size of the platform. YouTube is a very broad platform, so I would use the most broad standards I can think of that are appropriate for standards of functioning society (basic standards of decency and civility). For those things I would tend towards meta-moderation like you find on Reddit, and only use outright post deletion when there are particularly egregious issues. In the context of YouTube, no, I wouldn't do anything to those people who advocate faith in God.

Then we can have something more narrow like this forum. In this case I would even ban flat earthers just as I would ban qanoners. The reason is because this is a site for more narrow shared values. And we can get even more narrow like a mailing list people at is it in a narrow subfield of something, and are really trying to develop a set of ideas and don't want to take the time to prove to everyone else why certain ideas are not worth discussing further. 

5 hours ago, MisterSwig said:

One, an election process is not a government.

I don't want to get into it now, it's not even the best example for this discussion. But suffice it to say that I think the election process is so fundamental about the government that denying the validity of the procedure after an election has been validated is subversive. Not that subversion is inherently bad, but it is subversion nevertheless.

5 hours ago, MisterSwig said:

I think you're wrong, but aren't you rejecting the government procedure that found no evidence of collusion with Russia?

The conclusion was that further investigation was justified, and Congress should look into it further. The conclusion was not that there was no evidence of collusion. 

5 hours ago, MisterSwig said:

It sounds like you're saying that someone at YT is reviewing channels to determine whether the owner might sue over being nuked off the platform. Do you have evidence for that theory?

It's unsubstantiated. I'm saying it because I know that legal procedures happen about intellectual property, and the threat of legal fees is enough to change the behavior of a company. Beyond that, it's just speculation. I have no idea why they would allow that Manson video, it's the best explanation I have.

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1 hour ago, Eiuol said:

The conclusion was that further investigation was justified, and Congress should look into it further. The conclusion was not that there was no evidence of collusion. 

I'll rephrase. Aren't you rejecting the government procedure that found "insufficient" evidence of collusion?

 

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2 hours ago, tadmjones said:

To unload the question, isn't it correct to say that Zuckerberg disrupted the election process by funding ballot 'drop boxes'?

Not objectively correct. If there is a law that explicitly prohibits the activity, it would be objectively correct.

Now, if there is no such law and should there be such a law is a different matter.

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Seeing words can't kill you, I think everything that's articulated by someone anywhere can have a place. For someone.

If one wants to better understand the premises of ideas and their possible effects (else - ignore). Better 'out there' than silenced, censored, gagged, muzzled and never heard. But well known, is that particularly Leftist feature: words can kill you.

Sure, the big tech people must believe they are doing good for society in their image of 'Society' and 'good', but be wary of reading benevolence in there. They run too close to social engineering. "Its your minds they want".

Edited by whYNOT
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8 minutes ago, whYNOT said:

Better 'out there' than silenced, censored, gagged, muzzled and never heard

Good thing this does not happen in the US. The US is not as bad as you think it is.

Edited by Eiuol
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41 minutes ago, Eiuol said:

Good thing this does not happen in the US. The US is not as bad as you think it is.

Then the cancel culture is only a figment of my imagination, dreamed up by the Alt-Right, hmm? The Democrats aren't really pulling out every strategem to achieve a one party state? I think it penetrates to many outsiders that the US is not as good as it should be of late and they fear for it.

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3 hours ago, MisterSwig said:

I'll rephrase. Aren't you rejecting the government procedure that found "insufficient" evidence of collusion?

Insufficient in this context means there is not proof. I will say that I should not have said the word collusion, and it never was about collusion because collusion isn't even a legal charge. But I do know that there was sufficient evidence to warrant further investigation. It's very different than saying that the investigation is illegitimate, which I think is that the people who wanted to specifically "stop the steal" rejected the legitimacy of the government to begin with. Not just disagreeing with government policy, but actively standing against the procedures themselves. 

The point is, even if I'm wrong about all this, those kind of behaviors warrant banning and things like that. And yes, saying things is behavior. My position as nothing to do with the ideas themselves. It has to do with the behavior of people, what they do.

15 minutes ago, whYNOT said:

Then the cancel culture is only a figment of my imagination

No one is silenced, censored, gagged or muzzled. Those are terms for when your freedom of speech is denied. 

It might sound like that from where you are, but it really isn't true. No one here is actually afraid, and the who act like they are afraid I think are grifters, or people who think they are always victimized. Americans generally don't care about what others tell them to say. They move on to something else or make their own opportunity if no one lets them speak. That's what has been happening. 

 

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1 minute ago, Eiuol said:

No one is silenced, censored, gagged or muzzled. Those are terms for when your freedom of speech is denied. 

It might sound like that from where you are, but it really isn't true. No one here is actually afraid, and the who act like they are afraid I think are grifters, or people who think they are always victimized. Americans generally don't care about what others tell them to say. They move on to something else or make their own opportunity if no one lets them speak. That's what has been happening. 

 

Naturally I accept the validity of your personal observations, and recognize that what's 'on the ground' often deviates from what's in the air. What's great about people, they have resilience, I think Americans more than most - when pushed. But I ask you to look ahead, to conceive of what the long term (and very short term) consequences of all these moral and political initiatives springing up in the US may be. The nation is looked up to as the standard of individual freedom (even by its detractors). Which doesn't impose any obligation on you except to carry on living free. So the least bit of censorship, ('canceling') there assumes greater proportions, signs of worse to come.

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10 hours ago, Eiuol said:

But suffice it to say that I think the election process is so fundamental about the government that denying the validity of the procedure after an election has been validated is subversive.

It's not fundamental. Our current election process wasn't even the original one. I think you can have valid criticisms of it and reject it as a proper way to select a president. 

4 hours ago, Eiuol said:

But I do know that there was sufficient evidence to warrant further investigation.

You might be thinking of the obstruction claim against Trump. Mueller said there was "sufficient factual and legal basis for further investigation of potential obstruction of justice." 

I don't recall him making the same claim about collusion/conspiracy with Russia. Are you saying that despite insufficient evidence you still believe Trump conspired with the Russians? 

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12 hours ago, Easy Truth said:

Not objectively correct. If there is a law that explicitly prohibits the activity, it would be objectively correct.

Now, if there is no such law and should there be such a law is a different matter.

The 500 absentee ballot collection sites, "drop boxes" funded by Mark Z, and dispersed through out 72 counties in Wisconsin were illegal. Their use was established by guidance from WEC and not established by the state's legislature. The Wisconsin Supreme Court rejected the challenge and relief sought based on the reasoning that the case fell under 'laches' and reasoning that the relief sought would disenfranchise voters who followed the WEC guidance.

There may have not been a 'law on the books' that explicitly prohibited the use of drop boxes, but election law isn't based on the idea that all things are legal as long as it is not explicitly prohibited, election law and procedures for conducting elections is established by the state legislature. A dissenting opinion in the case references the difference between establishing law and procedures and the role of the Wisconsin Election Comm in following the state's laws and procedures , as opposed to the idea that the WEC may set procedures.

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