Internet censorship and the vocal minority

mattavelle1

IT’S GOT A DEATH RAY!
Moderator
#1
Man this topic is going to cause trouble but I've felt it bubble up several times and I keep putting it down because I don't think it's worth it yet, but I don't know, I don't want it to keep festering.

I think the whole democratic censorship thing that's been going on more and more because of the internet really sucks. I'm talking about the kind of moral shaming and extreme political correctness that has come in the form of comedians losing jobs because of offensive jokes, athletes no longer being recognized after some scandal, videogames being censored because of pressure from feminist groups, and in the most recent hilarious case, a freaking astronaut that performed the incredible feat of landing a probe on a hurling comet in outer space - for science - being publicly shamed to the point of tears because of a silly shirt he was wearing when he appeared on TV.

Taken individually, each of these instances can be justified by saying that "such and such group is entirely in their right to complain about such and such thing, they feel oppressed and they don't want their children's impressionable young minds poisoned by problematic behavior".

But taken as a whole, there is a clear narrative of censorship that is put in place not by a single autocratic body, but, in each case, by a specific loud vocal minority. Of course this tendency of interest groups banding together to change the public space has always been there - and it's perfectly natural in a society - but it's spiraled out of control with the rise of the internet, where a minority can form a very loud voice to drown out any and all dissenters, ignorant and well-reasoned both. And it's fucking stupid. It drowns out conversations. If public debates around touchy issues before the internet were like pruning a tree's branches so that it grows upright, today they are more like felling the entire tree before it even has the chance to grow into anything.

So can we talk about the right time and place for sexuality in media, games included? No, it offends us, cut it at the root.
Can we talk about separating the beneficial parts of religions from the parts that excuse the behavior of radical groups? No, it offends us, cut it at the root.

Let's discuss the role of violence in creating empathy in media. No, it offends us.
Hell, even something as straightforward as climate change is somehow frozen "in debate" in the scientific community (as far as the public thinks) because of an extremely vocal minority (read: very well-funded private research groups).

I've seen it justified elsewhere by someone very smart in very clear terms: "because such and such is a social issue, it needs to be resolved socially". Which was to say, "if the majority of people don't like a thing, it should be censored and kept out of reach for everyone". Which makes sense for, you know, murder, rape, assault, theft, and so on. But we are at a point where you don't need "the majority" because the minority is loud enough to change things; so we don't limit this power to murder, rape, assault, theft, and so on, but also to just about anything any loud-enough minority group finds "problematic".


By @juegosmajicos please discuss. @imthesoldier I'll move your post aswell.
 

mattavelle1

IT’S GOT A DEATH RAY!
Moderator
#2


Another way to think about this is when people say they are offended by something. Oh, you're offended? As if that gives you extra or certain rights over me because you disagree with something I said?



These days, when someone tells me they are offended, I honestly do say, "So?" It's a case of I'm still going to have these thoughts anyway, regardless if you're offended or not, so why bother being offended by it in the first place?

On the other end of the sprectrum, I may not always agree with others with their thoughts, but that's mostly what it is, a simply disagreement, not being offended by it, which are two different things anyway.

@imthesoldier wrote this
.
 

mattavelle1

IT’S GOT A DEATH RAY!
Moderator
#3
And I'm cool with all the being offended, and I equally think it's not always a big deal when they are offended (and sometimes it is).

But what I think is worrying is how easily comes the power to turn being offended into effective censorship because of the internet, and how willing people are to abuse that power. And more than that, how easy it is for others to mistake a minority rule that came from a vocal group, for a democratic majority rule (a majority consensus that comes from a long process of discussion).

It's not that people aren't allowed to voice their displeasure with anything and everything. It's that when we allow an "offended" group to establish the rules for everyone else without having a proper long discussion about the issue, we are letting ourselves be shortchanged from democracy, or at least from whatever little representation we have in our respective governments.

@juegosmajicos had this to say
 

mattavelle1

IT’S GOT A DEATH RAY!
Moderator
#4

...and in the most recent hilarious case, a freaking astronaut that performed the incredible feat of landing a probe on a hurling comet in outer space - for science - being publicly shamed to the point of tears because of a silly shirt he was wearing when he appeared on TV.

I'm pretty much in agreement with you, save for this fellow. He was doing a press interview as part of his job as a scientist here. On what planet is a leather fetish shirt business casual? I grok why someone looks at that and goes "WTF?" Just because he's a very intelligent scientist doesn't give him a pass for anything else in my book.

BUT, that doesn't mean this guy should get a dog pile of scorn. Why? Here, read this. This dude isn't some heartless creep. He just should've chosen a different shirt one day, and probably needs a far more gentle push back on appropriate business setting attire.

But otherwise, there's a precarious line between letting trolls be trolls and censorship. I don't quite agree with Andrew Sullivan here, (yes, Sully, there is "policing speech online" - for any fucking web site that has a ToS), but I see his point. There's an overzealous strain of thought that wants to police anything deemed "offensive," and that's a mug's game.

@Mike D. Wrote this
 

Odo

Well-Known Member
#6
Great thread.

I think there are two opposite problems nowadays. People are rude and people are offended or considers everything you say prejudice.

So there are so many rude people today. People for example thinks that once they've got freedom they can do and say whatever they want. Those homosexual radicals for example that goes to street to protest against prejudice and everything they almost have sex on the streets just because they've got freedom. This is a shame. Why people can't be polite any more?

And there are those people that are offended about everything. If I give my money to a candidate that is against gay marriage, people get offended and you're like the new Hitler. What's going on with those people? If someone has an opinion or has a bad opinion, it's not anyone's business.



So for me all those problems comes from one simple source: people don't grow up any more. People today, everywhere, acts like children. Our generation is weak. Too fragile. I believe that maybe our generation wouldn't stop Hitler like our great-grandparents did.
 

EvilTw1n

Even my henchmen think I'm crazy.
Moderator
#7
Great thread.

I think there are two opposite problems nowadays. People are rude and people are offended or considers everything you say prejudice.

So there are so many rude people today. People for example thinks that once they've got freedom they can do and say whatever they want. Those homosexual radicals for example that goes to street to protest against prejudice and everything they almost have sex on the streets just because they've got freedom. This is a shame. Why people can't be polite any more?

And there are those people that are offended about everything. If I give my money to a candidate that is against gay marriage, people get offended and you're like the new Hitler. What's going on with those people? If someone has an opinion or has a bad opinion, it's not anyone's business.



So for me all those problems comes from one simple source: people don't grow up any more. People today, everywhere, acts like children. Our generation is weak. Too fragile. I believe that maybe our generation wouldn't stop Hitler like our great-grandparents did.
Well, I don't know where you're finding the "homosexual radicals" having sex on the street. A gay pride parade may not be someone's boat, but so what? I lived down the street from stuff like this, which is way more offensive than some guy in ass-less chaps. There's tits (and way more) on parade during Mardi Gras and no one cares.

On someone's opinions being controversial? To me, that's where the real fragility comes in. If someone wants to express their opinion on something (talk about being against gay marriage and thinking how it's terrible in their view, or in their God's view, or what have you), then they'd best expect to hear other people's opinions, too. It's the height of weakness if someone thinks "I'm going to say something, and you're not allowed to have a response." It doesn't work that way. People can have whatever opinion they want, but they don't get a magic shield so that other people can't react. The corollary to saying something is that people listen to it and are allowed to respond in kind. I have about zilch in the way of sympathy for folks who can dish it out, but can't take it.

And that's sort of the problem with policing speech on social media. Where's the line between trolling and violating the TOS (which gets people banned) and just having an opinion others find controversial and them reacting to it (which shouldn't get you banned)? Sometimes it's easy to discern, sometimes it isn't.

I do agree, though, that there's an aspect of meanness and rudeness to modernity that is really unbecoming. People think that because they only see a name on a screen that there's no person behind it. Like with majico's example of the guy in the shirt; someone just needed to say "dude, come on, you aren't at a bar with your friends; you're on the clock and this is part of your work, so dress accordingly."

[On WWII...well, that's a different discussion. I mean, we in the West have a habit of forgetting about the Eastern front. There is no Allied victory without it, and the red army took the military brunt there. But I don't think less of all of us alive. Survival is a strong instinct, one whose full strength is not known until tested. But again, that's another thread.]
 

mattavelle1

IT’S GOT A DEATH RAY!
Moderator
#8
Well, I don't know where you're finding the "homosexual radicals" having sex on the street. A gay pride parade may not be someone's boat, but so what? I lived down the street from stuff like this, which is way more offensive than some guy in ass-less chaps. There's tits (and way more) on parade during Mardi Gras and no one cares.

On someone's opinions being controversial? To me, that's where the real fragility comes in. If someone wants to express their opinion on something (talk about being against gay marriage and thinking how it's terrible in their view, or in their God's view, or what have you), then they'd best expect to hear other people's opinions, too. It's the height of weakness if someone thinks "I'm going to say something, and you're not allowed to have a response." It doesn't work that way. People can have whatever opinion they want, but they don't get a magic shield so that other people can't react. The corollary to saying something is that people listen to it and are allowed to respond in kind. I have about zilch in the way of sympathy for folks who can dish it out, but can't take it.

And that's sort of the problem with policing speech on social media. Where's the line between trolling and violating the TOS (which gets people banned) and just having an opinion others find controversial and them reacting to it (which shouldn't get you banned)? Sometimes it's easy to discern, sometimes it isn't.

I do agree, though, that there's an aspect of meanness and rudeness to modernity that is really unbecoming. People think that because they only see a name on a screen that there's no person behind it. Like with majico's example of the guy in the shirt; someone just needed to say "dude, come on, you aren't at a bar with your friends; you're on the clock and this is part of your work, so dress accordingly."

[On WWII...well, that's a different discussion. I mean, we in the West have a habit of forgetting about the Eastern front. There is no Allied victory without it, and the red army took the military brunt there. But I don't think less of all of us alive. Survival is a strong instinct, one whose full strength is not known until tested. But again, that's another thread.]
I also think it's how the controversial opinion is handled aswell.

Take this for an example. Phil Robetson of Duck Dynasty which had been on TV for some time people knew how and what he thought. Yet when GQ asked him how he felt about gays he told them.

Now this isn't about Phil or his answer I think Juegs topic goes beyond that for me. On one hand you have a backwoods over 60 man from the swaps of Louisanna.

#1 if you bait him don't be shocked and scandlized by his answer. He was well known and GQ knew what they were doing and sold 10x more mags because of this bait.

#2 if a question is asked and you don't like honest answers.....well maybe you shouldn't ask to begin with. I know 100 people IRL right now that will give you a 1000x times worse answer to that question. That should not be shocking to any of us.

And it's not just a gay topic either. Hell this extends terrorism, feminism, fanboys of literally anything etc etc etc.

To stay on topic of Phil to show how much he don't even care if he's baited he just gives the answer he fills is best for him despite what others may think or find controversial.

On Fox News a month or so back he was asked by Hannity (who knew full well what he was opening). "Phil what's your thoughts on terrorist?" He replied "convert em' or kill em' are your only options". Hannity then INSTANTLY said "you know your gonna catch some flack for that comment right?" Phil said "yep everyone got an opinion on everything these days".

I'm no Phil guy I bring up these examples tho because "duh I'm not shocked at all by these answers" and none of us should be. Just like we when we talk to a nobody like me in public and they say something off color. Do you call them out face to face? I seriously doudt it but in your secret life on the internet your more than likely to because that other person isn't gonna knock your teeth down your throat or laugh in your face.

The internet giving people huge balls since 1996
 

Odo

Well-Known Member
#9
Well, I don't know where you're finding the "homosexual radicals" having sex on the street. A gay pride parade may not be someone's boat, but so what? I lived down the street from stuff like this, which is way more offensive than some guy in ass-less chaps. There's tits (and way more) on parade during Mardi Gras and no one cares.
Yes, there are many people protesting and there are radicals. There are KKK radicals, right-wing radicals, left-wing radicals, Christian radicals, and also homosexual radicals, black radicals and of course KKK radicals (in fact being a KKK is being radical itself).

And yes, there are homosexual radicals doing rude things. Yes, there are.

There are lesbian feminists going to church, invading Holy Masses and Holy Services and making mess, showing tits, putting crosses on their vaginas, just to prove their points. What's is this? Is this a civilised protest? Why people need to protest like this? Why people need to fuck a cross?

https://murderbymedia.wordpress.com/2013/07/28/feminists/







 
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Majorbuddah

My real name is Dolemite
#10
I'm offensive as fuck. You should see me in real life. Zero fucks given. This isn't to mean that I go out and intentionally be an asshole. I'm generally a nice guy. I just don't have a filter. People like me in part because of my carelessness. But as soon as I took that attitude, my life started changing. It started getting better in ways I can't describe. Alpha and I mean that. There will always be fucktards saying things like, "you can't do that!" and "that's illegal!". But you know what? Fuck them. I'm only gonna live once and I'm gonna live on MY terms.

So fuck censorship to death with a strap-on dildo.

It's probably one in five thousand people who bitch and moan about whatever the fuck it is that their boring ass deems socially important, but that really adds up. And you're right, Matt, the internet has given them the ability to be heard. But that also leaves 4,999 people rolling their eyes and a percentage of people like me mocking them in public.

So to anyone who wants to censor my life or my actions, I have one thing to say to you:

"Eat a dick
or at least eat a pita chip
right after i skeet on it
you piece of shit"

That was also a stupid shirt.
 

mattavelle1

IT’S GOT A DEATH RAY!
Moderator
#11
@Majorbuddah

I wanna like, lol and RAP that post so there is that congrats.

I appreciate your post because it gives me hope that people still won't care about such petty censorship. I honestly can't think of anything worse for myself then to be censored, and not being able to speak honestly.
 

Majorbuddah

My real name is Dolemite
#12
@Majorbuddah

I wanna like, lol and RAP that post so there is that congrats.

I appreciate your post because it gives me hope that people still won't care about such petty censorship. I honestly can't think of anything worse for myself then to be censored, and not being able to speak honestly.
There are definitely things that "offend" me, but I'm not going to tell them they can't do it. If you're not physically of financially hurting another person, go for it. Feelings are stupid.
 

mattavelle1

IT’S GOT A DEATH RAY!
Moderator
#13
There are definitely things that "offend" me, but I'm not going to tell them they can't do it. If you're not physically of financially hurting another person, go for it. Feelings are stupid.
Defiantly there are things were all offended by.

He's my rule for them things. I may not agree with you at all, but as an American I will fight for your right to say them.

We don't have to agree or see eye to eye and everything will still be ok in the end. It's a respect for your fellow person is what it boils down to in the end.
 

EvilTw1n

Even my henchmen think I'm crazy.
Moderator
#14
Well Odo, 'das nasty. No one here is going to condone breaking the law (like trying to assault someone in a court room); there's going to be radicals anywhere. But you don't say a fringe represents the whole and try to connect them like that. You just don't. You click on that link and read "feminists are the worst degenerates." That would be like saying Christians are terrible degenerates based upon the "God Hates Lakitus" people; that's reductionist, absurd guilt by association.
I'm offensive as fuck. You should see me in real life. Zero fucks given. This isn't to mean that I go out and intentionally be an asshole. I'm generally a nice guy. I just don't have a filter.
As always, that's part of the key - intent. You aren't trying to purposefully hurt somebody. It may happen, and they'll toss it back at you, and you go from there. That's life.
 

Odo

Well-Known Member
#15
Well Odo, 'das nasty. No one here is going to condone breaking the law (like trying to assault someone in a court room); there's going to be radicals anywhere. But you don't say a fringe represents the whole and try to connect them like that. You just don't. You click on that link and read "feminists are the worst degenerates." That would be like saying Christians are terrible degenerates based upon the "God Hates Lakitus" people; that's reductionist, absurd guilt by association.

As always, that's part of the key - intent. You aren't trying to purposefully hurt somebody. It may happen, and they'll toss it back at you, and you go from there. That's life.
You said "Well, I don't know where you're finding the "homosexual radicals" having sex on the street."

So now you agree with me, "there's going to be radicals anywhere". That was my entire point. There are radicals and there are rude people. My point is, I'm against censorship, I think anyone can say whatever they want, but it's sad that nowadays there are so many rude people being rude just to prove a point. So, they've got the right, but sometimes people just hate being civilised and that's sad.


But you don't say a fringe represents the whole and try to connect them like that.
I've never said that. Where did I say that radicals represents the whole?

Did I say that "homosexual radicals" represents "homosexual"?

I think you got that I'm against gay or something. That's not true. The fact that I said "homosexual radicals" just prove that I'm saying that there is "homosexuals" and "homosexual radicals" and that they're not the same. That's why I put the word "radicals" after "homosexual". Rude and radical lesbians that goes to street to have sex (they exist) doesn't mean that all lesbians are like that. I know. That's why I'd call them "lesbian radicals".

I said "homosexual radicals" the same way I could say "Christian radicals". I believe there are "Christian radicals" and they don't represent all the Christians.

I used the word radical as an adjective. I could say that there are some "green fairies around and that's sad" and I'm not implying that all fairies are green. I'm just sad because of the green fairies.
 

EvilTw1n

Even my henchmen think I'm crazy.
Moderator
#16
I wouldn't connect a fringe to the whole at all (and I was also referencing the link you provided, which totally did; someone wants to take a picture of a dozen people at a rally of hundreds to thousands - which the "Slutwalk" movement has - and say that represents anything other than that dozen people is facile misdirection). A radical fringe is just that, a radical group representing nothing more than a fringe (that's why I would hesitate to even mention "Christian" alongside the "God Hates Lakitus" people or something). YMMV.

More crucially, nor would I connect a fringe to an "this is such a cultural problem and these people need to be stopped!"-sort of thing (making something sound as if it's a common occurrence). My apologies for the roundabout way of getting there, but that gets back to: "Why can't people be polite anymore?" Dude, a dozen or a hundred people out of million does not a crisis of civility make. There is no part of human history where everybody just got along and things were always peachy. Maybe we have a different sort of meanness via social media (I really think we do), but it's not a moral exfoliant of the past.
 
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Odo

Well-Known Member
#17
I believe that there are homosexuals radicals. I see no problem affirming this way.

For example for me there's no problem saying "Muslin radicals". People don't want to say this just because it can offend the true and pure Muslins good souls. Bollocks to that. We're living in a world of terrorists, tons of people getting killed, skyscrapers being destroyed, a sucker tyrant called Kin jong Ill (or whatever is his name) slaving an entire country, and people are afraid of putting the word "radical" together with "Muslin". Who cares! Say the bloody word, everyone understands and that's all.

What matters is what you mean. There are people that talk like an angel, don't eat burgers because of the environment and only say politically-correct words, but just could kill you in a second without fear. I don't want that.

Just my opinion.




About the politeness. I know that I may linked the whole thing on my first post, but in fact I just feel that people today are too rude not only during protests but everywhere. I don't want everyone to be polite like a prince of 18th century, but, for example we only can have this fine level of discussion because we're here on TNE. Imagine we discussing this on Facebook or some other popular forum out there. I can see tons of people making death threats. Most of them are on their 16 years old, but they have strong opinions and can make death threats, can call you stupid, racist, monster, son of the devil, Hitler's defender, KKK member, etc.

I don't know, maybe it's the bloody internet (and that's how this topic started), but people are too extreme nowadays and so I believe protests are. People has the right to say what they want and to prove their points, that's cool, but a lot of them (not only those radicals having sex on the street) lots of them use this right to be rude.
 

Shoulder

Your Resident Beardy Bear
#18
As others have said, if I have an opinion on something, and say it to someone I know will not agree with it, don't be fucking surprised when I say it.

Justt as an example, I basically told my boss I believe in Evolution, while he is a Creationist. We both agreed to disagree in the end because it simply will not end too well. He has his beliefs and I have mine, we'll just leave it at that.

(Just for the record, even the Pope said evolution does not contradict the Bible)
 

EvilTw1n

Even my henchmen think I'm crazy.
Moderator
#19
I see what you mean on group identity, Odo (I just would be judicious in their use; like, there's no doubt that lynchings in America were driven by racism and that should be said out loud, but I just don't see some fools in a march of thousands as something to be seen as a particularly common social ill; OTOH, you can't argue with who is, for instance, in a terrorist group). My apologies if I jumped the gun. On here, though...
I don't know, maybe it's the bloody internet (and that's how this topic started), but people are too extreme nowadays and so I believe protests are. People has the right to say what they want and to prove their points, that's cool, but a lot of them (not only those radicals having sex on the street) lots of them use this right to be rude.
...I think we're in agreement. Being so internet-connected means we're aware of every little tiny thing. If someone was extreme in their opinions in years past, a lot of it was just expressed in the dining room or the barber shop. Now it's on Facebook for everyone to read, and in turn, react to. It's like this deluge being shoved in your face of people being mean and rude and incredibly unforgiving. And if you have a group that in years past had secret meetings where they wrote radical pamphlets, maybe now they meet online and then they crash that parade.
Just as an example, I basically told my boss I believe in Evolution, while he is a Creationist. We both agreed to disagree in the end because it simply will not end too well. He has his beliefs and I have mine, we'll just leave it at that.
I dunno, shoulder. Looking that smooth with a bald head may be a god-given talent.
 

Odo

Well-Known Member
#20
If someone was extreme in their opinions in years past, a lot of it was just expressed in the dining room or the barber shop. Now it's on Facebook for everyone to read, and in turn, react to. It's like this deluge being shoved in your face of people being mean and rude and incredibly unforgiving.
That's so true!

In the past people knew that there's conversation between family and friends and public conversation where you have to be more subtle, more polite, where you have to listen to people and not only shout, etc. The same for reactions. People read things, disagrees and just overreact, shout, condemn, judge...

Maybe because internet makes people think that others aren't human enough. It's like they're just words posted on the cloud.
 

EvilTw1n

Even my henchmen think I'm crazy.
Moderator
#21
^
I think the Louis C.K. car joke is sort of analogous.


Sometimes, I'm totally that guy. I can road rage like no one's business. And it's totally inexcusable for me to let my Irish get up like that, but it happens. More often than it should.

So I think of social media as the new car road rage. People get behind a computer screen, and all of a sudden they're invisible, bullet-proof, and 10 feet tall.

To tie it back to this thread, here's Sully today:

"One way to defuse the issue of, say, cat-calling is to insist on decent manners, rather than to turn the question into a bloody fist-fight over patriarchy. One way to have avoided “shirtgate,” for example, would have been to parse that micro-aggression as a failure of appropriate taste in the context of a public appearance, rather than seeing it as another micro-aggression against an entire gender."
http://dish.andrewsullivan.com/2014/11/20/quote-for-the-day-433/

Not every little flare up should turn into a full-blown culture war. But I completely understand why the flare ups happen, because they happen to me as much as they do anyone else. We have to police ourselves a little better, don't we?

And @juegosmajicos - If you have time, I highly recommend the reader-blogger back and forth Sully has been doing on this topic. Here's a taste:
http://dish.andrewsullivan.com/2014/11/10/the-sjws-now-get-to-police-speech-on-twitter/
http://dish.andrewsullivan.com/2014/11/12/dissent-of-the-day-my-scorn-of-feminism/
http://dish.andrewsullivan.com/2014/11/18/my-scorn-of-feminism-ctd/
http://dish.andrewsullivan.com/2014/10/29/the-best-of-the-dish-today-239/

That's why I read the Dish. Not because I agree with Andrew, but because he has a genuine debate with his readers when they disagree with him. And although there's a lot of heat, it can also bring a lot of light.
 
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