If your instance says you will love and respect bigots ironically, I’m probably not going to pick up that irony. Especially not if you’re pals with FSE folks and love swastika jokes.


@brainblasted @catonano Co-option of the term "free speech" scares me when by those who want to be allowed themselves to speak on all platforms but who are are more than willing to threaten people who speak in ways that they believe are oppositional to their own views. So-called FSEs are not consistent, and it's ok and even good for communities to define their own boundaries.

The muddying of the waters is also dangerous because free speech is one of the few defenses against fascism we have.

@brainblasted @catonano That said, I think that there's a deeper level at which this issue can be analyzed than I have time to put in today, but have been meaning to write about. Sadly I think it isn't as simply as xkcd.com/1357/ either for the same reason that I do not agree with capital-L Libertarians: I believe that "many things become governments". But that insight can help lead us down the right path... something to discuss later, though.

@cwebber @brainblasted @catonano "Many things become governments" is very important, particularly so since in the absence of government it's even more true. You'll always get a government, the difference with a liberal democracy is that you get to choose the government, unlike in anarcho-capitalist or libertarian hellscapes where the "governments" largely arise by accident.

@digifox @cwebber @brainblasted @catonano Governments always arise by accident, more or less.
It's true that if we dissolve governments, others will rise in their place, and they're likely to be worse than the ones we've got. I'll keep mine, even though it's far from perfect.

@catonano @brainblasted Something to flesh out at a future time... I think I don't want to complicate this conversation by introducing it :) (and I'm trying to do some other writing!)

@cwebber @brainblasted @catonano I love that XKCD, even though it may not be a Turing-complete theory of Free Speech in the US.

@cwebber @brainblasted @catonano In my opinion, it's too late for that. "Free speech" has been a dog-whistle for white supremacists for a good chunk of the 20th century, and at this point in time it's impossible to be anything but. For example, here's a case from Canadian history: twitter.com/BashirMohamed/stat

It is important to think about exactly what you mean by "free speech". WHO do you see included in this space? Who *don't* you want to include? What is up for debate, and what isn't?

@nev @brainblasted @catonano I agree that such communities try to use it as a dog whistle, but I think there are reasons to defend the principle, but the way white supremacists are using it *isn't* within the principle, which needs to be called out.

Some of the most important aspects of freedom of speech are also the freedom to filter and the right/responsibility to call someone an asshole, which many don't get... "you can't say that, it's their freedom of speech". Yeah I can; this is mine.

@nev @brainblasted @catonano White supremacists have *no interest* in actual freedom of speech; they're lying, and we should call them liars. Look at how differently they respond when they say something "controvercial" vs when someone says something they don't like. They'll claim they can say anything *unchallenged*, anywhere, because of freedom of speech (false), but threaten violence against those they disagree with.

@nev @brainblasted @catonano This is really important IMO. Look at how Trump has expressed over and over that he'd love to see journalists punished and threatened. As bad as things are now, the only thing that's holding him back from that (and he would love to do it) is our tradition of freedom of speech and integrity in this culture. Nobody benefits from lack of freedom of speech more than a fascist.

Call white supremacists liars. They don't want freedom of speech, and we know it.

@cwebber @nev @brainblasted @catonano The claims on "free speech" by the far right were never honest and for them it's not even a new tactic. They're just reheating the rhetoric of the 1930s and deploying it in a modern context.

@bob @cwebber @brainblasted @nev


Recently I read a thread about how the taxes system and the slaves liberation were initiatives by the same politicians

So the not said in the rethoric of the low taxes and the minimal government was that taxes would have benefited blacks from the first day

I myself see the merit of free speech and even of free (to some extent) markets

But these are used in a competely instrumental way

@bob @cwebber @brainblasted @nev

I might have given the impression of being oblivious to the value of freedom of speech

I'm not

It's just that I don't want to fall for that ugly rethorical hack

Peachy Meta 

@cwebber @nev @brainblasted @catonano

Y'know... over the years I've been frozen out of certain spaces, banned from a couple, asked/ordered to leave at least one. I'd be the first to say that mods have a right to be bad mods: to play favorites jr. high-style. To go against their own stated principles for the sake of keeping order and their own self-image intact, etc. But I'm also fine with thinking/stating 'til the day I die that bad mods can all eat a bag of dicks. :P "Free speech."

@cwebber @brainblasted @catonano

> The muddying of the waters is also dangerous because free speech is one of the few defenses against fascism we have.

i share this feeling. i'm really worried both about both the co-option of rhetoric about free speech by the far right and the growing consensus on the left that the _actual valuing of freedom of expression_ is the natural attitude of nazis/fascists/etc.

long-term, this isn't going anywhere we're going to like.

@cwebber @brainblasted @catonano

(and because we're in the historical moment we're in, i guess i need to immediately append the disclaimer that i favor strong, active moderation of public social networks and have no interest in supporting / engaging with platforms that aren't willing to do that work.)

@brennen @cwebber @brainblasted @catonano In the US in the past the free speech battle was mainly from the left in terms of anti-communism and also suppression of protest against the draft during the Vietnam war. Communists, union organizers or even anyone suspected of holding vague left wing sympathies was removed from official positions and from the entertainment industry and anything which looked like left wing talk was removed from newspapers and magazines.

So the ability to speak and organize in public is pretty important, but this is not really what the far right are up to. They know that "free speech" is a weakness, especially in the academic environment where people are very tolerant of unconventional ideas. They know that by using this they can create shock and fear and most importantly shut down any oppositional counterspeech. Once people are in a psychological state of fear they will no longer criticize the regime and be too scared to organize in public, and that's the environment in which right wing authoritarianism thrives. The blueprint is that they always use a combination of scapegoating hate speech combined with shocking acts of violence publicized as widely as possible.

@bob @brennen @catonano @cwebber @brainblasted In non US countries it was/is just the opposite. Censorship and limiting speech was used to support Socialism and Communism. So this isn't really a uniquely right or left issue. When ever you use force to shut down ideas or dialog, you are unable to limit it to only the ideas you support. The best way to battle is to have an open dialog. When everyone is allowed to talk and listen, that is how you really shine a light on bad ideas.

@yisraeldov @bob @brennen @cwebber @brainblasted

That might be the reason why some people from former soviet block countries fall for the rethoric of nanny state and minimal government

Because they identify the government with Soviet governments

So they fall for the rethoric by rhe fsb, nonethess

I don't know what those initials mean. But either way you cut it, censorship of ideas , by government or by individuals is a tool used by fascists. It is controlling people by force.
@bob @brennen @cwebber @brainblasted

@yisraeldov @bob @brennen @cwebber @brainblasted

The fsb is the current Russian foreign secret service

It inherited its mission from the kgb

They are igniting this "freeze peach" rethoric as a tool to do exactly what you described

Censoring minorities, sometimes violently

Some people from eastern countries fall for that rethoric because they identify Western governments with eastern ones

@yisraeldov @bob @brennen @cwebber @brainblasted

So they fall for the trap of the same oppression that they fear


@catonano I didn't RTFA, but I think I made it clear that I don't know where I stand on if big tech companies should be able to censor, It comes down to the question if they are utilities, or publishers.

pol / speech / etc. 

@yisraeldov i think we're generally best off with the ability of the state to suppress ideas in law / by force very constrained, as under the US first amendment.

that said, i'm perfectly happy to shut down certain classes of expression on the platforms i use and support, and have no real interest in dialog with bad actors whose ultimate goals are oppression & violence. i'm not the state, and i'm not obligated to listen to (or rebroadcast) everything.

pol / speech / etc. 

@yisraeldov i do recognize that the division between state and private actors / platforms isn't always as clear as all that (especially in the era of megacorp social media platforms and such), and also that people of good will can feel somewhat differently about this.

this is probably a good place for me to bow out of the thread.

pol / speech / etc. 

@brennen @yisraeldov

Ah is this what "many things become governments" mean ?

pol / speech / etc. 

Don't know, never heard that phrase

pol / speech / etc. 

How does the first amendment allow for oppressing ideas? You maybe right, I just don't know.

You are right, on your own platform, you can be exposed to what ever ideas you want. I often block people or instances. That being said, we aren't going to make society better that way. We just create echo chambers for bad ideas.

pol / speech / etc. 


> That being said, we aren't going to make society better that way. We just create echo chambers for bad ideas.

we disagree on this point. i also have some concern about creating highly polarized silos, but banning assholes from one's platform seems to be a baseline requirement of having a platform that anyone can reasonably use.

maybe social media is, as someone recently observed, just not a long-term viable idea.

at any rate: i'm out.

pol / speech / etc. 

But that means you are discriminating against people like me. I am an asshole.

pol / speech / etc. 

@yisraeldov in that case, i will block you now and save myself future effort. :)

pol / speech / etc. 

Probably a good idea, since you said you were bowing out, but here you are conversing with someone you think should be banned

@cwebber @brainblasted @catonano

Free speech is a good thing. It allows people to express their views without fear.

Freeze Peach, which is what these folks are after, is the ability to be offensive or incite hatred while you're not allowed to complain about it.

Freeze Peach sounds like a girly vodka cocktail, If it is not it should be.

1 part vodka
1 part Peach schanps
2 parts sprite

Blend with ice and serve in a low ball glass. Garnish with thin Peach slice.
@cwebber @brainblasted @catonano

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