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Re: ‘censorship’

From: Adam Van Ymeren
Subject: Re: ‘censorship’
Date: Fri, 11 Oct 2019 15:06:26 +0000

On Fri, Oct 11, 2019 at 4:28 AM Quiliro Ordóñez <> wrote:
> El 2019-10-10 21:05, Adam Van Ymeren escribió:
> > On Thu, Oct 10, 2019 at 4:48 PM Dmitry Alexandrov <[1]>
> >    wrote:
> >
> >      David <[2]> wrote:
> >      > Calling such actions "censorship" is a very extreme reaction IMHO
> >      as the very same core points could have been made in a less
> >      excitable manner without potential breaching of the above linked
> >      guidelines and thus without triggering any negative actions.
> >      That’s curious.  Could you elaborate, please, why censoring due to
> >      form rather than due to substance is not censorship?  No dictionary
> >      available to me suggest it.
> >
> >    There is a difference between censorship and moderation.  If you want a
> >    dictionary definition:
> >    Censor (verb) - to examine in order to suppress or delete anything
> >    considered objectionable
> >    [3]
> >    Moderate (verb) - avoiding extremes of behavior or expression :
> >    observing reasonable limit
> >    [4]
> >    Nobody can define with absolute clarity where the distinction is.
> >    Sometimes the situation is obvious, other times it is more nuanced.  I
> >    don't envy the role of a moderator on an internet mailing list but I am
> >    happy that they exist.  If libreplanet-discuss were completely
> >    un-moderated and open to any and all trolls to spew whatever
> >    inflammatory nonsense they wish, then it would very quickly cease to be
> >    a useful place of discussion and I personally would unsubscribe.
> >    It is not censorship for moderators of libreplanet-discuss to decide
> >    not to forward your message to everyone who has joined the list.
> >    Almost every online community needs some level of moderation.  You are
> >    always welcome to write and publish your opinions through you own
> >    platform, which thanks to technology and libre software is easier today
> >    than it has ever been in human history.
> Who is it to be the censor? The majority? The moderator? Why would a
> majority or a moderator be correct and the censored incorrect?

A moderator may not always be correct, that's why I don't envy anyone
with that role.  It's a hard job where doing well is not easily
recognized, easily criticized, but doing poorly can quickly destroy a
community.  However, even if they make mistakes I believe that
moderation is still necessary.

> I think that trolls are persons that are called that way by the people
> that do not want them to speak because they feel the sensation of
> control loss.

Sometimes that's true, but there are also trolls who are legitimate
bad actors, or even bots and state or corporation sponsored psyop

> If someone leaves a list because someone else thinks differently, that
> person must reinforce their own self esteem by recognizing that other
> peolpe's views (even if incorrect) are acceptable as their own, and not
> by blocking their expression.

I disagree that it's "blocking their expression" to prevent someone
from posting to this mailing list.

>From here:

libreplanet-discuss is a place to "Discuss developments in the world
of free software, share your projects, and coordinate transportation
and lodging to the yearly LibrePlanet conference."

I come to this list to discuss free software and things related to
this movement.  I don't believe that libreplanet-disucss has a moral
obligation to forward any and all of someone's expressions to everyone
else on this list.  If this were a completely unmoderated space and it
a group of people started to fill it with racist content I don't
believe that I have any moral obligation to listen or engage with

You are always welcome to start your own unmoderated space for
discussion but I am not obligated to join such a discussion forum.

> If you want a kind environment, you make it so, not other people.
> Controlling other people does not make a better or safe environment. It
> makes an oppressive environment which is in practice very unsafe.

I imagine that we are coming at this differently by imagining
different types of speech being censored or moderated.  I'm imagining
what happens to this community if someone is allowed to post hate
speech and inciting violence against some person or group.  You are
likely imagining much more reasonable opinions being censored because
they go against the "groupthink" of the community.

I agree that it is important to engage with people who hold different
opinions than our own, that's how you change minds, but I don't think
that means that moderation of an online community is by definition
wrong or should never be done.

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