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Re: ‘censorship’

From: quiliro
Subject: Re: ‘censorship’
Date: Fri, 11 Oct 2019 11:06:37 -0500

On Fri, October 11, 2019 10:06 am, Adam Van Ymeren wrote:
> 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
>> >      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.

That is your opinion. But probably not of the censored. So it is not a
general opinion. Moderation by someone else is just a word to avoid bad
image. A moderator on a mailing list is just a plain censor: someone which
suppresses free speech.

>> 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
> agents.

That is something else. All members can agree to stop that. The actors
that side with that type of activity seldom do it openly.

>> 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.

You are expressing a paradox here. It is contradictory. To prevent is in
effect to block.

> 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."

That is what a founder wrote. It is not carved in stone.

> 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
> them.

Expression is in no way obligation to listen.

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

What you say is equivalent of: "If you want to talk against certain muslim
traditions, you can are welcome to do it freely outside of Iran." it is
still censorship.

>> 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.

If there is violence such as what you propose censoring, it is not
suppressed by censorship, which is also itself a type of violence. It is
descaled by the exposure and acceptance of the violent act and the
avoidance of giving it notoriousness. Then we can address the real issue
which generated such violence.

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