Freedom of Speech: Challenges & Consequences

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In summary, the conversation discusses the limitations and challenges of free speech on moderated internet sites. The participants argue that due to the diversity of views and potential for offense, it is difficult to have true freedom of speech. They also mention how certain political issues are often avoided and how this can impact society negatively. The concept of private property and its influence on freedom of speech is also brought up. Overall, the conversation highlights the importance of allowing open and honest discussions without censorship for a better understanding of different perspectives.
  • #36
azzkika said:
That is what journalists do in case you didn't know, it happens all the time.

What, steal information? It was not acquired legally. That's a crime.

Again, Assange is NOT a journalist.
Sarah Palin called for him to be hunted down like Al Queda and several US politicians are on record stating he should be executed.

Post a source please.
It is interesting that editors of the New York Times the Daily telegraph and youtube and various other media sources have not been labelled in the same way Julian Assange has.

The methods of other news agencies were discussed in the other thread on this, they are significantly different to Assange's.
Obviously one of your own was sufficiently horrified with some of the information he was privy to, he sacrificed his own future and well being in order to allow the information into the public domain.

Or he assumed he would never be caught.
 
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  • #37
What Jared said... all of it, but I'd add.. Palin says a lot of things, and she's not a politician... she's a tv reality star and FORMER politician.

azzkikia said:
Obviously one of your own was sufficiently horrified with some of the information he was privy to, he sacrificed his own future and well being in order to allow the information into the public domain.

No, not at all, believe it or not people can disagree with you for good reasons other than the straw men you construct.
 
  • #38
azzkika said:
Most internet sites which allows me and you to post our opinions are moderated to one degree or another. It is apparent that free speech is impossible...

I've either moderated or admined more that a dozen online message forums (we called them dial-up BBS's back in the day) for 25 years.

I always tried to post a clear set of very simple rules and enforce them. My rules revolved around something my Dad told me when I was a child - "swing your stick far and wide, but you if hit anyone, be prepared to pay the consequenses."

I soon discovered mods could be worse than the posters! I rode herd on my mods more than I did on most forum members.

As for my members, I simply debated the issues, in accordance with the rules.

I think I was a good, fair judge.

My 20 years of experience in the military showed me that things there are pretty much the same all over.

azzkika, if you don't like this message forum, one of the most amazing things about the Internet is that you're free to create your own, and do with it whatever you wish! As http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mork_%26_Mindy" would say, "be free!"

If you don't want to pursue your own creative route, then "monsters be here," but they're simply normal people doing a tough, non-paying job, and as much as I myself might not agree with their decisions, I do very much thank them for their tireless efforts!
 
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  • #39
Obviously some people are experts on Julian assange and his methods of work. I am sure the US governkment would much like your help in trying to find what he has done other than receive and publish leaked information same as many other journalists do. Palin was all over the UK media making headlines when she called for him to be executed, sorry no link thought it was common knowledge. He IS a journalist regardless of your opinion. The accusations against this man are as yet unfounded. You ask me to provide links and proof yet assert your own unfounded opinions as fact purely because do disagree with the information he leaked.
 
  • #40
Nobody here has said they disagree with what he leaked or have made any comment regarding the charges against him, that is a separate debate - located in another thread on PF.

Julian Assange doesn't fall under the definition of a journalist. Taking information and simply putting it on a website does not make you a journalist. He is no more a journalist than a blogger who copies news stories to their blog.

You make a claim, you back it up. I'm in the UK and I haven't seen anything of Sarah Palin calling for him to be executed.

We are not asserting our opinion as fact. If you make a claim and cannot back it up, then there is absolutely no reason for us to believe it. That is how things work around here (and in science). If you can't back it up, I have no reason to accept what you say and so as far as I'm concerned it didn't happen.

Now, I've done your work for you:
Sarah Palin has demanded that WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange is hunted down like Osama bin Laden.

In an extraordinary outburst on Facebook, the former Alaska governor attacked the White House for 'incompetent handling of this whole fiasco.'

Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/art...ed-like-Al-Qaeda-terrorist.html#ixzz1CbZjXKXC

Sarah Palin can put what she likes on Facebook. That is not a public call by a politician anymore than me putting he should be hunted down on FB is. That is a personal comment.
 
  • #41
azzkika said:
I know this is a site mainly devoted to science, and I am very grateful for it.

Absolutely, and maybe we should all be grateful for the fantastic work the PF Staff do – for free! Where else could you have a long discussion with a PhD Professor of Physics, explaining things that would you never understand otherwise – for free!? IMO, PF is a "communication miracle"!

azzkika said:
Your last paragraph supports part of my original assertion, that something can be very damaging to our society but cannot be discussed in case offense is caused. I did post this in politics and world affairs btw which is there for discussions of this type.

In the case of PF, I think you are wrong. You can discuss almost everything – as long as you follow the rules, i.e. you must behave civilized and 'crackpottery' is not allowed, whether it’s religion, politics or physics.

I have personally spoken to the owner off this site, when in a tired and 'distraught state' I got the feeling – "Hey! They are ALL against me! MY post was deleted for NO reason! "

This was of course silly and stupidly wrong. He didn’t care at all about "the discussion", and he didn’t know any of the details – he just prevented a 'private turmoil', between two PF users who had forgotten that they weren’t the alone in the thread... And yes, afterward I was... :redface::blushing::redface:

azzkika said:
I perhaps used moderation of a website as bad example of my point to this. In all areas of western culture one can be prosecuted or sacked for simply speaking the truth.

I take it for granted you know that "the truth" is a very "delicate matter"... what is "the truth" to you, could be a terrible lie for someone on the other side of the planet... A scientific objective truth, yes (if we don’t get into the QM http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Measurement_problem" :smile:). A political/social objective truth...?? Well, I have never heard that this 'works in practice'... :rolleyes:

If you feel that you hate your job – then this is the truth for you. The owner of the company will probably have a 'slightly different' view on 'the problem'... and if you tell him "the truth", you obviously also have to deal with the 'consequences'...

azzkika said:
Freedom of speech has long been dead and the internet has reversed the oppression of free speech by the authorities to quite a degree so my questioning of moderation is fair one I think. Of course physics forums has the right to allow or disallow any content they wish, I just think moderation of any form is a subtle reflection of the Orwellian nightmare we live in today.

How about this nightmare: Let’s say that the PF Staff listens to your 'complaints', and change the rules suddenly – Now Everything Goes on PF!

How can you be sure that this will result in a "Free Speech Paradise" according to your preferences? AFAICT, the chances are equal it could turn into a 'paradise' for those whose opinions are contrary to yours, right??

And maybe worse... maybe we will end up having 90% of the material on PF being 'enlightening' discussions on "Global Conspiracy Theories", like this one:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6aTmde7KHA4

Would you really find this 'satisfying', huh?? :bugeye:


I’m sure I wouldn’t, and I would get out of PF fast as h*ll...
 
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  • #42
azzkika said:
I just think moderation of any form is a subtle reflection of the Orwellian nightmare we live in today.

What "Orwellian nightmare"? Do you really believe that it is against some law to offend people? If it were really as bad as you seem to suggest, then why would groups like the Westboro Babtist Church be allowed to do what they do? Or why would groups like the Aryan nations or KKK be allowed to exist? Why isn't Bill Maher (or almost any other comedian for that matter) in jail? lol

Just because you shouldn't say something, does not mean you can't. You might not be able to do it here, but AFAIK, you can post anything you feel like posting on your own Facebook or Twitter account, or even start up your own forums, or a blog.

'Political Correctness' is a suggestion, not a law.
 
  • #43
BoomBoom said:
What "Orwellian nightmare"? Do you really believe that it is against some law to offend people? If it were really as bad as you seem to suggest, then why would groups like the Westboro Babtist Church be allowed to do what they do? Or why would groups like the Aryan nations or KKK be allowed to exist? Why isn't Bill Maher (or almost any other comedian for that matter) in jail? lol

Just because you shouldn't say something, does not mean you can't. You might not be able to do it here, but AFAIK, you can post anything you feel like posting on your own Facebook or Twitter account, or even start up your own forums, or a blog.

'Political Correctness' is a suggestion, not a law.

Perhaps things are different in the US to how it is in the UK. Political affiliation can get you sacked from any public office and any remark that does not come under the umbrella of the PC thought police can also get you the sack. The nightmare is the 'big brother' society as predicted by Orwell which is slowly establishing itself across EU society. Christian preachers from the US have their freedom of movement because he suggested to burn a Koran which he was quite right to do so given it's advocacy of paedophilia, rape and murder and subjagtion of the female of our species. Governments are more concerned with spin and power and pandering to the cartels that run the show rather than serving the people who elect them. saying or doing anything that constitutes the merest infraction of the big brother dogma can have dire consequences for ones freedoms into todays society.

Moderation of websites is of course the right of whoever owns the website, but it does sometimes seem the thinking of political nutters transcends into many areas of life.
 
  • #44
azzkika said:
Perhaps things are different in the US to how it is in the UK.
Yes, it is in fact quite different in two utterly different countries with different systems of governance, separated by an ocean and of two utterly different social and racial make-ups. For instance, you have the Magna Carta... we have hamburgers.

azzkika said:
Political affiliation can get you sacked from any public office and any remark that does not come under the umbrella of the PC thought police can also get you the sack. The nightmare is the 'big brother' society as predicted by Orwell which is slowly establishing itself across EU society.

Man I have to tell you, that is terrible in my view, but "Orwellian Nightmare"? Um... no.

azzkika said:
Christian preachers from the US have their freedom of movement because he suggested to burn a Koran which he was quite right to do so given it's advocacy of paedophilia, rape and murder and subjagtion of the female of our species.

Actually, they have it in SPITE of the fact that he preached all of those things. In the end, the pressure of society and government averted that, which is another element of free exchange in an open society. If someone waltzed in here recruiting for NAMBLA, he might not be out of his 1st amendment rights... and neither would the staff when they sent him packing and called him named. I think you're missing the point of freedom of expression and assembly, but fortunately, not the Egyptians.

azzkika said:
Governments are more concerned with spin and power and pandering to the cartels that run the show rather than serving the people who elect them.
Name a government that doesn't describe... I'll give you all of human history to find some kind of axiom about the existence of spinless governments run by saints. :smile:

azzkika said:
saying or doing anything that constitutes the merest infraction of the big brother dogma can have dire consequences for ones freedoms into todays society.

Which societies? UK, US, Egypt, Saudi Arabia, Iran, China, Ecuador, Canada? A different one? I have to say, for such an oppressed people the British do seem to say what's on their mind, yell their PM, and generally elect and fire who they want. I think what you might be saying is that when you say the things which you believe, that's the reaction you get. It's lonely in that situation... far better to be part of an oppressed majority.

azzkika said:
Moderation of websites is of course the right of whoever owns the website, but it does sometimes seem the thinking of political nutters transcends into many areas of life.

The irony in saying this is rich, but you owe the mentors here for the very fact that I'm speaking civilly to you. If nothing else, your freedom to express what I consider to be absurdities is being ACTIVELY protected by the same people you're slagging.
 
  • #45
nismaratwork said:
Man I have to tell you, that is terrible in my view, but "Orwellian Nightmare"? Um... no.

I personally don't have a problem with the whole 'big brother' thing. It's the nanny state that does my head in, but that's another debate.
Actually, they have it in SPITE of the fact that he preached all of those things. In the end, the pressure of society and government averted that, which is another element of free exchange in an open society. If someone waltzed in here recruiting for NAMBLA, he might not be out of his 1st amendment rights... and neither would the staff when they sent him packing and called him named. I think you're missing the point of freedom of expression and assembly, but fortunately, not the Egyptians.

The preacher who wanted to burn the Qu'ran was banned from entering the UK because of his extremism. http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-12231832

I don't have a problem with this. Especially given the reason he was coming here - to support the EDL (English Defence League).
The irony in saying this is rich, but you owe the mentors here for the very fact that I'm speaking civilly to you. If nothing else, your freedom to express what I consider to be absurdities is being ACTIVELY protected by the same people you're slagging.

Well said.
 
  • #46
DevilsAvocado said:
How about this nightmare: Let’s say that the PF Staff listens to your 'complaints', and change the rules suddenly – Now Everything Goes on PF!

You can see what the result would be, by reading some Usenet newsgroups, or by reading the comments section at the bottom of most articles on cnn.com. (Maybe CNN does moderate those comments, but I sure can't tell by looking at them!)
 
  • #47
jtbell said:
You can see what the result would be, by reading some Usenet newsgroups, or by reading the comments section at the bottom of most articles on cnn.com. (Maybe CNN does moderate those comments, but I sure can't tell by looking at them!)

Wenn ich "Usenet" höre, entsichere ich meinen Browning! :wink:


By the way, "moderation" at CNN from the little I've read of their comments is a running street battle between some truly extreme people. The stuff that actually gets through is pretty astonishing, even given that.
 
  • #48
jarednjames said:
I personally don't have a problem with the whole 'big brother' thing. It's the nanny state that does my head in, but that's another debate.


The preacher who wanted to burn the Qu'ran was banned from entering the UK because of his extremism. http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-12231832

I don't have a problem with this. Especially given the reason he was coming here - to support the EDL (English Defence League).


Well said.

OOooooh...yes, the UK angle, I stand corrected. Thanks Jared! Personally, I like the US most of the time, but there are other times when we're not fighting for liberty (i.e. most of the time) that the UK version seems more generally sane.

Someone tells their followers that homosexuals deserve to die? Yeah... you should be in front of a magistrate; like PF, it's a different environment.

It's also really REALLY safe compared to the US... and yet there are very few in British society who seem to feel "silenced" or even overly watched. I believe in keeping secrets, but what secret do you need to keep on a public sidewalk? Nothing good I'm guessing...
 
  • #49
nismaratwork said:
It's also really REALLY safe compared to the US... and yet there are very few in British society who seem to feel "silenced" or even overly watched. I believe in keeping secrets, but what secret do you need to keep on a public sidewalk? Nothing good I'm guessing...

If I wanted, I could go to Westminster tomorrow and preach about our troops and the horrors of the extremist religious nuts out in Afghanistan and Iraq - true or not.

For those in the UK, it's not really a problem. But for those coming in, it is - quite understandably.
 
  • #50
jarednjames said:
If I wanted, I could go to Westminster tomorrow and preach about our troops and the horrors of the extremist religious nuts out in Afghanistan and Iraq - true or not.

For those in the UK, it's not really a problem. But for those coming in, it is - quite understandably.

Well, culture shock is universal, but it can't be helped.
 
  • #51
jtbell said:
You can see what the result would be, by reading some Usenet newsgroups,

Yup, and I notice that OP does not answer my question which is kinda of humorous:

Freedom of Speech = I dump my private thoughts straight out as "the truth", and then ignore any difficult viewpoints!

:biggrin:
 
  • #52
DevilsAvocado said:
Freedom of Speech = I dump my private thoughts straight out as "the truth", and then ignore any difficult viewpoints!

Perhaps a little too close to home? :rolleyes:
 
  • #53
:smile:
 
  • #54
jtbell said:
You can see what the result would be, by reading some Usenet newsgroups, or by reading the comments section at the bottom of most articles on cnn.com. (Maybe CNN does moderate those comments, but I sure can't tell by looking at them!)

usenet got along just fine until AOL and webTV
 
  • #55
Proton Soup said:
usenet got along just fine until AOL and webTV

Yeah, but you did run across things you could never 'un-see' while just looking for harmless chat. Nothing like downloading a rar file of documents, only to find someone having maritals with a dog in a jpeg. That's a true story btw, and I still have no CLUE why some people would pull that kind of stupid junk.

That's extreme, but Usenet was notorious for "caveat emptor" ruling over every intellectual or digital transaction.

AOL was miserable, but at least it put up a partition between people trying to hustle teenagers and the rest of us trying to just use the internet. If that's what Usenet getting along fine was, no thank you at this point in my life.
 
  • #56
azzkika said:
...it does not take long for topics on these matters to quickly become locked as many things are deemed offensive.

Locking a thread is a lot easier than moderating it. Having been an admin or mod for a quarter of a century, I do not consider thread locking to be a valid tool.

Unfortunately, sometimes it is necessary to lock a thread, but that's usually either at the outset, when the topic itself violates forum rules, or when the posts have become so prolific and rule-violating that mod resources are simply overwhelmed.

As far as "offense" goes, it's not something people do to others. It's something people take, as in "I took offense to that." He who refuses to take offense cannot be offended.

Democracy has long been dead and censorship of thought and opinion seeks to keep it that way.

Depending on the forum, censorship sometimes abounds, but that's the right (and sometimes the responsibility) of those who own/run the forum. I've found only slight censorship, here, which is one of the reasons I enjoy returning here.

If you'd like to find an online place void of censorship, one where you can openly discuss anything you want, they're a dime a dozen, or you can start your own.

Personally, I find an appropriatedly-moderated forum a welcome refreshment compared to most forums, some of which read like a sewage treatment plant.
 

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