[clug] Why the web has gone sour

Alex Satrapa grail at goldweb.com.au
Sun Feb 14 17:14:24 MST 2010

On 15/02/2010, at 10:16 , Lana Brindley wrote:

> Not so long ago, an article got posted to two different lists that I
> subscribe to. One of the lists is chiefly about aboriginal rights, the other
> list is about freedom of speech (particularly in relation to the 'clean
> feed' debate). The content of the article was held up as a great achievement
> by one list, and a terrible loss by the other.

What was the nature of this article?

> Do I care more about aboriginal rights ... or free speech?

That's really a question of priorities, not "either/or".

> You can then add any caveat you want:
> "... not porn."
> "... not anything illegal."
> "... not if it means that minorities can be vilified."
> "... not hate speech."
> "...not anything I'm personally opposed to."

If minorities can't be vilified, racists will be less visible. I'd prefer to live in a society where people are free to broadcast their stupidity. "Stay away from him dear, he's a racist."  The seductive nature of legislation preventing uncomfortable situations arising is what leads to autocrats gaining power.

As for "illegal" material, that's really just a case of "not anything I'm personally opposed to" imposed by Michael Atkinson.

It's already illegal to discriminate against people based on race or religion. We don't need to tighten the reins anymore, though it would help if we policed (and enforced) the laws we already have. Note that the order there is important: police first, enforce second. The two words have different meanings.

> PS: Yeah, I know. I probably raised more questions than answers. My bad.

How is it bad to find more questions to ask?

The people to be most wary of are the ones who propose to have "The Answers".


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