Beto O'Rourke wants to ban internet forums hate speech

Discussion in 'Site Security & Legal Issues' started by Alfa1, Aug 16, 2019.

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  1. TheChiro

    TheChiro Devotee

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    Look at all the snowflakes out there that are being triggered by a friggin RED hat. ANY red hat. See, the problem is there are large bodies of idiots floating around out there that seem to think their feelings, no matter how illogical they are, come first and foremost. Just look at the politicians crying on Twitter about banning red hats or those screaming telling others to not wear your favorite sports teams hat if it's red because it will trigger certain special individuals.

    What these people are proposing is a slippery slope and they know it. They will continue to try at chipping away at those rights of ours, hence why they want to disarm everyone. Without the 2nd amendment, how will we defend the 1st?

    We are living in a clown work and everyone is honking all the time.
     
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  2. zappaDPJ

    zappaDPJ Administrator

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    This seems to apply to almost everything in life these days but it's worth remembering there are very few absolutes. The proverbial pendulum swings both ways but spends most of it's time traversing the middle ground and that's what seems to have been forgotten in the modern world.

    Or maybe I've just got old :confused:
     
  3. Nev_Dull

    Nev_Dull Anachronism

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    As this is an American thing, I can't pretend to understand all the nuances, and I don't know the full context or background of all the people. However, based solely on what was quoted in the first post, I don't really see anything particularly bad in what the former congressman proposed. It seems to be quite reasonable.

    Nearly all social media sites and forums have policies limiting or banning various forms of "hate speech", be it personal attacks, racial or sexual slurs, etc. By putting those policies in place, we already make ourselves accountable for upholding them.

    Based on the quoted statements, it seems O'Rourke is suggesting taking what already exists and formalizing it through legislation. I don't see that as curtailing any particular rights. Rather, it binds sites to the policies they already espouse and prevents them from side-stepping those policies with claims of "well we tried to prevent it (not very hard because it generated lots of traffic), but we just couldn't, so it isn't our fault". It also prevents those few sites from actively promoting and profiting from the kind of hateful and violent content that most of us would never allow on our sites.

    I am an advocate for the right to free speech. However, I also accept that every freedom comes coupled with responsibility and accountability. Legislation is used to help define those rights and enforce the responsibilities.
     
  4. zappaDPJ

    zappaDPJ Administrator

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    In an ideal world I'd agree and I truly do want to agree but to play devil's advocate for a minute; legislation has a tendency to push bad things into a place where they can't easily be seen. Wouldn't it be better to know who you are dealing with and try to re-educate them rather than push their hate into places where they are far more likely to find a group of like minded people?
     
  5. Nev_Dull

    Nev_Dull Anachronism

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    I agree with some of that. If those people want to congregate to share their ideas, they will. However, if this legislation was law, other people could no longer profit from giving them a public space to meet and those public spaces would disappear. Hate groups derive power from having their message public. Without easy access to an audience, I think their numbers would diminish.

    I don't think the core members of such groups can be easily re-educated. Certainly we haven't seen that in other areas. We only have to look at Creationists or other fundamentalist religious groups, who continue to hold to their beliefs in the face of overwhelming evidence and facts. The combination of indoctrination and the power of confirmation bias within a group of like-minded people make it very difficult for new ideas to gain any foothold. But, by limiting their access to a public forum, you can keep them from attracting and retaining new members.
     
  6. zappaDPJ

    zappaDPJ Administrator

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    I read a news report only yesterday on how near impossible it is to reprogram (for want of a better term) IS members returning to their home state. It seems the terrorist ideology is so ingrained they will almost certainly remain a danger. So yes, I have to agree even though the optimist in me wishes otherwise.
     
  7. MagicalAzareal

    MagicalAzareal Magical Developer

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    What if someone sends someone a PM with racial slurs and what-not? Do you have to police all the PMs now and snoop in on everyone like in Discourse?
     
  8. mysiteguy

    mysiteguy Devotee

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    Everything after "however" contradicts the first sentence above. Legislation almost never defines rights - it limits them.
     
  9. mysiteguy

    mysiteguy Devotee

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    The very Supreme Court cases which protected the rights of the KKK here in the USA to say hateful things and assemble in public to spread their views are the cases which eventually protected Martin Luther King and the civil rights movement.
     
  10. Jim McClain

    Jim McClain Senior Citizen

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    One doesn't equal the other. I don't understand how you could be confused by that.

    The only way (usually) for you to know someone sent a PM filled with hate is for it to be reported to you. You can then decide what you need to do about it. If it were me, I'd ban the hater, no if ands or buts. There would be no reason to do anything further. What makes you think policing and snooping into all PMs should be an option? One incident at a time. If it's reported, deal with it. If it's not reported, it's not your business to go looking for something that hasn't bothered anyone enough to report.
     
  11. Nev_Dull

    Nev_Dull Anachronism

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    That's kind of the point in defining something; to set parameters on it. Otherwise, there isn't much point to having laws at all. That said, things change and legislation has to keep pace with the current social norms. So sometimes that means changing the accepted parameters to be broader or more restrictive. Either way, not everyone will agree with them.
     
  12. Nev_Dull

    Nev_Dull Anachronism

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    Which speaks to my first point. The legislation needs to define what those rights are and how they will be applied equally. Providing groups stay within the parameters of the law, it doesn't matter if their message is hateful or helpful.

    That's why I say the proposal by O'Rourke seems reasonable. Most of us don't allow hateful or violent content on our forums. This proposal is to formalize that into law. It doesn't prohibit groups from hating other groups, it just sets parameters on how they can go about it.
     
  13. Nev_Dull

    Nev_Dull Anachronism

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    Private messages are, well, private. Do you currently monitor all PMs to ensure no one says anything that might violate your forum rules? Probably not. If a PM is reported, you take the appropriate action.
     
  14. MagicalAzareal

    MagicalAzareal Magical Developer

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    A small reminder that inciting or encouraging a crime is already a crime.

    I don't know if this carries over to U.S. Law, but knowingly aiding and abetting a crime is itself a crime. For instance, if someone tells Kier that they're going to use XenForo for a market-place to sell heroin / cocaine and they go ahead and give them support and what-not, then that may make them liable under U.K. Law.

    I'm not entirely convinced that it is legal to sit there and just ignore a ton of illegal content or posts inciting violence or harrassment right in-front of you. It all goes down to what the Supreme Court decides though.

    Beyond that, every-time someone does press something like this, the platforms just slap some AI down that just blocks random phrases that could be objectionable to avoid being accused of not doing enough.
     
    Last edited: Sep 13, 2019
  15. fixer

    fixer I'm In My Prime

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  16. mysiteguy

    mysiteguy Devotee

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    The part you don't seem to understand --- free speech cannot be overridden by legislation in the USA. It wouldn't survive a Supreme Court challenge. Defining parameters is a moot point, there are no parameters in the 1st amendment. Hate speech isn't something to defined and limited - rather here in the USA it's protected along with other speech.

    You're coming at this from a European view of most rights. In the EU group's take precedence over individual rights, individual rights come first in the USA. For example, EU courts have ruled it's okay to for a business to trample an individual's right to wear a hijab at work because it's the group's right not to have the person bring their religious expression into the workplace.

    This would not fly in the USA, the employer would lose a 1st amendment case both on freedom of religion and expression. In the USA, if the employer had a religiously neutral dress code in place before someone wore a hijab could they request the employee stick to specific clothing. Whereas the case in Europe, there was no dress code at the business but when someone wore a hajib the employer specifically excluded the garment because of its religious expression and the courts sided with the decision.
     
  17. Nev_Dull

    Nev_Dull Anachronism

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    Good explanation. Yes, I'm coming from the Canadian perspective, where freedom of speech is protected under our Charter of Rights & Freedoms. However, it does allow the government to make reasonable limitations to that freedom, such as defamation and, more currently, some hate speech.

    After reading a little more about your laws, I find it curious that Mr. O'Rourke (or anyone) would even consider touching that sacred cow, if there is no possibility of ever making changes.
     
  18. Don Black

    Don Black Neophyte

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    I don't normally post here, but this subject directly affects me, as well as anyone else who allows social/political debate.

    I'm not surprised so many think government thought crime laws would be just dandy, even in the "Home of the brave...." As Beto implies, the First and Second Amendments are outdated in the new sovietized America. The founders of America were clearly White Nationalists, and would be banned from any respectable venue today as thought criminals.

    I'm sixty-six, and I've been a thought criminal since I was fifteen, growing up in small-town Alabama. Coincidentally, that's when I first read 1984.

    But back in high school and college, I often heard, "It's a free country, so he (often meaning me) has a right to say it." Not now.

    The U.S. Supreme Court may or may not now strike down any legislation infringing on First Amendment rights. Probably would now, but depends on who's on it. The Constitution is now a "living document," dontcha' know, and it can be interpreted any way "judicial activists" see fit.

    They've already "carved an exception" to First Amendment liberties in Virginia v. Black (2003), after having extended them in previous rulings, notably Brandenburg v. Ohio (1969). Interestingly, both cases involved Klan groups (no relation to me).

    Btw, "hate" as as an ideological description is fairly new, It's a contrived term invented by the Anti-Defamation League, becoming popular with news media only in the mid-sixties, to describe love of one's race and culture, if that race happens to be White. Same with the catchterm "racist," invented by Leon Trotsky in the 1920s. "White supremacist" was a legitimate description of European colonialism, slavery and segregation. I've known very few White supremacists.

    I can claim credit for popularizing the term "White Nationalist" to describe ourselves, beginning in1993 with the Usenet newsgroup alt.politics.nationalism.white, followed by the website Stormfront.org in early 1995. I thought it self-arguing, as it was OK for every other race to be nationalist. One Middle Eastern ethnostate is even heavily supported by American taxpayers and military. Not surprisingly, the media never used it, preferring their old catchphrases, until two years ago. I never thought it could be so demonized now.

    Europe, Canada and Australia are further along and portend what may come here. I've had personal friends imprisoned in those places, simply for having the wrong opinions. The German government even once had an arrest warrant out for me for hosting Stormfront, even though I had never been to Germany.

    Stormfront Italy's moderators and posters were arrested en masse a few years ago for posting against Third World immigration to Italy, with Italian ISPs ordered to block Stormfront. That got almost no media coverage outside Italy.

    Another friend was living in Tennessee, married to an American citizen, owning a house, having an immigration lawyer...picked up by ICE on a contrived "missed a hearing" charge. Spent the next seven years in prison in Canada and Germany, all for running a website in the U.S. "questioning the Holocaust." After his release, he couldn't return to the U.S. to visit his wife, and she couldn't visit him in Germany, lest she be arrested there. So they had to meet in third countries, until they both died.

    The Canadian Charter of Rights & Freedoms, mentioned by the previous poster, is meaningless with its "reasonable limitations." I've known a lot of people there imprisoned or threatened with such if they went back on the Internet, for opinions.

    As for real terrorism, I was targeted by a Canadian group called the Antifascist Militia in 1995, along with others, including the aforementioned German/Canadian, with real package bombs. The FBI and Postal Inspector, tipped off by the RCMP, told me. That group had first sent razor blade-loaded mousetraps, which I did receive, but, accustomed to death threats, thought little of.

    Turned out the RCMP had their whole bombmaking operation under video surveillance. But the Canadian government chose not to prosecute, citing "national security."

    So much for the "free world."

    But, as the Russians and Ukrainians thought after the Bolshevik Revolution, maybe they'll leave you alone if you just enforce the Party line, which might now include banning anybody on your forum caught wearing a red hat.
     
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  19. mysiteguy

    mysiteguy Devotee

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    Both Democrats and Republicans have a long history of claiming to support free speech, except when it suits their re-election efforts to oppose them. The thing is, neither of them thinks they are against the 1st amendment when they do it. From hate speech, books at public libraries, dissent, protest, pornography, music, and so on, each party has taken its turn at-bat trying to squash speech. Usually, the Supreme Court strikes it down, but by then the law has already served its purpose "look at what I did to stop those evil people on the other side". Despite what the parties and news like to show about the Supreme Court, it doesn't tend to be liberal or conservative - the overwhelming majority of decisions are unanimous, especially when it comes to the 1st amendment.
     
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