Freedom of information production and distribution

(10 comments)

Bernhard It is possible that you are not alone but nether are defenders of freedom if information production and distribution and in particular of freedom of speech. Trying to restrict what words people can or can not use (by labeling them sexist, racist or obscene) is the bread and butter of modern day media censorship. It is censorship and not "just political correctness". While I would not want people trying to limit contributions to Debian only to "smart and educated white people" (racism) or "logically thinking males" (sexism), going the other way and excluding people from Debian because their remarks or way of thinking might offend someone is just offensive to me. That is against the spirit of information freedom that free software is built upon.

To summarize: no one should have the power to say what you can or can not say. You personally do not have to listen to what people say if you do not like what they are saying - there are technological measures that allow you to filter people out at your end. But denying them the right to speak (or segregating them to non-Debian communication channels) is clear and simple censorship that goes against the very principles of free software.


I do not agree with what you have to say, but I'll defend to the death your right to say it.

-- Voltaire

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Comments

Felipe Sateler 9 years, 8 months ago

> denying them the right to speak (or segregating them to non-Debian communication channels) is clear and simple censorship

There is a not-so-small difference between complaining and censorship.

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aigarius 9 years, 8 months ago

> > denying them the right to speak (or segregating them to non-Debian communication channels) is clear and simple censorship
>
> There is a not-so-small difference between complaining and censorship.

Not too much if the complaint demands action from a third party that has the technical ability to satisfy such demands. IMO.

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Miriam Ruiz 9 years, 8 months ago

[...] by Bernhard’s comment about that not being tolerable to do so under Debian’s flag. Aigarius replied kinda shocked that stopping verbal abuses and violence would be censorship. AJ clearly explained the reasons why that shouldn’t be tolerated in Debian, but Aigarius [...]

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Axel 9 years, 8 months ago

First of all, that “Voltair” quote is misattributed, there is no evidence that he ever said anything like that. Check WikiQuotes if you don't belive me. It's a pompous sound bite that people like to throw around when they want to defend themselves for acting like jerks, and it sounds better when attributed to a famous dead guy, is all.

And this of course leads up to the main point about your post, which is another common misconception. Everybody has the freedom of speech, to say whatever they like. But that does not in any way, shape or form imply that other people have an obigation to listen or help promote said speech.

Even if that Voltair quote had been real, do you think he would have let any idiot of the street walk in and add an extra chapter to Candide? Of course not. Saying “We do not want hate speech to be associated with Debian, but you are free to go shout on your own” is not censorship, it is taking a moral stand. Nothing more, nothing less. Personally, I doubt the Debian project will take such a moral stand, but there you go.

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aigarius 9 years, 8 months ago

I really do not care who said those words. I stand for the concept that these words represent.

Taking a "moral" stand based on the morality of a minority (or even a majority) and then censoring the rest to conform to that morality is the very basic censorship. Look up what a 'censor' was in Roman times.

Everyone has the right to say what they like. You have the right to ignore them. There are technical measures for that - client side filtering to be specific. Forcing your filters on all other participants in the communication (such as banning such speech or such people from the channel) is a form of censorship.

Failure to clearly admit that is again very reminiscent of the adjustments in language from '1984'.

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Axel 9 years, 8 months ago

Please give me a single argument why that would be censorship that is not equally true to the captcha _you_ have on your site to stop spammers.

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aigarius 9 years, 8 months ago

The CAPTCHA does not censor based on the content of the message. It also does not censor based on who the author of the message.

Setting up a filter on your own blog to not accept any comments containing word "penis" or any comments from a particular person or a particular IP block or country would be censorship as such. Of course it would be hard to object to what you do with your own blog, but it still does not change the fact that it still is censorship, while CAPTCHA is not.

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Axel 9 years, 8 months ago

Maybe it's the language barrier, but I see no explanation in your post on how filtering out spammers is different from filtering out obnoxious people.

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Computer Freak 9 years, 8 months ago

Spamming has nothing to do with freedom of speech. Spamming is for commercial purpose and does not explain any opinion.

-- my opinion

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aigarius 9 years, 8 months ago

When you filter spam based on a CAPTCHA, the only thing that you are detecting is whether the writer is a person or a computer algorithm. It is a discrimination against AI, if you will :) I am all fine with doing that.
Content based trainable spam filters is a bit touchier, because you can train them to think that all posts containing words that you do not like are spam. You just need be strict to yourself and never delete a comment that you simply do not like.

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