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Manni

debate The Right to Free Speech

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Manni

Okay folks, I'm aiming for the big ideas today since I'm full of sugar and have time on my hand. As people keep mentioning the topic one way and another on this site, I figured that it would be useful discussing what free speech is and what it may entail. Just so we have a baseline with which to start discussion with, here SHOULD be a uncontroversial definition of it.

 

Free Speech - A political right that is largely guaranteed in the world's democratic governments, which can be found in the form of either a direct principle in constitutions or a accepted social norm alluded to in derived legislation. It is enshrined in Article 19 of the UN Universal Declaration of Human Rights as one of the most important rights that humans have.The right to free speech involves not only the making of speech (no matter the medium), but also covers the formation and distribution of mentioned speech acts (no matter the medium). The right itself allows for people to form, seek out and impart opinions, views and information to others without government or 'outside' interference and largely outside legal prosecution (though there exists exceptions). In general, the right to free speech is possessed by all by standard recognition of human's equal moral status but is usually administered by national government over their people. 

 

 

Now that's out of the way, let's talk about something more debatable LIKE the following:

 

1. Should everyone be allowed the right to say anything they wished, for whatever reason they want, in whatever form they desire?

 

2. Is there a difference between speech made in 'public' (let's say...in a government building or in a shopping centre or in Parliament) or in private?

 

3. Should there be any restriction on speech made in different contexts and environments?

Edited by Manni
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Temaelrin

Okay folks, I'm aiming for the big ideas today since I'm full of sugar and have time on my hand. As people keep mentioning the topic one way and another on this site, I figured that it would be useful discussing what free speech is and what it may entail. Just so we have a baseline with which to start discussion with, here SHOULD be a uncontroversial definition of it.

 

Free Speech - A political right that is largely guaranteed in the world's democratic governments, which can be found in the form of either a direct principle in constitutions or a accepted social norm alluded to in derived legislation. It is enshrined in Article 19 of the UN Universal Declaration of Human Rights as one of the most important rights that humans have.The right to free speech involves not only the making of speech (no matter the medium), but also covers the formation and distribution of mentioned speech acts (no matter the medium). The right itself allows for people to form, seek out and impart opinions, views and information to others without government or 'outside' interference and largely outside legal prosecution (though there exists exceptions). In general, the right to free speech is possessed by all by standard recognition of human's equal moral status but is usually administered by national government over their people. 

 

 

Now that's out of the way, let's talk about something more debatable LIKE the following:

 

1. Should everyone be allowed the right to say anything they wished, for whatever reason they want, in whatever form they desire?

 

2. Is there a difference between speech made in 'public' (let's say...in a government building or in a shopping centre or in Parliament) or in private?

 

3. Should there be any restriction on speech made in different contexts and environments?

 

This is a double... Triple edged sword. One of the reasons it took so long for me to answer is because I didn't really know how to respond. That and (As you know) I've been very busy with the EPSI Federation RP. This is a subject I've had to deal with recently for my RP and thinking how they define free-speech... I've not really come up with much.

 

"Free Speech - A political right that is largely guaranteed in the world's democratic governments" In my view this sentence should have ended with "...That is rarely practiced." 

 

As I've stated in a few of my posts on this site and in general people are way too sensitive nowerdays, and I can be just as guilty with certain things - I know. For example you can't say "Darling, Love, Duc, etc..." to people anymore because it's "Demeaning". You can't discuss wishes to blow up parliament without being branded a terrorist even if you lack the means to do so and you were just talking, like "My mum is SO going to kill me when she finds out." doesn't mean she'll literally kill you; unless her parenting skills are that bad, it's just talk. Unfortunately this is compounded by things that were just talk, and because it was dismissed it turned into action (Although I'm not certain that it was just because it was dismissed).

 

Despite wanting to provide absolute free-speech on this website; I do find myself unable to unable to do so, due to laws, which brings me to my rarely practiced sentence.

 

The problem with free speech is the damage words can do, there's no denying that. To combat this problem the UK had something called a "Super-Injunction" were originally put in place to protect individuals whose lives might be at risk should their identities and actions be made public. However somewhere along the line they're now seemingly used to protect the corrupted filth, that is infecting infected our Governments, and the Celebs to keep the masses entertained and distracted from being made public and brought to light. The best example is the first time outcry against Super Injections which happened in 2009. The Guardian Newspaper was legally prohibited from reporting "certain remarks" that were made in parliament. Then time and time again it was used to cover up sex scandals, and other shit, as well as corruption. This is no longer being used to protect but being used to cover up.

 

And hell. If a Super-Injuction isn't enough... Our country resorted into doing this... I'll come back on this later.

 

I should also mention that Super-Injunctions didn't stop Twitter-ers from Tweeting. Go Twitter!

 

 

Yes, there is a hell of a difference. In the video I shared above, for the Guardian, the Government as far as they were concerned "Enough debate on this." and we as the public were just getting started. If a Government is representing the people, the people have a right to know what they're up to. I'm not talking about in their private lives, I'm talking about stuff that affects the very people they're supposed to represent. Our government isn't even interested in listening, as far as they're concerned at least from my perspective; Edward Snowden is a HUGE kink in what ever they had planned, and a massive set back and we're seeing them react to this and was there public outcry? No, not really. A few good people protested about it; but I bet the majority have forgotten or say that "If you have nothing to hide, then you have nothing to fear." Which is bullshit in-itself. Clearly there's discussions about this that for some reason the Government that's supposed to work for us is allowed to keep secrets from us but we're not allowed to keep secrets from them.

 

On topic; what's said in private should remain private. But again if it affects other people then they have a right to know. Public is pretty much public. Should there be a difference? I'm not sure.

 

 

I don't know. I'm not a law maker. Yes, but they shouldn't be blanket restrictions and they should be made VERY clear and something that the vast majority (at least) of us can agree on. In an ideal world- No, absolutely not.

 

This is the problem. We don't live in an ideal world, in fact I wouldn't call it a world at the moment. I'd call it a cesspool of forever growing ignorance manufactured by the people who should be representing us. Hell for all I know I could be part of the problem. I think something needs to be changed when we can't even say stuff that was rather commonplace so many years ago. I am of course talking about "Political Correctness" in the context of (the avoidance of forms of expression or action that are perceived to exclude, marginalize, or insult groups of people who are socially disadvantaged or discriminated against.) However "PC" has gone crazy and people pointed this out YEARS ago and the problem just got worse and worse! I believe political correctness, if it should be used should only be used by those that are representing us... By choice. Not every-fucker-else.

 

For example I was just 8 years old. I'm white, I had a black friend. He'd call me "His White Friend" and I'd call him "My Black Friend". We were both 8 and didn't mean anything insulting by it. However as soon as a teacher heard me call it him she went ballistic, followed by the whole class. I was labeled a racist. Now "Black" is acceptable again... Apparently. He didn't find it offensive UNTIL my teacher went apeshit and got me suspended for 2 days. Even though he came up with it (because he never had a friend before and he seemed really happy that a "white" person was even talking to him, and to be honest I was just in the boat that "At least someone likes me...")

 

Another example; 12 years old and I stupidly say "I need to do a brain storm on this"... OH BOY my teacher didn't like that, despite the fact "Brain Storm" was a perfectly acceptable phrase to use just the year previously, now I have to call them "Spider Diagrams" Which made no fucking sense to me what-so-ever and still doesn't today. Apparently it's offensive to Epileptics. Well I wasn't having it, I called up a friend in the middle of class who suffers from Epilepsy and asked him "I know you don't speak for all suffers, but I'm asking you as one friend to another. Are you offended by me using the term "Brain Storms" - No was the answer. But my persistence in using it, earned me an after school detention.

 

What have I learned?

 

Freedom of Speech is already LONG dead.

 

Case in point:

 

Edit (27th Feb 2015): The problem I'm seeing especially with Gamergate is the Anti-Gamergate side constantly trying to censor Gamergate opinions, getting twitter to ban prominent member's accounts and the like. This kind of censorship is used to crush dissenting opinion under the guise of "Harassment, Hate Speech and Sexism" when 9 times out of 10 the user is having an opinion like they are. Then Anti-Gamergate gets away with calling for the Gas Chambers to be brought back and nothing gets done, where as a Pro-Gamergater could be logically picking apart their arguments and pointing out illogical constructs in the Anti-GG rhetoric which is a bannable offence. I don't think I want to live in that type of world, I'd rather live in a world where people could say what they want and not fear being silenced, or even shut down by people, governments or corporations. I'm neutral/pro leaning on the issue if you must know. What did it for me is how the Media protrayed Gamergate, it wasn't the truth. 

 

The Media has a right to free speech too; yes they do, but they also have a duty to report the truth - something that is not practiced anymore. If they're reporting opinions then fine, but they don't, they report stuff and pass it off as facts. If they can't cite their sources and clearly don't do the research then they are doing a massive dis-service by reporting it as fact; when it's not. In the case of Gamergate - they showed pretty shocking tweets indeed... None of which said "#Gamergate" and I can show at least 5 anti-Gamergate tweets that are "Offensive" for every 1 they showed from people that didn't even use the Hashtag "#Gamergate". Calling for Nazi tactics, kill all men, etc... Granted it's free speech and whatever but if we're not allowed to say X then why should they be allowed to say X? My point is; if I said "Bring back the Gas Chambers for Anti-Gamergaters. #Gamergate" and "Kill all women #Gamergate" this would be on the news so fucking quick, yet they can say it and the media is on their side- so they ignore the shit that they spew.

 

Sources: 

And don't get me started on Religions... I'm sure since Charlie Hebdo we've all got one opinion or another on it. I know a number of you didn't want me to ever bring up Gamergate on this site; but I'm long since past caring about what others think; and I literally can't give a flying fuck anymore. Done. Seriously I'm not as mad about Feminists and Social Justice Cultists anymore; I've found that mocking them makes me less angry and pisses them right the fuck off. Win Win for me. Because "Fuck the Patriarchy!" 

 

Remember Folks; Trust but Verify and Keep checking those privileges.

 

Signed by,

 

Your resident Shitlord.

Edited by Wolfie
Because #Gamergate.
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Slice

all I needed to see what "gamergate" which you bring up out of nowhere, a typical GGer tactic. you literally support a misogynistic terrorist campaign against women. I hope you die cis scum.

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Temaelrin

all I needed to see what "gamergate" which you bring up out of nowhere, a typical GGer tactic. you literally support a misogynistic terrorist campaign against women. I hope you die cis scum.

You need a big "Citation Needed" under your name. You're also attempting to de-rail a topic, and using personal attacks. Tsk Tsk. Oddly enough I've been accused of being worse. I'd love to see where I've said "I support Gamergate" and I'd love to see this topic getting back on subject. Oh and using "GamerGate" as an example; doesn't constitute support.

Does anyone have anything to add to the subject that is conducive to the conversation?

Either way, debate section is going to have some new rules.

- If you are going to post something as fact and can't cite your sources, don't bother posting in the Debate forums.

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Whoreo

I see Wolfie has killed this thread already. I'm of the extreme opinion that free speech shouldn't be melded with, with the legal system. governments cannot be trusted, and the people cant be either. sure hate speech isn't very nice, but when you start saying "you can have free speech, but..." this line doesn't seem to end. eventually there will be so many things on the list that you might as well say what people can say. now we're in a situation where:

  • you can be racist, but only to white people. because "free speech and they're the people of power".
  • you can be sexist, but only to males. because "free speech and they're the people of power".
  • you can discriminate against heterosexuals. because "free speech and they're the people of power".

you know what? I'm for it. if you want to #KillAllMen and #KillAllWhiteMen when you know what? some fucking stormfag is well within their fucking rights to say #KillAllNiggers too. none of it is very nice, but there we go.

for context let's use XKCD comic on freespeech.

crMCOET.png

panel one of this disgusting comic by a site that lost all respect from me as a user is incorrect. every country can currently arrest you for what you say (see Wikipedia's United States free speech exceptions.) I think the difference in the law and in the morality matters, you have the legal right to try and silence everyone you want but you have the moral right to ensure that no one is silence, no matter how much you disagree with them for example releasing information about someone that they would prefer to keep private a detail of their personal lives for example. It is legal, but generally considered immoral.

panel two is a straw-man argument. who said that everyone should have to listen to everyone or host everyone? that's not freespeech, and is derailing from the subject. panel three is also a strawman, again who said that it does? that is not what freespeech is for.

panel four...so when you're invited to speak for an event (say) at a university and you are prevented from doing so. Wolfie shared this as a source that feminism hates men:

so yeah... and in the case of Norman Finkelstein, Sarah Wunsch of the ACLU wrote:

...the cancellation of his speech violates the basic principles of freedom of speech and academic freedom which are so fundamental to an institute of higher learning. The existence of an opportunity to speak at another time or in another location does not remedy the wrong of censorship.

...Nor may complaints from those disturbed by Finkelstein’s writings about the post-Holocaust “industry” justify a decision to prevent the lecture from taking place. Indeed, even if demonstrators came to protest against Finkelstein’s views, the obligation of a university is to protect the speaker’s right to be heard and prevent disruption of the speech by others. By censoring speech because of complaints about offensiveness or the controversial nature of the speaker, the university has essentially allowed what the courts call a “heckler’s veto” over what speech can be heard.

panel five - every censor makes that argument.

panel six - and that's every censor's goal.

it's funny...if someone kept censoring this moron or if someone kept censoring this assholes (in the video) then they'd all be the first to complain their freespeech is being trampled on. yet when the shoe is on other foot it's absolutely fine. what a fucking sad world we live in, indeed.

a user on reddit said it better than I could:

The first amendment is the "letter of the law". The spirit of the law, something liberals and progressives use to proudly proclaim was their realm, is the idea that in public forums or places where the general public congregate, that the freedom to distribute ideas should not be hindered but that arguments should be judged on their own merits, that bad or hateful ideas should be argued down with reason and evidence. It is only through our mutual struggle against bad or hateful ideas that we as a civilization learn what the good and virtuous ideas are; because we have amassed cultural knowledge, evidence, and reason to support them.

This is not just a U.S thing, this is a foundation of human rights.

Places like Reddit and elsewhere get so hard when it comes to net neutrality and making the internet a public utility and want all the rights and privileges of being a public forum, but when it comes to shouldering the burden of being a public forum they like to pull the "well we're TECHNICALLY a private company" card so they can have their cake and eat it too.

Any place which allows the general public to congregate like YouTube or the Chans should be the dominion of the idea of freedom of speech. If you don't like it, then make all your commenters subscribe or otherwise make an effort to any and all people to show that the site they are entering is not for just anyone; only people who subscribe to their beliefs are allowed in.

But they don't want to do that, they want their cake and to eat it too. So they put up a facade of impartiality. "Come one, come all!". So they can get young and impressionable people looking for answers so they can mold these people into drones.

oh and this fucking idiot?

all I needed to see what "gamergate" which you bring up out of nowhere, a typical GGer tactic. you literally support a misogynistic terrorist campaign against women. I hope you die cis scum.

that breaks ToS for a start. yet I feel it'd be ironic to silence their free speech, I can certainly see why it's still up there. but these troll accounts (where they register and disappear after saying shit like that) seems to be getting very popular on this site and I'm wondering what the fuck is going on?

this is another tactic to silence free speech in my eyes. shaming tactic. what a detestable human being you are, Slice.

Edited by Whoreo
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Temaelrin

I'm of the extreme opinion that free speech shouldn't be melded with, with the legal system.

So you're okay (for example) for someone to Advocate, having sex/raping children? I get this is "Extreme" but I kind of wanted to know how "extreme" you were if that makes any sense? How free is free? I have to admit... Not even I'm that extreme, as in I do believe there are something that you just do not say in public company, especially with legally heavy as that.

this is another tactic to silence free speech in my eyes. shaming tactic. what a detestable human being you are, Slice.

Personally I don't think "Detestable" is accurate word, A troll at best, at worst sorely misguided and very angry human being, and I agree there's plenty of things to be angry about in this world. Wishing death on an individual or group is probably indicative of a need for Psychotherapy. 

Also they weren't let off, although at present I cannot talk about what actions were taken upon their account because I cannot talk about other accounts to other members. But yeah... Otherwise I think you're pretty spot on, and XCKD or whatever never had my respect to begin with. What happened to the days where if you find something you didn't like you just go somewhere else? Why do we need to censor it all now? What if someone else does want to read it? I mean if we did start censoring things that we didn't like where would it end? 

I wanted to pick this apart too... XCKDC or whatever they're called (I couldn't give a fuck) got this so fundamentally wrong... 

crMCOET.png

Panel One is flat out incorrect; in terms of the Right to Free Speech:-

Source (Wikipedia):- Freedom of speech is the concept of the inherent human right to voice one's opinion publicly without fear of censorship or punishment. "Speech" is not limited to public speaking and is generally taken to include other forms of expression. The right is preserved in the United Nations Universal Declaration of Human Rights and is granted formal recognition by the laws of most nations.

Although it does go on to say that countries have varying levels of compliance, from either non-compliance at all to full compliance. I'd say the author of this comic (and everyone who uses it as a source to justify censorship) has a very narrow minded view that America is the only country on Earth, or they didn't take into consideration of the The Universal Declaration of Human Rights, nor other countries perception and compliance to that right. 

Source (Article 19, http://www.un.org/en/documents/udhr/): Everyone has the right to freedom of opinion and expression; this right includes freedom to hold opinions without interference and to seek, receive and impart information and ideas through any media and regardless of frontiers.

Arguing under the First Adamant of the United State's of America is moot when you're arguing for any country other than America. I get it if you're targeting it to your country, however it's not - It's being used as a citation/source on a global scale. I, as a UK citizen refuse to live under US law. It would violate United Kingdom Sovereignty to force any UK Citizen. You'd violate the international sovereignty of any given non-US country.  So automatically (and I admit I don't know shit about US Law) it's not valid out of the US and should not be used a citation/source to justify censorship when your target is the global state... [Looking at you; Open Source Code of Conduct

Panel Two and Panel Three is indeed a Strawman. But it's also correct. If you don't want to listen to it... Walk away. If you think it's wrong - you should debate it. The thing is the Social Justice Cult, will ignore you when it's convenient for them, they'll debate you, when they don't agree with you (Or shame you and dox you, etc) but if you think about doing it to them - it's Censored. There are people who "are listening" to them "Think they're an asshole" so why aren't they censored? What irks me the most is their argument is so flawed they have censor and control, and yet if the other side did that they wouldn't hear the end of it. 

Panel Four - "If you're yelled at, boycotted, have your show cancel(l)ed, or get banned from an internet community, your free speech rights aren't being violated." 

Well this almost correct; "If you're being yelled at" - That isn't a violation, as such. It is intimidation at worse; but it's just someone shouting. 

"Boycotted" isn't a violation either. That's also correct.

"Banned from an internet community." It's not very nice, but communities have rules. For example what's acceptable here may/may not be acceptable on a community that children can access, or that children make up for a large percentage of the community's target audience. Communities like ours have "Laws" like countries, these "Laws" are in the form of "Terms of Service", "Community Rules" or a "Code of Conduct". These communities certainly don't have to "Host you" whilst you're sharing something that breaks their laws.

However... "Have your show cancelled" (And that's with two L's by the way xP) is in some cases - a violation of the Free Speech Right. 

Panel Five - So does that mean if the greater society thinks that Social Justice Cultists are ass-holes, does that mean we can censor them too? I don't mean that as a "Slippery Slope Fallacy" I mean that as a reverse the situations... If the majority of people think Feminists are ass-holes - does that mean we have the right to censor them? Of course not - We can disagree with them, and we certainly ignore them. Just because you think some one is an arsehole why should you be allowed to censor them? Particularly if they have an audience that wants to listen to them? Something tells me if I outright said "No Feminists Allowed" or "No Social Justice Cultists Allowed" on here; I'd be fucking ran into the ground. 

Panel Six - They're not just showing you to the door though... They're forcibly throwing you out by the hands of Mob Justice and stopping you from talking to the people who are their audience. Take for example the University things on... People who were offended (A very vocal minority) were getting speeches, talks and lectures cancelled for the people who wanted to listen to their points of view and so on. It's all well and good to say "They're showing you the door" like its a benign sentiment, but it's not. It's more like they're taking a gag to your mouth a gun to you head and blasting your brains out so you can NEVER go against The Narrative ever again because "How bloody dare you." 

Edited by Wolfie
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Whoreo

So you're okay (for example) for someone to Advocate, having sex/raping children? I get this is "Extreme" but I kind of wanted to know how "extreme" you were if that makes any sense? How free is free? I have to admit... Not even I'm that extreme, as in I do believe there are something that you just do not say in public company, especially with legally heavy as that.

well first off I'm going to start by saying that advocating having sex or raping children is outrageously disgusting but asking it in this situation was perhaps unavoidable. I mean free as in people should be free to say it, both publicly and privately. there are people (like me) who don't think it's nice and would argue and debate against the very idea. should they be arrested for committing a crime when they haven't? of course not. free-speech is bound to come with downsides but we can't just censor the stuff we don't like this leads to the problems we have today. Free speech does not mean you're protected from the consequences of it, for example if you come out with something as fucking stupid as "I believe kids should have sex with their parents" then you'd better damn well expect people going "Errrrrryeah...No. Because that's wrong for (reasons that could go on for paragraphs and paragraphs)" this is free speech, where you can debate and argue your points.

and....er excuse me but idiots frequently comes out with stupid statements like this, "it's not rape if a female adult rapes a child" (in the case of teachers) because he should be lucky or 'where were these teachers when I was a child' or 'I'd be high fiving people for weeks'. despite the fact that if it was the other way around people would be calling for maximum jail time and the male teachers balls to be severed! don't even get me started if the female student wanted it off the male teacher. and don't even get me started on all the dumb shit social justice says. the problem here is they have some kind of immunity because instead of using reason, truth and facts to back up their assertions they exploit emotions. they get away with it too and the media often spouts their lies. I'm sorry to say whilst this is their right to say this it is also everyone else's right to disprove them and tell them that they're wrong and debate their stupid shit. but no......social justice just censors you and shames you for trying. free speech doesn't mean free from criticism. they use free speech to spout their crap and then censor it from anyone else.....and this pisses me off.

some people may even try to assault you for having those views and that's unfortunate. but if you truly believe in what you're spouting then you should be aware of the consequences.

Personally I don't think "Detestable" is accurate word, A troll at best, at worst sorely misguided and very angry human being, and I agree there's plenty of things to be angry about in this world. Wishing death on an individual or group is probably indicative of a need for Psychotherapy.

That is your opinion and you're entitled to it. just like they're entitled to say that 'no it's not' personally; I agree about the therapy. I stand my character summation that s/he is a detestable human being. My opinion is equally as invalid as yours.

Also they weren't let off, although at present I cannot talk about what actions were taken upon their account because I cannot talk about other accounts to other members. But yeah... Otherwise I think you're pretty spot on, and XCKD or whatever never had my respect to begin with. What happened to the days where if you find something you didn't like you just go somewhere else? Why do we need to censor it all now? What if someone else does want to read it? I mean if we did start censoring things that we didn't like where would it end? 

I don't fucking know... sometimes there was side stories on here that I read and didn't like especially when Scat got involved. I just moved away from the topic and found something else to read. nowadays there's nothing like that here. I didn't bitch or complain about it, but if I remember rightly someone once did.

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SMFoxy

I've not posted here yet.
I don't really know what I can add that's not been said.

To start with, my opinion is free speech for everyone.
If you want the right to free speech, expect other people to exercise their right to the same.

Example: Feminists (the bad kind) want to go on their man hating rampages, but don't like it when people try to engage them.
When they do it it's free speech, when anyone else does it, especially against their opinions, it's oppression.

You will, chances are, offend people with something you say, something you agree or disagree with.
In return, chances are high that you will be offended by something someone else says, or their opinions, at some point in your life.
But at the same time, offense is never given, only taken.

I have the freedom to say "I do not agree with modern feminism". It will offend modern feminists.
I have the freedom to say "I do not agree with religion". It will probably offend a lot of people.
I have the freedom to say "I do not agree with the practices of Monsanto". It will likely offend someone.

I don't really care who I offend with my views. I appreciate that some people may get offended, but if I cared, I'd self censor.
We don't need political correctness, we don't need the abolition of free speech.
We need people to stop being such special fucking snowflakes about every little thing people say.


Free speech is a bit of a double edged sword (I use the term loosely).
If you have the right to speak freely, other people do have the right to disagree, tell you you're wrong, etc.
Expect debates. Expect views opposing your opinion. Open up a dialogue and use your freedom of speech to its maximum.

I'm done.
*drops mic, exits stage left*

Edited by SMFoxy
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Whoreo

This is related.

 

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      For a brief while, EcchiDreams allowed anything and everything Cartoon related (With exception to Guro). Now I don't pretend to know EXACTLY what I'm talking about. I'm not a lawyer and quite frankly I have better things to do than to read and try to understand every stupid law that comes out, because a lot of it to me seems like censorship, which a free government isn't supposed to be doing. What's worse is these laws are often signed away from public eyes and that's generally not a good sign. Even when most of the population agree that a law needs to be changed (Take Marijuana for example) the governments do nothing about it. So much for democracy. [And that's an entirely different discussion and a whole lot of can of worms...]
       
      Lolicon has been illegalised in the following countries [According to Wikipedia]:
       
      Australia Brazil Canada Italy Japan <-- An Anti-Lolicon Bill that pretty much got turned into a Anti-Everything Bill. Netherlands New Zealand Norway Poland South Africa Sweden United Kingdom <-- Which poses a problem for us. [Coroners and Justice Act 2009, sections 62–68] United States <-- Which poses a problem for the majority of our members*. [18 USC 1466A] *As of 28th November 2013.
       
      Obviously when this all came to light, our first reaction was shut the down the forums and scrub the Lolicon away. At the time, I wasn't the Site Administrator, but I was very vocal about this, and I guess in someways it still pisses me off today.
       
      Allow me to explain:
       
      I personally don't care for or hate Lolicon, or Shotacon, or anything that depicts or is a minor who is under the age of 18. That's not how I get my rocks off if you will. To me it's a fetish (Like, Chibis, Furry, Normal Hentai and so on). It doesn't show real abuse where real children are involved and therefore I don't see a problem with it, personally. It's one of those things that I'd tolerate and with-hold judgement against because that's who I am. At the end of the day; I'd rather someone use these images than images of actual children. 
       
      People go by the logic that if someone looks at pictures of real children (Nude or in sexual situations) then that'd encourage them to abuse themselves. By THAT logic, if people look at Lolicon or Shotacon, the most they'll do is fucking draw Lolicon. But this isn't the logic they're using. Apparently if you look at Lolicon/Shotacon it's just as bad as the real thing therefore you'll do the abuse yourself. One problem with that... I've seen NO studies, NO scientific evidence that backs this up and as far as I am concerned there is NO link between people who look at Loli/Shota and Peadophilia. I find it hard to believe that if someone looks at say, the picture above and finds an uncensored version that they'll go out and rape children. That kind of mentality is so logically flawed, I wouldn't even know where to start poking holes in it. 
       
      The problem is people use the line "WILL SOMEBODY PLEASE THINK OF THE CHILDREN"... I say it's not the Governments job to do that, it's YOUR job as a parent and human fucking being to educate. This line is being used more and more. Even with the UK's new "Opt-out Filtering Service" [Which again is a whole different discussion with a whole can of worms.]
       
      Granted we do need to better protect children from Sexual Predators, but not like this. This is wrong on so many levels and I reckon the UK Government at least knows this, otherwise they wouldn't have passed the bill in secrecy.
       
      So why does EcchiDreams not allow it? 
      It's illegal. (Despite my problems with this law) I do not wish to be branded as a peadophile just for allowing people to post their art. I do not wish to be put on the Sex Offenders Register. I do not want EcchiDreams to be shut down over this. I do not want members of this community being penalised in their countries for visiting this site. I can do without the drama. Do I (personally) like that we don't allow it?
       
      What do you think? No.
       
      Because I feel this is one violation of many of our right to Free Expression. I don't think any form of art should be illegal, really. Even offensive art. You have the choice to look at it or not. I find it disgusting and morally repugnant that the Government makes laws in private, not just laws like this but laws in general. I feel it paves the way to make more and more porn illegal, and it's already happening here in the UK. Once these things are illegal then they can control other things on the internet because it's common place. Don't believe me? It's already happened and is happening right now.
      The Government shouldn't be allowed to dictate what you can and cannot do in the privacy of your own home. At the end of the day, if the picture was drawn by a consenting adult, and viewed by a consenting adult then that's not any of their business. If you didn't want to look at it, then click the back button or fuck off somewhere else, it's not fucking rocket science. Granted if it's being shown to kids then the problem is supplying porn to minors, not the porn itself. 
       
      I'd like to think of myself a reasonable thinking adult. I've never understood the world and frankly the world has never understood me. I always thought I'm the least qualified to say what should be acceptable and not acceptable in society, but fuck me... The Governments of these countries including my own are seriously fucked in the head. As I said this extends far beyond just Lolicon and Shotacon being censored, but when you look at it from an outsiders point of view you can see that pictures depicting rape and porn depicting rape is getting banned, despite the fact it's made (USUALLY) by consenting adults. 
       
      Oh and I really don't give a shit if you're a parent and think the internet would be a better place for your child without porn - That, quite frankly is your problem. Don't make it everyone else's problem. YOU should be responsible for what YOUR children do online, not the fucking Government. I believe children should be educated not moddy-coddled and wrapped in cotton wool. That said, don't let me tell you how to raise your children, but don't you fucking dare dictate how I should or should not raise mine.
      We're stepping closer and closer to a nanny-big-brother state and I've had enough to be honest, but the population at large don't seem to see this. If you don't want your child to look at porn it should be up to you as the parent to block it on your network. If you don't know how to do this there are loads of tutorials online and even services that will help. 
      Excuse my swearing, I am extremely passionate about our freedoms, civil liabilities and so on. I don't describe myself as Left or Right, politically speaking, or even anywhere near that two dimensional scale. At the risk of going off topic discussing the UK's Porn Filter [Which is switched on by default. YOU have to call your ISP to turn it off... That's fucking backwards.] I will wrap up.
       
      My point is; Lolicon and Shotacon are just images, drawn by someone who happens to like that art style. Either male or female, I don't really care. They're expressing their art, and I find it shit-covered-bollocking-crazy that people can tell people what they can and cannot draw, and what art they can and cannot look at. So what do you think? I'd be happy to debate this subject, whilst I'm extremely happy for those who have an opinion to state it, lets try and keep personal name calling to a minimum. We do have a Terms of Service. :) I don't expect everyone to agree with me here, but it's definitely frustrating to see this happening. 
      My final problem is; it's written in such a way that you're practically guilty until proven innocent, which is NOT how the law is supposed to work. You're supposed to be innocent until proven guilty. For example; they do not need to prove that the character IS under 18, if it looks under 18 that's probable cause. YOU need to prove that the character in question IS over 18. Which you can't do because it's a fictional character and the artist might be all the way in Japan or somewhere else. Sorry but to me that's fucking backwards and no law should operate like that. But then again we're seeing this an awful lot lately, guilty until proven innocent -- Just look at the NSA, GCHQ and other spying claims. Again that's another debate, and another fucking can of worms. 
      All hail our great and infallible leaders. </sarcasm>
      [P.S. I know my spelling and grammar might leave a lot to be desired, but there you have it. People wanted my opinion there it is.]
    • SMFoxy
      By SMFoxy
      An interesting discussion idea that I had the other day:

      Do you think that out of context screenshots or game CG count as spoilers?

      Say for example that I provided a screenshot of one of the Gen I Pokémon games, to show an example of the warp panels or something. It may be of a single room in a certain building, but there's no context to it.
      Or, I take a screenshot of the route on which I caught a certain Pokémon.

      Taking it a little further, to the main point: background art in story modes, with no dialogue or anything like that, just the art... Do you personally consider that a spoiler? I mean, sure, you see the art before you get that far/unlock it, but it provides no real context.

      And, for example, say there's one thing you can do to unlock all background art in a game (without any dialogue/context, other than being in the correct order)... Would you look at the art before playing through the story mode? Or would you ignore the Gallery until you 'unlocked' all the art legitimately?

      Just curious about what people think. If this gets any interest, I'll share my opinion.
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