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LJ Censorship

I'm as annoyed by the abridgement of Free Speech on livejournal as I was by the censorship over at Ran's Board.

Unfortunately, it's much less easy to extricate myself here (with four years worth of posts!) than it was from there. In general, let me say that the price we pay for truly free speech is that people will say things we deem offensive and even immoral and wrong. Still, how can we apply any metric to decide what is and isn't acceptable? There's no clear cut answer - and so the only reasonable answer is, to my mind - no restrictions at all. Yes, this means people will say things I don't like, and that would offend me to my core, or freak me out. Heck, slash fic freaks me out, anyway! But it shouldn't be restricted, as the legitimate question arises - by who's standards shall we censor?

Still, LJ's response to the situation has been fairly reasonable, and I can only hope they'll recant their more odious stance on censorship in general. It's a mistake, and leads to more harm than it prevents. If they make a practice of banning speech that they don't like (as opposed to that which is outright illegal, like incitement) then I'll have to think about moving to some other server.

Comments

( 8 comments — Leave a comment )
cappadocius
May. 31st, 2007 10:16 pm (UTC)
Still, how can we apply any metric to decide what is and isn't acceptable?

Well, there's always the LJ TOS...
aghrivaine
May. 31st, 2007 10:23 pm (UTC)
That's one metric. There are others. Which one is universally correct, that all people everywhere will agree is right?

That no one answer is universally correct is not a strong argument - but my point remains that the harm done by censorship is greater than that which is prevented.

I accept that this means bad people will be able to speak their minds. At least then, we'll know who they are.
wickedthought
May. 31st, 2007 10:24 pm (UTC)
If you have the right to delete posts here in your own LJ--posts you find offensive, immoral, insulting, etc.--then the people who own this site have the right to do the same thing.

You don't really own your LJ. LJ owns your LJ and you're borrowing it from them. You signed a user agreement when you signed up for your account. You agreed not to violate that user agreement under penalty of losing the privilege of using LJ's private property. And they are fully within their rights, as private citizens, to do as they wish with the private property you happen to be borrowing.

If you want freedom of speech, post blogs on your own privately owned website. ;)
aghrivaine
May. 31st, 2007 10:27 pm (UTC)
Yep, I have to play by their rules. Absolutely.

I want their rules to reflect a greater interest in freedom of speech than in protection of children. That is my preference.

You are welcome to feel, express, and do otherwise.
aghrivaine
May. 31st, 2007 10:55 pm (UTC)
P.S. - no one pays me to comment in my LJ, nor do I do it to foster community, or provide a means of communication by others.

Were any of those conditions true, I imagine your point about deleting comments would be valid. And I do own the contents of my LJ, I own the copyright on everything I write here.

If I didn't, it would certainly be a far graver problem than just a few communities getting censored. I imagine you'd be up in arms, since you've posted big chunks of materials that you intend to publish, presumably for profit; which would otherwise be the property of Six/Apart.
blanchemains
May. 31st, 2007 11:29 pm (UTC)
Perhaps shockingly, I agree with you. Protecting speech is more important than ever considering how invasive our government has been in recent years.

Besides- any fool who chooses to publicly post something like their pedophiliac tendencies on a public forum like LJ deserves the feedback that they probably get. It seems to me that the people who were concerned enough about this to get LJ involved in censorship would be better served tracking down the content that offends them and confronting those folks directly. That's free speech, too.
aghrivaine
May. 31st, 2007 11:32 pm (UTC)
Yah - like I said - delete 'em and you just send 'em sub rosa. Why not leave 'em in place and let the cops track the things they're saying .. in public, with no expectation of privacy?

I don't know if that's a valid tool for law enforcement or not, but I think we should all understand that anything we say on a public forum is subject to review by authority. It shouldn't be, in and of itself, a crime - but may well provide evidence for solving or preventing other, actual crimes.
maeris
Jun. 1st, 2007 06:01 pm (UTC)
It's the old I may not agree with what you say, but I'll defend your right to say it...
( 8 comments — Leave a comment )

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