Is A Petition Calling For A Pardon Of The Pirate Bay's Peter Sunde 'Offensive'?

from the really-now? dept

This is a little strange. We recently wrote about Peter Sunde's request for a pardon in which he lays out a fairly compelling argument for how the Swedish judicial system was railroaded into convicting him. Soon after that, a petition appeared on the site Avaaz in support of Sunde's request, with the idea being that if it obtained enough signatures, it would be delivered to the Swedish government. Avaaz was actually a very big player in the fight against SOPA, helping to stir up international interest against the bill late last year. But in a somewhat surprising move, as pointed out by TorrentFreak, the site has emailed users asking them if they find the Sunde petition "offensive, inflammatory or otherwise objectionable," in which case they may pull it down.

As TorrentFreak notes, this is odd for a variety of reasons. Beyond it being strange that anyone would think that a plea for a pardon is "offensive, inflammatory or otherwise objectionable," the petition site on Avaaz appears to have plenty of things that would be much more likely to cause offense to some people. TorrentFreak reasonably wonders why, of all the petitions on Avaaz, did it happen to pick out the Sunde one?

But I'd argue it goes even further than that. Why should Avaaz even be asking if petitions are "offensive, inflammatory or otherwise objectionable"? If someone posts such a petition, wouldn't it take care of itself by the fact that people won't sign it? Trying to pre-determine if a petition is acceptable seems to go against the very setup of an open petition site like Avaaz's.


Reader Comments (rss)

(Flattened / Threaded)

  1.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Jul 16th, 2012 @ 12:41pm

    We'll have to see if they do it with any other petition. Perhaps there is nothing malicious about this and they want to be really sure they are doing the right thing here.

     

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  2.  
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    ChurchHatesTucker (profile), Jul 16th, 2012 @ 12:47pm

    You know what's offensive?

    Asking if citizens petitioning their government is offensive offends me.

     

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  3.  
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    Ima Fish (profile), Jul 16th, 2012 @ 12:54pm

    Re:

    "Perhaps there is nothing malicious about this and they want to be really sure they are doing the right thing here."

    In that case let the petition go forward. Why add the first step of asking whether they should have the petition? How is adding that first step doing the right thing? If people thought the petition was somehow "offensive, inflammatory or otherwise objectionable," they would simply not sign the petition.

     

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  4.  
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    Anonymous Coward of Esteemed Trolling (profile), Jul 16th, 2012 @ 1:02pm

    It's obvious Avaaz got "complaints" by people "offended" by this.
    Offensive to corporate cunts everywhere.


    Avaaz, stand your ground !
    These complaints are from greedy Corporate Government parasites that feed of humanity, leaving death, destruction and poverty in their wake (aka... The "good" guys ).

     

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  5.  
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    MaJoR, Jul 16th, 2012 @ 1:05pm

    Why were emails sent out to signers asking if this was inappropriate? Simple. Look at the bottom of the petition link.

    "Report this as inappropriate"

    I'm assuming enough people clicked that link that their system automatically sent out questions regarding it. Honestly I wouldn't be surprised if Big Content whipped something up to spam that button to try to get Avaaz to shut the petition down automatically.

     

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  6.  
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    Yakko Warner (profile), Jul 16th, 2012 @ 1:08pm

    Is it automated?

    There's a "Report this as inappropriate" link at the bottom of the petition page. I wonder if it gets clicked enough, it prompts the system to send out an automated email to get a general opinion on the survey.

    It could be that some number of people found it "wrong" and clicked the link. It could also be that the "number of people" in question happen to be affiliated with the MAFIAA and are attempting to silence this dissent to their favorable ruling -- but I can't possibly imagine they would stoop to something so petty and childish.

     

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  7.  
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    Tunnen (profile), Jul 16th, 2012 @ 1:12pm

    Perhaps there is some saber rattling from the Swedish Government or an anti-piracy group threatening to take them to court for allowing an "offensive" (to them) petition. Avaaz could just be trying to get a feel from the general populous as to which way a jury may side if they decided to not cave in and defend the petition in court.

     

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  8.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Jul 16th, 2012 @ 1:12pm

    only to those that were involved in the backroom dealings with the Swedish government to ensure there were guilty verdicts handed down to all 4 TPB members. there is no way that any organisations want to be exposed or the government want the people to know what they did in selling out their own citizens to please the US government and US entertainment industries. as usual, hidden pressure is being applied by those to scared to be out in the open. if Avaaz does do this, it is selling out what it is supposed to be in existence for, revealing the truth!

     

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    Tor (profile), Jul 16th, 2012 @ 1:16pm

    Slightly OT: I reported an error in that earlier post about Sunde. Since no correction was issued I wonder if you perhaps didn't see my comment. I won't labour the point - just thought I'd highlight it once more just in case you missed it the first time.

     

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  10.  
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    sheenyglass (profile), Jul 16th, 2012 @ 1:20pm

    No inflammatory petitions for me! No sirree, a stable, peaceful society depends upon tactful dissent. We must only challenge the status quo by taking positions which have been vetted and approved for admission into the status quo!

     

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  11.  
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    Micaela (profile), Jul 16th, 2012 @ 1:32pm

    Avaaz is already on shaky ground with me over one or two of their other petitions. Not because i doubt their sincerity, but I have started to doubt their research skills. I haven't gotten an email for this though. Did every member get an email?

     

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  12.  
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    Mesonoxian Eve (profile), Jul 16th, 2012 @ 1:33pm

    Answering the title's question: "Yes, if you work at/for the MPAA, RIAA, BPI, Disney, BREIN, Hadopi, Viacom, USTR, Chamber of Commerce, US Copy..." oh dear goodness. I don't have enough digital ink to continue this.

    Thankfully, the feeling's mutual.

     

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  13.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Jul 16th, 2012 @ 1:44pm

    I find sites that criticize president Obama very offensive, inflammable, and otherwise objectionable.

    I especially find Mitt Romney very offensive and inflammable and otherwise objectionable for running against the president.

    Can we pull his website, and websites supporting him under such a standard?

    I also find it very offensive, inflammable, and otherwise objectionable whenever people disagree with me for saying the sky is purple, especially when people point at the sky to try to prove me wrong.

     

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  14.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Jul 16th, 2012 @ 2:11pm

    I find state granted monopolies offenive, so can we take down the NSA & MAFIAA websites?

     

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  15.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Jul 16th, 2012 @ 2:11pm

    Re:

    I am so very, very sick of lying, cheating, anti democratic rent seekers capturing our governments and justice systems.

     

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  16.  
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    Blatant Coward (profile), Jul 16th, 2012 @ 2:41pm

    Re:

    Wasn't there a pirate party banned just before an election? This smacks of the same shenaniganism.

     

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  17.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Jul 16th, 2012 @ 2:54pm

    Follow the money.

    Of course its not offensive, except to those who feel that they were born superior to us and have a birthright to be swimming in money that we supply, even if they have to screw it out of us like they do now. One doesn't have to look hard to find them. There are two types of them: cockroaches, and cockroach hand-jobbers (who hope to get their sticky, slimy tentacles on the some of the money that the cockroaches get).

    Follow the money and I guarantee you that you will find out why the world of so fucked-up and on a path to destruction (this goes FAR, FAR beyond file-sharing and into enslavement and even worse), exactly who is trying to ruin the world and profit in the doing and who are the enemies of humankind that must be killed. They are beyond redemption and killing them is the only solution.

     

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  18.  
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    Chargone (profile), Jul 16th, 2012 @ 3:55pm

    Re: Is it automated?

    can't tell if that last sentence is sarcasm, or just deluded :S

     

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  19.  
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    Hephaestus (profile), Jul 16th, 2012 @ 4:09pm

    Re: Re:

    I say we put up a petition on Avaaz to "stop Avaaz from sending questionable, offensive, inflammatory or otherwise objectionable, emails"

    Who here would sign it?

     

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  20.  
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    David Muir (profile), Jul 16th, 2012 @ 5:56pm

    Avaaz offends me in other ways

    I can't remember which petition originally got me to sign up on Avaaz, but I am now informed at least once a week about the plight of someone somewhere needing a petition to help them out. Many of the issues are heartbreaking and horrifying. But I am somewhat offended by the constant reminders in my inbox of how horrible the world is. I would rather Avaaz just host the petitions and let the individual petition creators try to drum up signatures.

    This latest strangeness of asking people about a particular petition seems to solidify my concerns about Avaaz as an organization.

     

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  21.  
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    lucidrenegade (profile), Jul 16th, 2012 @ 6:43pm

    Re: You know what's offensive?

    The fact that you are offended offends me. :0)

     

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  22.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Jul 16th, 2012 @ 7:45pm

    Re: Re:

    For each election, I go out of my way to research every candidate before deciding who to vote for. I never vote for anyone unless I know they'll be honest and do a good job.
    Which admittedly lets out most politicians, including the popular ones. You can call my votes "wasted" if you like, but it's better than knowing about the problem and continuing to contribute to it.

     

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  23.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Jul 16th, 2012 @ 9:54pm

    Offensive? Perhaps not. Stupid though - considering Sunde claims not to be involved at all, they are looking to get a pardon for a guy who wasn't involved.

    Clearly, the public at large knows what Sunde was up to, too bad he doesn't seem to be man enough to admit it.

     

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  24.  
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    techflaws (profile), Jul 16th, 2012 @ 11:31pm

    Re:

    You mean like the prosecution that manned up to saying, he did not do what they allege but will charge him anyway?

     

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  25.  
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    PaulT (profile), Jul 17th, 2012 @ 1:01am

    Re: Avaaz offends me in other ways

    You are aware that every email you get has an unsubscribe link, right? That unsubscribing from their email list would take less effort than what you just wrote?

    I'm always amazed at the lengths people will go to in order to complain about a company, when the tools to do what they want the company to do are already at their disposal.

     

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  26.  
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    Qûr Tharkasdóttir, Jul 17th, 2012 @ 2:24am

    Avaaz has been going down the drain for a long time

    No surprise. Early last year, Avaaz petitioned for a "no-flight zone" over Lybia, meaning that NATO could tranquilly fly over and bomb the population to smithens. Ask the Lybians how they feel these days, in the wake of Avaaz's good intentions. Then Avaaz petitioned to support the so-called opposition in Syria, meaning the West-sponsored murderers bent on assaulting the regime (on the way to Iran and Russia while they're at it). Avaaz is another tool of Atlanticist hegemony – and, sadly, Amnesty has become one too.

     

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  27.  
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    Mesonoxian Eve (profile), Jul 17th, 2012 @ 3:36am

    Re:

    If you would have come to my house last night at 8:30pm EST, you would have seen a purple sky.

    That's the problem with you closed-minded idiots: you're not even willing to understand, let alone try.

     

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  28.  
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    Ninja (profile), Jul 17th, 2012 @ 4:46am

    Re: Is it automated?

    ...but I can't possibly imagine they would stoop to something so petty and childish.

    I can. And they would. Takes a few minutes of browsing MAFIAA and Copyright related news to get a grasp of how low the MAFIAA can go.

     

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  29.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Jul 17th, 2012 @ 5:11am

    The "no-flight zone" was to stop the bombing of citizens by the government there.

    Agree that what happened next was very similar, but it was an attempt to protect the people.

     

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  30.  
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    Ninja (profile), Jul 17th, 2012 @ 5:22am

    I'm inclined to believe that the petition was reported by enough MAFIAA shills.. Ahem, users... So the system sent an automated message. Still, I think they should let the things flow. The community will moderate itself and groups that are interested in a more directed petition will join forces and promote it.

    I tend to agree with TorrentFreak on this, something that's offensive for you, morally or religiously, is not for others. The keyword here is tolerance. People have trouble to live with different ideas and morals.

     

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