Impossible Content Moderation Dilemmas: Talking About Racism Blocked As Hate Speech

from the facebooking-while-black dept

For all the completely evidence-free talk of "anti-conservative bias" on social media, as we keep pointing out, the real problem is that moderating content at scale is impossible to do well. I know I've been repeating this a lot lately, but it's because some people still don't seem to be getting this, or why it's important.

Take, for example, this recent USA Today story talking about the content moderation woes not of conservatives on the platform, but of black users trying to talk about racism on Facebook. Or women talking about sexism. It's getting blocked as hate speech.

For Wysinger, an activist whose podcast The C-Dubb Show frequently explores anti-black racism, the troubling episode recalled the nation's dark history of lynching, when charges of sexual violence against a white woman were used to justify mob murders of black men.

"White men are so fragile," she fired off, sharing William's post with her friends, "and the mere presence of a black person challenges every single thing in them."

It took just 15 minutes for Facebook to delete her post for violating its community standards for hate speech. And she was warned if she posted it again, she'd be banned for 72 hours.

This kind of thing apparently happens all the time.

She says black people can't talk about racism on Facebook without risking having their posts removed and being locked out of their accounts in a punishment commonly referred to as "Facebook jail." For Wysinger, the Neeson post was just another example of Facebook arbitrarily deciding that talking about racism is racist.

"It is exhausting," she says, "and it drains you emotionally."

Of course, this kind of thing happens all the time and we've been pointing it out for years. Rules against hate speech are used to suppress the oppressed talking out about oppressors. Rules against terrorist content are used to erase evidence of war crimes. Over and over again when you demand that policies be put in place to suppress speech to "protect" people, it's often the people you want to protect who are harmed the most.

Black activists say hate speech policies and content moderation systems formulated by a company built by and dominated by white men fail the very people Facebook claims it's trying to protect. Not only are the voices of marginalized groups disproportionately stifled, Facebook rarely takes action on repeated reports of racial slurs, violent threats and harassment campaigns targeting black users, they say.

While I'm sure it doesn't help matters that white men dominate these companies, I'd argue that we see the same issue with basically every kind of speech suppression effort involving top down rules. Trying to suppress speech about "bad stuff" will always, always, always sweep up important and necessary conversations about the bad stuff -- including people calling out the bad stuff.

That's why it's really time for everyone to start thinking about very different approaches, rather than continuing to insist that if platforms just nerd harder they'll find the magic bullet that allows them to erase "bad content" while keeping all "good content."

Filed Under: activism, content moderation, hate speech, racism
Companies: facebook


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  • icon
    Mason Wheeler (profile), 1 May 2019 @ 9:01am

    "White men are so fragile," she fired off, sharing William's post with her friends, "and the mere presence of a black person challenges every single thing in them."

    Well... yeah. That right there, that's racism and (possibly, depending on the specifics of the definition used) hate speech. It's making an ugly, sweeping generalization about all members of a race of people, one that isn't even remotely close to being true in the general case.

    When a problem of inequality exists, the correct solution is to promote equality. Promoting the same sort of inequality in the opposite direction has a tendency, when successful to create far bigger problems than the ones it's trying to solve. (cf. the French Revolution, or the Communist revolution in Russia.)

    Once again--and I hate having to say this twice in two days--far be it from me to defend Facebook, but they actually did the right thing in this specific case.

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    • icon
      Stephen T. Stone (profile), 1 May 2019 @ 9:39am

      It's making an ugly, sweeping generalization about all members of a race of people, one that isn't even remotely close to being true in the general case.

      And yet, in silencing this speech, Facebook also silenced the ability of someone from a historically marginalized segment of American society to speak openly and honestly about the issues they (and other people like them) face. Which is worse: The generalization, or the silencing of whoever says it?

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      • identicon
        Anonymous Coward, 1 May 2019 @ 9:48am

        Re:

        Well since sweeping generalizations are wrong, let's eliminate those silly departments of psychology and sociology from higher education.

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      • identicon
        Burning woodchipper, 1 May 2019 @ 9:52am

        Re: Marginalized people

        Doesn't (or shouldn't) matter who says it. If a statement makes an ugly, sweeping generalization about all members of a race of people, it's racist and wrong.

        Marginalized, under-represented people don't get free pass to denigrate "non-marginalized" people, just because they're passionate about it, or there's a history of oppression.

        The generalization is wrong, regardless of origin. Personally, I think silencing it is wrong also - the cure to bad speech is more speech, not silence.

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        • icon
          Stephen T. Stone (profile), 1 May 2019 @ 10:04am

          Marginalized, under-represented people don't get free pass to denigrate "non-marginalized" people, just because they're passionate about it, or there's a history of oppression.

          If American people of color can outline a history of mistreatment and denigration by White people in general, what should keep people of color from saying “White people have been racist assholes since the founding of the country”, even if the statement does not apply to all White people? (Keep in mind that even if an individual White person is not racist, they still passively benefit from the societal privilege of being White.)

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          • identicon
            Anonymous Coward, 1 May 2019 @ 10:17am

            Re:

            Promoting antisocial social norms is unhealthy. It doesn't solve anything.

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            • identicon
              Anonymous Coward, 1 May 2019 @ 10:22am

              Re: Re:Road Not Traveled

              Challenge Accepted.
              Take the hi road even though it is most likely that most others will not.
              While attempting to accomplish this arduous task, one is still met with a barrage of insults, denigration and outright hostility. But stay the course and be a human being rather than an animal.

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            • icon
              Stephen T. Stone (profile), 1 May 2019 @ 10:25am

              Neither does trying to tiptoe around the issue to avoid any appearance of generalizations or offensive speech.

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              • identicon
                Anonymous Coward, 1 May 2019 @ 11:12am

                Re:

                Don't get me wrong - I find this specific instance of Facebook censorship to be silly. But I also find the speech in question distasteful, antisocial, and without merit.

                But regardless of if I see any merit in the speech, I believe in promoting freedom of expression as a societal value. They should be free to express their views.

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          • identicon
            Anonymous Coward, 1 May 2019 @ 11:05am

            Re:

            It's interesting; I have a very different reaction to "White people have been racist assholes since the founding of the country" (obvious generalization, does not indicate ALL white people) and "White men are so fragile, and the mere presence of a black person challenges every single thing in them."

            Because of quirks of the English language, the first comes off as a generalized observation and can be accepted as such. The second comes off as a pointed accusation of how someone thinks and behaves due to the color of their skin and their sex.

            Context matters though; if that was said in response to some comment by a self-professed white man who was outraged at being called racist, it would be obvious humor. If it was said in response to a question about why white men should be removed from positions of authority... it'd be 100% racist.

            And no algorithm is going to do a good job of separating those two contexts any time soon.

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        identicon
        Anonymous Coward, 1 May 2019 @ 7:09pm

        Re:

        That's what happens when you let women dictate policy. They're irrational, emotional, and inconsistent to the point of making moderation impossible.

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    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 1 May 2019 @ 9:44am

      Re:

      Agreed, that is hate speech and deserved to be blocked. Let's turn that same sentence around for a moment:

      "Black men are so fragile and the mere presence of a white person challenges every single thing in them."

      True or not, that sentence uttered by a white person would quickly be called racist and likely be blocked on FB.

      Talk about racism all you want but try to avoid being racist when you do.

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      • icon
        Stephen T. Stone (profile), 1 May 2019 @ 9:46am

        Talk about racism all you want but try to avoid being racist when you do.

        Talking about racism in the United States is practically impossible if you cannot mention which racial group is the chief beneficiary of the racism against people of color that was built into the country from the get-go.

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        • identicon
          Anonymous Coward, 1 May 2019 @ 10:31am

          Re:

          Calling a specific group of people fragile is not that.

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        • identicon
          Anonmylous, 1 May 2019 @ 10:41am

          Re:

          You're right in what you say but you avoid the point the AC made in that when you throw an insult at a particular racial group, that is a racist act. The point following the insult does not matter for purposes of polite discourse.

          It is possible to talk about racism without insulting anyone.

          While I'm sure it doesn't help matters that white men dominate these companies...

          Or maybe its not. This annoyed me as it implies white men are either too ignorant, stupid, or cruel to understand racism enough to actually manage and discourage it on their platforms. Pretty sure Mark Zuckerberg understands it enough, as despite his incredible fortune he gets insulted for being Jewish on a constant basis. The anti-semitism stuff is bad enough, but when people disregard his heritage, which is not even the same thing as disregarding his religion, that's pretty callous. Imagine that for a minute. To one group of people you're nothing but a greedy Jew, while to another group of people you're nothing but another white racist. And I use him as the example because this story is very specifically about Facebook, his company.

          I don't like Facebook. I don't use Facebook. I don't like Mark Zuckerberg and I think Facebook as a company is utter trash no one should be using. I just saw this and realized that racism against whites, and especially white males, is becoming so normative now that even people who are technically non-white are being swept up in it. I had to point out how easy a trap it is to fall into even for people who are against racism.

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          • icon
            Stephen T. Stone (profile), 1 May 2019 @ 11:01am

            it implies white men are either too ignorant, stupid, or cruel to understand racism enough to actually manage and discourage it on their platforms

            Given the histories of our current crop of major social media platforms…yes, this notion is largely true. Jack Dorsey has long been told, over and over and over, by Twitter’s userbase that racists and Nazis¹ are a serious issue that Twitter needs to address. All Twitter does in response is say “we need better/healthier/more ‘balanced’ conversations” and floods user timelines with tweets from people’s likes or follows or whatever out of some sense of “exposing people to opposing views” while doing nothing to get rid of “the real problems” (i.e., harassment, trolling, and other forms of abusive behavior).

            If social media platforms were designed from the get-go with the marginalized and the vulnerable in mind, this sort of bullshit might not be as big an issue. To wit: While the Mastodon protocol (and its lead developer) have issues, the general design of the protocol took privacy and abuse concerns into mind. It lacks a feature that works like Quote Retweets on Twitter, it has per-post privacy features built in by default, and it allows for the silencing of entire instances if one instance is “problematic” to the admin of another. And since it is an open-source protocol, it can be forked and modified by coders and designers with better ideas on how to handle issues that plague people of all kinds on other social interaction networks.

            racism against whites, and especially white males, is becoming so normative now that even people who are technically non-white are being swept up in it

            You mean “prejudice against Whites”. People of all racial/ethnic groups can be prejudiced against/bigoted toward people from other racial groups; this, I do not deny. But racism is a systemic issue, and it requires an imbalance of societal power that leans in favor of one major racial group above all others…which, hey, the United States has had ever since the Three-Fifths Compromise was put in place to appease all the wealthy White men who enslaved Black people.

            ¹ — Both colloquial and actual.

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            • identicon
              Anonymous Coward, 1 May 2019 @ 1:34pm

              Re:

              People of all racial/ethnic groups can be prejudiced against/bigoted toward people from other racial groups; this, I do not deny. But racism is a systemic issue, and it requires an imbalance of societal power

              Sorry, no.

              Certain relatively closed and rarefied circles have tried to redefine the word "racism" that way... partly because it was a useful definition for their internal, technical discourse... but even more because it helped them to control the targeting of the powerful emotional connotations the word acquired before they started messing with it.

              There's a certain amount of bad faith in some people's reasons for participating in that redefinition. Your perpetuation of it is not OK.

              The whole "systemic" business is a recent innovation, and furthermore it has no currency among the general non-academic, non-activist population.

              You're being Humpty Dumpty, here.

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              • icon
                Stephen T. Stone (profile), 1 May 2019 @ 8:09pm

                The whole "systemic" business is a recent innovation

                The description? Yes. The actual reality of it? Not a chance. Slavery was a system of racist domination in which White people treated Black people as property — as things to be bought and sold, used as tools, “fixed” when they became “broken”, and discarded if and when necessary. (That does not even get into how female slaves were treated. Thomas Jefferson was a rapist in that regard, by the by.) When slavery ended, numerous “systems” popped up to continue the willful mistreatment of Black people and other people of color, including (but not limited to) segregation, redlining, literacy tests for voting, COINTELPRO, sundown towns, and unethical/illegal medical experiments such as the Tuskegee experiments.

                A Black man can refer to a White man as a “cracker” and rant all day long about “Whitey” being evil; that is prejudice. But without the power to enforce societal standards and systems in which White people are considered inferior and treated unfairly — inhumanely, even — those prejudices do not equal racism. When people talk about racism being a systemic issue (or being “prejudice plus power”), that is what they mean.

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                • icon
                  That One Guy (profile), 1 May 2019 @ 11:33pm

                  All ducks are birds, but not all birds are ducks

                  Yeah, I'm not buying it. Didn't when I first ran across someone putting forth the idea, and I'm not now. The idea that treating someone negatively because of their race isn't 'racism' simply because the one so treated might have more power than the one doing it is absurd, and trying to phrase it as 'prejudice' instead of racism is splitting hairs on the atomic level.

                  Treating someone of a particular group not of their choosing derogatorily is a demonstration of prejudice, and if it's being done because of their race then it would fall under the sub-category of racism. If you took a white racist loser from the states and dropped them in the middle of a predominately black country, where they weren't a member of the majority with major power, they wouldn't suddenly stop being racists simply because they no longer were in the powerful majority.

                  Now, you could make the argument that due to history and the current state of things different types of racism stand to have more impact, but that doesn't make the act of denigrating, insulting, and/or treating someone worse because of their race not racism.

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                  • icon
                    Bamboo Harvester (profile), 2 May 2019 @ 7:50am

                    Re: All ducks are birds, but not all birds are ducks

                    "treating someone negatively because of their race isn't 'racism'"

                    The problem is that today it's automatically assumed any bad action is because of "race", not because the person is an idiot who happens to be black, muslim, gay, whatever.

                    If you've got an open position and you hire a white male out of the field of applicants, you need to explain you did NOT hire any of the "people of color" who also applied.

                    "Racism" is automatically assumed.

                    I've personally been on that ride, and it's not fun. It's also why help wanted ads now generally require a college degree even if it's for a Janitorial position - it gives a bit of protection from people just itching to get some Go Away money by threatening a lawsuit.

                    What gets lost in all this "downtrodden" and "privileged" nonsense is that the people involved are... PEOPLE.

                    Saints and sinners abound, no matter what the skin color or other trait now deemed "Protected".

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                    • icon
                      Mason Wheeler (profile), 2 May 2019 @ 8:20am

                      Re: Re: All ducks are birds, but not all birds are ducks

                      It's also why help wanted ads now generally require a college degree even if it's for a Janitorial position - it gives a bit of protection from people just itching to get some Go Away money by threatening a lawsuit.

                      Huh. I'd always heard that that phenomenon was mostly the result of eduflation: exactly like monetary inflation, the thoroughly predictable consequence of the easy availability of student loans is that you end up throwing too many degrees at too few job openings, so jobs end up "costing" more degree than they used to.

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                    • icon
                      PaulT (profile), 2 May 2019 @ 8:32am

                      Re: Re: All ducks are birds, but not all birds are ducks

                      "If you've got an open position and you hire a white male out of the field of applicants, you need to explain you did NOT hire any of the "people of color" who also applied.

                      "Racism" is automatically assumed."

                      There are plenty of studies for this, where people send through the same resume, one with a "black" name and/or a "ghetto" address and one with a more affluent "white" sounding name but with all the other text identical. Guess who one regularly gets asked in for an interview, and which one usually gets rejected?

                      Racism may not be the sole reason in most cases, but it's definitely still a factor.

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                    • icon
                      Scary Devil Monastery (profile), 6 May 2019 @ 7:06am

                      Re: Re: All ducks are birds, but not all birds are ducks

                      "The problem is that today it's automatically assumed any bad action is because of "race", not because the person is an idiot who happens to be black, muslim, gay, whatever."

                      That assumption is prejudiced in itself, incidentally.

                      Unfortunately there's a lot of evidence supporting said prejudice. If you're stateside and looking at the job applications of "Steve" and "Achmed" then the latter is more likely by far to have his resume culled at an early stage.

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                • identicon
                  Anonymous Coward, 2 May 2019 @ 10:30am

                  Re:

                  While I agree with your point i still think its racist on the behalf of the black person. Now whether that racism has a history of prejudicial actions by white men that is more likely to make them racist is definitely up for grabs.

                  But to me I do think her phrase was relatively harmless in the grand scheme of the discussion... And it probably doesn't help with all the fake news screaming going on about very real things that is helping to fuel her prejudices.

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                  • icon
                    PaulT (profile), 3 May 2019 @ 12:33am

                    Re: Re:

                    "all the fake news screaming going on about very real things"

                    Erm, how is fake news also real?

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                    • icon
                      Scary Devil Monastery (profile), 6 May 2019 @ 7:09am

                      Re: Re: Re:

                      It's, by now, more likely that genuine real news will have a cadre of people hollering "fake news" than actual hype will.

                      Then again, that was always the case. "Fake news" has become that convenient response used by politicians when their very real and smelly dirty laundry gets an airing.

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            • identicon
              Anonymous Coward, 1 May 2019 @ 4:48pm

              Re:

              So now, not only are you defending racists, you're actually expressing blatantly racist views yourself.

              Ugh, this is a new low even for you, Stephen!

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              • icon
                Stephen T. Stone (profile), 1 May 2019 @ 7:55pm

                I am more than happy to criticize White people as a demographic because I am a member of that group — and because the societal privilege afforded to me by being White all but requires me to remain self-aware of whether I am using that privilege to stand up for and help those who lack it. People of color in the United States should not be held responsible for “fixing” the racism of White Americans. Only White Americans can, and should, bear that responsibility.

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                • icon
                  Wendy Cockcroft (profile), 2 May 2019 @ 5:32am

                  Re:

                  Making Them Behave is always going to be a game of whac-a-mole, chaps.

                  I know, I've tried it, and every time I failed because They were unwilling to behave and very determined to do the opposite, to wit, behave very badly. When the mods of the community I used to belong to were too intimidated to do anything about this, I left.

                  Racism and/or prejudice can't be fixed as such; it's based on fragility as Ms. Wysinger correctly pointed out. Prejudiced persons feel challenged by the presence of the Other in areas they feel the most need to be competent in. Studies of atrocities and genocide reveal the same patterns: the Others are presented as sexually voracious, good at physical actions but not so good academically if they tend to be on the lower rungs of society. When they tend to be in the upper echelons they're greedy, controlling, and responsible for causing trouble for the nations they dwell in, or for certain segments of the populace. How the hell do you fix that when these are "common sense" notions peddled by the mass media outlets in subtle and not-so-subtle ways?

                  Therefore, as users of mass media we need to be more circumspect in our choices of media outlets and more willing to write in and challenge racist and prejudiced tropes when we see them. I've seen the people targeted for abuse by the right wing press here reading those papers because it's what they do; it doesn't occur to them not to. Imagine the change we'd see if we all mass boycotted The Sun and The Daily Mail. It's not gonna happen, is it? And they will continue to spew hate AND be more popular than the other outlets.

                  It is therefore everyone's responsibility to call out racist or prejudiced behaviours and attitudes where and when we see them, and to stand with and stand up for those people on the sharp end of the stick, whoever they are.

                  I'll add political correctness to that list because it causes more problems than it solves AND creates the impression that the people they're trying to protect are easily offended with a hair trigger temper. Not true. And none of these "fine people" ever seem to bother to consult the people they ostensibly want to help. I know because I asked. Let's be more willing to look out for each other as neighbours, not as saviours signalling our virtues, okay?

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                • identicon
                  Anonymous Coward, 3 May 2019 @ 4:22pm

                  Re:

                  "...societal privilege afforded to me by being White..."

                  Please explain

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            • icon
              PaulT (profile), 2 May 2019 @ 12:42am

              Re:

              "Given the histories of our current crop of major social media platforms…yes, this notion is largely true."

              Largely true? Perhaps, though the people who speak the loudest on those platforms do not necessarily represent any kind of majority.

              But, not every white person thinks that way. So, by stating that they do - that is a racist statement. The fact that it's racist against those who traditionally hold power in the US does not mean that it's not racist.

              If people are going to be truly against racism, they need to state things in a way that's not in itself racist.

              "You mean “prejudice against Whites”."

              If that prejudice is based on their race, then it's racism. No amount of history or trying to argue around the word will change that.

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              • icon
                Wendy Cockcroft (profile), 2 May 2019 @ 6:45am

                Re: Re:

                Yep. That said, we "good" white people need to be willing to call out racism where and when we see it, and to be willing to stop buying or subscribing to media and other outlets that display racist or prejudicial attitudes, however subtly they do it.

                If you're already doing that, great. Let's encourage others to do it till people like Ms. Wysinger recognise how small the minority of racists is. Since it's their everyday experience, there seems to be a lot of them. We've got work to do, folks.

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                • icon
                  Mason Wheeler (profile), 2 May 2019 @ 7:26am

                  Re: Re: Re:

                  Let's encourage others to do it till people like Ms. Wysinger recognise how small the minority of racists is.

                  Exactly! There was a great article a few years ago that actually looked at the numbers and showed that, by the best guess we can make from publicly-available data, there are something like 10,000 times as many news articles hyperventilating about the "enormous" problem of white supremacists then actual white supremacists in America.

                  Yes, a few such people do still exist, but they're a ridiculously insignificant minority of Americans, and the most effective thing we could possibly do to fight them is just ignore them and stop giving them attention! Racism in America is as dead as disco: unfortunately not completely extinct yet, but no longer really significant, and everyone knows it's on its way out and has been for a long time now.

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                  • icon
                    Wendy Cockcroft (profile), 3 May 2019 @ 3:27am

                    Re: Re: Re: Re:

                    Eh, it's significant when giving an address in an area known to be populated by people of colour and it's definitely significant if you're black and the cop is white.

                    Do you talk to people of colour, Mason? Are you friends enough with them that they eat at your table and tell you what they go through every day?

                    We have racism here in the UK and it is ugly. What we've found is that, even after outright banning it and putting people in jail for making racist comments online, it persists.

                    On your side of the Pond, it might not be on the same overt level as it was before but the attitudes persist. Not having lynchings advertised on radio as some kind of festival event any more? Great. Not using fire hoses and dogs against human rights protesters? Okay, carry on. End of Jim Crow laws? I'm glad for y'all. But racist attitudes persist and it's not okay. That they're not as loody and violent as before is an improvement but until the last nasty toerag who cheers on church burnings and mass shootings of black people in a flippin' church has shut the hell up with his nastiness, racism exists and it is not okay.

                    If you really think it's insignificant, try seeing how black candidates fare in the next election. The things they said about Michelle Obama...! Ugh!

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      • identicon
        Anonymous Coward, 1 May 2019 @ 11:10am

        Re: Re:

        Try this instead:

        "Women are so fragile and the mere presence of a man challenges every single thing in them."

        The problem isn't one of race, it goes deeper than that.

        And Looking at the original context, I think there was more than a hint of irony in the comment, because the statement I put in quotes above can actually be found in many, many documents from the 1930s and earlier. Seems like it was meant as a sarcastic twisting/borrowing of bigoted speech to highlight issues still existing in other aspects of our culture today.

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        • icon
          Wendy Cockcroft (profile), 2 May 2019 @ 6:47am

          Re: Re: Re:

          "Women are so fragile and the mere presence of a man challenges every single thing in them."

          LOL @ that. My managers are mostly male. If I harboured such attitudes I'd be needing psychiatric care!

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      • identicon
        Anonymous Coward, 1 May 2019 @ 11:26am

        Re: Re:

        The problem isn't the comments, but the consequences of those comments. And that's linked to the relative power of a group in a country.

        You can have racist comments against a majority or even a powerful minority in a country, and that won't go further than that.

        On the other hand, when you make racial (or otherwise) slurs against a minority or a weak group, that might end (and has ended in our History) in discrimination, violence, slavery and other similar treatment.

        See how some justified slavery in the US with remarks to the relative intelligence and/or civilization of the black people.

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        • icon
          Stephen T. Stone (profile), 1 May 2019 @ 1:08pm

          You can have racist comments against a majority or even a powerful minority in a country, and that won't go further than that.

          Example: “anti-White” slurs such as “honky”, “cracker”, and “Republican”.

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          • identicon
            Anonymous Coward, 1 May 2019 @ 1:34pm

            Re:

            I will never understood why the more antisocial and extreme of Progressive activists assume "white" means "Republican" when 60% of Democrats are themselves white. Especially when most Progressive activists tend to be upper class and white themselves.

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            • icon
              Stephen T. Stone (profile), 1 May 2019 @ 1:47pm

              You are as sharp as a sack of wet mice.

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              • identicon
                Anonymous Coward, 1 May 2019 @ 5:28pm

                Re:

                Since you designed to move this conversation to insults, I'll reciprocate:

                I'm sorry I don't speak racist bile.

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                • identicon
                  Anonymous Coward, 1 May 2019 @ 6:01pm

                  Re: Re:

                  Don't feed the trolls; just flag him. In his own way, he's every bit as loathsome and toxic as Jhon, and he should be treated the same way: automatically use the Flag button to shut down every post he makes.

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            • identicon
              Anonymous Coward, 2 May 2019 @ 5:55am

              Re: Re:

              "I will never understood why the more antisocial and extreme "

              You mention progressives but not conservatives, or any other stereotypical grouping of individuals, why is this?

              Certainly you have noticed the free association of the word immigrant with the word non-white, right? Which group displays this trait the most often?

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              • identicon
                Anonymous Coward, 2 May 2019 @ 2:04pm

                Re: Re: Re:

                I mentioned Progressives because Stephen T. Stone is a self-styled Progressive.

                As for the separate topic of the word "immigrant" often being associated with "non-white", I agree Conservatives do that most often. No disagreement here.

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          • identicon
            Anonymous Coward, 1 May 2019 @ 2:19pm

            Re:

            Have you ever, assuming you're a white male, been called a cracker by a group of non-whites while walking alone down a street at night? If so, did you at all think it was meant as a racial slur? Did it make you feel warm and fuzzy, not stepping up your pace or awareness at all?

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            • icon
              Stephen T. Stone (profile), 1 May 2019 @ 7:51pm

              The origin of “cracker” as an anti-White racial slur, as I understand it, is that the word is shorthand for “whipcracker”…or, in more understandable terms, “slavemaster”. If I were ever called a “cracker”, I could brush it aside with no real thought for two reasons: I am not a “whipcracker” (literal or metaphorical), and the social privilege afforded to me because of my skin color means calling me a “cracker” is an effectively worthless “attack”.

              Now reverse the roles and imagine a White guy dropping the N-word in front of a Black guy. Not only does that slur have a much more fraught history than “cracker”, it continues to reinforce the history of dehumanization and degradation that has plagued Black people in the United States since the inception of the country. It raises the spectres of lynchings and whippings, of separate water fountains and burning crosses, of the bombing of Black Wall Street and the murder of Emmitt Till. It has more power as a racial slur than “cracker” ever will.

              The word “cracker”, when used as a racial slur, has only that context in common with the N-word. In terms of power vis-á-vis the ability to influence perceptions of racial groups, “cracker” has a miniscule amount of it. To believe otherwise is a form of self-deception of which you should rid yourself.

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              • identicon
                Rog S., 2 May 2019 @ 11:17am

                Re: intellectualism v prison rape

                I love watching white people stumble through racial baggage, like Blanche at Belle Rieve: always ends up with an awkward closeup.

                And, my, what a luxury you have here!

                re: “ I could brush it aside with no real thought for two reasons..."

                Not just one...but TWO REASONS you personally have the intellectual privilege to toss aside a derogeratory phrase (hypothetically) cast at you by hypothetically racist blacks!

                I dont think the skinny toothless white kid whose teeth were kicked out in a Texas prison while being gang banged and ass raped by the racially charged gangs of our ADLified PIC has such luxury.

                Meanwhile, 50% of prisons are whites who have no one to speak for them, but plenty of folks just like you who argue about race from the comfortable armchair position.

                And, of those whites who are steps below poverty, admiring the black kids who haveca hoopty, while he has only a heroune addiction, and a toothless hag of a mother feeding it, a huge percentage of these is statistically equal, or lesser than/ inferior to blacks in their demographic, if only because of the paucity of narrative defending them; and as noted by racially charged poet laureate Maya Angelou, using the classist paradigm you put forwards.

                So, its mportant to recognize what taboos, aka lashon hara even are, and then ask why we let groups like the ADL exploit and capitalize upon narrative AND race relations, generation after generation.

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                • icon
                  Stephen T. Stone (profile), 2 May 2019 @ 11:58am

                  Yes, individual White people can be marginalized by society. I do not dispute that fact. But White Americans still hold an inordinate amount of socioeconomic power; that fact makes marginalizing White people as a demographic practically impossible. White people in the United States — even the poor ones — will never have to deal being anything but a “default” in culture, or being denied basic civil rights because of their skin color, or being treated as property to be bought, sold, and discarded at the whims of their “owners”. They will never be systematically discriminated against and marginalized for centuries by people of color based on race/ethnicity because American society was built on, and still retains, a belief — however low-key it may be — in White supremacy.

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                  • identicon
                    Anonymous Coward, 3 May 2019 @ 4:49pm

                    Re:

                    "White people in the United States — even the poor ones — will never have to deal being anything but a “default” in culture, or being denied basic civil rights because of their skin color, or being treated as property to be bought, sold, and discarded at the whims of their “owners”."

                    Where did white people come from?

                    Where does the word "slave" come from?

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                  • identicon
                    Rog S., 5 May 2019 @ 8:57am

                    Re:

                    While few things are more horrible in US history than industrial scale Af /Am slavery, (except perhaps the genocide against native Americans ), I dont think most of them are worried about being bought, sold, or discarded, so much as being captive to DVIC and PIC systems of abuse.

                    And this: White people in the United States — even the poor ones — will never have to deal being anything but a “default” in culture is simply not true, though somehow has become a truism, echoed leefully by the One Percent.

                    I dont think you are correct in so easily adopting the codified academic posture that white people are somehow a unified mass, when in fact history shows that ethnic discrimination and strife have led to all of these forms of discrimination throughout our short history.

                    Worse, I think that your version of history denies histories that preceded it, and intersected with it, certainly that of the Irish, who were portrayed in Britain EXACTLY the way that blacks were portrayed in the US, with hefty portions of buggery, and "indenture "spanning centuries.

                    And I think you do a disservice to adopt a narrative of isolationism, i.e. that "individual white people ” are discriminated against rather than systemic and well documented examples of class and ethnicity based discrimination directed at whites who arent for whatever reason "white enough.”

                    Put another way, your posture is that whites are somehow all beneficiaries of the secret white cabal of supremacists, when in fact and practice, whites were not only subject to horrific mob lynchings, whipppings, etc; but also discrimination by class is sprinkled throughout US history, such as the war on Appalachians during the 1920s, and the accompanying and actual eugenics experiments carried out on them. Some of that continues to this day, in many forms.

                    And worse, I think this type of thinking denies the reality on the ground, that privileging a race based narrative of inequity allows the one percent to continue to divide and exploit us all .

                    And all of that, and you have no opinion about white, Jewish racism, codified in the Torah / Bible,and operative in every lawand legal structure of discrimination; or the conventions of lashon hara and taboo that continue to this day to keep us divided?

                    Because really, no discussion of class or race is worthwhile, until we talk about that.

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        • identicon
          Anonymous Coward, 1 May 2019 @ 2:17pm

          Re: Re: Re:

          You just said "racism is ok if it isn't against a minority". You, sir, are completely, totally, 100% full of shit.

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            identicon
            Anonymous Coward, 1 May 2019 @ 4:49pm

            Re: Re: Re: Re:

            And yet somehow, he earns Insightful badges. There's something fundamentally wrong with that state of affairs, when he spews bigotry and sometimes flat-out racism on here and people reach for the lightbulb button instead of the flag!

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            • identicon
              Anonymous Coward, 1 May 2019 @ 8:22pm

              Re: What a world!

              It’s almost like people respect his opinions and he backs them up with facts and figures. Instead of being a AC who walks once a week and promptly shits himself. The injustice of not having a smells like it used to be dairy button!

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    • icon
      Bamboo Harvester (profile), 1 May 2019 @ 11:12am

      Re:

      You missed the biggest one - Affirmative Action.

      JFK (Democrat) and fifty eight years of a liberal SCOTUS keeping all minorities, blacks especially, as a sub-class of US citizen, putting the stigma of "you're not good enough to compete with whites" on every minority that falls under AA's "penumbra".

      I doubt that was the intention, even of that idiot frat-boy Kennedy, and if it had the limited life of ten or so years originally intended, it may have worked out to the good.

      But after more than half a century, the (hopefully) unintended consequence is that it's promoted feelings of superiority and inferiority between "races".

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      • icon
        Stephen T. Stone (profile), 1 May 2019 @ 11:21am

        JFK (Democrat) and fifty eight years of a liberal SCOTUS keeping all minorities … as a sub-class of US citizen, putting the stigma of "you're not good enough to compete with whites" on every minority that falls under AA's "penumbra".

        So did slavery, segregation, literacy tests for voting, and any number of other institutions both governmental and societal that oppressed people of color for the benefit of the empowered White populace. Affirmative action, for whatever negative side effects it may have had over the years, was an honest attempt to reverse this trend by giving marginalized people of color chances they would never have had otherwise. The fact that a not-zero number of people may still believe it is “necessary” says a lot about the progress made in re: equality of opportunity between White people and people of color in the United States.

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        • icon
          Bamboo Harvester (profile), 1 May 2019 @ 11:45am

          Re:

          "So did slavery, segregation, literacy tests for voting"

          None of which are officially acknowledged to still be in existence today.

          Affirmative Action IS still in effect, and the longer it remains so, the longer the stigma will attach.

          BTW, slavery, segregation, and literacy tests for voting were all, as is AA, proposed by, voted into law, and enforced by... Democrats.

          Something to keep in mind with all the tarring of republicans/conservatives as "nazis".

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          • identicon
            Anonymous Coward, 1 May 2019 @ 12:09pm

            Re: I think I answered my own question

            Why I wonder, is it that old racist white guys can always remember the KKK was founded by Democrats but they can’t seem to remember things like The Southern Strategy. Or the last 50 years of American History in general? And they can see Affirmative Action but not any other kind of institutionalised racism? And they always end up being authoritarian bootlickers to boot.

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            • identicon
              Anonymous Coward, 1 May 2019 @ 12:20pm

              Re: Re: I think I answered my own question

              Hey!
              I'm not racist .... I have several friends who are black.

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              identicon
              Rog S., 2 May 2019 @ 11:31am

              Re: Re: I think I answered my own question

              AC posters like you hiding behind think tanks, NGOs, and .mil type influence operations really make the internet a shitty place.

              That said, you might have noticed how NGOs like the Israelified ADL, and the FBIs many community policing spy rings and so on have their own klan-like structure, tactics, and even sooper seekrit meetings, symbols, etc.

              Multi Kultural Kommunity Klubs and Kovens (K4) are as effective as any KKK ever was, in all the same ways.

              So: "old racist white guys can always remember the KKK was founded by Democrats” is just your own racism/paid position, dogging white males who see through you.

              But the (D) party depends on racism/identity/populist mobs/the KKK(4) as its main organizing tool, not in the distant past, but by its very root structure.

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              • icon
                Stephen T. Stone (profile), 2 May 2019 @ 12:04pm

                the (D) party depends on racism/identity/populist mobs … as its main organizing tool

                The Republican party does as well, considering they tend to lose the votes of “diverse” demographics more often than not. Donald Trump’s campaign was a love letter to middle-American Whites who felt aggrieved by the eight years a Black man spent being president — and Trump’s presidency has been a similar gift to that demographic, what with the Muslim travel ban and the continued calls for “The Wall” and the “very fine people on both sides” comment and the separation of immigrant families at the southern border and…well, you get the picture.

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          • icon
            Stephen T. Stone (profile), 1 May 2019 @ 12:58pm

            The Democrats stopped being the party of unabashed racism around the time that the Southern Strategy became a thing in the Republican party. Not to say that Democrats are not guilty of racist bullshit (Hi, Hillary! How did that “superpredators” comment work out for you?), but the Republican party is the preferred party of racists and their ilk. Donald Trump has proved as much from the moment he announced his campaign with the promise to build a wall across the southern border.

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            • icon
              Mason Wheeler (profile), 1 May 2019 @ 1:01pm

              Re:

              Hey, cut Hillary some slack here. I give her full credit for being knowledgeable on the subject of super-predators; she is, after all, married to one!

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            • identicon
              Anonymous Coward, 1 May 2019 @ 6:32pm

              Re:

              Trump is a performance artist who is showing how easily many Republicans (and others) are manipulated. He's a pretty basic guy with no fundamental point of view other than getting rich. Notice his $2 trillion infrastructure deal that other Republicans might have blocked.

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            • icon
              Bamboo Harvester (profile), 2 May 2019 @ 7:38am

              Re:

              "Democrats stopped being the party of unabashed racism"

              Unabashed. Yes.

              They moved from an obvious to a subtle strategy.

              I'd rather have an enemy in front of me, sure of their intent, than an "ally" who constantly "helped" me by making me dependent on them while patting me on the head and basically saying "nice puppy!".

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                identicon
                Rog S., 2 May 2019 @ 11:38am

                Re: Re: the Johnson strategy

                This is badically how the Dems built a neo-plantation system.of the DVIC, and the PIC from Lyndon Johnson forwards:

                an "ally" who constantly "helped" me by making me dependent on them while patting me on the head and basically saying "nice puppy!".

                The fruit of that is the likes of Kamala Harris, lapdogging for thay nasty cunt Dianne Feinstein, while federal dollar drainers like Amy Klobuchar and Pocahantas pander entitlement mindsets, and drop race cards.

                Poor Amy Klobuchar, and her domestic/workplace violence issue🙉🙈🙊

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    • identicon
      Bruce C., 1 May 2019 @ 1:29pm

      Re:

      "Facebook made the right call."

      Within the terms of their user agreement and policies yes. If we're talking about preserving the first amendment on the internet, we need to find another way that doesn't force the service providers to make these decisions for us.

      There was a time when people would stand up for others' right to speak, regardless of the hatred or idiocy involved. We're losing sight of that core value in trying to deal with the way misinformation of all kinds gets amplified on the internet. Whether it's racism, flat-earthers, anti-vaxxers, nation-state disinformation campaigns, random conspiracy theories or whatever.

      The internet amplifies sensationalism -- particularly the social-networking algorithms designed to maximize page views and ad revenue. That's the real problem. Facebook is the "National Enquirer" of the internet, but too many people read it and advertise on it as if it were the "Washington Post".

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      • icon
        Stephen T. Stone (profile), 1 May 2019 @ 7:38pm

        The purveyors of misinformation have every right to spread their idiocy. No one will deny that. But their usage of third-party platforms is a privilege; no platform should be forced to host their idiocy out of some ridiculous sense of “viewpoint neutrality”.

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        • identicon
          Bruce C., 3 May 2019 @ 1:45pm

          Re:

          You're both missing my point.

          Platforms have every right to their terms and conditions.

          The law shouldn't be structured in ways that result in draconian interpretations of those terms and conditions, or result in terms and conditions that are only desired by the platform's legal department to cover their asses.

          The best law from a freedom of speech perspective is basically to let the platforms moderate as they please. Different platforms can have different standards, up to and including "anything goes", within the same limits as offline speech.

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          • identicon
            Bruce C., 3 May 2019 @ 1:51pm

            Re: Re:

            (meant to preview not save)
            To elaborate: I'm trying to get at the heart of "try very different approaches" to content moderation.

            Who's to say if Facebook's moderation of the subject comment was based on what they wanted for their platform (or at least what their PR department wants), or whether it was primarily driven by legal requirements?

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      • icon
        PaulT (profile), 2 May 2019 @ 12:53am

        Re: Re:

        "If we're talking about preserving the first amendment on the internet"

        But, we're not. The first amendment has nothing to do with whether or not a private company should be forced to serve you.

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    • icon
      Thad (profile), 2 May 2019 @ 8:46am

      Re:

      Yes -- as you've so ably demonstrated, only some white people are fragile.

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  • icon
    Anonymous Anonymous Coward (profile), 1 May 2019 @ 9:42am

    Vicious Circles

    The problem with Facebook's method of dealing with this issue is that it is arguing about arguing while the users are arguing about arguments. While their intent is to stop the arguing, their method is feeding the argument. They cannot pacify one or the other without incensing the other or one.

    Maybe they should be looking at degrees or intent rather than content. Is the comment or post calling for action and does that action contain or propose violence? Or is the comment or post discussing others actions (violent or not) or calls to action, and is it in support of violent action or merely acknowledging that someone else made such a call? To claim that something is stated in either a positive or negative manner is insufficient. What is the post or comment actually about? Or could degrees be differently defined?

    Or direction, is the comment pointed at someone or something current or in the future, or is it related to something in the past? In particular what words or phrases might be about inciting something, and then do those depend upon context? Is what is being incited good, bad, marginal, harmful, easily discerned, or obtuse to the point that intent cannot be determined? If discussing some violent history (past), is there also a call to repeat that violence (future) (which should not be allowed)? Take action, sure, take violent action, no.

    There is a difference between derogatory remarks and threats. That difference should be clearly defined in such a way that the most common of the common can discern the difference. A call to violent action is a threat. Discussing past violent actions is not a threat, but will likely contain derogatory remarks about one party or the other. Perceived butt hurt is not a threat, but suggesting harm is.

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    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 1 May 2019 @ 11:30am

      Re: Vicious Circles

      Point is that Facebook shouldn't have to, or even be able to, take that decision upon themselves.

      That's what we have judges for.

      They aren't perfect, but they are supposed to weigh the remarks made, the freedom of speech right and other rights, and interpret and apply the law accordingly.

      That's the job we gave them.

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      • icon
        Anonymous Anonymous Coward (profile), 1 May 2019 @ 11:46am

        Re: Re: Vicious Circles

        Judges in which country? That's the problem with leaving it to courts of law. While any legal decision might be enforceable in the country the judges reside in, what about the rest of the world? We cannot just allow any judge in any country try to enforce their edicts world wide.

        At the same time, what exists isn't working either.

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        • identicon
          Anonymous Coward, 1 May 2019 @ 11:58am

          Re: Re: Re: Vicious Circles

          Obviously not.

          Those countries' courts would either force the social network to apply the ruling only to IPs from their country or just block the aforementioned social network from their countries (the same as a judge in their own country can close it) if they don't comply nor pay whatever fine is deemed.

          Yes, I know, VPNs. But those are the legal means that can be applied. Think that it would also block any revenue coming from those countries.

          Point is that a social network should never have, or be able to, take the decision of censoring something upon themselves.

          Oh, and a comment here:

          "We cannot just allow any judge in any country try to enforce their edicts world wide."

          A question: ¿can we allow a social network to apply their edicts/rules world wide then? ¿How is that better than a judge doing it?

          I ask this because there are people who justify Twitter or Facebook doing it because "they don't have to host your shit" (in short: just because they don't want to), but if a judge does the same and surprisingly, gives a proper argument for doing so, they blow up in pieces.

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      • identicon
        Anonymous Coward, 2 May 2019 @ 6:06am

        Re: Re: Vicious Circles

        Freedom of speech on the internet would only be a real thing, in the US, if the US government started their own ISP and offered its services to the public. But that would socialism and we do not want that now do we?

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  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 1 May 2019 @ 9:45am

    ... and yet these folks - if they trusted the people that chat with online - could always exchange real names and phone numbers and talk over the phone or face to face without moderation impacts.

    Discussions aren't prevented, just the format for those discussions.

    Take the above into account, compare to the free speech zones created by the George W Bush administration during public demonstrations and it's the same thing aka Discuss but where those offended can't hear the speech.

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  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 1 May 2019 @ 9:46am

    The internet is like a megaphone.

    Just because someone CAN use a megaphone to flood their neighborhood with noise does not mean that they should be allowed to.

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    • icon
      Stephen T. Stone (profile), 1 May 2019 @ 9:50am

      Your analogy is flawed. A megaphone used to flood a neighborhood with noise affects people who did not want to hear the bullshit; they are forced by circumstance to hear the noise until it stops (one way or another). A given Internet post does not affect people unless they choose to read it, nor does it flood anyone’s timelines unless they choose to let that happen; their participation in being affected by the post is entirely voluntary.

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      • identicon
        Anonymous Coward, 1 May 2019 @ 6:29pm

        Re:

        They can soundproof their home and wear earplugs.

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • identicon
        Anonymous Coward, 3 May 2019 @ 4:56pm

        Re:

        "A given Internet post does not affect people unless they choose to read it, nor does it flood anyone’s timelines unless they choose to let that happen; their participation in being affected by the post is entirely voluntary."

        No need to ban anyone then

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    • icon
      Mason Wheeler (profile), 1 May 2019 @ 10:32am

      Re:

      Just because someone CAN use a megaphone to flood their neighborhood with noise does not mean that they should be allowed to.

      I love that!

      That's actually something that happened to my grandfather once. He was a contractor for NASA, working on the early (ie. pre-Apollo) space program. He was living in Spain, where they had an important monitoring station set up. (You want them about every 120 degrees so you don't lose line-of-sight to your rocket as it flies and Earth turns beneath it.)

      One day, the night before a big launch, there was a carnival in the plaza next to their apartment building, and some obnoxious person was running a raffle, using a megaphone to advertise his tickets, which was keeping a bunch of engineers awake when they needed their sleep. So he went down and calmly, politely asked the man if he could please stop. The man refused, and so my grandfather headed back to his apartment.

      Never piss off an engineer.

      He and one of his coworkers both had those old-school stereos--you know the ones, big cabinets the size of a sofa with a record player and a radio built in? They brought their two stereos out onto the balcony, facing out at the plaza, wired their speakers together, plugged them in and turned the speakers up to full blast... and then put on a record of a Scottish bagpipe band.

      It took about 2 minutes before the man took down his megaphone.

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    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 1 May 2019 @ 11:48am

      Re:

      That isn't the best example either, unless you don't have laws that limit the acoustic contamination in the US.

      For example, in Spain you can flood your neighbourhood with noise with a megaphone, as long as it doesn't go over roughly 60-70 dB outside, and 30-40 dB inside a building* (25 at night in a sleeping room, for example).

      *Immission levels, that is, what you hear inside the building.

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      • identicon
        Anonymous Coward, 1 May 2019 @ 4:52pm

        Re: Re:

        Funny how the two responses to the same question from non-loathsome people both involve megaphones in Spain. :P

        Since you appear to know more about relevant laws than Mason, who got this story secondhand, how likely would you estimate it to be that the raffle-ticket man's behavior was illegal?

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  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 1 May 2019 @ 9:59am

    "She says black people can't talk about racism on Facebook without risking having their posts removed and being locked out of their accounts in a punishment commonly referred to as "Facebook jail.""

    Of course it is hate speech to point out how one is being hated. We can not have equality among the races or the sexes now can we?

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    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 1 May 2019 @ 11:30am

      Re:

      It's a tightrope; go too far one way, and you're accepting racist speech because it's "not the historically destructive racist speech", but go too far the other, and you're encouraging people to see their race/sex as an intrinsic differentiator.

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      • identicon
        Anonymous Coward, 1 May 2019 @ 12:24pm

        Re: Re:

        When whole societies across the globe are predominately racist and sexist are we being a bit silly expecting them to change their behavior?

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    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 1 May 2019 @ 12:35pm

    For all the completely evidence-free talk of "anti-conservative bias" on social media, as we keep pointing out, the real problem is that moderating content at scale is impossible to do well.

    You're nuts.

    Legacy and digital media keeps running smear pieces slandering moderate (non-identity politics) Democrats and everything to the right of them as 'alt-right'. Somehow its become trendy to demonize individualism espoused by Martin Luther King and replace it with collectivist intersectional rhetoric that sets up insane injustices. Any account against this on a wide spectrum across economic left - right gets targeted for mass reporting, and censorship.

    Demonitization is evidence.

    Deplatforming is evidence.

    Each unfounded smear piece is evidence.

    When Patreon freeze accounts of leftists with an individualism bent such as Sargon of Akkad, on claims that he's somehow 'alt-right', that's evidence.

    SPLC was relied on by tech platforms to designate hate speech. The company's CEO recently stepped down due to racism, and we've learned racism was rampant in the company. They were a shake-down operation selling a sense of urgency of hate speech in the world to drive donations -- usually targeting conservatives or individualism oriented for slander. Evidenced by their continued payouts to those the organization wrongly smeared.

    The censorship has to end for those targeted, and those who gleefully called for it then surprised-pikachu when it blows back on their stories also.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • icon
      Stephen T. Stone (profile), 1 May 2019 @ 1:04pm

      Re:

      Demonitization is evidence. Deplatforming is evidence.

      Yes, they are evidence…of people violating a platform’s terms of service. Remember: Usage of someone else’s platform is a privilege, not a right, and that privilege can be revoked at the platform’s discretion for damn near any reason it wants. If you can provide a good reason for forcing a platform into hosting speech that the owners/operators of said platform do not want to host, which would be a violation of the First Amendment’s association protections, I am ready to hear it.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • identicon
        Anonymous Coward, 1 May 2019 @ 6:28pm

        Re: Re:

        A platform which exercises this right in a neutral manner can be thought to be engaging in false advertising if they claim otherwise.

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

        • icon
          That One Guy (profile), 1 May 2019 @ 7:05pm

          Re: Re: Re:

          No, no it really can't, no matter how desperately some people seem to want to make that argument(honestly it strikes me as a laughable fallback from the equally bogus '230 protections require neutrality' claim).

          Just because a company may say that they welcome users from all points of views in something like an ad or comment by an exec does not prevent them from writing TOS' allowing them to give the boot to anyone they please, especially if that person is violating the TOS or otherwise being a nuisance and/or making the platform toxic to other users.

          At best that idea would be a short-term victory, as if that interpretation was rule legally sound all they'd have to do would be to change the language slightly, making it explicitly clear that while they welcome most views, they retain full rights to remove anyone who they object to strongly, and/or who violates their TOS.

          reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

        • icon
          Stephen T. Stone (profile), 1 May 2019 @ 7:36pm

          Thinking it is false advertising does not make it false advertising.

          reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 1 May 2019 @ 1:06pm

      Re:It’s not a conspiracy it’s just a normal reaction to assh

      If Sargon is a leftist you probably think The John Birch Society is a bunch of commies.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • icon
    OldMugwump (profile), 1 May 2019 @ 12:46pm

    Free speech or censorship?

    The comments in this thread make it very clear that it's impossible to talk about racism at all without upsetting somebody and having somebody think the talk itself is racist.

    So we either let people talk, even if the talk is vile, and have free speech, or we just say the whole subject is taboo, and censor it. Sweep everything firmly under the rug.

    Which will it be?

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 1 May 2019 @ 2:25pm

      Re: Free speech or censorship?

      The first is never going to happen and the second violates the 1st Amendment. But you left out option 3:

      Censor racist assholes even if the racist assholes don't think they're racist assholes.

      In other words, status quo.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • This comment has been flagged by the community. Click here to show it
      identicon
      Rog S., 2 May 2019 @ 10:32am

      Re: Free speech or censorship?

      re: we... just say the whole subject is taboo...

      but who are “we” OldMugwump?

      lets refer to a classic zionist tome that inadvertantly/coincidentally councides with media gatekeeping around narrative, and taboo: Martin Buber and Ich Du, aka I You

      https://reformjudaism.org/jewish-life/arts-culture/literature/martin-buber-life-faith-and-dissen t

      ..Ask Not for Whom the Media Extols, for it extols not for you OMW

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • icon
    Mike Gale (profile), 1 May 2019 @ 3:41pm

    Thought Experiment

    You run your own discussion systems, for everything.

    You comment across Techdirt, Facebook, the NYT etc. etc. You decide whose comments you see, how often etc. You decide who can see your comments.

    You can can run separate discussions on the same topic, with different audiences.

    Other people do the same.

    If you want to pay heed to external censorship systems, you can, your choice.

    How would a system, like that work for you?

    Picture it for this discussion.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 2 May 2019 @ 4:48am

    Or is it?

    Is the purpose of censorship to protect "people" from seeing bad people saying bad things (and presumably only bad people saying bad things)? If so, then obviously this is a problem.

    But if the purpose of censorship is to protect the powers that be from the inconvenient fact that bad people exist, then censoring victims talking about bad things is just as valid as censoring the bad people themselves.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 2 May 2019 @ 9:54am

    haha! this is what you get...

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • This comment has been flagged by the community. Click here to show it
    identicon
    Rog S., 2 May 2019 @ 10:23am

    white womens tears, part 2019

    Criticizing white women is one of the ultimate taboos, and has been the case since the 19th century, when Eastern block socialists and Jewish capitalists found them to be such useful parrots.

    Edward Bernays, the uber- Rabbi of Propaganda, used this to his advantage, and created an undying image of these sock puppets of other peoples pains, when he stuck cigarettes in their orifices, and used them as "liberty torches"to sell everything from cigarettes, to wars that bombed millions of non white babies.

    https://thesocietypages.org/socimages/2012/02/27/torches-of-freedom-women-and-smoking-propag anda/

    White women love being in the spotlight, cast in them by their ever admiring, bald headed admirers from the Bernaysian klan, much like cows are said to be thankful to the farmers who milk them.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • icon
    Gerald Robinson (profile), 2 May 2019 @ 10:25am

    Hate speach

    The problem isn't hate speech it's the defination!
    HATE SPEACH is so each i hate!
    The only out for most content moderation is th a ban content moderation, except for a few well defined areas: e.g. obscenity.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 2 May 2019 @ 8:08pm

    America, where free speech isn't free. If Ms. Wysinger wants to rant on about one specific type of racisim (that of how blacks view whites - by example of her own writing) she should be allowed. Wait, she only is complaining about whites? lumping everyone together by a quirk of birth ... color me confused.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 3 May 2019 @ 11:55am

    nigger

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]


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