Please don't post that horribly wiki article without mentioning that the talk pages to that article have been very much a battleground for over a month now and that it's neutrality is very much in question.
If you are looking for background that has at least a pretense of neutrality why not take a look at these two Forbes articles.
Would you mind elaborating. What do you think he's saying? Seems to be a pretty clear case of the usual fallacy of division used to smear the gg movement. More or less irrelevant to this article at that.
A little googling will reveal similar outrage about this attempts at branding deals with other youtube personalities as well.
That said, it's a valid topic and it's also no big surprise that publishers would start to approach youtubers like this.
With the upheaval currently going on in gaming journalism and youtubers generally getting more and more prominent in game reviewing, this was pretty much inevitable.
So, while it is certainly in order to address this issue, it still very much remains to be seen how and who among the youtubers can retain their integrity in face of the same stick and carrot method publishers have used with the traditional gaming outlets.
Trust in reviewers is an important issue to the lately much maligned gamers, one difference however is that gamers have recently become much more aware of the ecosystem around them.
The will, and they do call out people they perceive as having been tainted by collusion with other parts of the industry.
That's why I initially said extremists on both sides. The harassment, doxxing and general vitriol has certainly not been one-sided.
Additionally, Arstechnica is not the most evenhanded source of information on the topic you can find, considering Ben Kuchera's and Kyle Orland's involvement in the matter.
Journalists advocating censorship is really something that should resonate here on techdirt.
Unfortunately this idea that the bad apples at 4chan and elsewhere have poisoned the well and therefore all #gamergate can be considered equally toxic is a large part of what is currently being fought for.
You are certainly not obliged to take my word on anything, just do a quick check how often the pro-gg crowd calls out bad behavior and compare that to the deafening silence on the anti-gg side.
Great example here. Deliberate misunderstanding and antagonistic comments. No wonder that there is no actual communication.
I'm all for equality and would consider myself a feminist. Ask my wife. Unfortunately the social justice movement seem to less and less have anything to with either social justice or equality. I prefer Emma Watson's version of feminism, something inclusive rather than exclusive.
Additionally, the SJW contingent jumped on the 4chan story at least partially, since they are still trying to pin the whole #gamergate issue on 4chan as well.
This rabbit hole goes deep and is pretty much all cesspool.
With a large part of the media chasing clicks and nobody bothers to fact-check anything, extremist minorities on all sides are dictating the conversation. Reason and reasonableness has taken truly taken a backseat in all of this.
The arecibo radio telescope they used to make contact has a diameter of 1000f(300m), just a little large for my backyard. You need some pretty powerful radio transmitters to be able to reach out there. The money they are collecting goes into buying time on such equipment.
I'm uncomfortable with the use of the term censorship in this case at least partially since it's very indirect. Yes, maybe you could make the argument that even indirect censorship is censorship, and yes this doesn't necessarily excuse it.
It's a game company that to market their game in Germany has to make a change to a couple of textures or sprite in their game in order to market (sell it directly) in Germany. It doesn't take away from the content of the game. It doesn't influence the message of the game in any great way, and it's not attentionally target at this game in particular.
Focusing on this single aspect of being censorship, even if it could be defined as a case of censorship in the broadest sense, seems to do a disservice to the actual facts.
It's less of a question of whether censorship in any form is acceptable or not (arguments could be made for both sides). Whether the argument of censorship really serves the facts of this story is the point I'm concerned about.
In my opinion it's a very broad brush in this case that manages to hide other aspects that are similarly relevant and interesting.
I do believe that reaching for censorship is the wrong approach in 99 out of a hundred cases, but in this case it simply isn't direct censorship.
It's a company that has to adapt to a particular local law, and that is a situation every big game developer faces any time they release a large AAA title. Maybe the details in this case are a little juicier than in most cases, but that doesn't really make this case special to me.
For me, it's less a question of whether censorship is acceptable in this case or any other, than a question of whether the angle of censorship is really the best angle to approach a story that has many more interesting facets. My concern is that using the angle of censorship, while at least partially true, tends to mask other aspect of this story that would give it more depth and would have been just as interesting, albeit maybe less sensationalist.
Techdirt should be a place to discuss the merits of any given story without having to resort to button pushing key phrases. In my mind the approach to this story is just too close to a 'big media' approach. Reading it on techdirt makes me a little uncomfortable.
[Disclaimer: A little wordy and posted after the consumption of half a bottle of good red.]
For me using the word censorship in this case is using a very large blunt object on a much more intricate matter.
It's easy to use and the sheeple will go: Yes censorship is baaaahaad and contentedly lean back in their disapproval and nobody is forced to use their ounce of grey matter for even an instant.
It serves to achieve not at thing, it doesn't help to accurately define the problem or what's behind it and it certainly doesn't do a thing to improve the situation.
We come here and read articles and commentary on techdirt to understand a little more about what's going on in this intersection of law and technology. Simply dismissing something as censorship and letting it go at that simply doesn't do it for me. I want more.
Well, with the help of some of the other people that have commented here...
The fact that this case has actually very little to do with censorship.
Look at: Anonymous Coward, Mar 6th, 2014 @ 5:03am Games not being art. The nazi symbolisms are allowed in a lot of contexts.
My reply as the the fact the current laws on both sides of the pond still need to catch up to the realities of digital life would also have been a perfectly viable angle for this story. Certainly here on techdirt.
Further down: DCL, Mar 6th, 2014 @ 8:27am
Very briefly paraphrased: It's legal to own, but not to import or sell in Germany. Again, the cry of censorship makes it easy to ignore the details of what's going on.
Simply crying censorship is a strawman. It's putting your fingers in your ears and shouting "lalallala".
Dark Helmet, Timothy usually does a better job. This article is doing exactly the same piss poor job that techdirt often accuses others off doing when dealing with the intersection of law and technology, and I'm calling techdirt out on this.
I've been lurking on this site for the last 5 years or so and I've very rarely commented, but this article simply does not adhere to the high standards I hold techdirt to and that is usually exhibits.
Once I managed to remove the static and I boiled down this diatribe to:
"It doesn't stop the hate", which I didn't say and actually agree with, and "It give these symbols some sort of underground legitimacy", which I actually don't disagree with either, I find myself reluctantly agreeing with you on content.
Of course this addresses none of the issues that I mentioned earlier, namely that the article fails to deal with any of the subtleties involved.
Beyond that, your comment illustrates very nicely my point about the militant cry of censorship actually blocking any real discussion of these subtleties.
This is a great comment and it shows that the issue simply isn't as cut and dried as some hope.
The abuse of 86A happens on both sides. By those that would want to have the law do more than it should as well as by those trying to skirt the law by following the letter rather than its spirit.
In pratice this means that unless you want to write something incredibly dense and exhaustive the size of a phonebook, the application of a law such as this often comes down to jurisprudence and unfortunately sometimes something like the South Park game gets caught in the cross-fire.
For me the issue here is less specifically with 86A, rather than with the fact that a lot of law in both theory and practice is still very much trying to catch up to the digital age and the idea of a video game as art falls somewhat into this category.
I certainly don't deny that the law is badly written in places and as these things usually go also somewhat prone to abuse. Naturally this will result in some very debatable consequences like here in the case of the South Park game.
I could however argue that it's exactly cases like this where there are clear and high-profile unintended consequences that actually help to generate dialog on the uses and definitions of 86A.
I am much less certain that throwing out the whole of 86A on the basis of a case like this is the right way to go either. There are some clear reasons for and benefits from a law such as 86A and repealing it entirely sounds too much like throwing out the baby with the bathwater.
Especially here in Techdirt the shout of censorship has a tendency limit the possibility of weighing the merits of a certain situation more closely. It's easy, it plays to the crowd, but it's ultimately a cop-out.
Honestly, I guess my main complaint is simply that I tend to hold Techdirt to higher standards.
I am of German decent and there is a confusion here as to why Nazi symbols are 'verboten' in Germany. The reason for it has very little to do with trying to erase or rewrite History. Compared to other countries like Austria or Japan, Germany has always acknowledged this dark chapter in its History.
The reason the Nazi symbols are forbidden is simply to make it illegal and deny modern Neo-nazi and right wing nationalist groups to use those symbols.
The problem with 86A isn't that is forbids these symbols, but that is somewhat unclear and can be a matter of interpretation of what is verboten.
Neo-nazi groups themselves use that to their advantage. A typical example found in right wings artwork for example was the number 88. 8=H 88=HH or Heil Hitler. Since that's a pretty clear example of Nazi symbolism, the 88 is now forbidden. So Neo-nazi magazine etc. now get around this by using 87+1 or 2*44.
These groups show a definite desire to use Nazi symbolism in today's world and 86A exists to deny them the use of these symbols.
Nothing about this has anything to do with trying to rewrite History.
This is the captcha on th pro.sony.com site.
It is not a jpg, but just html/css with a jscript disabling the right mouse button. Of course even with the right mouse button disabled you can still view the source code.
I think this says it all about Sony security practices...