Help ATS with a contribution via PayPal:
learn more

Freedom Of Speech, ATS, and Ending The Eternal September

page: 1/
35
<<   2  3  4 >>

log in

join

posted on Jul, 13 2008 @ 10:27 AM
link   
Or: Our responsibilities under the banner of free expression and how to end the September that never ended before its 15-year anniversary.


I've decided to launch a new "ATS Issues" type thread to contain all comments and criticism specific to free expression here on ATS. This is in response to a thread created by NovusOrdoMundi last night, titled: Freedom of Speech: ATS Style.



Originally posted by NovusOrdoMundi
Is ATS an arena for freedom of speech?

With absolute and unqualified certainty, yes.



Does freedom of speech have limitations on it that I am not aware of?

"Limitations" is not the appropriate word, and (no offense to NovusOrdoMundi, but using his words to establish an example) in my opinion represents an increasingly common misconception or selfish interpretation of what free expression really means. The appropriate word, or better yet, the ideal state-of-mind, is that of responsibility. Free expression is not a license to offend, obfuscate, or lie; it's an opportunity to stimulate, challenge, and transform.



Expressing your opinion about the death of an individual is not a threat against a human being.

First... while some may not accept this rationale, the thread was not closed for that reason. The thread was closed because of the high-rate of posts that were attacking other members well-outside the boundaries of the Terms & Conditions. If not for the rapid-fire attacks, the thread would have remained open. There are dozens (if not hundreds) of examples of intense threads that have been closed for this reason.

However, hiding behind freedom of speech to cast denigrating aspersions on the recently deceased demonstrates a selfish lack of prudence. It cheapens the lofty ideal of free expression and it's unfortunate for those who would "go there," but informative for the rest of us to witness.



It needs to be made clear now: Is ATS an arena for freedom of speech or not?
If it is, then in my opinion, no matter how classless or insensitive a post is, it should not be warned, removed or be subjected to moderator intimidation.

We do not, will not, and should not remove posts or threads purely on a subjective measure of classlessness or insensitivity. We prefer to leave this entirely up to our members in their responses and flags. However, when members cross the line defined by the Terms & Conditions, we need to consider an appropriate response.

That being said, your statement establishes a rather selfish and ignoble point of view regarding the idea of free expression. Certainly, it's completely your right to feel this way, and I support your ability to do so. But it defines a self-centered ideal that is divorced from the true intent of free expression.


And this, in my opinion, is a core problem with contemporary user-generated commentary online. Too many are selfishly hiding behind "freedom of speech" as a license and not using it as the virtuously insightful tool it's intended to be. As we approach the 15-year anniversary of the "September that never ended," we have no hope of moving to October unless we begin to truly grok the responsibility of free expression, what it means, what it offers, and how to use it as an agent of change.


NovusOrdoMundi, you have an exceptionally articulate and nuanced writing style that should be the envy of many. If you apply that talent toward challenging us to examine provocative and important issues, it will be one small example of what's needed to ultimately end that 15-year September.


[edit on 13-7-2008 by SkepticOverlord]




posted on Jul, 13 2008 @ 10:53 AM
link   
reply to post by SkepticOverlord
 


SO, I have to say I wholeheartedly agree that Freedom of Speech does not allow for verbal abuse as well as electronic abuses in a "group setting" like ATS, as if this were something that were allowed, chaos would ensue. People should know how to use their sense of tact as well as decorum to know how to intelligently discuss and debate something, not denigrate others and subject anyone else to foul language, and sheer stupidity of thought through verbal as well as electronic tongue lashing that's totally unnecessary.

I had not read the afore mentioned thread, and most likely will not either. I see a trend of lack of intelligence going on sometimes, from choices of verbalization through a keyboard as well as continual and increasing level of foul language on posts, and while this is sometimes a norming trend, it's not needed in every single post, nor is it welcome to everyone in ATS chat.



posted on Jul, 13 2008 @ 11:14 AM
link   

Originally posted by SkepticOverlord
Free expression is not a license to offend, obfuscate, or lie;


I agree. However, if your honest opinion is not intended to offend or obfuscate, how do you proceed? And lying about your honest opinion does not make much sense so I'll leave that alone.

Who determines what is offensive? Perhaps some took my comments on Tony Snow to be offensive. But on the same token, others did not. So who is "right"? How does anyone determine which way to judge that?

Who's responsibility is it to determine what is and is not offensive? Better yet, who truly has the authority in that judgment? Isn't it more of a case-by-case, person-by-person judgment? You can't please everyone.

There is alot that can be said about nearly any topic that is going to offend someone. In my mind, if you start filtering out your words simply because it will offend someone, it begins to become anti-freedom of speech.

Freedom of speech cannot be used to justify everything. I understand that. That is selfish, as you said. But where do we draw the line in filtering out anything that may offend someone?

My words were not meant to offend members, insult members, distract members, harass members or do anything else in violation of the T&C.

The way I understand the T&C, and the core ideals of this web site, is that 'responsibility' of freedom of speech means that you do not harass, insult or otherwise target members of ATS, and you do not target people in general based on things such as race, religion, gender, sexuality and others related.

I was not aware that we were to never speak badly about the dead, no matter who they were. Did Timothy McVeigh get kind words on ATS when he was executed? I certainly would hope not. But why? A life was lost, was it not? Many would come back with the response that he was a bad person, and although I agree, who determines who is bad and who is not? I personally felt Tony Snow was a bad person, so do I not have that same right to express my opinion of him, even though his life was lost?


Originally posted by SkepticOverlord
The thread was closed because of the high-rate of posts that were attacking other members well-outside the boundaries of the Terms & Conditions.


I understand and agree with that. Personally, I don't mind that the thread was closed.

My main concern is that it seemed, to me at least, that moderator "warnings" were directed more at those "disrespecting" Tony Snow than those disrespecting the members whom were disrespecting Tony Snow.

I understand that you do not want ATS getting out of control, and members should not act like Kindergartners. And reminding people that 'class' and 'respect' should be used is not really the big problem. The big problem is the lack of response to people who were attacking those expressing their "classless" opinions of Tony Snow.

Posts were removed from the people who were attacking those that were expressing their opinions of Tony Snow, but they were removed primarily due to insults. Although that was well warranted, the statement was never made by staff that not only would classless, disrespecting, childish behavior not be tolerated, but attempting to belittle others in to not expressing their honest opinions, no matter how much you disagree, would also not be tolerated.

In my opinion, an example has to be made for both sides. You don't want childish, disrespectful behavior, but you also should not want one sided discussions. Perhaps we can both meet in the middle.


Originally posted by SkepticOverlord
However, hiding behind freedom of speech to cast denigrating aspersions on the recently deceased demonstrates a selfish lack of prudence.


I could have said what I said with a little more maturity. I realize that and admit that. But everyone is not going to like everything you say. Even if I were to express my opinion in the most respectful and mature way possible, I honestly believe there would still be those that tell me to 'leave the politics out of it' because a man just died.

No matter how much you soften it up, as long as your core opinion is that you do not feel saddened by his loss, people are going to jump on you for it.


Originally posted by SkepticOverlord
But it defines a self-centered ideal that is divorced from the true intent of free expression.


Its not self centered, its more of me trying to make a point. There is a middle ground that can be met when it comes to expressing your opinion. Some, including me, do not need to express our opinions in such an immature manner, but others do not need to attack those of us who oppose or contradict their opinions.

The idea of free speech is not to be able to say anything you want and hide behind it. But one of the core values of free speech is to hold opposing views. My words on Tony Snow were executed childishly, but they represented an honest opposing view.

If I could change the way I said what I said, I would. But I honestly do not believe that that would have stopped others from jumping on me for expressing my opinion that I was not saddened by his death.

Perhaps it would have made it slightly more civil, but the true problem lies with others attacking those who express their opinion, simply because it displeases them. The attitude that you should "leave the thread" because you hold an opposing viewpoint is wrong and shouldn't be allowed to occur.

[edit on 7/13/08 by NovusOrdoMundi]



posted on Jul, 13 2008 @ 11:34 AM
link   
Thank you for this clarification on Freedom of Speech on ATS. I have always though that ATS was NOT a free speech zone because there are limits on Free Speech inherent in the T&C. (Illegal content, etc). But when I think of how we are able to express our opinions, even unpopular opinions, I think I see what you mean.


Originally posted by SkepticOverlord
The thread was closed because of the high-rate of posts that were attacking other members well-outside the boundaries of the Terms & Conditions. If not for the rapid-fire attacks, the thread would have remained open. There are dozens (if not hundreds) of examples of intense threads that have been closed for this reason.


I don't know if my opinion and experience will matter on this, but since I have come back from some time away from ATS, I have seen a BIG difference in what is acceptable as regards personal attacks. And within the past few days, I have been so attacked for my thoughts and beliefs, that I have used the ignore feature for the first time in my 3 years here. And I have taken the political board off "MyATS" and unsubscribed to all the political threads, which I used to LOVE to participate in.

For the first time in my experience here, I am keeping my opinions to myself because of "fear" of personal attacks from those who disagree with me. This is very sad to me because I used to feel that ATS was a safe place to express myself and NOT be attacked for my views. This is no longer the case. I no longer FEEL protected to voice my opinion.

I looked so forward to the Decision 2008 Forum and thought it would be a great place to have discussions and debates about all kinds of presidential and political issues, and I can say I really tried my best to have a go at it, but I am completely disappointed that every time I post something, I feel like the attack dogs are let loose and I am called a name of some kind, accused of working for the government, disparaged in some way and basically attacked simply for my opinion. That forum is worse than Slug Fest and it saddens me.

Skeptic, I really appreciate your faith in the membership of ATS to somewhat regulate ourselves... To rise above and stop ourselves from personal attacks. But you're right. Too many people hide behind freedom of speech. Too many people act without responsibility.

I feel bad for NovusOrdoMundi because he was attacked for what he thought. No, it wasn't "respectful" of Snow. Perhaps it wasn't the most "responsible" way to express himself, but it was his opinion and it didn't attack other members, but other members went after him like wild, frothing dogs.

We don't have to LIKE what other people say. We don't have to agree with them. But they have a right to express their views on the subject. Even if and ESPECIALLY if it's an unpopular opinion. That's what FoS is for. Those views and opinions that aren't popular.

In NovusOrdoMundi's Free Speech thread, the VERY FIRST post went after HIM. NOT the subject, but the POSTER. If NovusOrdoMundi thinks that Snow deserved death, that's his opinion. It's the JUDGMENTS people make about his opinion that start the attack ball rolling.

Making judgments on opinions and acting on those judgments is the very antithesis to free speech... In my opinion...



posted on Jul, 13 2008 @ 11:43 AM
link   
Isn't it all a matter of common sense and common decency and the truth?

Look at it this way..

The dead and dying have traditionally held a place of respect in most cultures all throughout the world. the fact that some posters/members would get upset because you disrespected a recently deceased person should not and I believe did not surprise you. Anyone would have expected that reaction. That being said, it had to have been the reaction you were seeking. Seeking a volatile reaction from posters/members is in no way productive and serves no legitimate purpose, adds nothing to the site, the other members or yourself.

Saying that you just wanted to "express your opinion" is nothing more than an excuse. We all have TONS of opinions that WE know are better kept to ourselves.

If you were not seeking a reaction from other members, what possible purpose could have been served by disrespecting a dead person for no other reason than... "expressing your opinion"?

Unless of course you were seeking a reaction. The exact reaction your obtained.

OK, You did not like him, but he is dead is he not? Whatever evil you may have attributed to him while he was living, is without a doubt not finished. It's over, you won; you out lived your evil nemesis, so what does it say about a person character that feels the need to disparage someone, anyone, that is not around to defend themselves?

I'm a Cop; I do not hit anyone in handcuffs. What would it say about my character if I took advantage of someone that could not defend themselves?

Exactly

Semper



posted on Jul, 13 2008 @ 11:57 AM
link   
reply to post by Benevolent Heretic
 


BH, let me ask you a question?

What is the difference between attacking a dead newscaster and attacking a member?

Is it simply that we are members and free from such?

Is it OK to wish.... say... "I wish Jack Jones would die" ... If he is not a member?

It is entirely inappropriate for me to say.. "I wish member x would die is it not?

What happens if Jack Jones joins? Must we then recant our previous wishes that he die?

I think that as intelligent individuals we are all expected to act mature and responsible and evaluate our own reasons for posting something that may or may not be controversial. If we post something that serves no purpose other than to inflame and incite, we are at fault and should be held accountable.

I also think that many times people have such strong feelings on a subject that they may perceive a negative response as a personal attack. This is particularly true in the political forums.

Anytime we post something, we must be prepared for someone to come out and tell us we are wrong. That is being productive and contributing and it is healthy; in my opinion of course.

We can then either step back and consider it a personal attack, or we can accept there are other opinions that WE may think are wrong and move on.

All just my 2 cents of course

Semper



posted on Jul, 13 2008 @ 12:00 PM
link   
While freedom of speech is protected under the constitution, it doesn't fall under hate crimes laws unless. . .

If the freedom of speech is use in a maner that will harm others then is regulated and when is lawd and obsene.

Now this will be fine and dandy and is apply on everyday life, but ATS is a private owned board and they reserve their right to regulate how freedom of speech is used and to what extend.

On that I may agree or disagree but then again is my choice to be here and be part of the board comunity.

Just like any member here.



posted on Jul, 13 2008 @ 12:05 PM
link   

Originally posted by semperfortis
the fact that some posters/members would get upset because you disrespected a recently deceased person should not and I believe did not surprise you.


You're right, it did not surprise me. I was expecting it. But do you truly think that simply because I continued on with posting my initial post, even though I expected it, that implies that I was somehow baiting people in to argument?

If I were a new member, that possibly would be the case. Although you may not be too familiar with me, I am not someone who just goes around baiting people in to arguments.

I have received one warning in my time here, and probably have had about five posts, total, removed. Baiting is not something I do.

Instead, all I do is post my honest opinion. Because I do not shy away from doing so simply because I expect a negative response does not mean I am intentionally stirring the pot. All that means is it is just who I am to be honest, no matter how many people dislike what I say.


Originally posted by semperfortis
That being said, it had to have been the reaction you were seeking.


I wasn't seeking any reaction. I was using the thread like everyone else: to express my opinion.

Believe what you want, but I know what my true intentions were.


Originally posted by semperfortis
Seeking a volatile reaction from posters/members is in no way productive and serves no legitimate purpose, adds nothing to the site, the other members or yourself.


I agree, which is why I did not seek a volatile reaction.


Originally posted by semperfortis
Saying that you just wanted to "express your opinion" is nothing more than an excuse.


That is your opinion. As I said, I know what my true intentions were, and my true intentions were to express my opinion, whether it got a reaction or not.


Originally posted by semperfortis
We all have TONS of opinions that WE know are better kept to ourselves.


I do keep many opinions to myself. Its easy to assume I don't, but if I keep it to myself, how would you know about it?

I read many more threads than I post in. I do not post because I am keeping my opinion to myself. In that particular thread, however, I did not feel it necessary to keep it to myself.


Originally posted by semperfortis
so what does it say about a person character that feels the need to disparage someone, anyone, that is not around to defend themselves?


We should not give respect to each and every person in death, simply because they are now dead. That respect should be earned in life.

My words of disrespect are not aimed at his family. I know his family would take offense to my words, but nevertheless, they are not intended to offend his family, nor are they intended to disrupt their mourning process.

But just like each and every one of you, I am entitled to my opinion of the dead. You feel someone who is dead should be allowed to rest in peace respectfully. I respect your opinion. But it is, after all, YOUR opinion. My opinion is that respect in death should be earned in life. And in my opinion, he did not earn my respect in life, as I displayed in my post.


Originally posted by semperfortis
What would it say about my character if I took advantage of someone that could not defend themselves?


If he were living, and I said something ill about him, I doubt he would come to ATS to defend himself. So in my mind, this argument is invalid.


Originally posted by semperfortis
We can then either step back and consider it a personal attack, or we can accept there are other opinions that WE may think are wrong and move on.


What you said here should be more directed at those who responded to Rilence and I in that thread.

Rilence and I did not attack others' opinions. We posted our opinions on Tony Snow, and others attacked our opinions and proceeded to point out that we have pathetic lives, are eternal losers, and call us boyfriend and girlfriend (despite the fact that we are both males), simply because we expressed "disrespect" towards Tony Snow.

Rilence did fire back with insults, and was warned and eventually banned for behind the scenes activities. I'm not going to argue with the moderators decisions on that.

But as far as I am concerned, I never hurled insults back. I never attacked other members. I never claimed they were not entitled to their opinion of Tony Snow. Yet others attacked me and tried to infringe on my right to have my opinion no matter how "wrong" it was.

What was being directed at Rilence and I was not just "negative responses".

A negative response would be a disagreement, you discuss your disagreeing points and you move on.

A personal attack is calling someone a loser, claiming they have a pathetic life and attempting to belittle someone by trying to make them feel ashamed that they hold an opposing view so much that they leave the thread.

The latter is what occurred.

EDIT: Added response to semperfortis' second post

[edit on 7/13/08 by NovusOrdoMundi]



posted on Jul, 13 2008 @ 01:09 PM
link   
Correct me if I am wrong, but Rilence said you were inhumane if we expressed sympathy towards a man who died of cancer. It was probably the most stupidest thing to get banned for.

You know what? I am mature enough to separate my political beliefs and pay respect to a man who held different views than me. But it is pretty childish to run into a thread chanting tyrant and saying "Tony Snow killed 1 million Iraqi's", then attack other members for having a heart and not being partisan as pure bloody hell


As a moderator pointed out in the other thread, it seemed you are glad a man died of cancer (that's the way it came across) and you are just hiding behind free speech to protect yourself.

This has nothing to do with freedom of speech - just old fashion manners.



posted on Jul, 13 2008 @ 01:19 PM
link   

Originally posted by infinite
then attack other members for having a heart and not being partisan as pure bloody hell


I love how people don't even read the thread and assume it was ME that was the one attacking others.

My patience with people accusing me of things I did not do is running very thin, so before you make false accusations about me again, learn what you are talking about.

And you know what? In case you haven't noticed, this is a thread about the topic of Free Speech on ATS. It is not a thread where you can come in here and let out your unfounded, misguided complaints about the way I formulate or present my opinions. It is not a thread for everyone to railroad me because they disagree with how I presented my opinions of Tony Snow.

If you have a problem with how I say things, u2u me and we'll discuss it.

[edit on 7/13/08 by NovusOrdoMundi]



posted on Jul, 13 2008 @ 01:21 PM
link   



posted on Jul, 13 2008 @ 01:22 PM
link   
reply to post by NovusOrdoMundi
 



We do not have the original posts to dissect. All we have is memories of them. So your account of what was said is invalid, irrelevant and obviously biased. We especially do not have Rilence's posts; all we have is your allegation that they contained no insults. Forgive me if I do not believe you.

Many people have tried to make you understand the insensitivity that is displayed by "gravedancers". Yours and Rilence's comments were motivated by the basest of reasons: because you did not agree with Tony Snow's politics. And then you have the nerve to argue about Free Speech, which is an absolutely political concept.

Free speech allows you to express your (imo) unsavory opinions. Your opinions were not removed. Free speech also allows others to express their lack of respect for your actions. That, however, goes against the T&C, and they were appropriately removed. Rilence went that extra mile which resulted in his penalty. Nobody's fault but his own.

I put gravedancers in the same category as the members of Phelps Church. Both are protected by Free Speech, but neither have a place in decent society.



posted on Jul, 13 2008 @ 01:25 PM
link   
reply to post by jsobecky
 


I've already answered the points you brought up here. I've already clarified my argument and my issue with what occurred in that thread. It is very obvious by your post here that you have not read what I have had to say. Therefore, since you cannot read up on what I have had to say, this is the only response to your post I am going to give.

And again, some seem to be confused at the purpose of this thread. It is about free speech on ATS. It is not your platform to jump on me because you didn't agree with what I had to say in that thread.



posted on Jul, 13 2008 @ 01:28 PM
link   
Everybody is entitle to their own opinions and if I disagree, I just ignore the opinion, but what it can not be ignored is the fact that many like to attack other posters for been either opinionated, just no agreeing with their own personal views, or just for the fact that they just like to be upset about anybody.

When insults to other members arise because of opinions no shared by some on a subject thats no longer a freedom of speech but rather becoming a troll.

The particular thread that prompted the whole issue was one that after reading over it, I knew where was heading.

Is many people around in public places that I would not shed a tear for it if they die, but I will be darn if I am to make an issue of it and look like a fool.



posted on Jul, 13 2008 @ 01:30 PM
link   

Originally posted by marg6043
but I will be darn if I am to make an issue of it and look like a fool.


As I have said to many others, that is you. That is not me.

Why is it everyone expects everyone else to be like themselves?



posted on Jul, 13 2008 @ 01:32 PM
link   
NovusOrdoMundi, your a great member and I have enjoyed reading your posts; that is why I am failing to understand what you are trying to achieve here. You could of just walked out of that thread, you gave your opinion but kept repeating it over and over.

This has nothing to do with freedom of speech at all. You are trying to make yourself a martyr over nothing.

Your a good member. Don't risk ruining your reputation.



posted on Jul, 13 2008 @ 01:35 PM
link   
NovusOrdoMundi

I had no clue until I started reading this thread that you has been scrutinized by some of the post on Tony Snow thread.

So my post were in no way directed at you but a generalization of many others.

I didn't read long enough in the original thread to begin with so any of the post you did I never actually read them.

So I am the last person here to judge you, and even if I read them is not my place either to judge anyway.



posted on Jul, 13 2008 @ 01:36 PM
link   
reply to post by NovusOrdoMundi
 



Originally posted by NovusOrdoMundi
reply to post by jsobecky
 


I've already answered the points you brought up here. I've already clarified my argument and my issue with what occurred in that thread. It is very obvious by your post here that you have not read what I have had to say. Therefore, since you cannot read up on what I have had to say, this is the only response to your post I am going to give.


I read all your posts in the original thread as well as here.

Your posts here are biased because you want us to forget the fact that you also hurled insults in the original thread. That's called being hypocritical.

You hurled insults, egged your friend on, and he got banned. Are you now feeling remorse? You should. You are as guilty as any party in that thread.

But please do not insult our intelligence by pretending this is about Free Speech.



posted on Jul, 13 2008 @ 01:40 PM
link   
I would just like to point out that when Al Zarqawi was reported dead, there was plenty of "grave dancing" going on, by the very same members here who claim to have such a problem with it...

It seems that when the judgment is made that a person was "bad", then all common sense, common decency and sensitivity flies out the _ There was actual celebration by you guys.

Oh, but that's different, right? YOU judged him as a "bad guy" and Tony Snow was a "good guy"... in your opinion...

I just think if you're going to celebrate a man's death, it's a bit hypocritical to turn around and bash someone whose opinion differs from yours.



posted on Jul, 13 2008 @ 01:44 PM
link   

Originally posted by infinite
You could of just walked out of that thread, you gave your opinion but kept repeating it over and over.


Believe what you want, but I was trying to bring the topic back on Tony Snow after it had been side tracked by bickering from both sides, as well as trying to help people understand why my opinion is what it is.


Originally posted by infinite
You are trying to make yourself a martyr over nothing.


I'm not making anything of myself. I am trying to figure out EXACTLY what "Freedom of Speech" on ATS means so that we are all clear.


Originally posted by jsobecky
Your posts here are biased because you want us to forget the fact that you also hurled insults in the original thread.


Would you like to point out which words I used as insults? Or are you the one insulting people's intelligence and taking advantage of the fact that the posts are removed?

I did not use insults. I did not egg him on. If I could show you the u2u's between him and I, you would see that I was telling him to cool it down a little because he was beginning to play your game of hurling insults, and I knew he would get warned for it.

He was banned, as has been said, by behind the scenes things that were said. It was not in relation to that thread. So no, I feel no remorse. He chose to say the things he said, and no matter how much you or anyone else tries to lay that on me, anyone who knows what happened behind the scenes knows otherwise.

EDIT: To add response to infinite

[edit on 7/13/08 by NovusOrdoMundi]





new topics

top topics



 
35
<<   2  3  4 >>

log in

join