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European Web-Pioneers publish appeal to make Europe stop censorship by Apple, Facebook, Google....

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posted on Mar, 9 2011 @ 09:22 AM
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At last an English translation of the appeal "The End of the Open Internet?", written by belgian web pioneers I am closely related to, has been published. A public petition to support the cause is available as well.

here's the link: www.ipetitions.com...

here are some extracts from the appeal:

Sure we can accept that Joe Sixpack has serious issues when he’s confronted with a nipple. We Europeans, who don’t even shave our armpits, couldn’t care less.

A spectre is haunting the Internet. Leading American brands like Apple, Facebook, Google and Amazon.com are imposing their (American) cultural, economical, political and ethical norms on the rest of the world. Should we accept this? Is there still a way out?

A Parable

Now imagine this:
It’s 1985. You just bought a car. A Toyota, because you think that’s the best car in the world. One day, you are on your way to Amsterdam when suddenly your car refuses to continue. You can drive anywhere, just not to Amsterdam, as the big boss at Toyota doesn’t like his cars being used to bring people to this place of perversion.
It’s 1995. You are a long way from home. One night an intimate phone call with your wife is abruptly interrupted by a computer voice explaining that Siemens, the company that provides telcos with the right switches) doesn’t want this kind of filth over their networks.
It’s 2005. You just bought a new Philips TV set. One night you are watching a stand-up comedy show. While the comedian is in the middle of a provocative sketch about Nazis, World War Two and Jewish people, the screen turns black and the following message appears: Philips deems this content inappropriate.


and

Our Plea

Please don’t get us wrong. We are convinced that there might be very good reasons to come up with some way of filtering content. Wherever people from different backgrounds with different intentions flock together, some kind of guide comes in handy. Ideally, this guide should be a reflection of “mores” and “values” that are shared by society as a whole. Mores are codes of conduct we promote in order to reach these shared values. Neither mores nor values are universal or eternal, on the contrary. They are very much determined by time and space.

That is why it crucial, to say the least, to observe how the Apples, Googles and Facebooks of this world impose their own (American) mores and values. Not only should we reject the fact that these aren’t the result of any democratic process, we should also closely observe their adverse effects on culture, as it in effect gives way to immeasurable cultural impoverishment. Sure we can accept that Joe Sixpack has serious issues when he’s confronted with a nipple. We Europeans, who don’t even shave our armpits, couldn’t care less.

The people who signed this call for action are very concerned about the increasing power that is (mis-)used by huge IT-, telecom- and media organisations that intend to turn the Internet into an ocean of isolated islands where they create the law. They are building a splinternet in which individual freedom is no longer being constrained by the laws of nations, but by decisions made in the boardrooms of Silicon Valley.


nice to know: the Dutch version has been signed by one of the 2 founding fathers of the Web, Robert Caillau.

It would be nice to read comments and see the number of signatures rise.




posted on Mar, 9 2011 @ 01:33 PM
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reply to post by NeverSleepingEyes
 

As an American I have to agree the American value system relating to censorship is screwed up.

Growing up I could see all the movies I wanted of wars, murder, killing, blood and guts chainsaw massacre, and all forms of violence. I seemed like they almost never got an "R" rating.

But I wasn't allowed to see any movies rated "R" because of love scenes, that might show a nipple or anything suggestive of sex.

It seems to me like banning scenes of love in favor of scenes of war, hate and violence is a upside-down value system, one that I don't wish imposed on the rest of the world. I think this is one area where the US needs to and can learn something from other value systems where maybe love is favored over war, hate and violence.



posted on Mar, 9 2011 @ 06:44 PM
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You can add Yahoo! to the list, too. They revoked my membership because, in an answer I posted in Yahoo!Answers a year earlier, I mentioned the undisputed scientific fact that some recreatonal drugs accelerate sensory perceptions. Never mind the fact that, in the same sentence, I said that benefit gets more and more difficult to attain, and the drugs eventually slow you down and turn you into a complete wreck. They said I violated their rules by "advocating illegal drugs". I was a level-7 top contributor with over 50,000 points, and they dumped me because the first half of a sentence sounded to them like a pro-drug message.

I had accepted the fact that my answer was deleted, but I had no idea they were contemplating further action. They didn't just close my Yahoo!Answers account; they clossed all my other Yahoo! accounts, including group memberships. They even trashed all my e-mails without prior notice, including ones I had saved and ones I hadn't seen, yet. They say I am free to start over with a new Yahoo! account. Fat chance! I'll never use Yahoo! again, not even their search engine! Lousy ingrates!!!

On another matter: I am of the opinion that morality belongs to religion, and we're supposed to have freedom of religion in the U.S.; that includes freedom from religion. The government got involved in the business of enforcing sexual morality because it first chose to take on the burden of fatherless children. Now, they pay underage girls to seduce dirty old men and get knocked up. So what do they get? More fathers in prison and more fatherless children to take care of. Churches were doing a better job of preventing unwanted pregnancy, and they did it at a fraction of the cost. Now, taxes to support this aspect of government far outweigh what people used to give their churces, so there's nothing left to give to the churches. And they say we have separation of church and state. Bull!



posted on Mar, 10 2011 @ 10:02 AM
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Thanks for sharing your story with Yahoo!

However, I tend to disagree with you when you link morality to religion...

Originally posted by Phractal Phil
On another matter: I am of the opinion that morality belongs to religion, and we're supposed to have freedom of religion in the U.S.; that includes freedom from religion. The government got involved in the business of enforcing sexual morality because it first chose to take on the burden of fatherless children. Now, they pay underage girls to seduce dirty old men and get knocked up. So what do they get? More fathers in prison and more fatherless children to take care of. Churches were doing a better job of preventing unwanted pregnancy, and they did it at a fraction of the cost. Now, taxes to support this aspect of government far outweigh what people used to give their churces, so there's nothing left to give to the churches. And they say we have separation of church and state. Bull!


I'm a atheist and a strong opposant of those who like to bring their religion into the public sphere. Of course I do respect individual choice: if someone wants to trow a life away by believing, that's their right, as long as it's kept in the private sphere.
As a sociologist however I do appreciate your analysis: indeed when allowed in the public sphere religion did play a positive role in spreading notions of morality. However, I'm in favor of more rational institutions taking care of that. Organized humanism for example did play the same role, without the need to call in some god to justify whatever principle. Principles here are established based on common agreement among men, not among imaginary friends somewhere.



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