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Freedom of Speach and Hate threads - The Difference

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posted on Apr, 20 2011 @ 05:23 PM
There's a huge difference between freedom of speach, and promoting hate.

Over the years we have seen lots of threads which in some cases quite rightly criticise certain religions, creeds or philosophys.

What is acceptable to some, may not be acceptable to others.

Good debate is healthy, promoting hate or singling out a particular group is maybe not so healthy.

We need to be very carefull about where we draw the line on this.

No one wants to stifle good debate, but at the same time, no-one wants to read or get involved in hate threads.

It's a fine line, and is one which we need to tread carefully if we are not to stifle decent, civilised debate.

However, recently, there has been a rise in certain forum gangs who express their beliefs in a way that borders on hate, simply because they do not agree with certain things in a religion or creed not of their own.

They support each other by giving out flags and stars in an attempt to get their skewed message on the front page.

My opinion is that I believe that these kinds of messages and/or beliefs have no place on ATS.

I also believe however, that everyone has a right to free speach.

With that in mind, I would say that we should just let then get on with it, regardless of religion or race, and ignore it, rather than give them the satisfaction of replying.

We don't want to stifle free speach, but neither do we want to encourage hate threads.

The decision is yours - but don't forget, if you feed this it will become stronger.

posted on Apr, 20 2011 @ 05:30 PM
Well said sir.

Its time people thought rather than blindly posted in defence or support of an idea that with a few moments consideration would produce a more coherent and tempered reply.

The community of ATS exists and thrives because of the quality and intellect of its members and its a shame to see some of the membership forget that.

If the world showed half an ounce of tolerance and understanding - from all sides then perhaps it would be a better place to live in.

posted on Apr, 20 2011 @ 10:25 PM
reply to post by budski

Board Business & Questions: This forums should be used to post questions regarding site policies, problems with site functionality/features, and respond to announcements from ownership. This is not a place to post complaints.

posted on Apr, 21 2011 @ 03:14 AM
reply to post by Skippy1138

Good thing a mod stepped in to take care of th- ohh mannn. You're not a mod! Maybe you should just report it and move on!

Anyway, as this is a private site, there is actually no guarantee of freedom of speech. If the admins find something distasteful, they should remove it. And hate speech is pretty distasteful, I'd say.

posted on Apr, 21 2011 @ 03:19 AM
OP, I couldn't agree with ya more.
flag from me

very well put, I could not have
said it any better myself.
Hope others get to read this

posted on Apr, 21 2011 @ 04:08 AM
reply to post by budski

Very well said my friend.I,like to debate things,but not promote hate. I,just love truth and facts.We can all be very nice when we don't agree with someone.There is a nice way to put our beliefs with heart and facts and truth.If we treat people here with respect,we will be respected back. We need to get along,its good to have different views,that's how we learn. Thank you for this thread.

posted on Apr, 21 2011 @ 04:21 AM
What is "speach?". I know what speech is.....

I have to say, whenever someone posts a misspelled thread, I laugh, and don't take you seriously....especially with how prevalent spell check is.

Just saying.

posted on Apr, 21 2011 @ 04:26 AM
I agree. But what really made me confused and sad, was, that couple of days ago one member made a thread about making moneyless community and asked is there people, who would be interested joyning him, but he even didn´t have a land for it, so it was just an idea. But this thread was deleated without previous warning. Member tried to make 2 or 3 new threads about deleting, but they were deleted too very quickly, so most members even don´t know about it. I just happened to see them, because I posted to first thread and was surprised, when it suddenly disappeared. It really made me dissapointed, because it´s so much hateful posts and threads here, but all they get is warning. I still don´t get it, why this persons thread about making simple community was delated. If there was something against rules, why wasn´t there any warning then? Funny, but I still feel bad about it. Ecpecially if I see how many crazy and angry post here is and it looks like, that there are more negative topics lately.

posted on Apr, 21 2011 @ 05:00 AM
reply to post by budski

Hate speech should always be challenged. Because if you walk on by & ignore the hate, you become little better than the perpetrator. The board deteriorates as a consequence. The risk is it becomes a magnet for people of their ilk.

ATS "the institution" is no friend of hate speech. But my gripe with ATS is that it allows things to be said, under the guise of free speech, which would constitute a hate crime in many European jurisdictions. I think ATS needs to tread more carefully in that regard.

posted on Apr, 21 2011 @ 05:18 AM
Hi, I'm new here so my opinions don't count for much, understood. BUT I would say that finding the line between hate and opinion is going to be really hard and is a major challenge for everyone. So I think its good people are giving thought to the issue.

My own two cents would be to err on the side of FREEDOM. I don't even really believe in the concept of "hate speech" as a crime. Hate is an emotion, not a crime. I don't believe in legislating emotion, the whole thing is creepy and Orwellian. And nobody has the "right not to be offended" that's just silly.

On the other hand, there is such a thing as "hateful speech" and while I don't think it should be illegal, it doesn't really have to be tolerated. Especially in a situatuon like an internet message board. I think anyone who comes onto a board like this to "push people's buttons" or just spew insane extremist stuff, taboo-breaking or radical, etc....I think people who are trying to have a serious conversation can just shut that down and I think that's fine. BUT it has to be done for the right reasons and in the right spirit and that's a very tricky point because we all let our own prejudices creep in and the power to shut people down in general is easily abused. That's why I still think in the end if you have to err on one side of the issue rather than the other, its better to go with more freedom. TPTB are already doing all they can to restrict what we can talk about, so I see no reason to help them out by adding more fences and walls.

posted on Apr, 21 2011 @ 06:54 AM
reply to post by Partygirl

Welcome to ATS.

You might not believe in hate speech ; many others do, myself included.

Here, in the United Kingdom where I live, there exist many laws to protect diverse groups of people from the hateful words & active campaigns of those who, with little regard to the sensitivities of others, seek to exploit unrestrained freedom of speech for their own wicked purposes.

So too many European nations, no doubt because of the turbulent recent history of their continent, have rightly legislated to ensure that people are protected under the law from hateful communications on the grounds of skin colour, sexual orientation, religion, nationality & ethnic origins. That protection extends to members of online communities too, certainly those hosted within their own jurisdictions. And for those who ignore the law, there exist financial penalties & imprisonment.

Those are facts. They're not open to whether you think hate speech exists or does not.

But ... and this is where ATS comes in ... websites outside European jurisdictions are beyond those laws. But there's nothing to prevent such sites acquiring a poor reputation because of their online content. That's no problem for simple race hate or anti-gay forums, which thrive on such notoriety. Most of them don't rely on online advertising as their primary source of income.

But ATS does rely on online advertising. That's what has helped nurture & further develop the website you joined only today. And I'm certain many advertisers would take fright if presented with some of the unpalatable threads & comments allowed here on ATS. Not only would they take fright, they'd jettison ATS without a moment's notice. That's where the danger lies for ATS, as visitor numbers increase and as this site advances up the rankings.

Others, perhaps like you, consider it's that very freedom of speech which draws visitors here in the first place.

It's a difficult one, you'd need the judgment of Solomon to get the balance right. Either way, online hatred needs challenged, from wherever the source might happen to be.

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