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Julius Streicher and what to do about free speech?

Discussion in 'Off-Topic' started by Mark1031, Jan 12, 2021.

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How do we handle dangerous speech?

  1. Good speech defeats Bad speech

    10 vote(s)
    47.6%
  2. Something else

    11 vote(s)
    52.4%
  1. Mark1031

    Mark1031 Deity

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    I have always been of the opinion of the ACLU types that the best approach to free speech is, to coin an NRA phrase: the only defense against a “bad” guys speech is a “good” guys speech. I feel like this may no longer be the case in some societies. Julius Streicher, for those who don’t know, was a Nazi publisher who, as far as I can tell, was hanged for speech. https://avalon.law.yale.edu/imt/judstrei.asp. It was horribly anti-Semitic but he was not a Nazi leader, did not sign deportation orders or participate in meetings planning Nazi atrocities. First question, why didn’t the “good” speech win (at least before the Nazi police state took over)? Second question, how will society adapt to 1000 Julius Streicher’s on their keyboards with the ability to reach millions as well as algorithms that will feed you a constant stream of this content if you appear to like it. The lie that Trump won the US election was able to convince a good chunk of the electorate even when there were many “good” sources of information telling you the opposite. So much so that a mob stormed the US capitol, with some seeking to execute political leaders.

    I don’t know the answer going forward. I mean censorship (including de-platforming) is a very slippery slope and would probably be more likely to silence left wing ideas that I might hold. OTOH the unprecedented reach of any yahoo with a computer along with the more outrageous the speech being the more attractive of clicks and money and dopamine bursts and the inability of many people to assess the credibility of arguments beyond a 3rd grade level cannot continue. Well, it can continue but I don’t know if a stable functioning society is compatible with it. Your thoughts.

    PS: I’m not accusing anyone (even Trump) of being Julius Streicher, but there is certainly no shortage of less egregious race baiting. But as the most extreme example what would stop him? And don’t say inciting violence, as there are many ways to be as bad but fall just short of this standard even if it has the same effect. The second reason I introduce him is he was hung by the international community indicating that we admit that speech alone can be very dangerous.
     
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  2. Yeekim

    Yeekim Moderator Moderator

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    The kind of incitement that Streicher practiced has, in most of the world, been punishable for a long time.
     
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  3. Terxpahseyton

    Terxpahseyton Awake

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    It will be necessary to get to the root of the anger. Trying to censor it away will not work. But only feed it. Devil's circle right there.
     
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  4. Cloud_Strife

    Cloud_Strife Deity

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    There's a thin line between hateful speech and hateful acts.
     
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  5. Ferocitus

    Ferocitus Deity

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    Everyone should be able to say anything they like. Counter-revolutionaries are not permitted anonymity. :)
     
  6. Birdjaguar

    Birdjaguar Hanafubuki Retired Moderator Supporter

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    Hey @Mark1031 welcome back. You’ve been missed.

    On social media big lies, hate, misinformation, calls for violence etc should be deleted, tagged, moved. Loss of anonymity should be exercised. People need to own their opinions. Banning repeat offenders is fine. Social media is much like a public street corner and should be treated as such.
     
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  7. Berzerker

    Berzerker Deity

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    Was it allowed? I dont know much about German politics then or now but weren't there competing gangs running around attacking dissenters? The left is doing that now and provoking a backlash. The internet provides an outlet for people to vent and face dissent 'peacefully' and it also makes it easier for people to find and deal with echo chambers. The 'good speech' can enter those echo chambers to debate the 'bad speech' thanks to the internet.

    The problem we will run into is we wont get a standard for free speech, just a double standard as the voices of those in power are amplified while dissent is suppressed. I understand one of the targets are people who question the election. That will dissuade researchers investigating the election and I want to know if our first attempt at massive mail in voting was a success and if machines can be trusted.

    Audit the election and publish the results. Or... the same people who rigged their own election can convince us they didn't rig this one with 'trust us'.

    Bingo. Corporations hate the left and warmongers hate peaceniks and both run the 2 parties. People who wanted to arm terrorists to destroy Syria repeatedly 'justified' that by accusing the Syrian government of gassing people. A CNN reporter even (laughably) sniffed a blanket they said had poisonous gas on it, she took a whiff and said yes, she smelled something. Will critics be deplatformed?

    The race baiting I've seen comes from the Democrats, the same people advocating for censorship.
     
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  8. Ferocitus

    Ferocitus Deity

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    And some kind of system to scale the comment.

    There's a very strange Hindu group on reddit that weights comments on Indian matters by population.
    Indians get a weighting of 1.0, US comments about 0.27, Australians 0.02.
    (As any fule know, some countries might not actually exist - their populations are much smaller than the
    uncertainty in the total increase of the world every day.)

    Just my 0.08 (US weighted) opinion. :)
     
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  9. Angst

    Angst Rambling and inconsistent

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    As I've outlined elsewhere, it is extremely rare that people believe in speech without limits, this also extends to most libertarians. Free speech is already molded and moldable. So I'm not by default against restricting hate speech; but I'm also not by default for restricting it. I can only personally judge individual cases. "Dangerous speech" is so nebulous a concept that I can't say anything universally valid about it. Even if provided an example in "should x be restricted?", the question doesn't say the context or the nature of restriction.

    For example, "Should the government penalize Nazi hatespeech done on Youtube, and should the penalty fall on the Nazis, not Youtube? And what should the sentence be?" is a full question here, since it both contains the possibly offending party, the context or institution the speech happens in, the entity that wishes to control the speech, who should be penalized, and how severe the penalty should be.

    These different elements of the question also should reveal how speech is already controlled today. By just applying it to different facets of society; courtrooms, museums, corporations, private homes all have rules of what is allowed in tension between government and the ownership. Again, meaning that there is some moldability to it, and as such I'm not against penalizing certain speech; it's impossible not control speech as long as individuals have rights to own institutions (which also is a positive allowance of speech). Nor am I for penalizing certain speech as I'm not sure on what is the most benefitial thing to do.
     
  10. Mark1031

    Mark1031 Deity

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    OK so this is a call for censorship with the owners of the media platform being the censors. How do you define hate speech? How about "Trump is a fascist". It is a lie (at least so far) and given the history of fascism is likely to produce hate and vitriol. So it is a hateful lie. Is it banned? As a former Mod I'm sure you realize how hard it is to have speech rules and how many people will get great joy out of testing and finding ways around those rules while also creating great meta firestorms.
     
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  11. Angst

    Angst Rambling and inconsistent

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    "The left" is doing that? I had no idea. I should write to SF and ask them to stop these heinous attacks. Had no idea Denmark is basically the Weimar Republic.
     
  12. Gorbles

    Gorbles Load Balanced

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    Most forum rules are "speech rules". Forums are still, on the whole, better for moderation than not. The same principle applies outside of web forums, however the medium in question (social media, for example) may have inherent constraints on its moderation (maybe the company isn't willing, because Profits™, or maybe it took too long to establish any, and now its userbase is opposed to the principle, and so on, and so forth).

    Defining hate speech is a difficult thing that countries in general vary on their approaches to. What countries do not do is pretend it doesn't exist or shouldn't be legislated. Because a problem is difficult, doesn't mean it's worth attempting to solve it. Otherwise we'd never learn or progress with much else. "Trump is a fascist" is a pretty weird example to pick, but given that hate speech is widely-agreed to target someone based on race, religion, gender or sexual orientation, it would fail all of those categories and thus not be classed as such.
     
  13. TheMeInTeam

    TheMeInTeam Top Logic

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    When people unironically claim "silence is violence" as if that's a logically functional stance, you can then censor nearly anybody on the grounds of "no violence". "Big lies" is another joke metric, as these companies get to decide which information constitutes "lying" or "violence" and apparently don't need to enforce against any particular standard for either consistently. They can use different rules for different people and somehow are still acting "in good faith" lol.

    Just as an example of the "logic" of this kind of censorship: I deem the assertion that Trump incited violence to be an obvious lie. Recorded footage doesn't come even kind of close to meeting the legal standard of incitement. As such, if I'm a big tech company I can now remove Birdjaguar's post above on the grounds that misinformation is being spread. And if CFC happens to be using my servers, I can drop them like a fungal-infested potato claiming that. It doesn't even matter if I'm right. I say that post should be taken down, and if I'm one in power, poof. Post is gone and so is any further ability to say anything in defense of the position.

    Though it does seem that Amazon's idiot stunt lost them a court case. Breach of contract and whatnot.

    We're already in dangerous territory, where clown lawyers are trying to get other lawyers disbarred over some of the election suits, despite that the courts themselves didn't seem to find anything warranting that when hearing them...

    In free countries, the government does not pick and choose who to throw off street corners based on their agreement with what those people believe. They set rules for what can and can't be done in advance, and apply them to everyone on those street corners the same way.

    Social media doesn't even make a passing attempt at giving the APPEARANCE of doing this.

    No and probably, respectively. Qanon did a lot to assist democrats with open disinformation. Quite a few big names fell for that idiocy.

    If you go back to each case of US election fraud, the margin generally has to be somewhat close, and the most typical action is to "stuff" with real ballots of people who didn't vote. That is how it was done in the past, and the machines were a red herring at best in this election cycle. I suppose it's possible for someone to tamper with the machines, but why do that when your state is going to block audits of signature verification (the most obvious and tested method of confirming mail-in ballots)/refuse audits? No need to tamper with machines, just feed legitimate ballots that weren't used into them to get enough votes to win.

    Then ignore the historically odd timing, rejection rates, odd county patterns, and statistical anomalies that in normal court cases not related to election can get you convictions. If the right people are on board, apparently you can't get the audit and then get to claim "no evidence", despite that statistical evidence is evidence. Time to censor mainstream media for lies? Depends who gets to decide on what is a lie.

    At worst he'd turn into some kind authoritarian/dictator, but even that wouldn't be what fascist means. It also means that he has a defamation case against twitter etc (and so do a lot of other people). When they kick people off their platform for lying/bad actions, the implication is that other people making claims that are not treated similarly are verified by the site as true. There is no way out of such a conclusion for these companies. Either they're arbiters of truth or they aren't. If they're only arbiters of truth sometimes, the are not acting in good faith and have hell to pay in terms of liability. Organizations that act like that are not organizations which enjoy section 230 immunity as it was written.

    Replace "widely" with "arbitrarily".
     
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  14. Angst

    Angst Rambling and inconsistent

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    I agree that social media are de facto public spheres today, but a private organization, even an openly accessible one, has the right to self-administration of speech for good reasons. This problem is naturally only because private corporations have gotten so big they have replaced the public in function; but this does also mean that the government is less powerful in direct control of speech. It's all very abstract of course, which is the issue I'm having about the discussion.

    We just had the capitol storm, which is something that the government has a vested interest in controlling. No matter how misguided and anti-democratic it was, there is a real argument in that being able to storm a government is at least a possibility as a function. We are here today because of such measures. So giving the government control over institutional self-admininistration of speech in the abstract is a problem, no? But still, the government being able to curtail private control of these "street corners" would easier prevent miseries like January 6th. (At least ideally, seeing the whole situation was kind of suspicious from capitol security's side; but let's not discuss that in this thread.)

    Maybe present a concrete example where you exemplify something that should be censored by the government on social media. And then how should the corporation self-administer following that? (I'm honestly asking - I'm curious as to your response)
     
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  15. Lemon Merchant

    Lemon Merchant Disinterested Observer Moderator

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    I think a lot of people misunderstand the concept of free speech. It does not mean that you can say whatever you want without repercussions. It means that you are free to criticize the government without fear of reprisal. At least that's how it works in Canada.
     
  16. Angst

    Angst Rambling and inconsistent

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    Indeed, and this is my point; where are the limits, on a concrete level? How much right does an individual have over controlling speech in their property?

    It's usually most useful for me to look into concrete examples and extrapolate from there.

    In the case of Streicher, I wouldn't hang him (I'm against capital punishment), but arguing for open hostility against groups should be punished; but this kind of legislation leads into weaponized irony and subterfuge, which is very dangerous today. Should this be handled, too? Pepe is a dumb frog comic, but truly dangerous after being absorbed by the alt-right.
     
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  17. Mark1031

    Mark1031 Deity

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    In the US much of the hate currently is around political affiliation. But how about "gay people are sinners that are going to hell" or "men are jerks" or "Mexico is sending us rapists and murderers". One famously said to launch a presidential campaign.
     
  18. Berzerker

    Berzerker Deity

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    Does Denmark have an Antifa branch showing up at other people's events to attack them?
     
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  19. Angst

    Angst Rambling and inconsistent

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    My question is more whether the left = Antifa. :)
     
  20. EdmundIronside

    EdmundIronside The fake sound of progress

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    I would be in favor of an audit, however at the same time I'm not convinced it will change anyone minds. Every vote recount has shown nothing. Trump and his allies have lost last I checked 60 out of 61 election court cases. When fact checkers* have looked into all the various election fraud claims, they generally have not held up under the microscope. For example when the BBC investigated the list of dead voters who allegedly voted in Michigan (published by conspiracy nuts), they found some were still alive, some were children with the same name as the deceased, etc (in summary no fraud found).
    If they audit the election, and it shows no fraud, will those crying fraud actually believe it?
    I doubt it.
    They will probably just say those doing the audit are just part of the great conspiracy.

    *Side note - have seen MAGA fanatics posting that fact-checkers are a form of censorship. Apparently now demonstrating that someones claims are full of falsehoods is infringing on someone freedom to spout lies!
     
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