Rockets up arses – censorship and information control

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SeaEagleRock8

Sea Eagle Lach
Premium Member
Tipping Member
With 6 billion or so cell phones worldwide, access of the masses to instant communications has created a new dynamic in the crucial area of information control.

As information about inequity, the history of corrupt systems, abuse of power and fundamental injustice becomes more and more widely known, this naturally presents a threat to those enjoying power wealth and privilege under the status quo. Who have always relied on controlling information in order to shape the prevailing ideology that supports their existence.

So how can they limit or stop this? Censorship? Not so easy, technologically. But the other problem is that the prevailing ideology under capitalism has included a line about free speech.

So the best way to undermine the danger posed by free availability of information is to discredit it. Allow misinformation. Allow outright lies and conspiracies to flourish. To the point where people become sceptical and desensitised about information in general.

Trump and Fox News have led the way in this brave new world of repression by confusion. And Musk's takeover of Twitter should erase any question about why this is happening. So now we’re at George Santos, hey everyone lies, what’s the problem?

This soapbox editorial is prompted by what happened to @Mark from Brisbane on FB, lol. Censorship. Who controls it, and why.

Of course, we have a couple of strident free-speechers on ST who might offer some different explanations of what is going on in this space. But I thought rather than clog up poor old Kelma Tuilagi’s thread I’d start this new one!
 

Mark from Brisbane

“ Boomer still Booming”
Premium Member
Tipping Member
One of the things I pride myself on is reading multiple news mediums to make an opinion on something.

I’m middle to conservative, but that doesn’t mean I don’t read or watch the ABC ( I do ) , equally I watch Sky ( which goes the other way ) , and of course a lot in the middle.

What concerns me these days is that people much younger than me don’t bother , my 40/45 year daughters are perfect examples , their news comes purely by social media.

Which as I’ve discovered , is very very much massaged to suit what the owners of that medium think.

And now we have this ChatGPT thing.

Not sure where it’s going to end ,but at some point people with independent thoughts might be in deep deep do do.
 

SeaEagleRock8

Sea Eagle Lach
Premium Member
Tipping Member
(continued from Players behavingbadly thread!)
I believe the difference there may be that she is quoted as saying 'Kill all men', 'Coronavirus isn't killing men fast enough', and 'all men must die'.

Did Aloiai say anything as bad as that?

The difference is that Fords words are easily construed as a call to violence. Aloiai's actions and words, even though you may find them distasteful, are not.

(First - that Voltaire quote only caught my eye because several people have tossed it up in the last year or 2, so certainly not aiming this all at you).

And yeah that does look like a difference. And I agree it is a big problem if people spread calls to violence. Or hate speech that could indirectly promote violence, etc

But doesn’t the fact there can be a difference mean there is a line?

The problem with the ‘free speech, defend it to the death even if I don’t agree with what you say’ argument is that it implies there is no line. It implies a divine or sacred, fundamental, inviolable right.

Which is incorrect, if there is a line, a limit.

So the real question (in matters of censorship) is not ‘Do we have unlimited right to free speech?’ It is: ‘Where is the line?’

And I’d add, ‘And who drew it there? And why!!’
 

ElectricEagle

Reserve Grader
(continued from Players behavingbadly thread!)


(First - that Voltaire quote only caught my eye because several people have tossed it up in the last year or 2, so certainly not aiming this all at you).

And yeah that does look like a difference. And I agree it is a big problem if people spread calls to violence. Or hate speech that could indirectly promote violence, etc

But doesn’t the fact there can be a difference mean there is a line?

The problem with the ‘free speech, defend it to the death even if I don’t agree with what you say’ argument is that it implies there is no line. It implies a divine or sacred, fundamental, inviolable right.

Which is incorrect, if there is a line, a limit.

So the real question (in matters of censorship) is not ‘Do we have unlimited right to free speech?’ It is: ‘Where is the line?’

And I’d add, ‘And who drew it there

People could write essays back and forth about the pros and cons of free speech. And perhaps it does show a level of hypocrisy in regard to Voltaire... But for me the line is violence. To actively promote to someone that they should kill/harm themselves or another in any way shape or form is over the line for me. This is an extreme example, but you could tell me that you're part of the Nazi party, and I will think that you're a germ, but I'll listen at least to your point of view, even if I do not agree. If on the other hand you were part of the Nazi party and preached to actively harm others then you had better not let me find you.

We learn by listening and hearing the alternate views of others. Even if we do not agree with them. Lots of my friends are full left wing greenies, some are nut job guns and fisher party members, but we all love having a beer, football and choking each other at juijutsu!
 

Mark from Brisbane

“ Boomer still Booming”
Premium Member
Tipping Member
People could write essays back and forth about the pros and cons of free speech. And perhaps it does show a level of hypocrisy in regard to Voltaire... But for me the line is violence. To actively promote to someone that they should kill/harm themselves or another in any way shape or form is over the line for me. This is an extreme example, but you could tell me that you're part of the Nazi party, and I will think that you're a germ, but I'll listen at least to your point of view, even if I do not agree. If on the other hand you were part of the Nazi party and preached to actively harm others then you had better not let me find you.

We learn by listening and hearing the alternate views of others. Even if we do not agree with them. Lots of my friends are full left wing greenies, some are nut job guns and fisher party members, but we all love having a beer, football and choking each other at juijutsu!
Really I should be a “ Rugby “ fan.

Brought up in the country.

Rugby was always MUCH bigger than league where I lived.

Conservative parents.

When I had my business most of my rich clients were all mad Rugby fans.

And much of the work I did from 1995 ( South Africa ) through to France 2007 involved Rugby World Cup.

But personally I hate the game , well not hate just don’t like , and to that end being a league fan they’d are many many people I interact with that are obvious Labor / Greens voters who I don’t have a lot in common with, other than Manly.

Which transcends politics as far as I’m concerned.
 

philasophigas

Member
Tipping Member
Where to draw the line?

It’s a good question.

Though I would never call myself an anarchist, due to the fundamental impracticalities of anarchy as a political system (at least in the current stage of civilisation), I do tend to subscribe to anarchist principals. I think that authority is the root of all evil. Power corrupts, absolute power corrupts absolutely and so on. That being true in my view, none the less, authority must be accepted as a given reality in our world. Some are stronger, richer and more connected than others. They have no plans to willingly give up this power and as such there is a hierarchy of agency on this planet that cannot be wished away.

I fully agree SER8 that “those enjoying power wealth and privilege under the status quo” have always used information control to shape narratives which justify their behaviours and I also agree that in the internet age, info-glut has increasingly become a key strategy in the way media is controlled. The quality of information has been degraded as the amount of information has been increased. This process has happened naturally to an extent but it has no doubt been facilitated and even instigated in no small amount by the powers who should not be. I would suggest that this started well before Trump, but there is no doubt the process has become turbo charged in recent years.

Seeing this situation, many people have developed an inclination to solve the problem by weeding out the “disinformation”. But who does the weeding? Who decides what is true? Is it the very same people who have facilitated this degradation of information?

Some people might have the view that Donald Trump and his cronies or Scott Morrison caused the problem and they might be quite happy for Biden or Albanese to fix it. Let our team do the weeding they may think. But I find this kind of partisan thinking very naïve. I ask, who actually are “those enjoying power wealth and privilege under the status quo”? Who is really controlling the narratives that permeate our media and social media environments? In my view the people with the most agency are those with capital and connections who are not hamstrung by political terms and political messaging requirements. Its people with board level decision making power in the world’s most influential media companies, finance companies, arms manufacturers and pharmaceutical companies.

It’s obviously a matter of contention because the operations of these entities are far less transparent than the already murky operations of governments. Never the less I have formed the view over many years of interest in how power works on the planet, that team red and team blue are both subservient ancillaries of the corporate class. I generally see modern politics, at least in so far as it is presented to the broader population, as more akin to news media than executive power.

In this context I certainly agree that Musk’s takeover of twitter is indeed part of an information degradation strategy on the part of the billionaire class. However in my view, it does not automatically mean the information being allowed on twitter (but not on Facebook or Instagram) is wrong. It’s not as simple as that. The point of disinformation, as is inferred in SER8’s original post is to cast doubt on actual true facts that might threaten the legitimacy of the ruling class’s status quo. To confuse and polarize the population. Whatever anyone thinks about the executive power of western governments, most objective people can agree that in general, populations are confused and polarized to a large extent.

This increasing discombobulation and polarization has among its effects, an increasing willingness in the broader population to accept censorship of information, at least if it seems as though it’s part of a political struggle against the “other side”. And this is where the narrative managers are a lot smarter than you might think. 20 years ago, the antiwar message was primarily on the “left”. At that time the right was in power in the US with the support of the media establishment and the so called war on terror was being orchestrated to the benefit of the ruling class. 20 years later there has been a political inversion. The antiwar message is now primarily on the “right” as the left is in power in the US and are extracting hundreds of billions from their tax base for war, and are inching the world towards WWIII, again for the benefit of the ruling class. This is just one example of narrative control.

It’s a complex world with many conflicting narratives. But this is where freedom of speech comes in. Ultimately, one hopes truth can prevail in the marketplace of ideas. Given a level playing field one imagines that the mechanism of logic can slowly overcome the partisan biases. But when the powers that shouldn’t be are gifted censorial control by a compliant public, the marketplace will be selling the products that produce a profit for the ruling class. This is the path to totalitarianism. It might be argued that we are a good distance down that path already. Check Mussolini's definition of fascism and cast an eye over the political situation in the world.

So where is the line?

I agree with ElectricEagle. In so far as instigating violence is against the law, so should it be on the internet, provided there is due process and the speech constitutes a credible threat or instigation.

What absolutely should not be censored is opinions about science, sociological or philosophical issues and politics that go against the dominant ideological framework being presented at any one time by the political/media class, because we can be assured that the dominant ideological framework is so because “those enjoying power wealth and privilege under the status quo” want it to be. You may not believe they own the politicians as I do, but you surely believe they own the media companies and control the social media algorithms.

It’s kind of separate to the censorship/freedom of speech topic, but if you ask me, the primary strategy that “those enjoying power wealth and privilege under the status quo” are enacting is social division. Keeping people focused of cultural issues and continually promoting narratives that are bound to be controversial on a cultural or social level. They seem to be herding people into clearly defined socio-ideological teams and then seeking to enrage them by presenting them with click bait that goes against their cultural sensitivities. In this way they prevent groups who actually agree on economic matters, war and class disparity from coming together to resist the architects of the sorry state of affairs the world is becoming, due to distaste about the “other side’s” cultural proclivities. Personally, I think social polarization is the barrier to real change in the class situation, so an activist who want’s real change in the class situation should be looking at de-polarization as a key strategy.
 

Dan

Kim Jong Dan
Staff member
Administrator
Tipping Member
A rocket up the arse sounds interesting especially with all our rocket surgeons here
 

Woodsie

Feast yer eyes ..
Tipping Member
Mulitalo now the enemy of free speech?

Seriously ... SER8 ... you are becoming desperate and delusional ... Death threats and hate speech are not part of free speech ... but you know that .. so it raises the sad thought, and confirms that you will say almost anything in the name of your ideology ...
 

SeaEagleRock8

Sea Eagle Lach
Premium Member
Tipping Member
Anyway, the reason I thought this was interesting is that we have yet another player publicly disclosing the level of racist abuse and threats he receives anonymously online. Leaving aside Woodies predictable response (nothing to see here, it's just SER8 pushing some (unnamed) ideology) it seems Mulitalo thinks there is something to see and goes so far as to suggest making it harder for people to operate social media accounts.

The argument (if I can glorify it with that description) that what is happening to Mulitalo is not part of free speech is a bit like responding to yet another article about corruption by saying 'what's the problem, corruption is illegal'. Or that's how it strikes me, anyway.
 

Woodsie

Feast yer eyes ..
Tipping Member
Leaving aside Woodies predictable response (nothing to see here, it's just SER8 pushing some (unnamed) ideology)

Another perfect example of you just making up fictious nonsense .... I have never even mentioned racial abuse in any post I have ever made, let alone diminish it or suggest it was nothing to see ..

Your complete lack of intellectual integrity is becoming appalling ... to knowingly lie about your opponent's position ... and then to deliberately use that lie as a means to criticise ...

Hold on ... Where have I heard these tactics before ... I know ... your spiritual leader Putin does it all the time ...
 

SeaEagleRock8

Sea Eagle Lach
Premium Member
Tipping Member
Woodsie you make up strange bare-faced lies about Putin being my spiritual leader (which is ironic as you support his world view far more than I do) but the facts are here for anyone silly enough to enter this forum to see...

I repost a story about yet another player publicly disclosing how they are copping racist abuse and threats... and you are keen to comment ... but your only reaction is to use this as a weird pretext to attack me!! Zero about what is happening to Mulitalo!!

It seems you believe that anyone who talks publicly about racism or victimisation must be attacked as a threat to democracy and the British Empire. As for the racism which is being called out... meh. Doesn't reflect very well on you Woodsie you can do better i'm sure.
 

Woodsie

Feast yer eyes ..
Tipping Member
Woodsie you make up strange bare-faced lies about Putin being my spiritual leader (which is ironic as you support his world view far more than I do) but the facts are here for anyone silly enough to enter this forum to see...

I repost a story about yet another player publicly disclosing how they are copping racist abuse and threats... and you are keen to comment ... but your only reaction is to use this as a weird pretext to attack me!! Zero about what is happening to Mulitalo!!

It seems you believe that anyone who talks publicly about racism or victimisation must be attacked as a threat to democracy and the British Empire. As for the racism which is being called out... meh. Doesn't reflect very well on you Woodsie you can do better i'm sure.

Again you talk a load of shyte ... you DID not post the story to highlight players copping racist abuse ... you prefixed your post with the title and I quote you ... "Muiitalo now the enemy of free speech" ....

Mulitalo now the enemy of free speech?

Is it any wonder nobody can believe a word you type anymore ... your deceit and deliberate distortion of the truth is becoming so transparent .... and sad ...

What you did was try to cynically use a player being racially abused to further your anti free speech campaign ... shame .. shame .. shame ...
 

SeaEagleRock8

Sea Eagle Lach
Premium Member
Tipping Member
What you did was try to cynically use a player being racially abused to further your anti free speech campaign
Haha in what way do I have an anti free speech campaign? I would love to hear why you think that.
Meanwhile, again with great irony, you are the one who tries to shut down voices.
I post a link to an entirely relevant article, in which Mulitalo raises the idea of limiting people's access to post publicly, ie raising free speech
You don't want anyone thinking about these things, so you respond as usual by trying to bully me into not posting.
In a mere 3 posts you've produced all these personal attacks. None of which adds to the discussion. All of which carry the Putin trademark of bullying to suppress anyone you think of as "your opponent"
you are becoming desperate and delusional

just making up fictious nonsense

Your complete lack of intellectual integrity

to knowingly lie about your opponent's position

your spiritual leader Putin

you talk a load of shyte

your deceit and deliberate distortion of the truth
tsk tsk
 

SeaEagleRock8

Sea Eagle Lach
Premium Member
Tipping Member
and I quote you ... "Muiitalo now the enemy of free speech"
By the way, speaking of deliberately lying - you left off the question mark. I posed a question, not made a statement. Yes not without some irony, but for the reason I explained above, namely Mulitalo's suggestion. I haven't endorsed or opposed his idea, yet you imply I have.

I think banning racists from posting does little to address the cause of racism. Calling out the racism on the other hand and talking about it and educating people about the history and consequences of racism can help address it. What do you think?
 
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14 10 4 118 22
14 10 4 78 22
13 8 5 66 20
14 8 6 143 18
13 7 6 81 18
13 7 6 -55 18
14 7 6 42 17
14 7 7 37 16
15 8 7 -8 16
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