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kuhla

Fallout from Charlottesville.

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Debated posting about this but I think it is worth talking about. I don't want to really talk directly about what happened in Charlottesville. I cannot imagine any reasonable person would debate that a small bunch of racist idiots had a rally where they promoted useless ideas and eventually the whole thing escalated to violence and loss of life.

What I do want to talk about, what worries me, is some of the reaction and discussion that I have heard over the last few days, some of which has been getting some real air time, mostly from the radio but also in a few internet posts (which I give less weight to because it's the internet). Quotes below are as best as I can remember them.

  • "When people express such views, what is being done to monitor these people long term?"
  • "Why were they allowed to march? Who would approve that?"
  • "Expressing hateful views in public is damaging to our society."
  • "Do you think something good will come from tolerating their presence?"
  • "Those people are what the terrorist watch list was made for."

I've seen and heard a couple of different variations of those sentiments. It seems like few people see the danger in this line of thinking. This quickly starts getting into territory that would undermine some of the most basic rights we have in this country.

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I believe the Govenor of NC was on NPR and he specifically mentioned that the city of Charlottesville tried to ban the march, but the ACLU managed to get a judge to overturn that ban. 
This reminds me of a similar case regarding a neo-nazi asshole "leader", who ended up having a jewish ACLU lawyer represent him in court so he could hold his rally.  The ACLU won and that case is a fundamental ruling on the right to protest in public/governmental areas. 

Short answer: The supreme court has already ruled that you can't outright ban these rallies because of the 1st amendment. 

Longer answer: While these rallies cannot be banned simply because of their poor taste, it comes down to the courts and their determination of "safety"  Many arguments regarding free speech zones have revolved around this concept.  I don't actually support the idea of free speech zones because I think it's a great way to marginalize protestors and trample over their freedom of speech, while still technically following the SCOTUS ruling.  I do think that rallies should be allowed in major cities and other public places and barring certain criteria they should be relatively unopposed.  
I would like to see either no traffic or very heavily restricted vehicle traffic around these rallies.  Europe's recent terror attacks regarding vehicles have shown how easy it is to inflict casualties with a large truck/van.  I'm sick of seeing major pedestrian events with no bollards or vehicle barriers in place. 

I think unfortunately this incident was happening as the rally was breaking up and was outside of the rally area, where cars were still allowed.  I think police should have herded the crowds along until they were appropriately broken up, or break the protestors into smaller groups as they were being disbursed to limit the possibility of large casualties. 

I think the idea of government monitoring and data collection is abhorrent.  I'm sickened when I hear any news about this topic in the UK, honestly I think they're using 1984 as a manual and have turned into a police state.  I think the cries of surveillance often comes from more left leaning individuals who enjoy the idea of big government - or at the very least individuals who have not considered that they would also be on lists as counter protestors ("but we're the good guys why would they monitor us?" yea... keep thinking that).

I firmly believe that at this point counter protestors are doing more damage than good.  They're instigating fights or at least making situations more tense than they should be.  They also provide attention to the protestors, which they feed off of.  If these idiots had marched into charlottesville armed to the teeth spouting their racist garbage and no one (aside from police) payed any attention to them, things would have turned out differently. 

Sidenote: Some major credit to the police officers who handled this event. Aside from one asshole in a car, there were no casualties, no looting and the event was handled as well as could be expected. 

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aside from the obvious stuff thats already allover the media. i honestly dont know much about this mess for me to talk about it comfortably. but yeah that counter protester thing made it worst. XD

the marching and screaming racist garbage is crazy. it is damaging to society 

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16 hours ago, T1no said:

the marching and screaming racist garbage is crazy. it is damaging to society 

Do you feel they should be allowed to march or hold rallies in public areas?

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1 hour ago, kuhla said:

Do you feel they should be allowed to march or hold rallies in public areas?

if it was my own opinion. i would say no. they should not be allowed. because of the racist chants, promoting hate.

but freedom of speech right ? ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

All these would be illegal to do in Germany right ? the march thing.

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I can't speak entirely to the rules in Germany (or most other countries), but I do know that the swastika is banned in Germany, any use of it can result in criminal charges.  I also know that we in the US are one of the few countries that explicitly state our citizens have freedom of speech, the UK for example does not have the same protections. 

The swastika is an inflammatory symbol of hate - but legally it is not construed as "fighting words" or considered banable.  Also as disgusting as it is, I'd rather right for the right of people to use hateful speech and symbols than see the freedom of speech eroded.  The westboro baptist church is another example of truly repugnant individuals, but what they do is legal and should be defended (legally not morally). 

If everyone gets to ban stuff because it offends them I'm afraid of how far people will take that. 

I understand Tino's point of view.  If I trusted the government and our court system more, I would be willing to let them ban certain disgusting speech.

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This is fairly relevant.  If you remember Cloudflare's CEO decided to boot "daily stormer" off the internet one day because the CEO woke up in a bad mood?  Well it turns out that was a very poor decision and an even poorer choice of words. 

Quote

For years on end, Cloudflare has been asked to remove terrorist propaganda, pirate sites, and other controversial content. Each time, Cloudflare replied that it doesn’t take action without a court order. No exceptions.

“Mr. Prince’s statement to the public that Cloudflare kicked neo-Nazis off the internet stand in sharp contrast to Cloudflare’s testimony in this case, where it claims it is powerless to remove content from the Internet,” ALS Scan writes.

“By his own admissions, Mr. Prince’s decision to terminate certain users’ accounts was ‘arbitrary,’ the result of him waking up ‘in a bad mood,’ and a decision he made unilaterally as ‘CEO of a major Internet infrastructure corporation’.

“Mr. Prince has made it clear that he is the one who determines the circumstances under which Cloudflare will terminate a user’s account,” ALS Scan adds.

Source: https://torrentfreak.com/daily-stormer-termination-haunts-cloudflare-in-online-piracy-case-170929/

Yea... this is why I really hate young/tech CEOs.  They're too quick to say something because they feel the need to weigh in on a situation.  Now he gets to deal with the consequences of saying (and doing to a lesser extent) some really dumb shit. 

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This behavior is far from being limited to only young/tech CEOs (a common stereotype). Many of those in position of power tend to exert their opinions without realizing the consequences of doing so. Our CIC for example....

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I'm bumping this because of my original mention of the Cloudflare's CEO, it may belong in a separate topic at some point. 

Cloudflare's CEO yet again demonstrates some grade-A stupidity. 

He mentions that 8chan hosts some terrible content (which is factually true) but deserves to be on the internet because his company shouldn't be the one censoring people (uhh what about when you kicked off the daily stormer two years ago?)

24 hours later "we have decided to boot 8chan from our platform in light of recent events"
https://new.blog.cloudflare.com/terminating-service-for-8chan/

Honestly the top posts in this reddit thread do a much better job explaining why Cloudflare, like many other companies, is super inconsistent in how they handle "lawless" and hateful websites. 

https://www.reddit.com/r/technology/comments/cm4on1/cloudflare_to_terminate_service_for_8chan/

Also, if Cloudflare is going to moderate who can and cannot use their services, should that moderation be scrutinized?  Should there be independent oversight?  At the very least should they publish rules regarding what their standards for enforcing this moderation should be?  In their own blogpost they talk about the need to create these standards, and I hope they do because right now it looks like a CEO doing some hilariously bad damage control before his company goes public. 

OFFTOPIC:

Multiple companies seem to be unable to stick to consistent rules regarding content.  Youtube, Twitch, Twitter and many more seem to have this weird issue with consistency.  I could understand the odd screw up when an overzealous moderator/employee decides to interpret policy differently, but often it's not just one rogue employee it's a complete lack of consistency.  Twitch's outright different standards for large streamers, Youtube's complete disregard for smaller content creators and large corporations abusing their DMCA system, and Twitter creating a hate speech system but allowing Trump's tweets to stay even when it directly violates their new standards. 
I'm just really sick of the complete lack of consistency.  I'm totally fine with these companies having standards, and I can respect rules/guidelines, even when I disagree with them.  I absolutely hate when companies decided they won't enforce their own rules because of "Reasons" normally because a person or entity is too big and they don't want to risk rocking the boat.  I know this level of inconsistency and hypocrisy is found across more than just the internet (the rich and celebrities receive preferential treatment, etc.) but I find it incredibly annoying that some of these policies and basic moderation is such a huge problem for these companies.  I guess I just need to lower my expectations, and be surprised when things actually work according to established rules. 

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