Monday, July 18, 2011

Freedom of Speech vs. banning and blocking

One thing that is true enough about the words I write in this blog and the words I have spoken on YouTube videos - they are just another fucking opinion on the Internet. I’m not an expert in any field and I don’t have credentials to serve as a claim of authority through my deep knowledge of any subject. I suspect this is true for the majority of blogs, tweets, Facebook entries, YouTube videos and other ways we communicate with each other in the rapidly expanding, information-rich world in which we find ourselves. This is not to say there are no exceptions out there, and we should all be grateful for that fact. That we have many resources available, written by experts in every imaginable field, is enriching to all of us.

There was no real need for me to preface my coming remarks with that disclaimer. I was thinking about it earlier this evening, and it’s good to openly and honestly self-evaluate what one is doing, now and again. The fact that the above is absolutely true is not to say that my thoughts on the variety of subjects I touch upon are worthless. We all add to the discussion (or not) and thereby minutely tune the macro-society we live in. It helps clarify one’s own positions and maybe, on occasion, help others to do the same. And so, I blather on.

Recent events on blogs and channels I visit on a regular basis leads me to comment on the subject for which this post is titled. I won’t get into specific names of the players or the circumstances involved leading to the ideas expressed here. I don’t think it’s really necessary. If you have spent any amount of time in Internet discussions and disputes over such subjects as god, religion, Christianity, Islam, spirituality, superstition, atheism, science, politics and many more, you will have also had reason to give some thought to your position on (capitalized) Freedom of Speech, as it applies to these debates.

I have never blocked or banned anyone from posting their comments concerning what I write on this blog. Other than cases of clear and obvious spamming (usually to promote some product or other financial venture of the writer) I have never even deleted comments. Even in cases of a few commenters who, in my personal opinion, were nothing more than silly trolls attempting to get a reaction or just mindlessly venting against my point of view, I have left the commenter and their comments alone.

Despite this, I do not maintain that I am protecting them or the ideal of Freedom of Speech. Indeed, I don’t think this has any connection to the principle. I still reserve the right to block, ban and delete comments for any reason - should I decide to do so at some point. There is no connection between banning commenters and a violation of the human right to Freedom of Speech.

Hopefully you live in a country in which this human right is upheld. If you don’t, it’s unlikely that my words are even reaching you right now. If you do, then whether or not I ban you from this blog, your rights are still protected. You can post your thoughts on your own blog or other social networking site, or on the pages of other users where you are still welcome. Indeed, if you open your own blog, channel, etc. you can say whatever you want, as much as you want, whenever you choose to do so.

I can honestly report here that I have never, ever, invoked a protest of “Freedom of Speech”! when I have had a comment deleted or been blocked (usually, though not always, by a Christian channel or blog) and I never will. Do I find it telling when I come across a Christian blog that screens all comments before posting them and resolutely declines to do so whenever a non-believer makes a comment that is contrary to the point of view of the Christian blog owner? I surely do. But they haven’t violated my rights.

Imagine you are holding a dinner and discussion at your home. You have sent out dozens of invitations. It comes to your attention that one of the people you invited is a denier of the fact of the Nazi Holocaust and that this person is an advocate for Aryan supremacy. Further, this person very much intends to use your dinner party as a platform to push their agenda. You send them a note to withdraw the invitation and to tell them that people of their mindset are not welcome to come into your house and espouse those thoughts.

Have their human rights been violated? The answer should be obvious, and the analogy is a valid one.

24 comments:

Spanish Inquisitor said...

I wholeheartedly agree. If someone comes to your blog and proceeds to defecate all over it, it's no violation of anything to simply remove the offender.

That being said, I'll bend over backwards to allow someone to keep saying whatever they want, usually because all sides, and all stupidities, are enlightening in their own way, even if I completely disagree with them. But when they abuse my hospitality, and disrespect my place (and make no bones about it - I feel a blog where conversations, ideas and discourse are king, is far more sacred than a church), making it more difficult for others to share ideas, then they are history.

As you well know.

And it's real easy to use the Freedom of Speech card when they are banned, like some people have used the "race card", because of its emotional, visceral impact, but really, Freedom of Speech is a government-to-citizen concept, not one that has any legal relevance on a private blog.

cl said...

Evo,

"There is no connection between banning commenters and a violation of the human right to Freedom of Speech."

Says who? You? Ah, yeah, that's right... that's how it works.

"Imagine you are holding a dinner and discussion at your home. You have sent out dozens of invitations. It comes to your attention that one of the people you invited is a denier of the fact of the Nazi Holocaust and that this person is an advocate for Aryan supremacy. Further, this person very much intends to use your dinner party as a platform to push their agenda. You send them a note to withdraw the invitation and to tell them that people of their mindset are not welcome to come into your house and espouse those thoughts.

Have their human rights been violated? The answer should be obvious, and the analogy is a valid one."


Uh, not even close. Did SI send out "invitations" for blog commentary? No. Did I come into SI's blog and deny the holocaust or advocate for anything remotely comparable to Aryan supremacy? No. Do I intend to use SI's blog as a platform to push my agenda? No. I simply come by on occasion, much less than I used to, and I call BS where I see it, and many of SI's little bulldogs are routinely more rude than I've ever been. I mean, come on: bringing people's kids into the insults? Calling other human beings "fuckers" or "douche" or "piece of shit" is okay, but persistent question seasoned with a little foolery in good spirit warrants a ban? Get. Real.

So boys, continue on in your little insulated group of self-aggrandizing atheist joy! No more cl! No more Gideon! Now you can make whatever lame arguments you want, and best of all, no resident theists to call you out on them! Watch as the people you thought were me continue to comment from the same IP's that aren't mine!

Enjoy your paranoid delusion boys!

SI,

"If someone comes to your blog and proceeds to defecate all over it,"

And just what constitutes "defecation" there, Mr. Purcell? In my mind, the "defecator" is the one who resorts to foul-mouthed namecalling. Yeah, we all know you can't argue your position worth a piss, and that's why we are where we're at today. You simply got sick of me coming around and calling you out for lame claim without evidence after lame claim without evidence after lame claim without evidence. I never once acted like Gideon and resorted to outright namecalling or blatant trolling. You wanna blame me for every comment of dissent at your crappy blog? Fine. Live in a self-created world of paranoid delusion if you wish. I'll be laughing all the way to... wherever I'm going!

Remember buddy, to me, being banned is the ultimate form of compliment. I just LOVE to hear folks like yourself and Ebonmuse and all the others whine, whine, WHINE about censorship of atheists by theists, and then walk towards censorship with open arms yourselves.

Pure, priceless hypocrisy!

cl said...

Here's the REALLY funny thing, SI / EVO: your lord and master PhillyChief left a link over at SI's dump of a blog that went like this:

inside cl's head

Yet, that's really what's going inside YOUR heads! Your the ones that literally see sockpuppets everywhere! Anytime someone dissents at SI's blog, you see sockpuppets! You're EXACTLY like those Christians who see demons behind any and every instance of X!

Man, that's gotta suck!

John Evo said...

cl - this post was about you as far as you being involved in one of several episodes (here and YouTube) which inspired me to think about FREEDOM OF SPEECH and whether or not banning people from blogs or blocking them from YouTube channels has anything to do with it.

But that's IT... sorry. Don't work so hard at looking like you think you are the center of the universe.

Since your comment to me is so heavily "cl" dependent, I'm not going to respond to the tangential, rabbit hole points this time. If you'd like to take another crack at it focusing (as I did) on the ACTUAL point, I might follow you down a little ways. Not too far, but I'm sure you'll get some of the lulz you seek.

cl said...

"cl - this post was about you as far as you being involved in one of several episodes (here and YouTube) which inspired me to think about FREEDOM OF SPEECH and whether or not banning people from blogs or blocking them from YouTube channels has anything to do with it."

That you feel the need to explain the obvious indicates precisely the attitude of superiority I allude to. I know damn well what this post and "the point" is about, John, and if you would but open your eyes, you could see that I engaged it both in the narrower context of SI choosing to censor me, and the larger issue. IOW, just subtract the narrower context from my comment, and I still ripped your analogy to shreds.

"But that's IT... sorry. Don't work so hard at looking like you think you are the center of the universe."

LOL! I don't. In fact, if anything, that's what you and your gaggle of cronies does! I mean, come on! You're the ones that see little "cl demons" behind any and every dissenting comment, right? RIGHT? Yeah, say "yes," because it's the truth. Practically every time I stop by SI's, there you guys are, still insulting and talking about me even when I'm not actively participating in threads! I know you're not this dense, John. Pull yourself out of "coolguy rational atheist groupthink" mode for a few seconds, and let's see what we can accomplish.

"If you'd like to take another crack at it focusing (as I did) on the ACTUAL point, I might follow you down a little ways."

What point? Surely you mean this:

"There is no connection between banning commenters and a violation of the human right to Freedom of Speech."

If that's your "ACTUAL point," I agree. My argument isn't so much that authoritarian weenies are violating my right to free speech as an American citizen, so you're basically just puffing up a strawman.

phillychief said...

You're so transparent, jackass, that it's obvious when a commenter is you, jackass. You're simply a terrible actor, because you're irrational; you can't manage to keep your emotions in check. That's why it's so easy for me to push your buttons, jackass. Not every new commenter is considered a sock puppet of yours initially, jackass. We just wait until you reveal yourself (ie - obfuscation, inability or unwillingness to follow basic logic and rules of argumentation, tangential arguments, evasion, general douchery). It takes far less time if I push your usual buttons, jackass. That's a far cry from Christians seeing devils everywhere, and I don't just mean because of the supernatural element.

Let's not forget you have a history of multiple aliases, both online and in real life. Add that to your repeated admission of being angered over the Trinity thing, the ip proxies, and your repeated attempts to try and show any of us have beliefs based on faith all make for a strong case for sock puppetry. Sure, much is circumstantial but it's cumulative. I could be wrong, but I'm convinced of sock puppetry. Is it worth banning over? I don't know. Being a douche alone, perhaps not, but the sock-puppetry is an attempt to deliberately deceive above and beyond any deception one can achieve as a single commenter so maybe that warrants it. I certainly think a blog owner should be able to handle any commenter, and banning is like admitting you can't, but sock puppetry is something else entirely. I've banned ips because they were either spammers or sock puppets, but never because I didn't like or couldn't handle their comments (and no, I didn't ban Gideon regardless of what he claims).

Btw, I was impressed when you had the jason character kiss up to Jon and then Jon rebuked him. Sacrificing one sock to try and endear another to us. Clever but again, you can't restrain your douchery for very long, jackass.

Oh and for the record, I never attacked anyone's kids. If anything, I expressed sympathy and sadness for them for having at least one idiot for a parent (hopefully the other parent is a huge counterbalance).

cl said...

Sigh...

I don't know what to say. You won't listen. You want to indulge in delusion? Be my guest. Nonetheless, you're such an easy target for a fisking that I can't resist. Remember, there's a time and place where fisking is appropriate, and this is certainly one of them:

"That's why it's so easy for me to push your buttons, jackass."

Don't flatter yourself. You see, me laughing at and feeling sorry for you does not entail buttons pushed. When I comment at SI's, I think to myself, "Gee, I wonder how long before SI's bulldog will come around snipping and snarling at that one?" So if anything, the joke's on you, buddy, and it has been for a looooooooong time.

"That's a far cry from Christians seeing devils everywhere, and I don't just mean because of the supernatural element. "

Yeah right! You guys have blamed a good half-dozen dissenting commenters on me. Yeah, I commented as "Kirk C" one time, "jason" one time, and "Jon" one time -- all intentionally obvious -- only to feed your paranoia! Talk about buttons being easy to push! Man! You guys are still frothing at the mouth over that incident. How freaking pathetic.

"Add that to your repeated admission of being angered over the Trinity thing, the ip proxies, and your repeated attempts to try and show any of us have beliefs based on faith all make for a strong case for sock puppetry."

Angered? You really think I was angry over Trinity? Get real man! I was actually exalted over Trinity, for it confirmed what I'd already suspected: you and your gaggle of cronies aren't really into this to learn anything or exchange ideas in a productive manner. No, no, no, this is anti-theism, bigotry and mockery, plain and simple.

IP proxies? Ah fercryinaloud... why don't you learn a thing or two about the internet before trying to come off like you know a thing or two about the internet, mkay? I've never commented by proxy in my life. I've never even used an internet proxy.

"Sure, much is circumstantial but it's cumulative."

Ha! And there we have the ultimate proof! Really man? Really? Here's you: "Ah, who cares if this evidence is circumstantial or not. It fits along with my preconceived notions, so I'll buy it." You ought to be ashamed of yourself, big-time. Sure, PhillyChief, keep letting your own confirmation bias drag you around like a dog on a leash. But of course, you know, when a theist claims to walk the street, you demand that scientists reproduce it in a laboratory, but when you want to spout your theory-of-the-minute about me, circumstantial evidence is just fine! That's the rational spirit! Special plead your way all the way to the bank, baby! BWAHAHAHAHAHAHA!!!

"Being a douche alone,

Oh! Alert the media! PhillyChief made a comment unparalleled in non-intelligence since.... well, since the last time you resorted to namecalling, which was probably about 30 seconds before this instance. Sheesh. Grow up already son!

"I certainly think a blog owner should be able to handle any commenter, and banning is like admitting you can't,"

Oh look! We agree. Wow.

"Btw, I was impressed when you had the jason character kiss up to Jon and then Jon rebuked him."

You are paranoid and delusional, by your own definition. Sad, man... so sad. Do a little research if you want to know the truth. Just do a little research. Or, alternatively, keep grasping for any straw available, and keep wallowing in your delusion!

"Oh and for the record, I never attacked anyone's kids."

Did I say you did? No. Learn to read. Learn to think critically. Learn to shun knee-jerk reactions, and learn to avoid being led around by confirmation bias. In short, actually learn to be rational, as opposed to just wearing the T-shirt, ya know?

Spanish Inquisitor said...

I had to look up fisking, as I never heard that word before.

[blogosphere; very common] A point-by-point refutation of a blog entry or (especially) news story. A really stylish fisking is witty, logical, sarcastic and ruthlessly factual; flaming or handwaving is considered poor form. Named after Robert Fisk, a British journalist who was a frequent (and deserving) early target of such treatment. See also MiSTing, anti-idiotarianism

You're more into the latter - flaming, hand-waving, poor form of fisking, aren't you? You certainly weren't witty, logical, sarcastic or ruthlessly factual.

cl said...

Some guy with an axe to grind said:

"You're more into the latter - flaming, hand-waving, poor form of fisking, aren't you? You certainly weren't witty, logical, sarcastic or ruthlessly factual."

Ah, the irony... double-irony in fact. Hell, TRIPLE irony:

1) Guy with an axe to grind didn't even know what the word meant and had to look it up;

2) Guy with an axe to grind quoted a source that's been on my blog for years; and, best of all...

3) Guy with an axe to grind left an attempt that wasn't witty, logical, sarcastic, or ruthlessly factual.

See kids? This is what can happen when one adopts an attitude of smug superiority against those who think differently.

You're a funny guy, SI. You've got some nerve, what with slandering me as a "liar" and all that, while you do nothing but spout lies born of paranoid delusion and inability to handle dissent. It really disturbs me that you're a lawyer, and I don't mean that as an insult.

You want hypocrisy? I'll show you hypocrisy, in two quick steps:

1) Whining and crying about being censored on some priest's blog, then falling head over heels for the bait I left you in that thread, culminating in the ultimate hypocrisy just like the others;

2) Ostensibly being all about "claims with solid evidence," then making claim after claim after claim without any solid evidence whatsoever.

I know that somewhere in the deepest, darkest areas of your mind, this troubles you. And if it doesn't, well... that's even worse!

BWAHAHAHAHA!

Okay, gotta run before your bulldogs come to back you up, just like they always do. Yeah groupthink! Like, OMG, we're so rational!

Spanish Inquisitor said...

I know that the psychiatrist's couch can be a bit costly, especially if you don't have good medical insurance, but do you really need to work out your neuroses on everyone else's blog?

Isn't there room enough for all that at The Warfare Is Mental?

phillychief said...

You're a hoot, jackass. Shouldn't you be writing books or something? What, can't ride Travis' name anymore? Let's see, failed at writing for television, no more books, publishing company not publishing, and how are you paying the bills? Making websites or something? Christ, don't you think it's time you stopped dicking around online and got your shit together, jackass? Did you ever even graduate from City College or did you quit that, too? Fuck, what a loser. If you're anything in real life like you are online, it's no wonder people start distancing themselves from you.

Damn, that's probably another reason why you feel you have to "win" online. It's not just for the sake of the faith indulgence, but to compensate for the suck that is your real life. I genuinely pity you, on many levels.

John Evo said...

Some cl tidbits:

"Angered? You really think I was angry over Trinity? Get real man!"

"So boys, continue on in your little insulated group of self-aggrandizing atheist joy!"

"you and your gaggle of cronies"

"BWAHAHAHAHAHAHA!!!"

"BWAHAHAHAHA!"

What I think - is that SI's last comment has a hell of a lot of truth in it.

Let me tell you something, cl...

If you aren't "angry" over the little Trinity Christian parody - you are certainly obsessed with it. It was REALLY a nothing event, cl.

cl said...

I can assure you all that you *DON'T* want to start playing the, "let's try and dig up dirt in real life" game, because, well... I'll just leave it at that. I know a LOT more about each of you than you think. Still, I have enough respect to leave certain things unsaid.

SI,

Say whatever you need to enforce your feelings of superiority. Every now and again, you actually say something funny. At any rate, I hope you have nice, dissent-free little internet life, now that you've brought down the iron fist on who-knows-how-many different people, all because you see cl demons everywhere.

PhillyChief,

Wow. Dave Mauriello, you've stooped to a new low. Your slander is trivial, and juvenile, not to mention quite a bit misled. If only you knew! Then again, you do see what you want to see, eh? And that's the thing: you're so easy and predictable! False lead here, ambiguous comment there, then... voila! You've got it all figured out, don't'cha!

Look, you're a grown man, just passed 40 for FSM's sake. And you sound a little bitter and jealous, just sayin'... what with your atrocious writing style and all. Not that it means anything, 'cuz money ain't shit, but were you makin' 6 figures in your early twenties? Hardly a "failure" by any reasonable definition of that term. As far as the rest of your drivel is concerned, you're out in left field. So, yeah, I second the "pity" thing. Anybody with as much serious animosity as you have -- over internet debates, nonetheless -- has problems. It's clear you seek to inflict pain, but you really ought to judge yourself.

Don't feel bad for me. A petty hater is no skin off my back, that's for sure. I've had an awesome life. I learned long ago that those quick to insult are the ones with the real pain and problems. Take care, and watch that stomach, particularly for inflammatory conditions.

Evo,

I'm not obsessed with it. Rather, I enjoy throwing it in your guys' hypocritical faces from time to time. However, those times have past. You've already stated that you won't bow down even if God walks through the door, so there's nothing left for us to talk about in that regard. I wish you the best, mostly because you don't resort to BS like your boy PhillyChief just did above. I think you know, deep down in your heart, that Philly's comment crossed a line. If not, well... then I misread you as somebody capable of empathy.

Take care, not much else to say here. I'm still interested in your Kalam post, if you've got the time and/or interest.

John Evo said...

cl-

Please explain to me your feelings about this imaginary "line" that Philly crossed.

There aren't many things that would cause me to delete a comment. Doc-dropping would be one thing I'd see as "crossing the line". He didn't doc-drop on you. In fact, you came closer to that offense in your last comment than he did.

Basically, we're all mostly operating on pseudonyms on our various blogs. Under those "terms of engagement", anything that is said is largely meaningless to any outsider.

If you call me an unrepentant, shithead, motherfucking coward - the only person that MIGHT have meaning to is me. To other readers, it would be something "cl" said to "evo". It's just so much wasted bandwidth.

I wouldn't think you "crossed a line" there. I might not choose to engage you any further, but that's just personal taste. Kind of how I feel about "your boy" Gideon.

As to "Trinity", you are welcome to throw it in my "hypocritical face". Honestly, I don't feel the least chastened by it. On the contrary, I smile and shake my head every time I see that word in one of your MANY comments. It might not feel like obsession to you, but it looks like that from where I sit. Again, if it had ANY meaning, maybe you'd be right. But it doesn't cl. Larry's short-lived "Trinity" parody has zero meaning in the context of any of our discussions.

Spanish Inquisitor said...

Hey CL.. If you want to post that picture of me fucking Mother Theresa, go for it. I'm not ashamed of it. On the other hand, that one one of me sucking Christopher Hitchens off might be an little embarrassing, but I doubt you have that one.

IOW, Don't threaten something you can't follow up on, asshole. Your little implied threats are bullshit, and you know it. So piss off.

As for Philly's comment, if you can't tell when you're being baited, then you really should go back to what you do best - skateboarding - and leave the blogging to the adults. Because you bit, hook, line and sinker.

Though I must admit you must have a few brain cells if you actuanlly noticed when I tried to be humorous - which, actually was about 95% of my comments.

Spanish Inquisitor said...

Hey CL.. If you want to post that picture of me fucking Mother Theresa, go for it. I'm not ashamed of it. On the other hand, that one one of me sucking Christopher Hitchens off might be an little embarrassing, but I doubt you have that one.

IOW, Don't threaten something you can't follow up on, asshole. Your little implied threats are bullshit, and you know it. So piss off.

As for Philly's comment, if you can't tell when you're being baited, then you really should go back to what you do best - skateboarding - and leave the blogging to the adults. Because you bit, hook, line and sinker.

Though I must admit you must have a few brain cells if you actuanlly noticed when I tried to be humorous - which, actually was about 95% of my comments.

Spanish Inquisitor said...

I should comment one more time, just for emphasis.

PhillyChief said...

A minute taste of success in the 90s? Do you still cling to that? That's REALLY pitiful. Maybe if you weren't so nutters, that moment wouldn't have been so short. Probably should have told NBC your name was Rudy Bazorda. Let Rudy get blacklisted and save Chris Long. Oh well, too late now. Who needs 6 figures anyway? Money ain't shit as you said. As long as you're making enough to get by writi- oh, yeah, um, nevermind. Hey, web work is good work, too. Beats busing tables, right? Probably gets you health insurance so you don't have to rely on charity if you break a wrist or something.

Gideon said...

"I've banned ips because they were either spammers or sock puppets, but never because I didn't like or couldn't handle their comments (and no, I didn't ban Gideon regardless of what he claims)."

And, one of those ip's was mine, asshole, because, every time I tried posting, my comment evaporated. Before that, they would stick and you would delete them afterward. I know how Wordpress settings work, doofus, I've used their services in the past.

You banned me deliberately, admitting as much on another blog... probably Purcell's, but, I'm not going looking for it, now. Purcell knows you did, too, but, he's scared of you. Why, I have no idea, you're just another wop with no dick.

Purcell, your "bending over backwards" entailed dangling me as bait to increase your blog traffic. Your posts have noticeably dropped off since you banned me, as well as your traffic volume. Face it - I was good for 'business', and being the shyster you are, you know when you can milk something for all it's worth. You got what you could get without pushing Mauriello's patience too far, then cut me loose to save face.

I've brought many an infidel's blog from obscurity, this one included. Hell, the only reason that Mauriello and you come here is to fight with me or someone else like cl. He doesn't like getting too close to me, either, but, he knows there's always a good row wherever I go, right, cl? Right.

Evo, I'll hand it to you for having more balls than those other two. I guess you'll have noticed I pulled all of my comments from your blog. People can wonder just who the hell it was that got you all so riled up. But, I have other fish to fry, so adios! Maybe I'll drop in and see how you're doing, from time to time.

Don't do anything dumb... like become a lawyer or anything like that!

ildi said...

"Larry's short-lived "Trinity" parody has zero meaning in the context of any of our discussions."

I obviously missed a lively exchange.

John Evo said...

Ildi - You mean the whole "trinity" character that Larry created, and cl's reaction to it? That was about 3 years ago. Maybe more. It really wasn't as interesting at the time as it has become with cl endlessly referencing it as if were evidence of "hypocrisy" (and apparently this isn't in reference to Larry, but to the rest of us).

phillychief said...

Still a moron I see, eh Gideon? Maybe you've figured out how WP works but I guess you haven't figured out how Intense Debate comments work since that's what I've had from the beginning of YMMSI and for a short time on the blogger blog.

Anyway, if there's a comment you can dig up somewhere where I said I banned you, I'd like to see it.

Maybe you can find some neighbor kid or someone who can help you work the internet, grandpa. I know, it's complicated. No worries.

Spanish Inquisitor said...

Doesn't the internet have a built in anti-Gideon filter?

Sort of like an air filter in those old Mercuries. Keeps the dirt from clogging up the engine.

If not, it should.

Spanish Inquisitor said...

"And, as I also said, Purcell KNOWS you banned me."

Really? Evidence? Your link doesn't indicate that.