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Y Combinator blacklists founder of Gab.ai (twitter.com/torbahax)
105 points by selleck on Nov 11, 2016 | hide | past | favorite | 83 comments

We support free speech, obviously. And we're happy to fund people with all sorts of different political views.

We do not allow harassment, for which Andrew unfortunately set a new bar in our community. You can look at his Twitter or Facebook for plenty of public examples, to say nothing of what he's said privately.

As per our previous comments, when a founder violates our ethics statement, we remove them from the community.

@sama Sam Altman, can you explain your reasoning for banning a company that merely wrote something on Twitter, but you allowed Jumpcut from S16 who actually went into the streets and filmed street harassment (forcefully kissing women without permission, massaging them without permission, and "motor-boating" them as an incentive for charity) with their brand Simple Pickup?

Here are links proving my point: http://www.dailydot.com/irl/simple-pickup-youtube-sexual-ass...


Here's the petition to remove their YouTube channel -> www.change.org/p/youtube-com-end-street-harassment-remove-simple-pickup-s-youtube-channel-13bef5b3-1dcc-4f8a-be88-ef3f69cc7e1c

They are still making money with their Project Go program which shows their instructor Willy molesting a woman without her knowing she was being filmed.

Seems like this type of harassment is an embodiment of what you would disagree with.

Or were you just not aware of this?

I don't want to read too far into the comments already made, but: a YC company sexually harassing strangers on the street doesn't seem to impact people's desire to do business with YC.

But if you do much less, but to people YC has to do business with, that has real consequences.

If they were motorboating Marc Andreessen without consent, for instance, they wouldn't need news coverage and video to drop them.

EDIT: I don't mean this to be cynical so much as derived from fiduciary duty.

And here we go. That is exactly what happens once censorship is not any longer based on legal evidence but personal judgement. The 'my feelings are hurt more than yours competition' starts.

Edit: Actually watched some of the videos mentioned. Totally amazed how anyone can get offended by prank videos and doesn't know about actors involved.

We're talking about how an organization chooses who to boycott. Legal evidence typically isn't the standard here, but I think it's reasonable to ask what that standard might be.

I think this needs to be answered by YC

While I'm generally rather suspect of you folks and your moral authority, this is an example of the behavior you're referring to:




From a pure business standpoint, fuck that guy. He didn't really articulate his views in any way that could remotely be considered constructive, and if the rest of his behavior matches that, it's difficult to imagine keeping him around.

The first and third ones were clearly mean-spirited, but the second one seems like it's in-bounds for society as a whole ("coward", while obviously impolite, can't possibly be worse than "racist", which is apparently an in-bounds part of political conversation). Not an insane request to abide by either: if they are literally asking for it, naming and shaming seems opt-in-able.

What about that: https://twitter.com/torbahax/status/797203694160871425

I really can't understand such a attitude.

You can see Andrew's tweet here: http://imgur.com/a/vnbvT

Note that he did not simply tweet the words "Build the wall." That's not what happened. What he did is he screenshotted another YC founder's private facebook wall post, in which she says she is scared for her safety. And he publicly tweeted her words while adding "Build the wall" as mocking commentary.

From the screenshot he himself provided [1], it looks like he was confronted about making people at YC feel unsafe, and responded by saying they "shouldn't be on the internet".

Contrarian views are one thing. Addressing the people who fund your company like a belligerent troll is another.

You're entitled to free speech, you're not entitled to a captive ear to hear it.

[1] http://i.imgur.com/ReFx2Mr.png

"feel unsafe" has been more subjective and ridiculous than ever.

"unsafe" has become a bit of a buzzword in the interminable red-vs-blue wars, but everything else about this would've played out the same way if she had said he was "inappropriate" or "unprofessional".

Looks to me like free speech is still free and trolling at work still has consequences and there's not much to see here unless you're personally involved with one of the companies.

I both disagree and dislike both Trump and his supporters. Yet, I realize if you want to diversity of opinion like YC says it wants you can't throw people out when they annoy you. Diverse political discussion among laymen where no one gets annoyed essentially doesn't exist. Peoples opinions follow their perspective, what they understand and what they care about. Just as I take offense to what Trump says people who like Trump will take offense when people say he's a populist, racist or sexist. They will get frustrated and express themselves in ways that aren't productive, but also don't seem that bad to them since they don't think what Trump says is bad.

I've excluded people for less, but then I haven't as YC asked sometimes awkward people to be stressed out for a long period of time while saying that diversity of opinion is valued.

People with opposing opinions to the current pervasive narrative are for the most part, part of a minority (yes). For most of us one miss-step or one bad outburst because we're frustrated, and then you're fired (or kicked out). Because you cross that "imaginary" line between dissenting but tolerable opinion and into the "we can now legally and without consequence say you're abusive and shut your opinion down by firing/excluding/arresting you". That's the problem with faux-free speech.

To be fair, I think companies and individuals should have a right to disassociate with anyone for any reason they choose (yes including the bad reasons). But they should at least be honest about it, rather than hiding behind some veil of "it's abusive behaviour". Just admit you don't like the opinion before it cross that line, and purge appropriately.

> "feel unsafe" has been more subjective and ridiculous than ever.

Sure, in the sense of the "liberals and safe spaces" macro topic, I'll concede that.

But YC is big on bringing in founders from other countries and giving them the tools to be successful in America.

In those scenarios YC is the foundation of their life in the country. Funding, documentation, network, etc. To have voices in the group that's supposed to help you start talking about "build the wall" and deporting people, especially in the context of the larger Trump political movement?

Yeah, if a company paid for me to come to a foreign land and do business, but members started talking about deporting all the guys like me and building a wall to keep them out, I would feel uncertain about my future, my business, and my residency. unsafe.

I think it's completely reasonable in this case.

For posterity, here is the beginning of the referenced Facebook thread (also linked to by the founder on Twitter): https://imgur.com/a/dWgdV

Surprise! When you publicly mock and scorn someone who was privately expressing fear that the person who will soon become the most powerful man in the world is about to use state-sanctioned violence to force you out of the country (to say nothing of the unrepudiated extrajudicial violence regularly dished out by his supporters), then you are in fact making people feel unsafe! The literal, dictionary definition of "unsafe"!

... you say with absolutely no evidence, based on a truncated screenshot of a public Facebook feed.

He edited the screenshot to exclude the specific concern that kicked this off.

Does 'safe' actually mean 'safe' or does it mean something else now?

How would a sane adult feel like they were in some kind of danger by someone wanting stronger controls on immigration?

> You're entitled to free speech, you're not entitled to a captive ear to hear it.

Ironically a captive ear is exactly what SJW's demand, and if you fail to oblige you're a (delete as appropriate) straight/white/male/able-bodied/cis-gendered/dudebro who is "part of the problem" and "literally Hitler". I'm so disappointed in how partisan YC has become, capitulating completely to prevailing meme of SJWs. It's becoming less about "make something people want" and more "care about what people think".

> I'm so disappointed in how partisan YC has become, capitulating completely to prevailing meme of SJWs.

This had little to do with politics. The guy mocked a YC founder who expressed fear for his safety, and called another YC founder a "coward", among other things.

And just a couple weeks ago YC didn't capitulate to demands to cut ties with Peter Thiel over his support of Trump.

What other instances are you referring to?

The thing you're talking about is, regardless of its accuracy, distant from this situation.

Usually when people make this argument they're wrong, but not in this case. I'm disturbed by OP's low-quality trolling.

When you're a dissident or ideological minority in any context, it's absolutely essential at all times to be the kindest, gentlest, sweetest person in the room. That way, when they ban you for "feeling unsafe," it's obvious to everyone what's going on.

Obviously OP wasn't actually a danger to anyone. That's ridiculous. But there isn't any world where you can be a dissident and also be a dick, and get away with it.


I am no fan of Peter Thiel, but Peter Thiel did not scoop to this level of low-quality trolling.

Going forward, we need to try to get along with Trump supporters -- the portion that isn't deplorable. Supporters like your general joe shmo whose main grievance is being left behind in the new economy, who is unable for whatever reason to catch up.

We do not need to make an effort to reconcile with the racists and /b/ crowd who constantly parrot misogynistic and racist things. I'm no fan of Thiel but it seems that he's aware what kind of platform he is standing on -- when he gave the big speech he said nothing offensive per se, he's not preaching hate like this guy is.

This Torbe guy is clearly needlessly inflammatory and confrontational, he is not the kind of guy that makes a community go forward and advance. YC is so much better off without him.

What's happened has happened, we really need to start thinking about the future. My big wish is that Thiel can do some good, like: bring nuance to the Trump crowd. He should condemn the hateful part of Trump supporters like this guy. sama or pg, if you're out there: can you please tell him to do this? Thiel will win me over if he clearly and openly condemns the racist and misogynistic part of his party.

That's actually the point. You've defined "being a dick" as "supporting Emmanuel Goldstein, who wants to reverse all the great work the Party has done for the proles."

I understand how you get there, logically. But perhaps Emmanuel Goldstein actually thinks the Party is bad for the proles? Maybe it's not that he hates the Party, because he hates the proles? Maybe you could ask him why he hates the Party, which as we know has done so much for the proles?

But if Emmanuel Goldstein is actually an asshole in the normal sense of the word -- someone who's rude and unpleasant to the actual people around him -- it's hard to argue that there's a difference between these very different concepts.

Pretty much guarantee you Peter Thiel is never, ever rude and unpleasant to the people around him. That's the difference.

If you'd like another example, try Steve Jobs. Or Bill Gates. Or Mark Zuckerberg.

Your position isn't tenable in the face of history, unfortunately.

Not to sound conspiratorial, but isn't Gab.ai trying to market itself as a censorship-free twitter clone for alt-right types? If so, what better way to generate brand awareness and users than by picking fights with liberals?

What good is your brand if everyone hates it?

Unfortunately (as one might be able to tell from the election results) not everyone hates Trump. In fact his supporters would likely make a sizeable consumer base.

Seems like it, I Googled him to get a better understanding and several prominent links were Breitbart articles about other posts of his that were removed from Twitter and Facebook. Looks like a lot of it is just drumming up support for his completely free speech Twitter clone.

Also, not really 'completely free speech' either. From the Breitbart article:

> a zero tolerance policy for promoting terrorism

Everyone has their own version of acceptable free speech. Him using 'free speech' as his tagline and yet having restrictions is hypocritical.

That'd be the US government's version of acceptable free speech. You can't just start a legit business with VC backing that allows terrorism and child pornography. And it gets more and more expensive to run the service the closer to the line you allow.

Freedom of speech does not mean one is free from the consequences of speech.

This is something a lot of young folks don't seem to understand. You can say anything you want. Go for it. And you will own the consequences of what you said, whatever they might be.

I offer this as a general comment. Not taking sides on the issue highlighted by the post. I simply think it is important to point out this reality in case it is lost in all the nonsense this election has managed to produce.

Freedom of speech also only applies to the state. The government cannot suppress your free speech.

It says absolutely nothing about what private parties (or companies) can do about speech.

e.g. If you come into my house and start shouting racial slurs, I don't have to honor your "free speech". I can rightly kick you out of my house. The same goes for any private company.

"Freedom of speech does not mean one is free from the consequences of speech."

Not sure this makes sense. It's like saying you are free to murder someone. But then you have to live with the consequences. Which leads the concept of freedom ad absurdum.

My point is that freedom of speech has never been unlimited. In my country it is slightly more restrictive than in the US but even the US does not have a 100% perfect freedom of speech. And that is a good(!) thing.

It means that you can say anything you want [within narrow and specific legal limits] but so can everyone else. Freedom of speech =/= freedom from criticism or freedom from censure. Censorship by the government is prohibited but censorship by a private entity like YC is perfectly legal.

Let me take to an extreme:

You can say anything you want in public. And someone can still run you over with a truck if they don't like it. They would go to jail, of course.

I see a lot of young people out there saying and doing really dumb things. Yes, you do have freedom of speech, but it isn't a Captain America shield that will protect you from the consequences of what you say, where you say it and to whom you said it.

Like the guy who brought out a "Never Trump" sign in the middle of a Trump rally. He got roughed-up good. And, of course, this wasn't right. The people who attacked him need to be charged with assault. And he needs to truly reflect on the idea that if you do something like that you could very well end-up in the hospital or worst.

In other words: Freedom of speech doesn't mean someone can behave like a class-A moron. Well, actually, no, they can, but they better be ready to face whatever the consequences might be.

If in your country government censors any speech then you're not living in a free country.

If that is the case, then you do not live in a free country. And then a free country would not even be desirable.

Examples for the US that apparently are exceptions to free speech: - Incitement / fighting words - False statement of facts - Child pornography - Commercial speech (special rules apply) I am not sure if you are allowed to insult a police officer.

> Freedom of speech does not mean one is free from the consequences of speech.

But who should be held accountable for those consequences?

For example, what about a woman who's struck by a visibly drunk man after telling him to "fuck off"? Should she be held accountable because she should have known better? Should the man be held accountable for his actions regardless of what she said? What about when the consequences of a statement are entirely unintended and unpredictable, which is happening more and more often these days? What about when a joke between friends becomes a public relations nightmare when overheard outside the necessary context?

This is such a meaningless slogan I don't know where to begin. Nobody expects their speech to be free of consequence, otherwise they'd never say anything in the first place. What they want is speech which achieves their intent, which is rapidly becoming all but impossible. It's like coding, only without the pair programming, test driven development, and strong typing.

It sounds like the "build the wall" comment was not the entire issue. This guy sounds like a huge asshole and that is what got him booted.

Important context: Said founder entered YC working on an ad optimization platform, but recently pivoted to Twitter for the alt-right.


It's the Twitter for free speech.

...you mean Twitter?

Twitter has been extremely heavy on censorship this year. Dozens of high-profile users banned, hundreds 'shadow-banned', and unbelievable levels of hashtag manipulation. Twitter is not in favor of free speech, on top of being a terrible business.

Which users were banned for expression of opinions? I initially wrote "high profile", following your comment, but I don't actually care. High profile or not, that would make me worry.

I know Milo was banned based on the accusations that he'd orchestrated harassment of Leslie Jones, but I haven't heard of anyone being banned simply for expressing a political position.

As far as hashtag manipulation goes, I'm not sure what you mean. If you just mean they don't put some hashtags on trending, that may or may not be a bad approach to promoting healthy debate, but it's not a free speech issue.

Look into why Charles Johnson was banned. They took a statement he made that obviously meant "I am going to write a news story about this person that will be very bad for them" and tortured it into a death threat, and banned him for life.

There is literally no defense of this because it was so obviously a bad-faith interpretation, and yet other people have very obviously put people in actual danger, like Spike Jones tweeting George Zimmerman's parents home address, and nothing happened to them. Johnson, whatever you might think of him personally, was banned forever for something he obviously did not even do when you look at the tweet. If they like you, you can say almost anything. If they don't almost anything can get you suspended.

The hashtag trending thing is another case of this, if they basically like your message then they'll let it trend, if they don't then they'll suppress it. You can only really derive that this is happening from observing in very specific ways, no one actually tells you they do this. They have other tricks too, if an undesirable hashtag gains popularity, out of nowhere a misspelled hashtag autocompletes, to "nudge" you to a dead end hastag that nobody is listening to. It's fairly obvious once you become aware of it, because popular hashtags autocomplete, unpopular or not-trending ones don't, but "roach motel" hashtags somehow bypass this. Nobody knows globally what this single corporation decides to let be widely heard and what it invisibly suppresses. It is a free speech issue because private or not, as the Arab Spring stuff demonstrated how much influence Twitter has on society, which makes it one. This is the bog-standard, not-full-of-shit liberal position. It's even Chomsky-endorsed.

1) Interesting that you mention doxxing in the context of Chuck Johnson, since when he was banned for his tweet about Deray, he had already posted home addresses of two NYTimes reporters. That both a) indicates that he was a bad actor, and b) colors how you might interpret comments about "taking out" someone. It doesn't turn it into a threat of violence, but it does make it look a lot more like using Twitter to organize harassment.

The other thing is that this is just a tough way to argue. There's massive amounts of harassment on twitter, and enforcement is incredibly haphazard. Did Spike Lee get a pass because he's a liberal? Or because in 2012, Twitter was completely clueless about any kind of response to harassment?

2) Hashtags: as it stands, everything you've said is your own personal observation and too vague for me to even try and confirm. Rather than repeat myself, let me just reference my other comment about doing the work to prove your accusations: https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=12936414

3) I will however, repeat my question from before: is there any political opinion that I can utter as an American citizen that will get me banned from Twitter?

McKesson chose to interpret it as an open death threat, it obviously wasn't but nobody was going to call him on it, and it got Johnson booted off Twitter. I see your point, but that wasn't how McKesson and his fans used it.

Regarding the Spike Lee thing, I'd say he got a pass because he's a celebrity, but who knows. This is kind of my point. You have to piece together pattern out of Johnson's activity on and off Twitter to decide that maybe he was trying to get deray killed by paying people for his home address. On the other hand spike lee directly tweeted "here's george zimmerman's address, share this as much as you can" and nothing happened to him at all. Twitter was aware of it, because many, many people made them aware of it, and they pay special attention to their celebrity accounts. it didn't happen off twitter, it happened on twitter. and it wasn't tangential to some other threat, it was a direct threat. on twitter. tons of people reported it. I just can't hurdle this one. they let it happen and they didn't care.

the commonality across these is that in the best circumstances you're probably a scummy person if you do that, Johnson or Lee, but it's extra terrible when people just tweet addressed with death exhortations and they didn't even know or care if it was correct info. johnson was pretty scummy but his point was made, if you're the new york times nobody seriously is going to hold you to that. if you're spike lee, nobody is seriously going to hold you to that. if you're charles johnson, you're booted off twitter, lose your internet hosting and two dozen newspapers write stories about you.

2. it's not actually that vague, you could take what I said and watch and see if you can observe it. I gave you enough information if you were truly interested. You're not obligated to believe me or do it, of course, I was just sharing my experience. I kind of have a problem proving this is intentional, because I don't run twitter. i used to live close by what I suspected was a crack house once, people were always coming and going, and doing crack outside. Maybe the police could prove it, I can't. but I can tell you what I saw.

You are very correct that it's hard to tell what is intentional and what is not on the part of twitter. I see a lot of bogus claims of shadowbanning where it's really just that twitter is eventually-consistent, and sometimes you try to look at data from one location and its there, someone in another country can see it, though. Roach-motel hashtags, some are more obvious than others, and some are just legitimate misspellings that catch on because that's what everybody types. Example, for a while podestaleaks was autocompleting as podestraleaks. On the other hand, SpiritCooking trended for almost 24 hours before it stopped autocompleting and was replaced with spiritualcooking, which roach-moteled you into ancient sparse tweets about cooking. I can't prove anything, but come on. As far as straight up suppressing trending tweets, it's not even arguable. things trend, then abruptly stop autocompleting and drop off the site globally. they already do this to prevent spam, and it's obvious they do it to shut up some hashtags.

3. Have we not yet gotten to the point where that odious xkcd cartoon has been thoroughly debunked? Freedom of speech goes far beyond being a simple ban on things you can or cannot say or else you will be punished by some authority.

I am sorry if this is long and rambling, I wanted to say what I've been seeing because I am not the only one who has made these observations, and this is a particularly good place I could say it and people with more ability than me to investigate this might see it.

The oddest part is, IIRC, it wasn't even Zimmerman's address, but some uninvolved person.

This is a big reason why nobody should do it, regardless of how "righteous" their outrage is. It ends up hurting uninvolved people.

Recently? I'll give you one: Clint Eastwood.

Yes, they control hashtags. It is a censorship issue. They lie about what's trending, every, single, day.

There's a global problem with Twitter censorship, to the point it has a Wikipedia page: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Censorship_of_Twitter

1) The Clint Eastwood case seems to be a fake account: http://nypost.com/2016/11/10/clint-eastwoods-twitter-account..., which doesn't entirely answer the question of why it was banned, but definitely muddies the waters. Do you have an example of someone not potentially impersonating a celebrity?

2) The Wikipedia page primarily concerns cases where Twitter is ordered to engage in censorship by other countries, not Twitter choosing to censor opinions on its own . I wish they would tell Ergodan where to stick it, but that's not the same as them posing a threat to your speech or mine (assuming you're not from Turkey).

Let me ask you an unambiguous question. I am a citizen of the United States of America, a country with a strong tradition of freedom of speech. Can you offer me any reason to fear that I am going to be censored by Twitter for expressing an opinion (liberal, conservative, fascist, even)? To be perfectly clear, and avoid confusing matters with the issue of harassment, say that I do not @-mention other users.

Brittany Pettibone offered evidence that Twitter is shadow-banning her, here:


So that's weird. I looked at her feed, didn't see anything beyond the pale.

On the other hand, I can't quite replicate her search. When I search, I get more results than she does, maybe not as many as I'd expect, but importantly, not the same as her. I can't say "obviously there's nothing here" but I also don't think there's a smoking gun.

If you're concerned about this, you really should not be pointing me to one tweet by one user. You should have reams of evidence, documented, with a timeline, with comparisons to what other users see, etc, etc. If you don't care about convincing people who haven't already bought in, that's ok, but if you do want to persuade, you're going to have to provide something better than this one tweet. (Case in point, downthread, we have a person who's convinced they were shadowbanned, then all of a sudden they check, and they aren't: https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=12935624).

And some incendiaries are left alone. Look at @rabite aka weev.

These days he seems to actually be pretty careful about not crossing the line. But one day someone will be annoyed enough to suspend him anyway.

Twitter shadowbanned me for posting details of child abuse I experienced that left me disabled. These details included the names of people involved and summaries of acts committed against me. Some of the principals in these acts and all of the accessories to them are employees of a school board, police department, city government, and political boards. I posted links to articles from local media showing that there's a culture of child abuse in the city and that it still pervades more than 25 years after I was abused. I identified a certain juvenile detention facility and explained how it was designed to be and operated as a wholesale child abuse factory. I posted a report from the Department of Justice calling out the state on the ways that it abuses children.

Twitter apparently thinks that trying to effect positive change, to-wit, ending the wide scale child abuse and holding the abusers accountable to law, is a bad thing.

Interesting! I've become unshadowbanned in the past hour. Now maybe the names & photos I've tweeted will go back in Google's search results.

Whatever. Unless it's carefully moderated (ie., censored, to some) it will gather a large collection of angry right-wing posters or angry left-wing posters. One side will harass the other and the other side will eventually go elsewhere. Then it will be just another echo chamber.

If the creator has pivoted to the alt-right, it's a pretty sure guess that it will wind up being another 8chan/stormfront/what have you.

You could bubble them. Left folk who don't like right wing folk only see left people, right folk who don't like left wink folk in their own bubble.

Let people see who they want to see, but if they & enough of their friends say "don't show me X" then don't show them X.

sort of sad: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vVI1NpCBF88 (tldr; same guy on how he overcame bullying - the very thing he's now doing)

money makes people dirty.

Sounds like YC is building their own wall

Why does it sound like that? Did you take a look at the content posted?

well even if his ban wasn't deserved... he made it deserving, just watching his twitter account (not facebook etc), looks like he is somebody that is not a great guy and can't stand such things. I mean he actually posted a picture of him self and his middlefinger pointing at ycombinator?! seriously he is a hater and not somebody that should be taken seriously.

insulting people or a group of people is not free speech anymore it's actually a crime.

> insulting people or a group of people is not free speech anymore it's actually a crime.

This is incorrect. https://popehat.com/2016/06/11/hello-youve-been-referred-her...

well maybe not in america. in my country (germany) you get into jail for insulting, see StGB (§ 185 Beleidigung).


Well, then your country doesn't have free speech.

it probably has, it probably has more free speech than america. we just differ, between harm to people and free speech, we don't defend ourself that free speech needs insults to be successfull, (it doesn't).

Actually there was even a law case against 'Böhmermann' wo made a satire for Erdogan, actually it was pretty harmful but the law said it was a satire so he was protected. There is a small line between free speech and being harmful and it also should be decided on a case by case basis, for some. But other people actually use our right to free speech to do harm and that is bad since that will sooner or later hurt our own right.

> it probably has more free speech than america

I am genuinely curious about this statement. Can you name something that you can say in Germany that I cannot say in the United States? I'm pretty sure I can come up with some examples going the other way.

It's insulting and objectionable speech that is in the highest need of protection. Freedom of speech is not really an issue for bland pronouncements like "I love my mother" or "I stand for peace."

if I say "fuck you" it's not really freedom of speech. I directly insulted you, I didn't even want a conversation, I directly harmed you. People who think they can the "free speech" excuse for insults are just horrible, they don't understand that free speech is to actually say something in a nice manner which needs to be addressed not just to hammer on some people who do it wrong, that's a different thing and people actually don't get that right, probably because there is a really small line between insulting and objectonable speech, but still you know when somebody insulted somebody and he actually did, he didn't want to address his behavior he just expressed his meaning with insults and not any objectonable speech.

If I would've been banned, I would try to address that as well, but not in such a hateful manner than he did.

> if I say "fuck you" it's not really freedom of speech. I directly insulted you, I didn't even want a conversation, I directly harmed you.

But you didn't insult me because that wasn't a statement regarding my character, you clearly established you don't want a conversation, and you caused me no harm whatsoever, direct or otherwise.


That's the problem with restrictions on 'insulting and objectionable' speech. Beyond the fact you just demonstrated how easy it is to get wrong by misapplying the very rules you brought up in this discussion, it also opens the door to claiming any statement regarding someone's character (such as 'incompetent', 'unemployed', 'hypocrite', 'terrorist', etc) is an insult, regardless of how true it is.

Speech becomes harmful when it isolates and marginalizes. It does not become harmful just because it's offensive or enraging. So in the context of this story calling everyone a 'cuck' wasn't harmful, but the otherwise innocuous phrase 'build the wall' was, and coming up with a set of rules which fairly and consistently cover cases like that is likely impossible.

I can disagree with you without calling you a cowardly cuck. What's the value of a conversation that includes such insults?

Funny how YC is quickly becoming the antithesis of all the great PG essays..


I wonder how different he must have been for YC to make the call to fund him in the first place. Even watching his old YouTube videos, I can tell something is "off" with his personality (maybe confirmation bias at play).

The submitted title was "Y Combinator blacklists founder of Gab.ai for saying “build the wall”", but we shortened it because it doesn't sound like that was the reason.

(I don't have any information about this beyond skimming the current thread and looking at a few of the things people have linked to.)

Torba, if you're reading this, consider that Curtis Yarvin's Tlon receives angel investment from well known SV VCs and he also posts here regularly.

So the guy who literally invented neoreaction isn't suppressed by YC because of his views then it is pretty unlikely you're getting persecuted because of yours.

Nick Denton constantly overreached in using freedom of speech as a cover for just simply fucking with people until it blew up in his face. Don't be the alt-right's version of that. You can afford to be magnanimous and give some gesture of conciliation.

Do you really want to be giving Pao material to work with?

Fighting censorship is serious business, forget this teacup war, nobody will remember any of it in a year.

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