"We want free speech! Everyone move to our alternative venue where we promote free speech! [...] Wow, there's some truly hateful content on here, how did that happen?"
* Most people don't actually need free speech because in large their ideas are popular, tame, uncontroversial, and respect the established order.
* We are quick to define ideas that disagree with popular opinion as hateful which drives those that hold them to the fringe. Only the loudest and angriest will have so little to lose socially that they'll dare speak in public (i.e. the top and bottom of the social ladder).
* By in large we like to be surrounded by people that think like we do and believe the same things we do. This leads to partitioning the internet into disjoint communities and social bubbles so strong that, despite being almost 148 million people in the US, a common sentiment is 'I don't understand the issue, I've never met someone in person who opposes gay marriage'.
- What are you supposed to do with people who think it's unfair that men can be tricked in impregnating a woman and sued for child support ? Is this sexism ?
- What are you supposed to do with people who feel unsafe in a specific neighborhood because of the great concentration of immigrants there ? Is this "muslims are bad" ?
- Is someone against surrogacy a "gays are bad" people ? Or is this legitimate concern ?
- What about people who use IQ per country studies ? Is this racial hate speech ?
And for these examples, we have people who deeply consider all these as "bad", and harangue us mods as people who leave hate speech, yada yada.
Where do facts stop and propaganda start, where does a fast generalization ends and real, systematic hate for a whole group of individuals begin (over a common denominator considered "bad" by PC, because no one will ever harass you or call you hateful if you think people who wear fur are douchebags) ?
And by doing so, you don't allow any discussion, private or not to be made around these questions, as they are directly flagged as "good vs bad" and arguments are an expression of the hate, and not legitimate questions. Which I don't think is good, but that's my own opinion.
Obviously that begs the question of what "abusive" recourse to race/IQ studies would be. And again, I don't have to define the concept precisely to illustrate that research is routinely abused. For instance: if one makes simplified pronouncements about the genetic inferiority of black people and then adds a cite to J. Philippe Rushton, you're abusing the research in order to make hateful arguments about black people. Secondary and tertiary sources arguing the intellectual inferiority of other races based on work like Rushton's is, in fact, the modern equivalent of Der Stürmer articles.
People are mainly talking about places like /r/coontown or /r/fatpeoplehate. While I'm sure there are some people annoyed at discussions about people "who think it's unfair that men can be tricked in impregnating a woman and sued for child support", I would argue the vast majority have no problem with those discussions as long as they are argued honestly.
People not often say "black people are bad, gays are bad, muslims are bad, women are bad"
I have a hard time believing you actually think this is true...
You'll note the examples of OP were about people of color/muslims/women/gays, not fat people... So I don't think I'm being dishonest there.
>I would argue the vast majority have no problem with those discussions as long as they are argued honestly.
I did mention that I am a moderator on a national sub (150,000 users), and these examples are sadly not made up. We have some people who are adamant about those things and constantly bother us. Maybe they're trolling, in any case they are constanly saying how much our community stinks, is racist, homophobic, yada yada (this community being, as indicated many times by surveys, mostly made of young leftists men).
One user even regularily sends compilations of the "most disgusting comments" which are absolutely not sulfurous, and another has a sub dedicated to it.
It's probably a minority, but a rather vocal one. And you can't say things that are not 100% favorable to these topics without having people saying how anti-X you are.
So yeah I probably read OP's comment in the light of what I see everyday in our modqueue. Which is people calling out others for things which I definitely don't read as "x is bad". Honestly, you'd be surprised.
And most of all, in my experience, people who call out others and think it's a legitimate attitude are not the most pragmatic ones on these topics.
The problem is that neither the "unrestricted free speech" nor the "absolute safe space" models scale. Nor, ultimately, promote their putative goals.
I wouldn't use Voat for other reasons, but that's just me.
I think it's important to be able to discuss taboo topics to find those important nuggets. From my perspective it's not totally crazy to have complete free speech platforms to pursue that goal, but it's probably better done in private among trusted friends, where it has been established that you are not generally assholes, than on a semi-public platform, where you will drown in a torrent of shit brought on by the mass of contrarian assholes who will inevitably flock to the platform.
It's analogous to Peter Thiel and Paul Graham's argument that most successful startups will look like bad ideas at the outset. (http://www.businessinsider.com/this-venn-diagram-shows-why-s...)
An Important New Truth probably looks stupid at first, otherwise someone else would have figured it out already.
> I will never understand this romanticising of free speech on private platforms. Why would a service that cares about its members _ever_ implement free speech policies? That's just asking for assholes. If anything, popular services should have _more_ filtering and removal of asshole users.
Realistically, we need moderation based on community standards the same way the US handles obscenity. (i.e. A jury of users declare content unfit and boot it with a very substantial majority being required)
"Heavy filtering" tends to result in being an asshole or creating an echo chamber. Both are undesirable.
"Google searches for “how to commit suicide” increased 26% following the release of "13 Reasons Why", a Netflix series about a girl who commits suicide."
Something that is societal/political rather than science.
Some people prefer having an open marketplace of ideas, where they can be challenged, and come across opinions and ideas that they wouldn't otherwise in real life.
If you advertise being a place of COMPLETE free speech (Like Voat), you're gonna get assholes that think free speech means having a place to be an asshole.
Places like 4chan are fairly popular, even if the discourse is often mean. Sometimes things can be so mean that it is simply ridiculous, and therefore funny, and therefore not really insulting or offensive.
But reddit did implement free speech policies. It defended free speech for many years.
> That's just asking for assholes.
Or open discourse.
> If anything, popular services should have _more_ filtering and removal of asshole users.
What's an asshole to you? Atheists? Muslims? Environmentalists? Trump supporters? Hillary supporters?
Who gets to decide who an "asshole" is?
> Or open discourse
I think you're being naive.
Certainly, most people will agree that open discourse should be allowed. Even if people disagree, they should be able to discuss their points of view.
But there are plenty of assholes out there that abuse "free speech". There's a difference between defending a controversial point of view and telling people to kill themselves and simply slinging slurs and insults.
Generally, reddit tries to allow free speech while keeping out the assholes, whereas Voat let the assholes have free reign.
Yes. That's why free speech was created. To protect the "abusers". This is something you learn in your first year of college. At least I did. As my jewish philosophy professor said, free speech rights that doesn't protect neo-nazi speech is worthless. Think about it? What use is free speech rights if it doesn't protect "offensive speech". We wouldn't need it if free speech only protected "acceptable speech".
> There's a difference between defending a controversial point of view and telling people to kill themselves and simply slinging slurs and insults.
Not really. If you believe in free speech. If you were correct, atheists who insult the religious would be banned. The civil rights movement that insulted racists would have been banned.
> Generally, reddit tries to allow free speech while keeping out the assholes
It really doesn't. Reddit is an openly hyperliberal free speech.
> whereas Voat let the assholes have free reign.
Absolutely. Voat is where the rightist assholes reign free. Reddit is where the leftist assholes reign free.
That is the problem you get when you don't have free speech. You get echo chambers.
The only people who defend reddit are the hyperliberal people with an agenda. Just like voat is filled with hyperconservatives.
If you don't like voat, you really shouldn't like reddit either. They are fundamentally, the same kind of anti-free speech madness. Unless you have a bias and a hatred for free speech.
This is the issue with a lot of pro free speech websites, or a a lot of 'alternatives' to popular platforms in general.
Unless the more popular site completely jumps the shark, only the more extreme users (read, those angry with the old service) move over. So the site gets more extreme due to them being the only ones represented, and hence attracts more extreme users as a result. Repeat ad infinitum, until the new site is filled with people who are so far to one extreme of the political spectrum that it actively puts off a lot of more moderate potential users.
The only way Voat can get out of this is if it can draw in people who aren't interested in Trump, GamerGate or fringe politics.
More than that though, Voat doesn't seem to have any significant funding or even team behind it, so even if people do end up flocking to a site primarily known for its ardent bigotry, it's unlikely Voat can withstand a large spike in its traffic and scale to even a fraction of Reddit-level.
Reddit has been an interesting exercise in shaping online communities, and the zeitgeist has changed in response. Where extremist views were originally approached on the basis of maximum tolerance, the resulting loss of more mainstream users (and the extremist domination of even unrelated subreddits), has shifted away from it. My suspicion is that mainstream users will gravitate towards forums that have a heavier moderating hand.
An interesting question is if this will cause a general return to more independent, freestanding online communities (as opposed to Reddit's model of centralizing a vast number of topics under one roof).
Watching that little civil war was entertaining.