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Free speech is a hard requirement for democracy, and a hard requirement of free speech is accepting the freedom of speech you find objectionable. Your nation was founded upon this principle as a cornerstone, and yet you have regressed back to ochlocracy. It wasn't even 100 years ago that any discussions of LGBT welfare were censored the same way by people with the same mindset.

> Would you want me to come up to your kid and cuss him out for no reason? Your mom?

We're talking about an online discussion group that discusses things that some, including myself, find objectionable. We're talking about whether such groups should be allowed to exist, and by extension whether those ideas should be allowed to exist. You're talking about harassment with an example that doesn't even intersect freedom of speech. Terrible strawman.

When I emigrated from the former Soviet Union, freedom of speech was one of the bigger changes in everyday life. It was also something that people were proud of and supported. They understood that it's what allows democracy to function, they understood that by definition it means supporting objectionable speech. Now I'm watching the tide turn and the same people actually supporting censorship in their own nations.

I always thought the censorship and thought-policing started with the oppressive government in the Soviet Union, I didn't believe that people initially welcomed it. But here we are, the cycle is repeating again.




We're not talking about a government shutting down 8chan. We're talking about one (of many) providers being unwilling to rebroadcast 8chan's content. (Rebroadcast, not host. Their hosting provider is still hosting them.)

I understand people's dislike for any kind of censorship, because it's immensely difficult (impossible, perhaps) to trust the people doing the censoring to be free of bias and to always do the right thing. And I agree with that!

But let's not pretend that all ideas are equal and great. That's just a flat-out falsehood. Some ideas don't deserve to see the light of day. And sure, it's difficult to trust any group to make that judgment. But doing nothing isn't a great option, either.

Don't get me wrong: I don't want to see a government making things like 8chan illegal. But I also don't want to see a government requiring that companies like Cloudflare rebroadcast 8chan's content against their will.


That's a separate discussion. How big does a corporation have to get before the government must intervene? Imagine there was only Cloudflare and nothing else. Should they still be allowed to arbitrarily de-platform ideas and individuals?

Should Visa and Mastercard be allowed to arbitrarily de-platform a business and therefore guarantee it can't operate?

Cloudflare et al are particularly heinous because they'll claim to be a dumb common carrier to protect themselves from legal action for re-hosting illegal material, and then turn around and cherry-pick exactly the kind of content they want to re-host. Can't have it both ways.


Most democracies have limits on freedom of speech. Do you think Germany is not a democracy for disallowing some references to Nazism? Do you think Finland is not a democracy since we can and have fined persons for "inciting against groups of people"? Let alone for slander and such.


We are talking about legal speech which is being de-platformed because it's unpopular. And not just a particular kind of speech, but the entire platform on which speech in general takes place.

If it were prohibited speech or if the platform was illegal, this article would not exist and neither would this discussion.

A pretty distinct contrast to the prohibited speech in your examples.


It's only legal in some countries. There are plenty of places where incitement to violence is a crime ...


Then I guess the president of the united states[1], the president of the philippines[2], the president of china[3], and all respective news corporations that broadcast their direct calls to violence should be de-platformed as well, if we're being impartial. Right?

And since we're being impartial, we should just ban entire television channels because they have broadcast these direct calls to violence. Just like 8chan is being de-platformed for a handful of posts that were submitted by users. Right?

[1] https://www.snopes.com/fact-check/donald-trump-incitement-vi...

[2] https://www.hrw.org/news/2017/04/19/philippines-duterte-inci...

[3] https://www.theguardian.com/world/2019/jul/01/hong-kong-prot...

Perhaps let's talk about the fact that the individual that precipitated this action also shared his views on twitter and facebook. And they were not removed until he became a figure of media attention. He also used facebook livestream. Time to de-platform those too, yes?


I'd be happy with the leaders of those countries being told to sit in a corner and shut up until they could stop encouraging violence.

That wasn't my point though, and I'm pretty sure you know that.




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