there aren't too many things that i'm a raving aboslutist about, but the freedom of political speech is one of them.
If my employer attempts to step on my neck for saying things about china that china doesn't like, on my time, and my personal accounts, their next contact from me will be from an ACLU lawyer.
And we obviously don’t want to speak to the people at large, but I definitely think we should have no qualms about calling out behavior of the Chinese gov as we do the Russian gov.
It’s such a contrast for Russian expats and Chinese expats and how company wide comms go out asking people to be mindful and not offend (but never get comms about not offending Russkies). I think this speaks to the importance of where the money comes from and how sensitive they are to that.
But strong nations don't need to do that. Weak nations do. Russia is actually stronger than China here, because Russia doesn't feel like they have to stop all criticism.
> The law, which critics say is reminiscent of Soviet-era legislation used to target political dissidents, stipulates fines of up to 100,000 roubles (£1,155) for “indecent” online posts that demonstrate a “blatant disrespect for society, the country, Russia’s official state symbols, the constitution, or the authorities”.
Perhaps I should have said that, while China and Russia are both very concerned about their image inside the country (showing that they have some fear of their own population, perhaps), China is much touchier about its image outside the country.
Russia's GDP is about 2017USD$ 1.7 T.
China's is 2017USD$ 12.2 T.
Companies traditionally aren't in the habit of doing favors for inconsequential entities. And for non-energy multinationals, Russia is generally more trouble than it's worth.
GDP/person: China $8,609, Russia $11,805. It's complicated to compare these two countries. China has a much larger economy so they have a bigger pool of money to spend, but then they have less per person. But both countries have huge poor groups.
A better explanation: China is much more unstable than Russia, and revolution is a much more dangerous and consequential threat.
The major issue is that the mythos of the Chinese state has always required a unified China, and unifying such a large, heavily populated country is difficult.
They also likely feel “victimized” as losers of the Cold War... (though wrongly).
China however lost multiple time (in history) against "inferior", cruel or "dumb" enemies because of internal unrest. Those lost caused part of their territory to be under the rule of foreigners for multiple years, decades even in some cases.
Nationalism worked great for liberalism in the 18th century, but now it seems it became a tool for any government.
If you had a union on the other hand, it could stipulate protection of this kind of speech as part of the employment contract and marshal the resources to mount an actual, meaningful defense if your employer were to try these tactics.
couldn’t that also be accomplished though employee ownership? e.g. without the militancy?
Sounds an awful lot like a socialist euphemism for an ideologically-motivated blend of censorship.
Socialism, yeah okay. Pro-censorship?
Increasingly, every single right that we have that was enumerated in the Constitution and the Bill of Rights has been encroached upon by the government via workarounds and loopholes (see: Commerce Clause).
While it’s all well and good to prevent the government from quashing speech and other rights, when your boss can fire you for saying something they disagree with or if you refuse things like workplace surveillance (potentially costing you your housing and healthcare in the process), these protections seem pretty threadbare. I think we need to do more to check the authoritarianism of our economy if we have any real aspiration to adhere to them.
1. I work for private company X.
2. X tells me to vote for Y, says that Y is awesome, supports Y, donates to Y. (pick any of these)
3. I campaign for and vote for Z.
4. I am fired because i voted for Z.
Any outcome in which X is not crushed into little pieces is so incredibly far off the deep end from what the values of who we are as a country are that it's frankly inconceivable to me. If the free expression of political speech is so crabbed and constrained that the above is ok, or legal, or both, then we're fucked.
Many people assume that gay and transgendered people are protected from employer discrimination but that is also currently being adjudicated.
If employers were unable to do anything about an employee's political speech, then China would face the choice between isolating itself economically, or tolerating criticism.
The correct play here, is to get the word out that people need to review every single paper they sign and line out the clauses that allow dismissal for bringing yourself or the company into public disrepute. People have to understand that they shouldn't be just signing away their rights like that.
The ACLU can't protect you if you've signed these kinds of contracts.
Forget. That. Noise.
I don't think it's unfair to presume that the author wasn't considering "people" to be "nations" in this context.
Of course he knew perfectly well that "the people" are giant corporations. But because he agreed with the censorship at the time, he chose to frame it as somehow democratic.
You might notice the part where the people who offended china are lauded and the cowardly companies are being lambasted for failing to stand up to china.
You've made a very convincing argument - if those that are censored are afterwards lauded, then the lauding means they're not being censored. But if they're condemned, that means it's people refusing to listen - again not censorship. And if they're neither lauded nor condemned, because no-one heard of them because the censorship was successful, well then we don't even talk about it. No matter what happens, it's not censorship!
What if instead of china he started talking about how white people need to start driving the lesser races out? Should blizzard still be required to associate with him? Is anything less than business as normal too much of an impingement on his rights?
What happened to him is just business. If you don't like it (I don't), then blame capitalism (I do).
I guess this employee also acted like a piece of crap and deserved it. Or does that comic only apply when he agrees with the censorship?
And it's not the US government leaning on them, but a foreign government. Don't see a legal case here, and it's even in-line with popular moral sentiment nowadays.
Thats some nice doublespeak. By that definition the chinese people have total freedom of speech, just no freedom from the consequences of being disappeared by the CCP!
Q: Is it true that there is freedom of speech in the Soviet Union, just like in the USA?
A: In principle, yes. In the USA, you can stand in front of the White House in Washington, DC, and yell, "Down with Reagan!", and you will not be punished. Equally, you can also stand in Red Square in Moscow and yell, "Down with Reagan!", and you will not be punished.
Q: What is the difference between the Constitutions of the US and USSR? Both of them guarantee freedom of speech.
A: Yes, but the Constitution of the USA also guarantees freedom after the speech.
Somehow corporations are seen as naturally good, from whom protection is not needed. Only the government is seen as a potential source of tyranny or oppression.
How long will this be justifiable, with the rapid gain in power by corporations?
It's not that corporations (or individuals) are seen as being naturally good. But they don't have the power to imprison you or silence you by force and, in fact, would be committing a crime by doing so. They have some civil remedies for stealing trade secrets or breaching NDAs.
Certainly major corporations have a lot of power. But it is still a fundamentally different degree and type of power than the government has.
The ability to fire you and give scathing negative references to any prospective future employers (thus in turn eradicating one's ability to participate in a market-driven economy/society) is just as severe of a penalty, and imposing that penalty for the purposes of silencing political dissent is just as reprehensible. We're (hopefully) critical of that having happened in retrospect during the era of McCarthyism and Red Scares; why should we be expected to accept that as "okay" now?
And that's all even without the ability to lobby politicians to make laws in their benefit / at your expense.
Even if you did infuriate your neighbors to the point where the guy at the general store wouldn't deal with you - you could pick up and move somewhere else, not even that far away, and it would all be fine.
That's absolutely not the case today. If you get hit by the wrong company, you can be denied the right to participate in swaths of society. And no matter where you go, they're there. You can't get away. Their power extends throughout the country, and often outside of it too.
And as society changed in this manner, we've done nothing to ensure our freedoms remain protected. We've mostly thrown up our hands and decided by default that it was okay because at least the government wasn't doing it - even though corporations hold just as much power to make your life absolutely miserable. It seems a little silly to point out they can't arrest you - oh, sure, not directly, but they can do a whole lot to you short of that, and they can go a long way towards getting you arrested.
There's no "right to publicly support things that are not illegal without employer punishment."
Well this is because it's all the the US constitution legally protects us from.
I agree with your general point about corporate power, but getting fired from your job (corporate power) is simply not the same as getting thrown in jail or having your rights reduced in any way (state power)
"Freedom of Speech" is a Western concept generally traced back to Greece and Rome. Why would you expect China to adopt a similar position when it's not part of their philosophy, history, or culture?
(Repo named after south park episode)
I think this could be a wikipedia page, and sources could be added.
"There is a separate whitelist here (as link)" would probably be clearest.
With the way many are using the Internet is blurs or removes the lines between private and public along with removing regional group barriers.
So, I used to be able to run my mouth locally on some topic and have no work or global repercussions. Now, you do that on the Internet, it could be seen be people thousands of miles away, and it could impact ones career.
It's not just technology but how we choose to use it and guide others to do so as well.
That said, the walls between personal and professional can break down in a big hurry if some ill-considered (or just unconventional) remark/action/etc. goes viral. Companies will cut their connections with most individuals very quickly if that's the easiest and least embarrassing response to an online mob.
They don't care about online mobs, they care about the drop in revenue that will come from lost business. Reputations that take years to recover impact revenues for each of those years. That's the issue.
If we could think of a way to insulate companies from lost revenue, the problem could be solved. To date, there have only been clumsy, amateurish attempts to do this. Actions like, telling everyone, "Hey, go spend your money with this company!" Which for a lot of reasons rarely, if ever, works. We have to come up with something that would provide decision makers at these firms more certainty.
Which, as you say can be damaging to their brand and ultimately their revenue, ability to hire people, etc. The fact is that the path of least resistance to mitigate and close out the damaging outcry as quickly as possible is often to apologize, fire someone, make some harmless concession, etc.
If you post it on Twitter for everyone to see it's not your private life. It's public.
This is now paired with a change in attitude. There used to be a tone of forgiveness and to help people. Now when people screw up there are groups looking to destroy them. And, the definitions of what's wrong or a screw up are changing among different groups which complicates things.
"Strange game. The only way to win is not to play." -- Joshua / WOPR (War Games)
I could see an attitude like:
- Sure, people do dumb things on social media especially when they're in college etc. No one cares.
I could also see:
- Those fools. Who is so stupid as to associate their real identity with social media accounts? (Of course, since you can't keep other people from posting, it's a little hard to see this happening.)
OTOH, there's probably more outrage in the culture generally and probably more people who can rally a supporting crowd for hurt feelings and other arguably trivial rationales.
I would boycott these companies but to be honest I don't have any accounts with them in the first place and I am actively closing accounts and reducing my presents on the internet.
Though I also agree that you shouldn't have presents on the internet, either.
It is the responsibility of government to counteract such pressure and protect business from becoming proxy to foreign interference in domestic political discourse, not to mention protecting such discourse in itself.
Until a company actually does this, this is just clickbait speculation.
SIGNIFICANT EDIT: it seems the NBA has walked back and is now supporting the employee in question, as a consequence China has banned all NBA broadcasts in the country.
Even so, with at-will employment, employees have always been subject to being fired for saying something controversial on social media, so this is nothing new.
Corporations hr departments have firing down to a fine art.
There is plenty of real coverage that takes place, but it doesn't fill a 24-hour news cycle. It consists of things like direct quotes of what candidates actually said and things they actually did. The rest of it is filled with guesses about hypothetical policies they might adopt and what horrible/wonderful things might occur if they do get adopted. In other words, clickbait speculation.
This coverage is about US employers en masse firing employees unless they censor themselves on social media. This is not a thing that has happened. This is not coverage about the two specific incidents that actually occurred. It is speculation.
The person quoted in the article is from the American Enterprise Institute, which is a think tank. This is not someone in charge of setting policy at any US company. This is someone sitting on the sidelines and making guesses.
Neither have US elections in 2020. Both are likely to happen if current tendencies keep in the future, which makes it sensible to discuss what would happen then. We see people fired or under threat of firing for social media posts all the time. Is it cause for concern for everybody right now? No, not yet. Does it happen frequently enough that it might become an issue in the future? IMO, yes, absolutely.
> This is someone sitting on the sidelines and making guesses.
These are not just abstract guesses made out of nothing on a whim. Those are educated guesses made following current trends - as much as speaking about who would win 2020 US elections. In both cases, nobody knows the answer until it happens. In both cases, it still makes sense to talk about it because it is important, it might happen, and talking about it now might prevent undesirable result in the future.
oh wait, capitalism. Nevermind. Let's pander to them instead.
Wow, that is crazy.
I can't seem to find any indication that it actually happened, though. You happen to have a source? I'd love to read more about the badass that is The Hogg.
> One of the first netizens to share this news, David Ng, a student at the Education University of Hong Kong, told Taiwan News that this information came from a trusted source who works as a manager for Cathay Pacific Airways