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YouTube bans Stefan Molyneux, David Duke, Richard Spencer for hate speech (theverge.com)
364 points by nickthegreek 80 days ago | hide | past | favorite | 887 comments



When I, a white young boy, grew up in The South and saw the Klan, my father taught me to never do business with them, never enable their behavior, never let their organization rent rooms from venues I may own, and to decline all of their business even if they were paying extra to be your customer.

For as long as he could remember, and his father before him, the Klan and other fringe organizations would always cry and shed tears about how they were being pushed to the edge and ostracized from the local communities. Most of the town ignored these common pleas. We knew how to deal with them and ignore them, we had our inoculated culture. A few businesses were locally known to be "Klan friendly", but it should surprise no one that they are not rich mega-corps.

It seems that in the internet age, this sort of culture of inoculation has not been passed on to the outside world communities, though the far-right ideologies may have. It is normal to decline the business of people you don't want to do business with. It is normal for it to be the fringe believers -- the ones that by their own choice are pushing themselves to live on that fringe. It is the simple free-market economy of supply and demand telling them that their demand is not necessary.

However, my father also taught me to be careful with this pushing of the fringe. It is a delicate balance of liberty with liberty-destroying ideology. The paradox of tolerance, etc. It should be very closely watched.

It is a win for the far-right to have y'all here on HN "disagree with them but still believe they should be here and not on the fringe". They will shed tears in public and privately rejoice at the welcoming change. It is a grant of liberty they suddenly inherited with tech to have had such a huge audience and defenders of their speech on private platforms all this time. It is only now that the culture of inoculation is catching up.

We should watch it closely & carefully though. We shouldn't be shedding tears for them.


> It is a win for the far-right to have y'all here on HN "disagree with them but still believe they should be here and not on the fringe".

Just FTR we are pretty far from accepting the far right here on HN:

tptacek shared some interesting research he'd done a couple of hours ago and it might be of interest to everyone here:

https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=23681929


> tptacek shared some interesting research

No, he didn’t. He shared the subjective impression which led him to stop the research, but not the results, or even the methodology used to classify content.


Wait? We have a a “rep” on Twitter? HN is like one of the most civil places on the Internet insofar as ones where any debate of substance happens.


Mention sexism in tech and it'll get flagged off the front page almost immediately, because that's one of the issues where the third rail is too close to HN's own posters that substantial debate is impossible.

Also, civility is not the same as not having abhorrent ideas written up in nice language.


I've another explanation:

different groups of people flags those for different reasons.

- some flag them because they want to keep all politics out of HN

- some just don't like people arguing

- some flag them because of that guy who invariably will bring out JD as an example that sexism goes the other way too (or to say that it mostly goes the other way even)

- some flag them because from their point of view it looks like women have an easier life in IT in men. (This is not generally correct, but to someone who realizes that there are serious KPIs, bonuses and pats on the back to be had for recruiting women in certain companies it might easily look that way. The flip side being they are often treated like decoration instead of like engineers.)

There are some really big issues to tackle in this space but so many people are so busy accusing the other side while simultaneously shutting their ears that I too will soon start flagging them. I'll also admit to having been part of this problem (the shouting part of it before.)

- someone who was always well liked with everyone but is slowly admitting that the other side had some valid points as well.


Politics of almost any kind will be flagged quickly here, even if it's tech related.


Yes; just search Twitter for "orange site".


That was not the point of linking to that, but it seems so.

krageon 80 days ago [flagged]

HN is pretty well known to be a cesspool of terrible far-right ideas. What's more, they're not mocked or booed off but enabled. You don't endear yourself to the general public by doing so.


Everyone with a strong political commitment sees HN as dominated by the opposite politics to their own. This is an illusion. For everyone saying what you're saying, someone else is saying this: https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=23396632. Both statements are false; it's just a large enough and chaotic enough dataset that you can find examples of anything—and the ones you dislike the most will be the ones you remember the most (https://hn.algolia.com/?dateRange=all&page=0&prefix=true&que...).

For sure terrible comments appear. The false part is to say that they're representative of the community—they're not. Commenters with opposite views notice opposite examples, claim those are the representative ones, and are just as wrong. I've mentioned just one counterexample chosen at random, but could as easily link to 50, and another 50 on your side.

Most such posts get downvoted and/or flagged, though it takes a while for the immune system to work. More here: https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=23686864


"Far right" according to the far-left echo chamber that is Twitter, perhaps. One should never confuse the people who dominate social media with the general public.


He made a claim, but he didn’t actually share any of his research or data.


I'm fairly certain he can stand for it.

Also, tptacek is fairly far to the left it seems (in an American context) so it actually surprised me quite a bit that he'd write that.

Based on that last observation I think most of us can agree, can't we?


> Also, tptacek is fairly far to the left it seems

While in the modern US there is a common (and increasingly strong) correlation on average between political attitudes toward race and gender and the left/right economic axis, there is nothing strongly inherent about that. Racism and sexism on the left are not at all unheard of.

(I don't see any evidence that tptacek is a racist or sexist, I just don't think “hey, he's left-of-American-center, so if he says HN is clear of racism/sexism, it must be the case” is even approximately a reasonable position.)

But, in any case, his own description seems to repeatedly focus on explicit misogynistic or white supremacists content, so even were we to take it as gospel it is perfectly consistent with HN being filled with the kind of urbane circumlocution that is frequently used to provide a thin veneer of not-all-that-plausible-in-aggregate deniability over bigoted attitudes.


I don't agree that the validity of his claim depends in any way on his character, reputation, or personal political views. The validity of a claim is independent of any attribute of the person making the claim. The only way to make any judgment about the claim is to see the data and methodology.


> Based on that last observation I think most of us can agree, can't we?

HN is in a weird place today, very similar to where the Slate Star Codex guy was a few years ago. That is, racist Whites seem to feel safe commenting here (with appropriate dog whistles and what not), but you wonder how long that can last…

In the end, the SSC guy banned more and more commenters but it wasn't sufficient to save him and he ended up deleting his blog [0] when the world turned its eyes to the kinds of discussions he allowed. I expect the same to happen with HN.

dang does a good job keeping people on-message politically (and I'm sure tptacek did as well), but being "racist-adjacent"—which HN absolutely is [1]—isn't a long-term viable position.

Someday soon I expect the racist-adjacent user-banning to kick into high gear on HN (like SSC did) but it will be too little, too late. Eventually, HN will inevitably shut down—and it might be sooner than any of us think.

[0] https://slatestarcodex.com/

[1] This is from an hour ago: https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=23683033


Linking to one flagged comment from a green account doesn't really support your position that the entire community is "racist-adjacent". Neither does linking to a blog post that claims Scott shut SSC down to protect his patients support your position that he did it to evade justice.


It is never the entire community. In situations where this kind of drifts occur, most of the group are usually people with little knowledge about activist dynamics and unwilling to consider that people they know/trust may adhere to or have done things they consider abhorrent. Therefore, they tend do be blindsided about stuff that, in hindsight, was obvious.

This is likely why above poster says "racist-adjacent" and not racist-friendly.

I have no particular opinion on HN, but I have noticed that the tech community in general is usually not the most politics-aware group. This makes us pretty vulnerable to this kind of behaviour.


> In the end, the SSC guy banned more and more commenters but it wasn't sufficient to save him and he ended up deleting his blog when the world turned its eyes to the kinds of discussions he allowed.

That isn't why he deleted it. He deleted it because the NYT was threatening to publish his real name in a way that would make it untenable for him to continue to practice psychiatry.

> [1] This is from an hour ago: https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=23683033

To reduce criticism of SPLC to "racism" isn't helping the health of discourse here.


> To reduce criticism of SPLC to "racism" isn't helping the health of discourse here.

"The SPLC is a hate group" is considered healthy, valid criticism to you, coming from an account which then said that "hate speech against white people has been normalized in our society for some time now" and linked to The Bell Curve as proof for the superiority of the white race, but referring to them as "racist-adjacent" is unacceptably reductionist?


The comment "The SPLC is a hate group" is not racist. Even if the person who said it is otherwise racist, it's entirely possible for racists to say things that aren't racist.

Whatever "racist-adjacent" means, clearly it must mean "not actually racist" because if it was racist, I'm sure you would call that.


An outspoken racist falsely attacks one of the great legal defenders of Blacks in America and your argument is, "it's entirely possible for racists to say things that aren't racist."

I'm doubtful you will convince anyone with that argument: perhaps not even yourself.


My argument is that I don't think the user's other comments are relevant to the question of whether the statement is racist.

Now, if you think the statement "the SPLC is a hate group" is false that's fine. I think there is a debate that is worth having here on HN - especially when tech companies are using the SPLC's hate list to justify their deplatforming decisions. In my opinion, the SPLC's use of defamation and fear-mongering for profit make the statement perfectly justified.

Calling it "racist" or "racist-adjacent" is a rhetorical attack that does not serve the purpose of mutual enlightenment. "Racist-adjacent" strikes me as particularly insidious since implicit in that label is the admission that the thing being labeled is not actually racist.


You clearly aren't familiar with the actual history of the splc. Even the name is a bit of a scam, chosen for it's adjacency to Martin Luther Kings civil rights organisation, the SCLC. The founder is a direct marketing hall of famer.


> In the end, the SSC guy banned more and more commenters but it wasn't sufficient to save him and he ended up deleting his blog [0] when the world turned its eyes to the kinds of discussions he allowed. I expect the same to happen with HN.

That's... not what happened? He's explicitly stated that he deleted his blog due to the fact that the NYT are planning on doxxing him in a story about SSC. He's fine with the story itself, and the attention garnered, but does not want his name attached to it and announced to the world via one of America's most popular newspapers due to his work as a psychiatrist. As far as I'm aware, this is not because SSC contains comments about right wing views or anything, but more due to an intent to maintain his privacy to his patients, which he believes will improve their quality of care.

If you think I'm incorrect in the above interpretation, feel free to disagree.


I do disagree, there was a lot of discussion about this on SSC prior to Scott shutting it down. If you just read what's on the site now, you're missing most of the important background information. In particular, the "reporter" at the NYT was clearly looking to get SSC cancelled, so Scott self-cancelled before that could happen, on his own terms.

I'm ambivalent about his decision, but it was definitely his to make and probably is in the best interest of his patients (and himself)—at least in the short-term. The world, however, has lost a really good blog and community.


I've read SSC for a while now, and check in with the community every so often. Before the takedown, there was talk about the reporter writing an article, with the general consensus being "nervous but optimistic".

I'd love to see clear evidence about the reporter clearly looking to get Scott cancelled. The scare quotes on "reporter" are unnecessary.

I'm sad that the blog is down. "Categories are for man" is an essay/lens that I find very valuable. I hope the situation resolves with the blog being up and the NYT not doxxing Scott.


> I'd love to see clear evidence about the reporter clearly looking to get Scott cancelled. The scare quotes on "reporter" are unnecessary.

Here's an example of the NYT providing anonymity to a therapist with a political blog in 2015: https://twitter.com/s8mb/status/1275436187713286144

Here's the NYT protecting the anonymity of female gamers to protect them from harassment (on the same day that Scott took down his blog): https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=23619347

There are other examples, but those strike me as the most related to Scott's circumstances. It's not proof per se, but it severely undermines the credibility of the statement that it would be against NYT policy to grant the same protections to Scott.


Good find. There were also tweets from the reporter, who said in effect "what do you [Scott] have to hide?" about the SSC story.

Scott's attempt to spin it as a positive story in his farewell letter is, I think, an attempt to both influence the NYT in that direction, but also to keep the focus on the doxxing, and not on why SSC might be controversial. He's trying to keep that part out of the public debate entirely, which seems smart.

Also: I'm sorry you're being downvoted so badly, I don't think it's deserved.


> There were also tweets from the reporter, who said in effect "what do you [Scott] have to hide?" about the SSC story.

Woah, really? That's bad.

> Scott's attempt to spin it as a positive story in his farewell letter is, I think, an attempt to both influence the NYT in that direction, but also to keep the focus on the doxxing, and not on why SSC might be controversial. He's trying to keep that part out of the public debate entirely, which seems smart.

That's actually a pretty reasonable interpretation, and probably flips the script in a way that they weren't prepared for. A couple days ago the NYT ran a piece begging people not to cancel their subscriptions. I didn't read the piece to see if it reference SSC, so it could just be a coincidence, but I know there was the #ghostnyt campaign on Twitter in response Scott closing his blog.

The Daily Beast also reported that some of the staff internally at the NYT (mostly the tech folks) were rather irate at learning (from Hacker News, no less) about the planned doxxing of Scott.

> Also: I'm sorry you're being downvoted so badly, I don't think it's deserved.

Thank you. It's really not that bad and my net karma is actually up quite a bit overall from this thread, but kind words and interesting arguments matter more to me than votes. I won't speculate as to the motivation behind the downvotes, and they won't change my opinions, but I do treat them as an opportunity to look at how I could improve the usefulness of my comments here.


I am well aware that the NYT has been inconsistent at best with their anonymity standards. Definitely undermines that policy.

Still don't think that construes sufficient evidence to claim that this current situation is intended to cancel Scott, or that the NYT's policy is to cancel people who post politically. I don't think Scott was against an article being written about SSC, only that it will contain his name. I'm happy if you think that it can be pieced together from his previous statements, but I don't think there's sufficient evidence presented here.


I agree the reporter was trying to get him cancelled (or at least that seems very likely) but I don't think Scott's decision had anything to do with "the world turning its eyes to the kinds of discussions he allowed". Frankly, regardless of the kind of political discussions on his blog, that kind of exposure would likely ruin his ability to practice medicine. Having the "right" politics matters very little when many of your patients don't.


Scott has spoken many times on SSC that his concern is with his employer—i.e. he's afraid of getting fired for the contents of his blog, and perhaps what he himself has written in the past. That's why he uses a pseudonym online—he's not afraid of his patients, at least, not primarily.

Obviously, if Scott is fired from where he works, he can't continue to treat his current patients—so that's where the harm to "his ability to practice and treat his patients" come in.

He didn't lay all of that out explicitly in his farewell post on SSC, but it's fully consistent with what he wrote—if you're aware of the history of his employment concerns and the likely result of the NYT article sending a bunch of low-info culture warriors after him personally as a result.

People can disagree about his motives, of course. For me, the above is most consistent with everything Scott's written previously, as well as the final farewell post.


People reliably will come out to defend white nationalists in every topic it comes up here. And people denouncing white nationalists will be voted down.


Can this be because your group of "white nationalists" is getting very big and possibly includes a good number of innocent people?

Someone wrote something really interesting here somewhere a couple of days ago:

every time a non-racist says something not correct enough or God forbid even wrong (e.g. on twitter), they are ejected into the other camp. Eventually the other camp's grown from a fringe phenomenon to being noticeably large and everyone laments.

https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=23664418


No, it's not. It's because people make point-in-time observations about HN and don't see the community working over hours, which is what you have to do, since anyone can make an account and write any comment they want here.


And how did you define "white nationalism"?

HN routinely votes down to the max all kinds of mainstream and legitimate viewpoints that aren't "white nationalism" but aren't supportive of globalism either. Literally any criticism of the EU will hit -4 within hours regardless of how grounded in facts it is. Given the rhetoric that often accompanies that topic, without a doubt some people consider any criticism of the EU institutions or ideologies to be some sort of racist zealotry, although it's utterly mainstream throughout Europe.


> aren't supportive of globalism either.

You understand that when you speak of "globalism" this way, you place yourself as a member of a tiny, if vocal, minority.

Hacker News has a lot of sophisticated, intelligent people from all over the world and that's why fringe political beliefs aren't common. I would add that the collegial atmosphere here means people are unsupportive of naked aggression and anger, which also seems to be a common component of fringe political beliefs.

If it's important for you to criticize the EU and have people listen to you, there are plenty of places to go for that.

My personal belief about the EU is that it like all political systems is flawed and could certainly do with constructive criticism, but has managed to deliver a high standard of living, personal rights, some degree of income equality and even happiness to its citizens for decades now and do it better than any other.

This is why I personally left the United States after thirty years to move to Europe.


Given I'm British, that'd make me a part of the majority actually. And in the USA that anti-globalism candidate won the last election, so, I guess I'd be in the majority there too (barely).

Obviously you're entitled to your view on the EU, but your attitude is why EU supporters lost in the UK and would lose in other countries in the unlikely event their political systems would ever give them a true choice on the matter. You cannot handle genuine, well reasoned, intelligent and sophisticated criticism of the EU so simply try to suppress it.

That mistake is how the EU's supporters in the UK got their asses kicked, despite having way more resources and the full support of the entire global establishment on their side. They thought all "intelligent, sophisticated" people agreed with them ... because they'd shouted down or suppressed everyone who disagreed. They were then shocked to discover that their arguments were deemed incredibly weak by the large section of the population that hadn't already made up their minds.

That's what happens when you deplatform those you disagree with. They don't go away. They keep refining their arguments where you can't see it, and then if one day you go head to head with them - you lose.


> And in the USA that anti-globalism candidate won the last election, so, I guess I'd be in the majority there too (barely).

Trump soundly lost the popular vote. Read up on the electoral college if you're curious; it's a doozy


Fairly sure I could write a comment about how egregiously bad the handling of the financial crisis was in Greece by the EU, or the failings of the Common Agricultural Policy, without getting downvoted to -4.

(I used to consider myself a "cautious/mild euroskeptic" up until the referendum, at which point I've become a hard-remainer)


Try it. Though for some reason Greece seems to be considered legitimate criticism by some EU supporters, perhaps because this "criticism" is in reality a demand for the EU to have done more, rather than less.


This is a thread topic about white nationalists being banned from YouTube. It has 700+ comments, many of them in defense of the banned. Which of the banned people being defended are not actually white supremacists, but innocents caught in a too-broad dragnet?


[flagged]


Stefan Molyneaux is a racist. Racists can be concerned for child welfare.


Your comment does not appear to prove that Stephen Molyneux is not a racist. Can you explain why you think it does?


It's a good question politely asked, so uncomfortable as the subject makes me I'm going to try. Like I said though, this is an awful ball of wax and it feels dirty to approach it. I'm going to try and tackle it via the question of how one identifies a racist. Let me start with a generic, emotionally less charged example and then try to relate that to the specifics of the Molyneux story.

Suppose two people are talking. The first says, "Minority X children score below the national average on IQ tests. I bet it's because minority X children are more likely to be exposed to lead in tapwater. Our country should have an all-hands on deck effort to solve the lead-in-tapwater problem" The other responds: "I am not interested in any discussion that begins with 'minority X children score below...'. You are a racist for saying this and I don't listen to policy proposals from racists".

Which of these two is the racist? By the modern definition, it's clearly the second, because he's arguing for a status quo that disadvantages minority X. Whether his heart is in the right place or not, he's contributing to systemic oppression by refusing to act in the face of injustice and therefore a racist. By the classic definition, it's just as clearly the first because he is asserting a difference between races. Whether his heart is in the right place or not, he's deepening racial divisions by this rhetoric and therefore a racist.

Hopefully we can agree on those definitions, if not the rest of this comment is pointless. Regardless, and assuming we can, let's bring this to the topic at hand.

African-Americans are Molyneux's 'Minority X' and child corporal punishment is his 'lead-in-tapwater'. Let's see first how he fares by the modern definition of racism. The wrinkle here might be that lead in tapwater is done to a population while corporal punishment is done by a population. This might seem to make it apples and oranges, but I'd disagree. Anyone who wished could make the case that higher rates of corporal punishment are self-evidently fallout from the abuses of colonialism, and done to the African-American population no less than leaded tapwater.

What's the standard under this definition for determining whether a person is a racist? I would propose the following two tests: if their professed beliefs are sincerely held, and if their proposals would lessen inequality assuming their premise is correct, then that person is not a racist. They may be mistaken in their premises, but in that case it is up to other non-racists to educate them, and there is no use for hostility in that process. By that standard, how does Molyneux fare? I think his life provides ample evidence that his beliefs were sincerely held. He became a public intellectual and subjected himself to ongoing, harsh criticism because he believed it was important people hear his ideas. He spoke often about corporal punishment of children and not once did he vary his message. As to the second test, if his premise is correct that higher rates of corporal punishment lead to worse education outcomes for African Americans, then it's fairly obvious that his proposal of no corporal punishment anywhere would help close the gap. Having listened to him speak, I genuinely believe that if his proposal was accepted and the result was that his children faced tougher competition for jobs and scholarships, he would consider it the best possible outcome and validation of his beliefs. So by that standard, I would definitively judge him 'not racist'.

Of course, Molyneux never made any of these arguments because like most people born before 1982, he would use the classical definition of racism and probably refuse to cede the linguistic territory necessary to make any of the foregoing arguments. The way to not be racist by the classical definition is much simpler and requires no arguments about colonial fallout. One must simply start the argument by saying 'inner city children...' instead of 'minority x children...' and one's thoughts on race are one's own affair. The trouble with that approach is, people born after 1982 immediately start shouting about dog whistles and secret racism, and one finds oneself isolated with people who increasingly egg one on to just name the races in question. I believe this is what happened with Molyneux. When I first encountered him, he seemed to be making a good-faith effort to talk about specific demographics instead of the races over represented in them. By the time I lost interest in his content, I must admit, he was no longer making that effort nor did the bulk of his audience want him to.

So on deeper reflection, I think it was a bit disingenuous of me to judge Molyneux only by one set of standards. By what is probably his own definition of racism - and though I'm conversant in both linguistic systems, the definition I use in private thought - he did commit racism. My only excuse is that I cede linguistic territory as instinctively as Molyneux would defend it, and it didn't occur to me much harm could be done thereby. I'll walk my statement back and say that Molyneux weaponized racism for an agenda that, had it succeeded, would have reduced racial inequality.


Stefan Molyneux is not saying that black children have lower IQs because of corporal punishment. He is saying that they have lower IQs because they are black.



It's this benevolent concern for the welfare of black children that underlies his complaint that 'relentless propaganda for "white women with black men" would serve to lower the average IQ of the offspring'?


Hitler was a vegetarian that loved animals.


I don't think I've even seen an explicitly racist post here, despite having dead comments turned on, maybe excepting obvious trolling or spam. Implicitly racist posts are usually downvoted.

I have seen downvoted replies that nonsensically infer racism in a post. I suspect that's how I would describe what you're thinking of.


Because they're not explicitly racist. It's dogwhistling, or talking points, which almost always indicates racism.

Someone saying that black communities should be more policed by dogwhistling that disproportionate crime warrants "assertion of police presence and predictive policing" by willfully misinterpreting statistics is racist, even if it doesn't explicitly say that black people should be harassed by police.


Does it bother you that some of the people most in favor of increased police presence in crime ridden communities are themselves black. Is it more likely that they are racist too, or that their material concerns for their safety are more legitimate than your racism dog whistle detector?


> I don't think I've even seen an explicitly racist post here, despite having dead comments turned on, maybe excepting obvious trolling or spam.

This is self-contradictory. You state that you have never seen explicitly racists posts here, but then you state the exceptions of "obvious trolling or spam". How does a racist post being "obvious trolling" make it not-racist? How does a racist post being spam make it not-racist? Racism abounds in trolling and spam. Spam and trolling are similarly havens for racism.

> Implicitly racist posts are usually downvoted.

That's not my experience.


The spam and trolling is racist, but it's flagged and downvoted to hell immediately. I was responding to someone saying the opposite voting trends exist for racist content.


>People reliably will come out to defend white nationalists in every topic it comes up here.

...and they will be voted down quickly.

> And people denouncing white nationalists will be voted down.

Examples please :-)

The closest thing I can come up with is when I kind of reliably get downvoted every time I say I'd support a ban on nazis but that seems to be die hard free speech people, not nazis.


I'm sorry but this very discussion contains the reverse of what you're saying. In a post suggesting that SM isn't racist, he's only concerned for the welfare of black children, I posted a link clearly highlighting the many instances of SM's racism. My post got downvoted, the parent didn't.


People are voting up people defending molyneux _in this thread_!


> Examples please :-)

The post you replied to was downvoted and flagkilled until I vouched for it. Every post from me in this thread is or has been graytext. Too many other examples just in this thread to enumerate or counteract.


Not exactly .. people will come out to defend "free speech". But somehow the cause in question is nearly always far right.


I did some very small experiments on such a thing a while ago. One was an example of someone being unjustly detained in violation of their rights [1] and another was an actual example of government censorship [2]. The first one was flagged and killed immediately, the second received zero response.

On HN, all of the 'free speech' stories I see always pertain to the far-right and/or incredibly vitriolic individuals getting removed from platforms. They receive massive amounts of votes and spur on large flamewars. HackerNews unfortunately is just as prone to falling into certain narrative traps as other websites and one of them that seems to come up more and more frequently is free speech and individual rights but only as it pertains to the far-right.

[1] https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=20504332

[2] https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=19976398


The discrepancy could be because Hacker News cares more about technology platforms than Alabama public TV. For an example of HN getting upset about government censorship on a technology platform, see https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=23223219


I'm not sure that's the case. Some examples looking back on some of the most popular HN stories tend to align well with either tech platforms or issues dealing with personal rights. Such as [1] or the Snowden and Julian Assange situations [2] [3]. Or for the sake of not cherry-picking, when the Supreme Corut legalized same-sex marriage [4]. Although perhaps somewhat morbidly, the top comment seems to demonstrate one of the problems I find with HN.

With my first story I figured it would fit well with the people that tend to advocate for personal rights because it was an example of an American citizen being wrongfully detained for three weeks, but it ended up flagged because I think people tend to circle the wagon around anything tangentially related to immigration.

The second example was about a direct example of government censorship and the inconsistency of free speech advocates. Google's actions and bending to China for the sake of maintaining profitable behavior is bad, yes, but they also are not the government. The government should be held to even higher standards and yet it seems people are not willing to do so for this administration. An example of that is that people here were praising the administration's threats against Twitter as some sort of pro-freedom move.

[1] https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=21517722

[2] https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=12494998

[3] https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=19632449

[4] https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=9784470


all of the 'free speech' stories I see always pertain to the far-right and/or incredibly vitriolic individuals getting removed from platforms

That's because getting people shut down, cancelled, censored, is a left wing tactic, so of course it always seems to be the right getting censored. Free speech is a value the right hold and the left do not, systematically so throughout history.


That is incorrect. Censorship is on the orthogonal spectrum to to the right-left one. It is in liberal-authoritarian spectrum, where authoritarian end usually has state censorship and liberal end usually has freedom to individuals/corps to their own selective "censorship" (by definition censorship is only by state entities, so the term should be different). Both left and right can be liberal and authoritarian. And in the middle are centrists.


Can you explain why either of these stories is at all relevant to this site?

I come here to get away from the shouty people. You seem upset people here won't let you get shouty. I disagree.


In contrary this person doesn't seem upset at all. What rhetoric are you picking up upset by? It seems reasoned and evidenced logic to me.


partly because we mostly agree about the rest of it so then there's no need to remind people about free speech.


Given the amount of state violence used against left wing protestors over the last month and the number of active political leaders championing that violence... I really don't agree. Leftist speech is silenced with guns. And the free speech supporters sit silent.


> And the free speech supporters sit silent.

Many of the people who raise objections based on “free speech” every time a private entity declines to actively participate in amplifying right wing speech have been actively cheering the events you describe, and arguing they need to be intensified, not sitting silent.


Lots of people seem to conflate how bad someone's speech is with how "free" it is.


There's an entirely innocuous reason for that: free speech isn't a concern for things that nobody is bothered by.


That can be interpreted in a very different way


The opposite thing is true of HN.


Somehow we have the opposite experience. One day, I'll see people claim HN is a safespace for socialists/communist lefties and another day it's a white nationalist haven.

Which is it? :P


dang has commented on this a lot lately and he says it is because we see the other side much easier than our own side.

I agree with him to a large degree:

I personally see mostly problematic content from the left[0] but I guess that is partly my bias.

[0]: for example this comment earlier today that I thought[1] was absolutely crazy "I don't want to participate in spaces where religious white nationalists feel safe" - just try to turn that phrase around to "I don't want to participate in spaces where atheistic colored globalists feel safe" and see if it wouldn't be flagged to death immediately by everyone including me.)

[1]: someone had to tell me that this is basically an euphemism for nazi, to which I had to reply that I would prefer if we just said nazi then because then I could join in despising it.


> "I don't want to participate in spaces where religious white nationalists feel safe"

VS

> "I don't want to participate in spaces where atheistic colored globalists feel safe"

The weight there is different though, in the groups you analyse the violence has historically flown in one direction more than in the other. I am inclined to think that there have been historically much less concerns of safety for "religious white nationalists" than for "theistic colored globalists"


> The weight there is different though, in the groups you analyse the violence has historically flown in one direction more than in the other.

I think you are wildly underestimating the violence of a number of non-religious groups: recommended reading includes the reign of terror, Stalin and Khmer Rouge.

... and also non-whites by the way.


While it's a euphemism for nazi, I hope you don't just assume that it's appropriate to use "white nationalist" to mean "nazi". Just because other people are being stupid doesn't mean we have to. A white nationalist could be from any political faction and could have different ideas for economic policy. A National Socialist is a very specific kind of person.


Totally agree in case there should be any doubt.

I prefer to call nazis "nazis". It is short and simple and we can all agree that we don't like them.


But then they reply that "whoever you think are Nazis are not Nazis" (https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=14034920).


Well, it's a fair point - if the only people who get banned are actual Nazis, everyone will get called a Nazi before too long.

Actual Nazis are rare. They were rare during WW2 and they're really rare now.


Religious white nationalists want me deported or killed. Of course I don't want to be in a space where they are safe.

People say white nationalist instead of Nazi because white nationalists will always deny being Nazis. Someone being nationalist for a race should immediately bring up red flags. There are also small differences. For example some white nationalists are not necessarily antisemitic, which is a characteristic of Nazis, or might even support Israel (though you can be pro-Israel and antisemitic of course), instead focusing their hate on black people, Muslims, etc...


> Religious white nationalists want me deported or killed.

Where do you get that religious thing from? Because for all their faults all major variants of the mainstream religion in US and Europe is pretty clear about not supporting that -to the point that a number of clergy got in real trouble with nazi Germany.


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Utter nonsense. The Catholic church was heavily involved in the German resistance, and thousands of Catholic priests were sent to Dachau for it.


I'm taking the religious part from the OP.

Also yes, while a lot of religious people are very good, the religious people that also happen to be white nationalists tend to be even worse than the garden variety white nationalist.


"Someone being nationalist for a race"

This makes literally no sense.


This is my experience here.


> Just FTR we are pretty far from accepting the far right here on HN:

I read your linked piece but came to the opposite conclusions you posted here. Reading tptacek's comment indicates to me that he thinks HN's tolerance of white supremacist content is unacceptable ("I don't believe the status quo is really acceptable...")

I also wonder about his criteria for selecting what is white supremacist content and what is not. Most of the content I see on HN that I consider white supremacist or racist content is written in the form of dog whistles and not overt statements. I personally think the prevalence of that content on HN is somewhat higher than tptacek was catching.


> It is a win for the far-right to have y'all here on HN "disagree with them but still believe they should be here and not on the fringe"...

The "far-right" is becoming a broad term in media usage and will end up in the same place as "racist" where it is a category that catches the views of a good 40% of people. It isn't obvious that wins for the far right is a bad thing.

Nobody is going to lose sleep over the Klan being pushed off Youtube, but Molyneux is not a member of the Klan.


While there are probably examples of that, I find it unlikely that the general use of the "far right" would capture 40% of people very unlikely.


Right now, you're right. But look at how definitions are changing.

When I grew up, I was taught that the goal in life was to be colorblind. Race didn't matter, what mattered was what was in one's heart.

Today, I'm considered a racist for these views. The term "racist" has been victim to this definition expansion too. Where it used to be considered "discrimination due to race," it has expanded to mean "discrimination by a majority group against a minority race," a definition that unnervingly doesn't consider hate speech against white people as racist.

At this rate, the definition of "far-right" will expand to the point where anyone not supporting the narrative of the day will be labeled as such. Just like how people were labeled "communist" in the 50's as a way to leverage power over others. It's modern-day McCarthyism, but what is different is that this modern-day McCarthyism is being applied to all the major social media platforms months before an election. The control they're trying to leverage over everyone is stunning.


There are so many examples it’s kind of ridiculous. Jordan Peterson, for example, who isn’t even remotely right.

What I mean to say, is that it’s become common for left-leaning media to describe perfectly moderate right positions as “far-right” and “alt-right,” to the point where those terms mean almost nothing to someone who isn’t politically savvy to distinguish.


Calling someone "far right" or "alt right" are effectively dog whistles at this point, used to notify a member of the Democrat party that their standing in the community and probably their income is at serious risk if they do anything to speak positively about the person.


How Jordan Peterson isn’t even remotely on the right apart from him saying it? Any action leaning on the left for him has some evil Marxist influence for him. Also his theories on “Masculinity“ have nothing to do with classical left and right and are de-facto alt-right.


Any action on the extreme left. Not only that, but also the extreme right.

As a result on one hand he's criticized as a nazi/racist by people on the far left (e.g. you, apparently), and as globalist/socialist by people on the right.


In a small town, everyone knows everyone, so it's easier to exclude them if you want to.

It's a lot harder online when you don't know people, they show up unannounced, they hide their true intent behind plausible deniability and dog whistles, and they just come back with another account when they get sprung.

Inoculation is a good idea. I think this blog post sheds some light on how targeted, intentional, and childish, many of the tactics are and being able to notice them is important. They very much rely on people letting them scatter their pieces all over the web as you say.

https://medium.com/@DeoTasDevil/the-rhetoric-tricks-traps-an...


Agreed. There is much to reasonably debate about where lines are drawn in regards to which private platforms are de facto public squares, if any, and which are not; and what speech is a reasonable cause for being banned from such a platform, and what speech is not. But the fact that there is such a significant amount of hateful, violence-loving speech, and that it is continuously growing, simply overshadows the topic. I'll happily debate those subtleties all day, once we're not driving cars into groups of each other over identity politics, accusing people who are trying to vote of fraud while intimidating them with guns in person, threatening each other with civil war, gleefully mocking victims of politically motivated violence, and, most of all, once we no longer have a US president who encourages all of that hatred.


This is what I wish was more studied. I feel like social media are intentionally designed to cause people to share violent and toxic speech. I hangout on discord in few big servers and I rarely encounter anything outright racist. Might just be because they are all tech related or maybe a no politics rule change the atmosphere if enforced ruthlessly.

There could also be something about speaking in public vs speaking something in semi-private real time chat app. You have time to clarify what you mean or be more empathetic. On platforms like twitter, when I check engagement metrics for replies to the tweet. I see a decrease of 10x often which is to say a lot of people never see past the first tweet a person makes and since tweets are limited by length, they encourage people to respond from their own biases rather than looking at things optimistically.

I do wonder if there is a reasonable path to punishing a platform that is responsible for encouraging content that causes toxic behavior or higher "engagement".


So long as YouTube issues bans to users that are as egregiously racist as klan members I see no problem.

I don't know any of these people, but if they are undeniably white supremacists, then it's a hard sell to dispute this individual action.

But another argument lies in the policy of bans for certain types of speech, and that's the argument that's more pertinent. If we accept that YouTube can ban users for hate speech, then we also accept that YouTube is the arbiter of what constitutes hate speech.

The question at hand is if we can deem YouTube a fair judge.


If YouTube shows itself as an unfair judge, then let's criticize them for that when it happens. Otherwise, having a judge is much better than having no judge at all.


That's the current situation, and maybe it's worked well so far (I don't create content on YouTube).

What appears necessary or at the very least helpful, is to have a very clear terms of service that outlines exactly what is unacceptable so these situations can be avoided in the first place.

One question is, why did it take until now for these bans to come into effect?

Gray areas are always going to emerge. For example, the popular YouTuber Jenna Marbles came under criticism recently for old videos (years ago) that could be construed as hate speech, or at the very least, mildly racist. Does this justify a ban?

A few comments say Stefan Molyneux (again, don't know this guy) is not specifically racist but has white-centric views.

These issues are going to be decided by the discretion of humans, many of them with a geographically-concentric worldview (i.e., Silicon Valley).

EDIT: Stefan, not Peter Molyneux.


>One question is, why did it take until now for these bans to come into effect?

I think a lot of social media sites and platforms really believed that it was bad to try to be arbiters, and that an anything-goes system would go well. The fact that this was the easiest option for them probably played a part in this. I think a lot of platforms and their audiences are increasingly seeing that this position as naively optimistic and not backed up by the results.

>Gray areas are always going to emerge. For example, the popular YouTuber Jenna Marbles came under criticism recently for old videos (years ago) that could be construed as hate speech, or at the very least, mildly racist. Does this justify a ban?

I think rules should be and largely are oriented around whether something encourages bigotry, rather than about whether the creator privately has racist opinions in their head. If no one is sure if something is pushing a racist message, then that's evidence it's not doing it. If it's not doing it effectively but maybe trying, then that might be a gray area. I don't think the existence of gray areas is an argument for the extreme no-judges position.

>These issues are going to be decided by the discretion of humans, many of them with a geographically-concentric worldview (i.e., Silicon Valley).

And choosing to allow and promote racists and peddlers of inflammatory pseudoscience is also a decision made by humans of specific worldviews. There's no clean non-political option.

>A few comments say Stefan Molyneux (again, don't know this guy) is not specifically racist but has white-centric views.

https://www.splcenter.org/fighting-hate/extremist-files/indi...

He pushes misinformation about races and advocates white ethnonationalism: “I don’t view humanity as a single species...” “The whole breeding arena of the species needs to be cleaned the fuck up!” "Screaming 'racism' at people because blacks are collectively less intelligent...is insane." “You cannot run a high IQ [white] society with low IQ [non-white] people." He seems like the textbook example of the sort of person that rules about racism would target. I guess he doesn't literally say the n-word or specifically advocate actively exterminating minorities, just that it might be good if someone did that or at least some segregation.


> What appears necessary or at the very least helpful, is to have a very clear terms of service that outlines exactly what is unacceptable so these situations can be avoided in the first place.

For all of it's concerning parts, the the DOJ recommendations for amending section 230 address that specifically: "Department proposes adding a statutory definition of 'good faith,' which would limit immunity for content moderation decisions to those done in accordance with plain and particular terms of service and accompanied by a reasonable explanation, unless such notice would impede law enforcement or risk imminent harm to others." [1]

[1]https://www.justice.gov/ag/department-justice-s-review-secti...


Stefan Molyneux, not Peter.

I’m sadden a bit to see him banned, but haven’t kept up with him in years. He was big in AnCap circles for a while but was a bit “out there” even in that group. He always struck me as somewhat unstable, so I guess it isn’t really a surprise. I don’t even have the urge to go see what he’s been posting.


> A few comments say Peter Molyneux (again, don't know this guy) is not specifically racist but has white-centric views.

It's Stefan not Peter. But he is very "specifically racist". He believes that arabic people are too dumb for democracy. Among a litany of other terrible statements.


How do you feel about this video advocating violence?

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ijJu75WXLLs


I'm not advocating for any of these people. I'm saying there's going to be scenarios that require nuance to navigate, and that the rules that delineate hate speech should be very explicitly spelled out.


I've never seen them IRL. I wonder how prevalent the Klan actually is.


And herein lies the problem: Having pushed the purveyors of "unacceptable ideology" (whatever that may be, decided by whomever) into the black market, we now have made confronting it (by letting our value judgments stand to reason, which they will, if we let them) much more difficult. People behave as though they are completely powerless to stop bad thoughts from following the utterance of particular words in a particular order, which to me is as fundamentally insane as the idea that you can stop murder by simply banning murder, or that you can stop people from using drugs by simply banning drugs.

The central problem is that people are lazy as hell. The answer to this problem and indeed, most problems we face in society, is building and maintaining stronger communities, and encouraging critical thought and an educated and participatory citizenry. But this is incredibly hard, and is incompatible with most forms of grift which people have set up to enrich themselves. In the end, however, this is really a description of all of human history. It will always be the case that building and maintaining a "good" society is incredibly hard work, which most people reflexively don't want to do (in the same way that most people don't want to do the dishes, or take the shopping cart back to the shopping cart corral at the grocery store).


> However, my father also taught me to be careful with this pushing of the fringe. It is a delicate balance of liberty with liberty-destroying ideology. The paradox of tolerance, etc. It should be very closely watched.

Sounds like your father was an honorable man. Honest question: when does pushing the fringe go too far? Is it appropriate for banks to deny their business? Grocery stores?


Most banks and grocery stores are private businesses and being openly racist isn’t a protected class, so it should be up to them, no?


I wasn't asking a question on the legal theory, but a clarification on the OP's own statement that one should be "careful with this pushing of the fringe", which is presumably a moral or pragmatic one.


>It is normal to decline the business of people you don't want to do business with.

Wait what? I would love to hear your take on this then,

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Masterpiece_Cakeshop_v._Colora...


I’m pretty sure we are all aware that anti-discrimination laws exist and have in the US for half a century. Political opinions don’t make for protected classes.


Ok, what if this person were a thug and he advocates for a "thug life" (as an arbitrary example, a gangsta rapper)? And let's say he committed a lot of crime and physical harm to other people?

Would you issue the same behavior towards him? Would you be very vocal about it?


What is your theory, that no one has ever declined to do business with a rapper? You might want to do some fact checking on that.


This example doesn't feel very "arbitrary."


You are not as subtle as you think you are.


On the surface, this seems like a silly example - it doesn't compare in practice. However, if you honestly, in good faith, think that it does, you absolutely should make an effort to form that argument.


I believe that what he is trying to say is that, even though the lyrics are about killing people, selling drugs and so, nobody bans their music and they have the right to express themselves.


Plenty of private companies forbid rap on their premises.


Not youtube, apparently.


That's what we call freedom of association.


R. Kelly is cancelled.


Posting the most offensive examples of gangster rap lyrics to Facebook or Twitter could easily get you banned or at least flagged/shadow-banned if the songs were about killing people, contained a lot of misogyny, etc. Uncensored gangster rap would definitely violate TOS for a lot of these platforms and would probably get auto-banned by bots. A lot of this music gets flagged as 21+ only on YouTube. Many businesses ban it on premise, and many record companies won't publish it. That's part of why the really extreme stuff tends to have its own labels, stations, channels, sites, etc.

You're allowed to listen to it in private of course, just like you are allowed to read or listen to any racist material you want in private. There are loads of web sites that cater specifically to these circles, and even entire alternative social networks. Like the most violent and offensive gangster rap, it has its own safe spaces and is available to anyone who wants it.


Well said. I especially appreciate the distinction you're making between balancing liberty with liberty-destroying ideology.

This is the kind of difficult nuance that I rarely see in these discussions. One one side there's the free speech absolutists, whose arguments tend to ignore the fact that unmoderated propaganda, and hate speech tends to be more addictive, and spread ignorance faster then fact-checking can fix it. The consequences of this sort of callous attitude are literally genocide[1].

On the other hand, there's the 'cancel-culture mobs' (for lack of a better term) which are now censoring regular speech that disagrees, or appears to disagrees, or isn't sufficiently subservient to their opinions. Just yesterday I was sadly reading this depressing thread where Yann LeCun was run off twitter[2] for explaining how bias (in the social science sense) can be traced back to various steps in the ML pipeline (in this case, mainly a feature of the dataset itself, but also the choice of errors, bias vs variance, etc).

The inability to admit nuance is the only thing I can think both these groups share, and maybe what needs to be emphasized more.

[1] https://www.nytimes.com/2018/11/06/technology/myanmar-facebo...

[2] https://twitter.com/ylecun/status/1274782757907030016


Any thoughts on why the Klan hasn't yet been banned outright?


Supreme Court rulings[0][1]. They consistently rule in favor of free speech and believe something along the lines of "defending the thought that we hate".

They even sided with the Westboro Baptist Church (the people with the offensive signs)[2] so they're pretty committed to "absolute" free speech.

[0]: https://www.oyez.org/cases/1968/492 [1]: https://www.oyez.org/cases/2002/01-1107 [2]: https://www.oyez.org/cases/2010/09-751


That protection of speech, mind you, doesn’t just extend to the KKK. There are a lot of things people on HN probably like (pornography, violent video games) that have been protected by exactly the same principles.


The important thing to distinguish is that they protect free speech, not free platforms.

People are free to say racist things, produce racist games, setup racist podcasts.

What they aren't entitled to is google showing their racist crap, steam carrying their racist games, hacker news keeping their racist comments uncensored. You are free to burn a flag, you can't force someone to watch you burn it.

If someone feels hurt that youtube censors too much, they are more than free to make their own whitepowertube. The fact that there is a ton of far right media right now shows that they aren't completely without a voice.


I agree with you in general. But would like to add that effective monopolies like youtube should be excluded. Censoring something on youtube essentially means it censored completely for video platforms.


There are other video hosting platforms that work perfectly well, as far as I can see.


Excluding porn youtube is essentially a monopoly. If you can't go to youtube you immediately land in very small and obscure video streaming sites.

If you compare this to the "real" world it would be the same as not being able to say what you want in public spaces. Youtube is THE public space for video content.


They aren't, actually.

I guess "WhitePowerTube" would have been Stormfront? I never visited the site but I remember hearing about it when Google seized their domain name and wouldn't give it back.

There's a nice fantasy about these parts that the deplatforming left somehow created all these platforms and will stop when people they disagree with go away. No. These platforms were mostly created by people committed to free speech, who came under relentless external and internal attacks for years until they bent the knee, and people who try to create alternative platforms are frequently erased from the internet via whatever levers of power those activists can get their hands on. They definitely don't stop and say, well, you created your own website, good for you and best of luck.


> people committed to free speech

That's quite a euphemism for Stormfront!

> the deplatforming left

Maybe I have a different viewpoint because my grandfather spent some years in a Japanese prisoner-of-war camp, but I just see organizations like Stormfront as completely wrong and to be crushed by any legal means.

The endless association of free speech with white supremacy is tiring.

The First Amendment gives a corporation paying to print hateful lies made up on the spot a massive advantage over an honest and thoughtful individual who has spent considerable time and effort to discover the truth.

Now America is facing an epidemic but has a full-time virus misinformation news network. As a result, at least 80,000 Americans have died unnecessarily, and this number grows every day. https://www.statnews.com/2020/06/19/faster-response-prevente...

What will the final death toll be? How many would have been preventable if Americans hadn't been told a pack of lies?

The First Amendment needs to be completely overhauled to deal with this exploit that is destroying the system. Not to patch this terrible security breach "because the Founders" is like refusing to fix a zero-day exploit in Linux "because Linus".


That wasn't a euphemism, I was referring to the origins of Twitter, Reddit, YouTube etc where they were committed to allowing a whole range of viewpoints. So you misunderstood me pretty badly. That's perhaps an argument for free speech you'd find understandable - if you can censor peopleb at will there's always a risk you'll not correctly understand them and incorrectly, unfairly shut someone down.


But they do assault people and commit acts of violence. As do hundreds of other domestic terrorist groups.


Yes, and those acts of violence are crimes at the federal and state level...

The First Amendment protects the content of their speech, however hateful it may be, which means they can generally think whatever they want, and say nearly whatever they want. The dividing line is when speech is action (i.e., yelling "fire" in a theater; the content of the yell is protected but the act of yelling is not).


In the USA, the reason is the 1st Amendment in the Bill of Rights.

Both in text & traditional interpretation, that gives them the right to speak & assemble – but not do other non-communicative actions that would be criminal no matter the motivations.


Wasn't the Klan responsible for hate-mongering and terrorist activities in the past?


The actual terroristic activities are illegal, and Klan members have been prosecuted (and successfully sued) for them. "Hate-mongering" isn't illegal in the US.


If the Klan would’ve been classified as a terrorist organization they would be illegal they haven’t.

The Nation of Islam is also classified as a hate group by the SPLC however they aren’t banned under the same laws that protect the KKK.

NOI members just like the KKK have been prosecuted in the past for many things, however outside of very limited circumstances there isn’t such thing as guilt by association in the US justice system.


I don't believe it's the case that the USG could have suppressed the KKK by "classifying them as a terrorist organization".


They can classify them as a criminal organization according to RICO.



I know this. The KKK, or at least a great many chapters, is an organization that helped coordinate crime. By this, I mean that hierarchical members of the KKK organized criminal acts to be perpetrated by other members of the organization in their hierarchical control. The KKK was 100% a criminal organization that could have been prosectured using RICO. It would not even have been the only overtly political group where this would have been done.


There's a lot of reading you can do about why RICO isn't routinely deployed against ideological white supremacist organizations (including those that refer to themselves as "KKK"). RICO is deployed against organized white supremacist criminal gangs, where there's a centralized "enterprise" and a pattern, rather than a scattering, of racketeering-predicate crimes.


I always wonder what people are thinking when they suggest that the US could silence an entire viewpoint through invocation of RICO or FTO designation. If the government could have declared an entire line of thought illegal, don't people think we would have done so numerous times already? We couldn't even ban membership in the actual communist party at the height of the Cold War (not for lack of trying, though).


Not an entire viewpoint. I am purely talking about the organization that is the KKK. I know that white nationalism cannot be declared illegal.


Because there is no organization called the KKK.

It's a 100 organizations with 10-30 members who believe they're the true heirs to the KKK. It's be very similar to trying to arrest the head of the Nazi party. There really isn't one.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ku_Klux_Klan#Third_KKK


RICO exists. If the criminal activities were systematically prompted by a group, they can be sued and all their members may be prosecuted for these crimes, especially their leaders.

So no, this is entirely incorrect.


RICO is a pretty narrow tool, as it should be. It also isn’t based on group membership, it’s based on involvement in the planning / sponsorship of illegal activities.

It wouldn’t matter how many Hackernews members started coordinating bank robberies; RICO wouldn’t magically allow for the rest of the Hackernews user base to be prosecuted.


Sure. But if Hackernews had a hierarchy and a membership system in which lower-ranking members would do criminal acts organized by their ranking superiors, the organization could be sued under civil and criminal RICO, and then dismantled. While not all members would be prosecuted, a very large amount could be, and the subsequent criminal investigation would make it possible to indict a good proportion of the rest. It would also mean that even lower members could have been prosecuted based on their assistance to various criminal acts.

It is indeed a narrow tool, and yet can be applied to organizations such as the KKK.


I think your problem here is not so much that you don't know what RICO is, as that you don't have a tight grip on what the KKK is. It is probably the case that many, or even most, Klan members are also members of white supremacist criminal gangs. That those gangs are subject to RICO prosecution (a major Aryan gang was taken down that way just last year) illustrates the problem with your argument. The enterprise itself has to be focused on the racketeering-predicate crimes.


So Al Qaeda etc would be legal in the US?


No? Militant Islamism, however, is.


As far as I know, the Klan doesn't actually exist anymore. In its second most famous incarnation it was a fraternal order like the Freemasons. But that disintegrated in the 40s. Since there's no legal enforcement of the brand anyone can and does use the title for cultural history reasons. Today there are dozens of disparate "KKKs" with no official continuity with the famous KKK that amount to a couple thousand people in a nation of hundreds of millions.

So what would you even be banning other than the word KKK itself?


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I suspect that many genuinely kind hearted people think they are doing the right thing by silencing the speech of those whom they find repulsive but have never stopped to ask themselves “Why are the oligarchs on my side?” Project Dragonfly is alive and well and unfolding before our very eyes. This is how democracy dies.


I wish I could upvote this more. Many folks here fancy themselves as intellectual people, yet they do backflips in logic to justify silencing voices they find repugnant or inconvenient. The concept of free speech simply cannot have exceptions, conditions, or predications. It’s only a marketplace of ideas if the loud or powerful voices aren’t silencing and banning voices that might not be as popular. Indeed, this is how democracy dies.


There are plenty of mainstream figures that directly or indirectly support the desires of the far right. They pay not be as explicit as the KKK or Nazis, but definitely have real influence.


Got any examples this that don't conflate conservativism with nazism or white supremacy?


Free speech so long as you agree with what they're saying.


What free speech? The government isn't preventing these awful people from spewing their hate. Companies refusing to host their content is not a violation of the first amendment.

And yes, free speech, so long as everyone in the room agrees that all of the humans in said room are human. Anything less than that, and they can get the hell out of the room, their ideas aren't worth discussing. If you don't agree with that, you are by definition a white supremacist.


> What free speech? The government isn't preventing these awful people from spewing their hate. Companies refusing to host their content is not a violation of the first amendment.

By your logic, the first amendment has no salutary rationale. We allow Neo nazis to march merely because the first amendment prohibits us from stopping them from marching, and for no other reason. There is no animating principle that we might consider applying to other contexts even where the first amendment isn’t legally required. That view is anathema to how the first amendment has long been understood. (There is a reason the ACLU has repeatedly defended the right of neo nazis to march. And it isn’t because they’re preoccupied with the technicalities of the law. After all, the government does a lot of other unconstitutional stuff that doesn’t merit the ACLU’s involvement.)

If you want to say there is a substantive difference between say Facebook and public streets, that’s fine that warrants differing treatment, that’s fine and I probably agree with you. But saying that the first amendment doesn’t apply to private corporations doesn’t prove anything more than it’s not literally illegal for Facebook and Twitter to do this. It doesn’t say anything about whether it’s an appropriate policy in view of the principles embodied in the first amendment.


If we're going to have a marketplace of ideas, then some ideas will become popular and win, and some ideas will become unpopular and lose. This is how marketplaces are supposed to work.

If we want a forum for speech where every idea is always welcome, and platformed, and no one is allowed to lose no matter how unpopular they are, I don't know what you'd call that. I'd call it a form of hell, personally.

Philosophically, I believe the First Amendment is properly addressed at restraining the power of the government, rather than at propping up unpopular ideas.


I think the idea of marketplace of ideas is that an idea loses by being unpopular, not by another idea persuading large institutions to ban it.

Your interpretation, that persuading a large institution to ban opposition ideas is winning, and being banned is losing, is entirely consistent with getting rid of the 1st amendment.


Obviously the First Amendment is directed to the government. I’m not making a legal argument here. But we don’t abide by the first amendment merely because we throw up our hands and say “this is a terrible idea but we’re stuck with it.” There is an underlying principle there, and that principle isn’t necessarily limited to the government. (As a matter of what is good policy, not what is the minimum legally required protection.)

I don’t agree with your characterization that not shutting down subreddits or Twitter accounts is identical to forcing speech on anyone. There are a lot of Neo-marxists hanging out on Reddit calling for violence whose ideas I find extremely offensive and dangerous. But I choose not to wander into those subreddits. I don’t see why those subreddits need to be wiped out.


It's up to the people who run Reddit. If they want to wipe out some subreddits, who is to say they can't? Any mechanism you can imagine to prevent them from doing so would have the effect of forcing speech upon them.

A website declining to carry some content seems perfectly in line with American values and traditions of free speech, in much the same way that Fox News is free to choose not to carry Rachel Maddow's show.


I’m not saying they can’t, I’m saying they shouldn’t. I disagree that reddit can be analogized to serial television media for these purposes.


... Except for some people, though, right?

I have an idea how you feel about the guy refusing to sell (decorate) the gay marriage cake (not trying to be pithy here, just tried to do a bit of footwork before replying). Do you absolve that guy under those "American values and traditions of free speech" as you would a website in this case? For me, second-order consequences are as important as whether or not this particular guy must sell this particular cake, when it comes to issues as critical to a functioning free and democratic society (such as speech). So "fair" abstractions (those which don't hide or ignore contradiction) aren't just important, but obligatory. This is an issue that can be reasoned to completion without introducing "protected classes" of human being, because the reasoning and conclusion are the same regardless (and for the same reason more concise mathematical proofs are preferred over those predicated on "complications" such as Riemann).

The guy selling the cake argued that he was being compelled to express an opinion (decorate a cake in celebration of an idea his religious beliefs dictated were unethical), thus making it compelled speech. So, is Youtube being compelled to express a particular opinion, if they do not ban users from the platform, when those users say things people find abhorrent? I do not think so, because Youtube bills itself as a platform where users create content and then publish the content on the platform for other users. Youtube does not purport to be a merchant of the content itself (obligatory reference to criticality of Section 230 protections). But according to his legal defense, the cake guy is selling the decoration of the cake in addition to the cake itself; his artwork as an expression of himself. In other words, Youtube is selling the medium and not the message. But the cake guy is selling the message (in addition to the medium). He is billing his cake decoration as part of his services, whereas Youtube and every other "platform" specifically denies in legal long-form that the content on their platform(s) reflect the views and opinions of the companies creating them. That is the critical distinction, and why I feel strongly that any platform which displays in its ToS that users agree that the views expressed on its platform are not the views held by the company, is violating the right of free expression to the users they ban from their platforms for the speech those users express on their platforms.

Importantly, a big part of my reasoning here is that, subscribing to stoic thought, I place accountability for any perceived "damage" from words on the shoulders of the person interpreting them. I mention this here because I've found this is so divergent from the dominant worldview that it's rejected often with much of the same forcefulness as if I'd stated a value judgment predicated on the color of a person's skin. And this seems to me to be symptomatic, and I'm not sure how this fits into the broader discussion of how the internet fits into our culture. But it's a core proposition which I hope will be addressed directly instead of indirectly, because the implications are clear (you are ceding control of your mind to others, when you allow their words to dictate your thoughts).


>Importantly, a big part of my reasoning here is that, subscribing to stoic thought, I place accountability for any perceived "damage" from words on the shoulders of the person interpreting them.

Whoa there buddy. You can't just suggest that other people be responsible for their own emotional responses and learn to moderate them and move along. If people started doing that, then what nwxt? You'd start having people independently then! Furthermore, that would completely negate a degree or manner of social control capable of being leaned on.

Apologies for the tongue in cheek, but I have the feeling your words may fall on deaf ears. Even worse, they'll fall on malicious ones who would turn it against you for the gall or privilege you demonstrate by aiming you can just say anything to anyone else, and whether or not they get offended is their problem.

I think I'm starting to understand the mentality a bit better;and it isn't necessarily unhealthy if taken at reasonable degrees. On the one hand, there is some level of required empathy to one's audience in any exchange. On the other hand though, no one is entitled to never getting in a verbal sparring match, and it's not terribly graciously or respectable to just say "That is your problem."

You have to bring your full rhetorical toolkit to the table. You have to meet on levels of logos, pathos, and ethos all. Leave any one out, or conspicuously absent, and you're liable to get binned more often than convincing anyone.


I do appreciate the sarcasm, and to your point, here's a bit of gallows humour in return: Allowing someone else to dictate your reaction to words is literal mind control. We cede control of our minds to those other people when we don't have control of our reactions. It's possible (and perhaps the typical case) that most people are habituated to a certain kind of mind control. And hearing or reading something which fits their worldview and moral relativity and subjective value judgments activates a particular reaction in their minds which becomes the expected reaction. It's only when these people hear or read something which is not in harmony with their habituated mind control that they react poorly, shunting the mind control directly into their emotions, bypassing critical thought. And just as though they'd been hit on the nose on the street unexpectedly, their emotional reaction (the thing which I call the "lizard brain") demands the assignment of "blame" so that it can start planning its revenge. Or otherwise respond in a way specified by the habituated mind control.

But to your point as well, it's in our nature though to react poorly to this notion, because it contains some uncomfortable truths about the universe and our place in it. And the lizard brain, having been hit on the nose with an uncomfortable, worldview-challenging assertion, commands to us that surely some fault lies on some level with the person saying the evil words or whatever. But no: It is literally the case that it is entirely within your control how you react to some person coming up to you on the street and screaming "COCKSUCKER!" in your face. I really try not to qualify my statements too much (because not doing so is one easy and practical way to demonstrate how little courtesy we extend to people who say things we disagree with, and how much we force our own value judgments on the words we interpret), but notice I'm not saying that it's not a lot of work to get to that point. And indeed, I still struggle with this mightily every day. We are human, after all. But we are the sole accountable party for our own thoughts.

To further support my assertion, imagine how your emotional, reactionary lizard brain would interpret the Cocksucker Guy if he was clearly a crazy person who lived on the street. Now imagine your interpretation of the same except that it's your significant other's best friend. Or significant other. Maybe you can see where this is going. Now imagine your interpretation of the exact same two scenarios, except instead of "cocksucker" they are screaming "asshole". You've just demonstrated in this simple thought experiment that your reaction is completely and wholly dependent on factors other than the words themselves. And this is my point (and indeed one of the core tenets of Stoicism), that control is an illusion, that real control does not extend beyond the boundary of your own mind, and thusly that the words themselves which you read and hear are not responsible for your reaction, but all this other shit that goes into your interpretation of those words, including your own personal subjective definition and value judgments and worldview.

You do not owe anyone anything when it comes to controlling their minds, and in fact, you are actually doing another person harm when you habituate the mechanics of external mind control by accepting responsibility for the contents of their mind, their reactions according to their subjective value judgments and moral relativity. Supporting the removal of some Youtube channels with unpopular views is precisely how you make habituating mind control more effective than it already is. Society desperately needs more mechanisms for supporting critical thought and (far) less of anything which streamlines shunting mind control around critical thought and into the emotional lizard brain. If anything, our society needs more bad ideas floating around and not less.

So stop helping the advertising industry, the government, mass media manufacturers, racist shitheads, and anybody else who would wish to co-opt the thought processes of those around you! The content of another person's mind is not your responsibility, and arguably none of your business.


why I feel strongly that any platform which displays in its ToS that users agree that the views expressed on its platform are not the views held by the company, is violating the right of free expression to the users they ban from their platforms for the speech those users express on their platforms.

Users don't have a right to free expression on others' platforms. The right to freedom on of speech only extends to one's own platforms of expression. If someone wants to post videos they can host their own video sharing website.


> If someone wants to post videos they can host their own video sharing website.

And then google comes and takes your domain away and refuses to give it back


In Democracy and Distrust, Ely says rules like the First Amendment are important because they secure the channels of democracy; in his framing, it's important that the government not suppress speech because doing so prevents the people from governing. It's not because speech is an intrinsic or natural right, which is an idea he argues against.

That made sense to me when I read it.

The idea of a universal principle of reverence for speech, regardless of its substance, makes no sense to me. In fact, it doesn't make sense to most people. Even on HN, you can find people arguing for decriminalizing child pornography. You have no trouble with that idea being suppressed. Why is white supremacy less loathsome? That's what we say when we suggest white supremacist speech be tolerated.

(Violent neo-Marxism and Shining Path Maoism is trendy among left-edgelords and is equally intolerable).


I would/do have a problem with that idea being supressed. The path to defeating a truly bad idea is to publicly flog it, not pretend it doesn't exist.


No. It takes more time to rebut ridiculous ideas than to generate them. At some point along the spectrum of consensus, the burden shifts to the person propagating the idea; otherwise, all we're doing is wasting time feeding the trolls.


Trolls can be ignored. Bad ideas can be expressed in good faith.


In neither case are we obligated to tolerate them.


Depends what you mean by "we" "obligated" and "tolerate". Users certainly aren't legally or morally obligated to engage with content they find objectionable. HN, reddit, youtube etc. can legally remove whatever content they see fit, but I'd argue, being largely platforms for expression, they're morally obligated to tolerate objectionable speech.


Do you have any arguments that would be persuasive to people who don't believe that HN is morally obligated to host spirited defenses of child pornography? ("No" is a fine answer!)


I'm probably not capable of arguing for the idea of free speech any better than has been done before, no.


The reason we need a blanket rule against state prohibition of speech is that human beings cannot be trusted to decide which speech is off limits. It's obvious to you that white supremacy makes the list, but it is just as obvious to religious fundamentalists that heretical speech should make the list (we're talking about your eternal soul, after all).

There is no workable rule that can't be exploited or extended. And it's not enough to invoke the Slippery Slope fallacy in response, because even if we could all decide today on the perfect list of topics to prohibit (we can't, but even if I grant you that absurdity), politics and governance absolutely does operate incrementally and no line would long remain static, especially a line that's so easily moved as one defining acceptable speech.

It's just simply not a workable idea. The only thing you can do is make a rule that prohibits the prohibition of speech and then let people fight it out in public, over and over and over and over, just like you and I are doing here.

And to be clear: YouTube (and other private actors) banning speech they don't like is a totally legitimate part of that conversation.


I do not support laws banning white supremacist speech, so I’m not sure what your point is here.


Your framing of Ely's justification for the 1st Amendment did not make it clear that you wouldn't support banning speech you find particularly egregious. I'm happy to have been wrong.


Ely wouldn't either. The point is that 1A protects the political process, not a natural right we have to express ourselves; thus the distinction between government and social suppression of speech.


That's not the operative distinction most of us are working with, nor do I think there's much demand for an alternative theory of the case. The conventional distinction, which is more or less a distinction between positive and negative rights, is working quite nicely, sufficiently explains the motivation for the rule, and isn't in search of improvement.


I think you just wrote "my preferred argument disagrees with yours, and there's no reason for us to consider any other".


I think you more or less wrote, "I don't really like the idea of Free Speech, but I've been told my whole life that it's important, so I'm looking for a way to resolve this dissonance."

The reason I'm not in search of better arguments is that I don't have any dissonance to resolve. (I realize that sounds snarky but I don't actually mean it to be flippant. That's genuinely what it looks like to me. No snark intended!)


In a marketplace of ideas, unpopular views would get... unpopular view counts (on Youtube and elsewhere).

If you want to keep with this analogy, censorship is a form of protectionism, so your marketplace of ideas is not a free market.


We allow Neo nazis to march merely because the first amendment prohibits us from stopping them from marching, and for no other reason.

That is pretty much the exact reason the Courts have given for allowing Neo Nazis to march, so its not anathema to how the first amendment has been understood.

It doesn’t say anything about whether it’s an appropriate policy in view of the principles embodied in the first amendment.

The Bill of Rights is a limitation on government not private entities and attempting to turn it into a club to force private entities to publish speech they find abhorrent is inappropriate policy in view of the principles embodied in the first amendment, which provides that individuals have the right to say something but not to force others to disseminate it (or even pay attention).


>The Bill of Rights is a limitation on government not private entities and attempting to turn it into a club to force private entities to publish speech they find abhorrent is inappropriate policy in view of the principles embodied in the first amendment, which provides that individuals have the right to say something but not to force others to disseminate it (or even pay attention).

Wanted to touch on this because I think you're missing out on some socio-cultural nuance here. Yes, the Constitution is strictly a limitation on Government, but it is also expected that Citizen's of a Government also internalize the enshrined ethos of their highest laws.

To argue that the Constitution and Bill of Rights only effects the Government is to strongly demote the force and centrality of said document in Ameri an life. It may only say the Federal/State governments of the United States of America, but the truest message has always been one of the Supremacy of the liberties of the People over the systems that would oppress them. This is why you'll find there is so much resonance and vitriol inspired by the argument that private companies get a pass because they aren't the government. It doesn't matter. The infrastructures there, and it has woven itself tightly into the political fabric and discourse of the United States. I'd make the argument it's a Sixth Estate, of a central and sensitive enough nature that it should be looked at in the same ways we looked at the Press and Fairness Doctrine. Yes, that may have been overturned (and I'm honestly curious as to whether that overturning was truly beneficial), but damn, if you're going to sit by and let private individuals A/B test and gaslight your population in the name of private enterprise, to he'll with the consequences; and elevate whoever ends up in overall control of that edifice in particular... Well... I just don't think that's terribly kosher. Obligation increases to the 4th power of scale and reach. That's just how it seems to be. As an IT person, I internalized that valuelong ago. The bigger and more impactful the system's I end up working on, the more people are counting on me not to abuse my position of power and influence over the system.

I don't think I can buy into any suggestion that it should be any other way...


The first amendment is a limitation on Congress, not YouTube. The first amendment also confirms the freedom of association. On the balance, your radically expansive view of "free speech" trods deeply on the freedom of association and is unlikely to find any satisfaction in court.


GP is not making a legal argument. Nobody is arguing that the First Amendment applies to users of products provided by Facebook. GP is talking about the principle of free speech, which is why we have the First Amendment to begin with.


> GP is talking about the principle of free speech, which is why we have the First Amendment to begin with.

The principle of free speech behind the first amendment is that active choice in what message to spread by private parties produces a desirable marketplace of ideas analogous to a marketplace of goods, where ideas compete on their merits to convince people to devote resources to spreading them, and that this—which not only involves but relies centrally on editorial decisions by the people owning the tools of communications as to which ideas they want to spread—is critical to the progress of good and failure of bad ideas, and is inhibited when the state has their hand on the scales which is why the state must remain neutral so that private actors can act in this area.

The idea of free speech that motivates the first amendment supports free, active, and vigorous decisions as to what content to relay and not by private platform owners. That's the whole point.

There are other competing, incompatible.concepts of free speech besides the one motivating the first amendment, and some of them do have different things to say about private action, but if you want to appeal to the idea of free speech behind the first amendment, it is of no use to your argument here.


No, application of that principle is literally law. If you want that principle to be enforced in these situations, that's a violation of other rights. If you want them to act differently according to your principles, that's just a damn shame isn't it?


Wouldn't it be crazy if mega corporations could be used as tools to circumvent the first amendment? If Visa could tell Stripe who they're allowed to do business with when people in power get a little worried about what's being said?

And when did the first amendment stop protecting (some) dehumanizing speech? It definitely still protects dehumanizing progressive speech. How long before we have a list of types of speech no longer covered by free speech. How long until what I'm saying now is no longer covered?


You didn't read a single thing I said. This has nothing to do with the first amendment. The first amendment does not grant you the right to a platform. It simply doesn't.

If you want to grab a megaphone and spew white-supremacist garbage from your drive way then feel free, the government cannot, and should not, stop you. However, if your neighbors refuse to interact with you, that's your own fault. The megaphone seller also has the right not to sell you the megaphone if they don't want you to spew said garbage using their megaphone. Not once in that scenario does free speech apply.


> The first amendment does not grant you the right to a platform. It simply doesn't.

This feels a little hand-wavy: in the past there have been "designated free speech zones" that are of course critized organizations like the ACLU as a form of censorship and denying free speech. I don't think it's too crazy to say that speech without a platform isn't speech at all. I'm not saying we should force sites to accept content they don't like but we are going to have to address the privatization of speech sooner rather than later.


I agree that we will have to address the privatization of speech at some point. Ultimately I'm not sure where my opinions lie on that spectrum.

However, I find it challenging to have to continuously fight white supremacist ideas on platforms, especially considering the --vast-- amount of violence and brutality inflicted on the oppressed for hundreds of years.

Should we have a debate at some point about whether the privatization of platforms has become a bad thing? Sure. Should we do it -now-, while white supremacists actively use their platforms to incite hate and violence against black and brown people? No. We are losing the forest for the trees. Lives are lost every day because white supremacy continues to be pervasive in America. Allowing white supremacists a platform while not solving that problem is saying that the oppressed's right to live is less important than the white supremacist's right to speech. I simply don't agree with that.


>>Should we do it -now-, while white supremacists actively use their platforms to incite hate and violence against black and brown people?

Did the banned individuals ever do this? I would be shocked of Stefan Molyneux has ever been recorded advocating violence against persons of color.

Or is he just collateral damage in the campaign to stop those inciting violence?


Payment companies are being used to block citizens access to firearms granted under the 2nd amendment.

PayPal for example: https://www.paypal.com/us/smarthelp/article/what-is-paypal%E...


Nobody's preventing anyone from speaking. They're just refusing to allow them to use their private property to broadcast it. There are loads of web sites and even entire alternative social networks where you can find as much of this stuff as you want.

BTW: I get the impression that sites like Reddit and YouTube, rather than being quick to ban, have given these groups and individual personalities a pass for quite some time. Alex Jones had to start harassing the victims of school shootings to get banned. I doubt someone as well known as him would last that long. If anything these platforms keep these people on as long as they can because ad dollars and only ban them when the advertisers revolt.


Having your video hosted by youtube is not an issue of free speech. Free speech does not mean other people are obligated to listen to you, to take what you say seriously, relay your speech or help others discover you.

I'm sure there is a point where it could become an unhealthy slippery slope to kick people off of large platforms, but it is not in the realm of free speech. These people have not been kicked off the internet.


Important to recognise that Stefan Molyneux is not far-right, whether or not the far-right are encouraged by his YT channel deletion. I would classify him as an atheist/libertarian.


I vaguely remember seeing that he’d endorsed Trump in 2016, which surprised me because it hadn’t been long at the time since I recalled him advocating completely abstaining from the political system.

I’ve not kept up with him, but it seemed like he was moving in a direction that was incompatible with the extreme libertarianism that brought him into the circles I frequented at the time.


If you break down political ideas into just left and right, the libertarian belief small government with strong property rights puts them fairly far right. Things are of course more complicated, and there may be other members of the far right who disagree with him on many issues, but he'd still be part of the broader "far right."


Is Stef still claiming to be an atheist? It seemed like he was making up with Christianity in recent years. Just the same, while he used to be an outright anarchist, he went all-in for Trump.


https://www.splcenter.org/fighting-hate/extremist-files/indi...

“The whole breeding arena of the species needs to be cleaned the fuck up!” —Podcast FDR2740, “Conformity and the Cult of ‘Friendship’,” Wednesday call-in show July 2, 2014

“You cannot run a high IQ [white] society with low IQ [non-white] people…these [non-white] immigrants are going to fail...and they're not just going to fail a little, they are going to fail hard…they're not staying on welfare because they’re lazy...they’re doing what is economically the best option for them...you are importing a gene set that is incompatible with success in a free-market economy.” —YouTube video, The Death of Europe | European Migrant Crisis, October 4, 2015

“...the Germans were in danger of being taken over by what they perceived as Jewish-led Communism. And Jewish-led Communism had wiped out tens of millions of white Christians in Russia and they were afraid of the same thing. And there was this wild overreaction and all this kind of stuff.” —Stefan Molyneux describes the Holocaust in YouTube video, Migratory Patterns of Predatory Immigrants, March 20, 2016


If one man produces 1000+ hours of content then there's always going to be dodgy stuff when stuff is taken out of context.

('If you give me six lines written by the hand of the most honest of men, I will find something in them which will hang him' -- Cardinal Richelieu)

Black vs white IQ is an empirical rather than an ideological question, and a question best ignored, character and culture being more important than raw intelligence. However I'm not going to hang a man just because he failed to ignore it.

The fact that Molyneux is anti-Nazi ('overreaction') as well as anti-communist is very simply consistent with his libertarian philosophy.


are you actually so far gone you think calling the holocaust an 'overreaction to a Jewish threat' actually makes you an anti-Nazi? Jesus that may be the single dumbest thing I've ever read on this site, congratulations.

And, no it's not normal to casually advocate white supremacy in 1000 hours of recorded conversation. Dude's a full on neo-nazi who calls himself a libertarian, which probably puts him in good company with half of that demographic anyway.


Exactly!

If you find yourself defending these words, in any context, you might be the problem! It is -not- normal to say any of this, 1000 hours or not.


That’s how you personally might classify him, but many would disagree with you. To my eye, for one, it seems quite obvious that Molyneux is a far-right figure.


Nah; I've listened to a number of his shows. He's a popular political commentator who is anti-communist/leftwing -- that's why they banned him.


You should check out some of the Stefan Molyneux quotes the SPLC has gathered: https://www.splcenter.org/fighting-hate/extremist-files/indi...

An example:

> "Screaming 'racism' at people because blacks are collectively less intelligent...is insane."

These all have associated YouTube video links - which are now taken down it seems.


Well now the videos are gone and I can't verify that any of those quotes were truly said. Many of them such as the one liners are obviously missing context as well.


If we can't check the videos, how do we confirm the quotes were really said and in what context?

Racists: 1 Censorship: 0


I sense an implied “/s” in your post. But just in case, there are in-depth critiques that include significant portions of Molyneux’s videos still up: https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=Xd_nVCWPgiA

Certainly enough to get a sense for Molyneux’s ideology.


"Just because they're the problem doesn't mean we aren't."

https://www.smbc-comics.com/comic/the-problem


I agree with this post for the most part, however the problem is they are not simply banning "the klan", nor it is "paradox of tolerance" as it seems we have moves beyond tolerance to acceptance.

The authoritarian left is promoting segregation, promoting speech codes, and also labeling any disagreement with their socialist / communist economic policies as "racist" or "nazi"

All of that said, before I can progress further I would love to know what you believe the "far right" is, because that is not a defined term anymore, every day conservative values and opinions (things like we should have basic immigration control, or should not have government run health care) are now labeled as "far right" and "racist" so it seems to we need a defining of the terms so I can know what you consider to be a "far right" position


They definitely shouldn't be here or anywhere. This is the right approach. Government power is not the only power and in contemporary times, not even the greatest power in most affairs. Megacorps have huge amounts of power. Often they use it to hurt people. I can't imagine a single american who hasn't been scammed by some megacorp like comcast, wells fargo, verizon, etc. But, sometimes their incentives align with those of the society at large. We should not hold them back by using the slippery slope fallacy. Most of the time, their incentives don't align with society's, so we should be thankful when these unregulated entities actually help society, even though that is never their goal. Yes, ideally this would be handled by government in some way, but our government is too inept to handle anything these days, including reigning in the power of these megacorps.


Twitch and Reddit enacted bans simultaneously:

https://www.politico.com/news/2020/06/29/reddit-bans-pro-tru...

https://www.engadget.com/twitch-suspends-donald-trump-accoun...

Seems odd for multiple independent companies to act in concert like this.


It is coordinated. Remember when Alex Jones got banned from literally everything on the same day?

The reddit bans wave was leaked in advance. The more actors involved in a coordinated action the harder it is to keep a secret.

Original leak: https://old.reddit.com/r/WatchRedditDie/comments/hh1pjd/redd...


This sort of multiple-headlines-in-one-day undermines the argument for bans. In the Alex Jones case in particular it appeared he was being selected for a broader community image rather than actions on specific platforms.

Private companies can't (mechanically, not legally) determine who has a moral right to speak. If we had a magic method for figuring that out it'd have been a feature of politics since at least the Roman Empire. Instead we ended up with things like Robert's Rules of Order where the process is controlled as best as possible to let wildly contradictory opinions get aired.


> Private companies can't (mechanically, not legally) determine who has a moral right to speak.

Of course not, no one is claiming they are the ultimate arbiters of morality.

But they do have the right to decide who can use their platform (as long as they don’t discriminate against protected groups). The broader public can then judge them positively or negatively for these decisions.


The thing is are these companies platforms like a phone company or are they publishers? Social media companies have argued that they cant be held liable for things posted to their platforms in the past and have tried to position themselves at neutral platforms. When they start to become the arbitrators of what is and is not to be posted they are no longer neutral platforms like the phone company. I do not recall a time when a phone company would cut your service because they found it to be distasteful or controversial.

That said I don't really know what these users were actually banned for saying. It could have been pretty bad and although I might not agree with what they said I hope that people are free to express their thoughts and ideas even though I might find them personally offensive.


>Social media companies have argued that they cant be held liable for things posted to their platforms in the past and have tried to position themselves at neutral platforms. When they start to become the arbitrators of what is and is not to be posted they are no longer neutral platforms like the phone company.

Social media companies don't become more liable just because they moderate. They all do that already. There's no sudden legal line between moderation involving messages with spam or bigotry.

I think anyone amplifying messages on a large-scale in a one-to-many manner, between people that aren't equally engaged in a conversation together, should be considered to start accruing responsibilities over the content of what they're participating in amplifying, in a way that a phone companies largely don't have. I think social media companies have been largely shirking that responsibility by phrasing it as a free speech issue and letting anything go.


It is a gray area and social media platforms sit somewhere in-between being a common carrier and a being a publisher. Your right there is no hard legal line but the more they decide what is allowed and what is not allowed the more they move farther away from being a common carrier.

> Social media companies don't become more liable just because they moderate.

Actually they do:

https://cs.stanford.edu/people/eroberts/cs181/projects/1997-....

And also: https://cs.stanford.edu/people/eroberts/cs181/projects/1997-...


It appears that those links describe the conditions before passage of the communications decency act of 1996. That was all overturned by section 230 of the CDA.


My limited understanding is that Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act (which is apparently one of the most important laws for this topic), passed in 1996, provides very broad protections to web platforms:

1) They can't be held liable for user-generated content, e.g. Facebook can't be sued for a defamatory statement that I make in a post on their platform.

A newspaper that authors and publishes an article making a similar defamatory statement could be held liable. I believe that Facebook could be held liable if the company itself authored and published the defamatory statement, instead of merely distributing my defamatory statement.

2) They can moderate user-generated content visible on their platform as they see fit, without trying to be "neutral" and without losing their liability protections (item 1 above).

Apparently, before this law, internet companies were worried about being held liable for what users said if they did any moderation (and some companies were sued for this).

---

This article seems to be a decent overview: https://www.minclaw.com/legal-resource-center/what-is-sectio...

This longer video (33 mins) from Legal Eagle is nice as well: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eUWIi-Ppe5k. It's been a few weeks since I watched it so hopefully I didn't miss too many important details.


Section 230 protection should not exist. When this was enacted, nothing like Facebook, YouTube,Twitter, etc. existed, and InfoSeek and AltaVista were the leading search engines...


Where does this "publisher/platform" meme come from? It's completely incorrect (https://www.techdirt.com/articles/20200531/23325444617/hello...) but I keep seeing it.

Suggest you give less credence to whoever you contracted it from.


I love Robert's Rules of Order! I'd love to see someone build video meeting software that implemented it somehow. Or does that exist? A brief search was fruitless.


The last copy I owned had a great introductory essay, describing the principles a rule of order could help realize: e.g. 1) to focus on potential concrete actions rather than some interminable search for agreement on beliefs; 2) to allow even minority/fringe opinions to get some hearing


That's a great idea.


Alex Jones lent a camera crew to Wolfgang Halbig when he travelled to Newtown, CT to harass the parents of the first graders murdered in the Sandy Hook shooting. Years and years from now those sites you're referring to will still bear the shame of not having banned him earlier.


In my opinion, while a low point even for a high-functioning schizophrenic with a talk show, that is still small potatoes compared to the journalists who repeated the 'WMD's line. And no one is calling for them to be deplatformed.


Publishing official government statements is bad, including when there is no sane way to independently verify them, but slander you've just made up is fine?


They did a bit more than publishing official statements. They were very vocal about denouncing and shaming anyone doubting those statements including my whole country France was attacked, boycotted and more by these people.


Which specific people and newspaper articles?


Do you not remember the whole "freedom fries" movement?


I remember the meme. My question is, who exactly is culpable of what here? It was promoted by some Republican representative: http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/world/americas/2842493.stm

Should the media have .. simply chosen not to report it? ""Censor"" mentions of "freedom fries"?

Is the BBC article itself "denouncing and shaming"? Or just the Republican it's quoting?


Figuring out a widely held opinion is wrong is actually not that easy. As such I have a lot more acceptance for those being wrong while promoting the status quo than those intentionally pushing the overton window. The latter is what should require commitment/conviction, to weed out the bad. And seems to be what is getting axed right now.

Investing into shitty companies will make you loose your investment. Why should this be different with ideas?


Funny, I take the opposite conclusion - figuring out a widely held opinion is wrong is not easy, therefore I think we should be slower to condemn people who get contrarian bets wrong.

To extend your metaphor, if I invest in a bad company, sure, my finances will suffer. But if it were that easy to tell which companies were bad there'd be no reason to invest at all. People who bet against the crowd and are right are generally considered heroes. I agree there should be a cost to trying to be a hero, but I don't think we currently have enough of them and I'm leery of making it harder to be one.


The logic you've provided says nothing about whether we should condemn Alex Jones, so I'm not clear what point you're trying to make. Unless you think we should be slow to condemn people who arrange for the harassment of parents whose children were murdered by a gunman in their elementary school. But that seems like an implausibly villainous thing for anyone on HN to believe.


My point is, he seems to be held to a higher standard than 'mainstream' journalists, despite the fact that these mainstream journalists send signals that they should be taken seriously and he does not. That sticks in my craw.


he seems to be held to a higher standard

He's not. Judith Miller was fired from NYT ending her career as a reporter within a couple of years of her original Iraq reporting. Alex Jones continues to make a living being a repugnant human being.


Honestly, you're dignifying this argument. Judith Miller probably believed the story she was selling about Iraqi WMDs, and in the cause itself. She was wrong. Alex Jones deliberately harassed the parents of first graders who had been crowded into a coat closet and shot at close range. This is the moral difference between a negligent doctor and a serial killer.

The distinction is especially material here, because this is the standard-issue message board argument against journalism, or "the mainstream media": that it must be conducted at the highest standards of scrupulous accountability, a standard far higher than any of us hold our own work to (I like to call this "The Djikstra Amnesia Effect"). And if it isn't, its practitioners are no better than Alex Jones.


FWIW, I think that Bush II, Obama and Trump should all be tried for war crimes. Probably Clinton and Bush I, and all the veeps, but I'm not as informed about them.


I'm sure we don't know the half of it.


For someone who has mostly sat on the sidelines of these debates, the coordination is really disturbing. Who is pulling the strings here?


I'm sure it was done in coordination with the advertisers that pulled their ads. Probably a group coordination between the companies and groups like the Anti-Defamation League, the NAACP, Sleeping Giants, Color of Change, Free Press and Common Sense that spearheaded the original advertising blackout.



The boogie man, no doubt


I was on ChapoTrapHouse a day before the ban. It was indeed leaked, and the ban happened exactly at the same time that it was leaked. This probably wouldn't have been the case unless it was coordinated.


> Apparently they're going to ban a large number of subs on Monday and frame it as an anti-racism initiative

Has this been announced or was this just speculation?


"Apparently they're going to ban a large number of subs on Monday and frame it as an anti-racism initiative"

Frame it? It is an anti-racism initiative. It may have side effects as well but that is the main driver.


They did not ban racist subreddits like /r/blackpeopletwitter and /r/fragilewhiteredditor.

If you don't know, to post on /r/blackpeopletwitter you have to send a photo of your skin color to the moderators. They are literally racially segregating users.


According to this post [0] only allowing black people to post was a time limited action. As an Aprils fool joke only black people were allowed to post, which resulted in positive feedback from the community, according to the mods. Now everyone can post again, where as black people can get verified and a special flair (a small visual indication next to their username). Some threads [1] are reserved for verified people, but non-black person can also get verified (but might not get a flair).

[0] https://www.reddit.com/r/BlackPeopleTwitter/comments/b93w1j/...

[1] https://www.reddit.com/r/BlackPeopleTwitter/comments/gumxuy/...


That special flair thing is amazing. I had no idea. I wonder how long before we see forums using it for other skin colors and genetic types. It's exactly the opposite of the trend of text-oriented interfaces democratizing access.


While this is informative, it leaves out one big thing. Rule number 1 in the sidebar is "Posts from black people only".

> This sub is intended for exceptionally hilarious and insightful social media posts made by black people. To that end, only post social media content from black people.


Your [1] has three standards for three groups of people.

1. black people who can verify and get a flair

2. non-white and non-black people who can verify but don't get a flair

3. white people can ask the moderators for entrance, but it only says they will will "receive further instructions." It's not clear what these further instructions are supposed to be.

This is racist and if a right wing subreddit did it, they would have been banned years ago.


I find it odd people aren't bringing up the obvious motivation for this. Simply calling it racism seems obtuse.

Anywhere race is a topic and anyone can join, but there is no verification of identity, trolls can claim anything. How do you think it feels to be a Black member of a forum and see a White person who is taken in by a White troll pretending to be Black? Conversely, how do you think it feels to be Black and be arguing with someone White who is sure you are a White troll pretending to be Black?

It's not a trivial problem, and it's inherent anywhere your online identity isn't linked to your real one.


>but there is no verification of identity, trolls can claim anything.

They aren't verifying identity, they are verifying skin color and using the information to then discriminate against their users. A person with verified skin tone and not verified identity can dress themselves in all sorts of lies just as trolls do everywhere on the internet.

>How do you think it feels to be a Black member of a forum and see a White person who is taken in by a White troll pretending to be Black? Conversely, how do you think it feels to be Black and be arguing with someone White who is sure you are a White troll pretending to be Black?

Maybe we should focus on ideas over identity.


>Maybe we should focus on ideas over identity.

I'm not saying it's a good solution in an absolute sense, nor do I have any idea how well it's working.

I'm just saying I think it's obviously motivated by a real and inescapable issue, and I don't think there is a simple and obviously better solution given the constraint that you want to have an online forum where people can acknowledge and discuss things related to racial identity.


I seem to remember some period in history when people of one race were forced to wear a special flair on them . Yellow six pointed star, on a sleeve, or a chest .


Damn, I never actually heard this being spoken about on reddit.

It's interesting, I'm not from the US and I find it curious that these situations arise. I can understand and empathise with (as a 'person of colour' as it's called over there) the arguments of both sides, but deep down I find this kind of 'positive segregation' morally wrong.


>Damn, I never actually heard this being spoken about on reddit.

That's pretty much the whole idea of censorship.


“While the rule on hate protects such groups, it does not protect all groups or all forms of identity. For example, the rule does not protect groups of people who are in the majority or who promote such attacks of hate.”

https://www.reddithelp.com/en/categories/rules-reporting/acc...


> “While the rule on hate protects such groups, it does not protect all groups or all forms of identity. For example, the rule does not protect groups of people who are in the majority or who promote such attacks of hate.”

So according to this rule, a racial minority can call members of a "majority race" sub-human, but not vice-versa. And yet, majority/minority are regional properties. How do you know a redditor's region in order to moderate their comment appropriately? Or are reddit employee regions the only ones that matter?

It's clearly a farce. Majority/minority status is a red herring. It's used only to enable reddit and mods to selectively apply the rules for their own ends. The fact is, it's unethical to call any race sub-human, regardless of whether the majority shares your views.


> So according to this rule, a racial minority can call members of a "majority race" sub-human, but not vice-versa.

According to academia, this is correct: racism only exists in the context of class based oppression.

Of course, many people disagree with this definition.


> According to academia, this is correct: racism only exists in the context of class based oppression.

Which is silly on its face. If two opposing races that hated each other held equal power, they might not be able to get the upper hand on the other, but they still hate each other solely on the basis of race. Is this the "non-racist" utopia they're after?


I don't know how widespread this belief is but I personally know people who believe this and it seems to be only spreading in the current heavily polarized environment. It is truly astonishing to witness


But that policy is not even talking about racism, however defined; it's talking about hate. Hate is hate, no matter who it's directed to. Prejudice is prejudice.


Except it's apparently fine to hate the haters. Dehumanization is alive and well, even among progressives.


i hate the hater-haters


Yep, hating the new Nazis is just fine. They're still people, no need to dehumanize them.


Hate is innately dehumanising.

Also, don't be so casual throwing around "Nazi". I've also seen liberals calling for conservatives to be put into camps.


So we can never denounce hatred and bigotry without being hypocritical? We don't want to be hypocritical, right? So we should never denounce hatred and bigotry! Brilliant!

I am super, super tired of "if you denounce bigots that makes you just as bad as them."


> So we can never denounce hatred and bigotry without being hypocritical?

How do you get from "don't hate the haters" to "don't denounce hatred and bigotry"? Seems like you're missing a step like, "denouncing entails hatred". Do you actually believe that's true?

There used to be this notion of condemning the act and not the person. It actually used to be a progressive principle arguing for criminal justice reform geared more towards rehabilitation than punishment. It's sad that this nuance has been lost.


If you can't denounce without getting into dehumanization, you're guilty of exactly the same kind of hate that the most virulent racists in history are guilty of.

It's never okay. Not for any reason.


I didn't use the word "dehumanize," did I?


No, but you replied to GP in defense of "denouncing hatred and bigotry" (something they didn't even argue against) without directly addressing a pretty important point, i.e. dehumanization (which they did).

Was there another way I should have read your comment with that in mind?


I suppose I am just very weary of a particular style of argument in this debate, which -- in addition to the tactic I called out -- frequently seems to include restating what the other person said as something worse, and then arguing against that restatement. And with all respect, that's what I think is happening here.

The person who wrote "Dehumanization is alive and well, even among progressives" was responding to someone who wrote "But that policy is not even talking about racism, however defined; it's talking about hate. Hate is hate, no matter who it's directed to. Prejudice is prejudice." (That is literally the entirety of their comment.) So at least the way I read this thread, "dehumanization" was introduced as a rhetorical device to equate "prejudice is prejudice" with "dehumanize your opponents."

Given that I'm being downvoted repeatedly, I guess others don't see it that way, but I'm going to be blunt. I just reread the thread and I do not think I'm the one giving things an unfair reading. I don't see a call for "dehumanization" here, and if folks are going to come down on me for failing to address an argument that isn't being made, I don't know what to say. ("Have you stopped beating your wife yet?")


> The person who wrote "Dehumanization is alive and well, even among progressives" was responding to someone who wrote "But that policy is not even talking about racism, however defined; it's talking about hate. Hate is hate, no matter who it's directed to. Prejudice is prejudice." (That is literally the entirety of their comment.) So at least the way I read this thread, "dehumanization" was introduced as a rhetorical device to equate "prejudice is prejudice" with "dehumanize your opponents."

With respect, that's not at all what's happening. I started this sub-thread with this comment [1] criticizing the wording of the policy which emphatically does not focus on just "hate is hate", and "prejudice is prejudice", but is worded specifically towards protecting "marginalized groups".

And it's quite clear on reddit that it's not applied even-handedly to both minority and majority groups. If you think otherwise, go try defending Trump supporters as an experiment and see what happens.

So my comment here [2] to which you objected was not "restating what the other person said as something worse", but was raising the additional point that, despite the policy, hating on the majority is accepted as perfectly fine on reddit, and plenty of other places (Twitter, Facebook, etc.).

[1] https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=23682471

[2] https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=23683058


What does “academia” have to do with anything?


These redefinitions probably grew out of "critical theory" which is taught in social studies. The initial protests citing this line of argument seem to have started on college campuses, so there might be some merit to saying it grew out of academia.


> What does “academia” have to do with anything?

Well, when people are arguing over the meaning of words - in this case "racism" - it is sometimes useful to reference what the "experts" think. There are entire fields of study within academia dedicated to this topic (often but not always including the word "critical").

Of course, whether or not said people have anything meaningful to say on the topic is not broadly agreed upon.


> “While the rule on hate protects such groups, it does not protect all groups or all forms of identity. For example, the rule does not protect groups of people who are in the majority or who promote such attacks of hate.”

The majority where? I can't find any specifics on what the majority qualifier is applied to (ex: the community in which the speech occurs, the geographic community of the user, etc).


It's even worse than that. People can honestly disagree about whether the term "racism" accurately describes something or whatever, but that's a far cry from actively condoning ("..this rule does not protect...") the whipping up of hate towards a majority of the population. The internet is full of nihilists and misanthropes who genuinely hate everyone and everything - I'm sure they can't wait to abuse this weakness in every way they can possibly think of. All for teh lulz, of course.


I’m guessing the whole thing is very USA centric, and they haven’t really thought through the implications of having users from across the world.


I've commented about this on HN earlier. Censorship will end up swallowing us all.

Now I guess it's ok to hate me as I'm part of several majorities and people seems to like it.

What am I supposed to do now? Hate myself? Allow others to discriminate me? Make a blind eye to those who think it's ok to hate me?


Got it, so racism against Asians is the go-to now /s


> For example, the rule does not protect groups of people who are in the majority

Are they serious? So basically racism is OK as long as it's toward people who are the majority?


Yes. The rule basically says that you can't be racist towards white people.


[flagged]


It's just racism dude. Not even white, just tired of the mental gymnastics people go through to justify their actions against white people based sole on their skin color and what they've committed against their people. You're doing the same thing. In the end it's just the tribal, racialist bullshit I'm freaking tired of. It never ends, because we keep justifying evildoing whenever it benefits our side at the given time. If we keep doing this, we have no right to complain when some other group does it to us at some other point in the future.


[flagged]


No. If someone says or does something to me based only on my race, they are a piece of shit racist. I don't care how many years his people has been oppressed by some other group of people.


Someone else mentioned what I'm defining more succinctly as "prejudice+power".


What you are saying is, you and you critical theory pals have redefined the word to suit your purposes.


In promoting racial discrimination against white people, you’re also displaying a bigoted and reductive view of Africa. The African peoples are more than the slave trade, more than colonialism. Africa is a remarkably diverse and populous continent with a history that exist beyond the impact of whiteness. It saddens me that your reducing to victimhood the whole of African identity is what passes for anti racism.


>In promoting racial discrimination against white people

Not promoting anything of the sort. These are factual observations of history, any student of history feel free to chime in so we can focus on facts over feelings.

>The African peoples are more than the slave trade, more than colonialism.

I agree African history is much more than slavery, but the European invention/export of racist theories/science and the dehumanization of Africans started during the same period (The Renaissance, ~15th-17th century continuing into the 21st century) Africans were enslaved and robbed. This period cannot be ignored in any discussions of the history of racism.

https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Scientific_racism

"Scientific racism was common during the period from 1600s to the end of World War II. Since the second half of the 20th century, scientific racism has been criticized as obsolete and discredited, yet historically has persistently been used to support or validate racist world-views, based upon belief in the existence and significance of racial categories and a hierarchy of superior and inferior races."


"For Africans to be considered reverse racists, they would have to rob Europeans to the point of poverty/death, enslave them for 400+ years, attempt multiple genocides and mass executions of the European people, deprive Europeans of education and economic equity for centuries based on skin color, engage in state assisted terrorism, THEN continue to promote hatred and acts of violence against them on Reddit."

Nothing promoting discrimination against white people in that quote, just replaced the word black/African with European in a summary of history. Not sure how you missed this simple role reversal exercise.


This thread started in response to a hate speech rule that allowed hate speech towards the [white] “majority” population. This is explicitly racial discrimination. I read everything you wrote as a response to that initial topic. If you merely meant to discuss your preferred definition of racism, I think a different thread would have better conveyed that.


Asians are the majority, not white people.


If you look at academic definitions, yes, often they will state racism is from the majority to the minority. It is rather odd.


I don't understand this. For all of my life I thought racism = discrimination against someone due to their race. In the same way that sexist = discrimination against someone due to their sex. Ageist = discrimination against someone due to their age. Is this not the clear cut definition anymore? At what point did it diverge?


>Is this not the clear cut definition anymore?

People who want to discriminate on the basis of race and sex have contrived a definition of racism/sexism that exempts themselves.

>At what point did it diverge?

The 1980s apparently. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Critical_race_theory


An '-ism' is an ideology which is used for organizing the world. The big difference is whether it's an individual ideology or a systemic ideology.

1 person renting out property = a rentier. Private ownership of land = capitalism.

1 person not hiring women = a misogynist. Companies not offering parental leave and assuming the primary caregiver is the mother = sexism.

Zuckerberg saying "young people are just smarter" = a bigot. Focusing on algorithms in software interviews which new-grads will have an easier time solving = ageism.

It's very common to call a prejudiced or discriminatory individual a "-ist" because the individual is subscribing to an ideology. But, that's emphasizing the individual rather than the society. If you only look at individual people as racist, they feel like isolated cases which don't have good solutions. Furthermore, you're absolving people who aren't explicitly discriminatory but who are still supporting systemic discrimination.

- This company will hire anyone who's qualified, but they're full of ivy-league graduates because they rely heavily on campus recruiters. Even though they aren't prejudiced when hiring, they are classist because they cater to high-class people.

- This bank will offer a mortgage to anyone with a steady paycheck and a safe-investment property. However, due to red-lining and racial covenants, Black people weren't able to purchase safe-investment homes so they didn't get good mortgages.

Granted, it's an uphill etymological battle because the individual usage is so common. When people argue for the systemic definition, they're arguing that we should focus on processes rather than individuals.


If you haven't noticed, we've spiraled down to the point where group think determines what is real, not facts or logic. If you can convince thousands people to scream that something is racist, then it "becomes" racist, no matter whether it meets any factual concrete definition of what racism is. Once this behavior started, it was then used as justification to change the definition of racism to something it never used to be.


Reddit adopts the "Prejudice + Power" definition of racism, not the actual definition of racism


Reddit's definition seems more contextual, it weighs the dynamics of current economic, cultural, institutional, etc... racism

Here is the Oxford dictionary definition:

"The inability or refusal to recognize the rights, needs, dignity, or value of people of particular races or geographical origins. More widely, the devaluation of various traits of character or intelligence as ‘typical’ of particular peoples. The category of race may itself be challenged, as implying an inference from trivial superficial differences of appearance to allegedly significant underlying differences of nature; increasingly evolutionary evidence suggests that the dispersal of one original people into different geographical locations is a relatively recent and genetically insignificant matter."


In the majority... in the United States?


> If you don't know, to post on /r/blackpeopletwitter you have to send a photo of your skin color to the moderators.

I think there's a good reason for doing that, given that such a sub can almost trivially become a hate sub for mocking people on Twitter, much like fatpeoplehate. "We want our community to be largely black" seems like a reasonable founding principle.


Let's do a CTRL-H test:

"We want our community to be largely white" seems like a reasonable founding principle.

How do you feel about the statement now?


"White" is a catch-all term for light-skinned ethnic groups with "defaultness" in American society. There is no such thing as "white history," "white heritage," or "white culture," except in opposition to "non-default" ethnic groups.

If you change the founding principle to "we want our community to be largely Russian," that would be totally fine by me.

Additionally, opposition to the "largely black" founding principle implies opposition to women-only spaces and other community groupings that are largely accepted in society.


You're literally grouping all dark skin individuals into a group saying they share the same heritage and culture when they don't.


I think this is a copout answer. "White" usually refers to people of European heritage who have lighter skin in America.


What do generic "Europeans" have in common with each other? As a Russian, I feel like my culture overlaps relatively little with French, German, or English. Moreover, which parts of "Europe" are actually included in this taxonomy? Are Romani considered white? What about Southern Italians? Black people in France? It all boils down to "people of European heritage with white skin (whose ancestors wrote books and stuff that I like)," which is wishy-washy and tautological.


We have a culture in common which encompasses languages, religion, music, architecture, food, etc.

I've only ever heard that question asked about us Europeans, for some reason.


Not sure about whites and blacks in the US, but as far as genetics are concerned, (black) Africans have far more genetic diversity than (white) Europeans.


Africans enslaved in America effectively had their original cultures denied and destroyed. That's why it's appropriate to capitalize Black but not white when referring to American subcultures. (Whiteness isn't genetic. E.g. in South Africa under apartheid Chinese people were legally black but Japanese people were legally white.)


Various whites had their cultures denied and destroyed as well. By your logic White should capitalized as well.


Which "various whites" specifically?


Slavs where taken as slaves and is where the word slave derives from.


We capitalize "Slavs".

(FWIW, Slavic culture didn't originate with the enslaved Slavs.)


Then we should also capitalize White as well as Black.


That doesn't make sense. There is no one "White" culture, so when you capitalize the word in the context of United States of America it refers to the KKK et. al., not to mainstream American culture, which developed in waves of lots of different cultures (not all of which are European-derived.) E.g. the Irish. Treated like shit when they first got here, now we have St. Patrick's Day parades. And so we have Irish-Americans, Italian-Americans, Chinese-Americans, and so on. They kept their cultures.

Now when we talk about African-Americans you gotta remember that Africa is a huge continent, not a single nation or culture. The people who were kidnapped, beaten, chained, subjected to the horrors of the Middle Passage, then treated like subhumans for hundreds of years, they came from many different cultures, they were forcibly prevented from carrying those with them, and so they have formed a new culture, native to the soil of this continent. That's why it's appropriate to capitalize the word "Black" when referring to Black American culture: it's a proper noun.

When you speak of "white people" in America, you're generally referring to the whole American mainstream culture, which is neither genetically nor culturally Caucasian exclusively. The word "White" capitalized as a proper noun refers to a specific complex of "White supremacist" culture.

In sum:

Black - African American

white - Mainstream American (includes everybody: The fictional character Steven Quincy Urkel could be called "white" in this sense.)

White - racist American subculture


>That doesn't make sense. There is no one "White" culture,

There is no one "Black" culture either.

>so when you capitalize the word in the context of United States of America it refers to the KKK et. al., not to mainstream American culture

And yet if you capitalize Black it doesn't mean black supremacists?

Why do you hold different standards to white and black?

>which developed in waves of lots of different cultures (not all of which are European-derived.) E.g. the Irish. Treated like shit when they first got here, now we have St. Patrick's Day parades.

St. Patrick's Day is not specifically an Irish holiday. It is a Christian holiday which is popular amongst Irish.

>And so we have Irish-Americans, Italian-Americans, Chinese-Americans, and so on. They kept their cultures.

There are many blacks who kept their cultures as well. Not all blacks were slaves. Many voluntarily migrated to the US.

>Now when we talk about African-Americans you gotta remember that Africa is a huge continent, not a single nation or culture.

You are contradicting yourself. You said "There is no one "White" culture, so when you capitalize the word in the context of United States of America it refers to the KKK" and yet you also admit there is no single "Black" culture.

>The people who were kidnapped, beaten, chained, subjected to the horrors of the Middle Passage, then treated like subhumans for hundreds of years, they came from many different cultures, they were forcibly prevented from carrying those with them, and so they have formed a new culture, native to the soil of this continent.

Not all blacks living in the US were slaves.

>That's why it's appropriate to capitalize the word "Black" when referring to Black American culture: it's a proper noun.

But there is no single black culture. You yourself said that white should not be capitalized because there isn't a single culture.

>When you speak of "white people" in America, you're generally referring to the whole American mainstream culture, which is neither genetically nor culturally Caucasian exclusively.

When I say white people I mean white people. I don't mean anything else. I don't mean culture. If I meant culture I would say culture.

I have never seen anybody saying anything different than I said. Please provide examples of mainstream people using the the phrase differently.

>The word "White" capitalized as a proper noun refers to a specific complex of "White supremacist" culture.

You haven't proven that.


I feel like I was really clear. We don't agree, obviously, but I don't want to argue about it with you any more, so I'm going to go ahead and let you have the last word.


I agree it's a bit wishy-washy. But that's what it means. Everyone (in the U.S.) when they say whites, they pretty much always mean anyone with white skin who have European heritage.

Yup, so even if some poor Croatian guy just got off the boat, as long as he looked white enough for Americans, some of them would say he benefited from American slavery of blacks and must renounce his white privilege.


Regardless of your origin or connection to American history, I think it's healthy and socially responsible to face your "default privilege." The point isn't to feel guilty, but to become fully aware of the social structures underpinning your country, and to develop a sense of empathy for those who are forced to consider their skin color every day of the year when you can go weeks without even thinking about it. (And I say this as a first-generation immigrant.)

In any case, this has little to do with the original topic of establishing a black-focused community.


Spend his whole life being taught about white privilege and is never allowed to say that he understands so he has to get re-educated all the time. If he says he has already heard it before and understands then he is obviously a racist Nazi Trump supporter and must violently be re-educated about his white privilege.


Are black people not allowed to have their own communities?


""We want our community to be largely black" seems like a reasonable founding principle."

Freedom of association is a thing. Now, would you agree with the statement, ""We want our community to be largely white" seems like a reasonable founding principle." ?


See comment above.


Exactly.

Just because someone claims something is anti-racist doesn't make it so. Almost all organized evil is done in the name of something good. Look at how laws like the The Patriot Act are named.

The people behind these bans are leftist extremists going after their rightist extremist enemies. Their "good intentions" are paving our path towards hell.


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The former literally segregates users by requiring them to send in a picture with their skin color visible. The latter expresses a racial prejudice in the name.


For example, Reddit previously banned the "fat people hate" subreddit, where they sat around and made fun of fat people, while these subreddits, where all they do is sit around and make fun of people based on the color of their skin are allowed to prosper.

If anything, a subreddit dedicated to making fun of people based on the color of their skin is a lot more bannable than making fun of people based on their weight ..


If they do they will be called racists and white supremacists.

And I'm the crazy one when I say social media is only banning right wingers.


Complaining about the /r/fragilewhiteredditor subreddit is kind of just proving their point though.


Why should white people tolerate racism against themselves?


/r/fragilewhiteredditor is not racism. Being a "White redditor" is not a race. The sub is not about hating redditors for being white, but for talking about and possibly getting angry at people who are very blind to their prejudice or priviledges


Honest to goodness, it’s a marketing and advertising initiative. I do think some of the subreddits that are being banned deserve it for violating Reddit site wide rules and refusing to stop, among other things. However, Reddit took on the identity of being free speech oriented early on and gradually eroded it over time, and every time they ban a few bad big subs that are indefensible, they usually coincide bans to a large number of other smaller subreddits that are almost ostensibly somehow adjacent but are not really violating any rules in the same fashion. I think this is intentional, because most of the people who would be annoyed by the collateral damage are celebrating because of the headlining bans. This creates quite a conundrum. Maybe this ban wave is truly different, but it would take me by surprise if so. (I didn’t look into exactly what subs were banned yet.)

At this point it feels like Reddit saves the big important bans specifically so they can be announced in ban waves, because by the time they happen the response is always, “how in the world did this take over a year to be done?”

edit: to my point it looks like they banned over 2000 subs this time. I doubt that list hadn’t been growing over time. I checked out one that was apparently for a podcast and the little bit I could view on Wayback Machine looked pretty damn ordinary, with only mildly edgy jokes. Not immediately casting doubt that there is good reason but it sure feels like every other ban wave I’ve seen from Reddit.


Socialist subreddits being banned for glorifying John Brown (who caused an insurrection against slavery in the South) was not an anti-racism initiative. It was probably a PR move calculated to look good to the mainstream media and co., while being able to "both-sides" conservative media.


Yes they also released a new policy update:

https://www.reddithelp.com/en/categories/rules-reporting/acc...



It actually happened today. Check Reddit‘s /r/announcements for the official thread.


I don't think it is a matter of keeping it a secret, my guess is that they don't want bleed over to wherever they haven't been banned yet.


>It is coordinated.

Is there any evidence of this besides the announcements just happening on the same day? It could be companies waiting to announce these moves on Monday morning after days of seeing Facebook embroiled in controversy for not doing this. Or maybe one company decided to make this move and other companies fast tracked anything they had planned on this so they wouldn't be viewed as ignoring this issue.

We have no indication one way or another whether this is coordinated. We shouldn't just assume it is coordinated because it is happening on the same day.


Coordination doesn’t mean collusion, there are plenty of reasons why to coordinate such as to avoid platform hopping and not having to deal with a bunch of angry people flocking to your platform and to share the news cycle.

The likelihood of high profile bans like these not being coordinated is slim.


I'm pretty sure social media platforms all have the same problematic groups set up for one click deletion. If one pulls the trigger it's trivial for the rest to do it too.

It's the same coordination you see in penguins jumping off an ice flow. They'll all bunch up looking for sea lions they know are lurking. Eventually one jumps in or gets pushed and they all jump in right after.


Ban waves aren’t that simple they take time to prepare the legal, PR, community relations and tech support etc required.

While it probably isn’t as spontaneous as the penguins I also don’t see it as some smokey or well these days vapey dark room where they sit around the table with a bunch of dossiers laid out in front of them taking a vote.


Collusion has an obvious negative connotation, but any coordination that happens in secret is inherently collusion.

Either way, my request still stands. Is there any evidence to suggest these companies are working together instead of us all just assuming that is the case?


Define evidence, companies share information all the time including their legal departments.

We have had multiple simultaneous ban waves this is not a new occurrence, at this point one would ask for evidence to show its not the case since the fact that this happening is self evident.


There were several posts predicting this exact outcome yesterday on subreddits drama. The people close to the pulse knew.


Do you care to point to something that backs up that claim? I can't find any mention on that subreddit about anything relating to Youtube or Twitch bans.

https://www.google.com/search?q=youtube+site%3Areddit.com%2F...

https://www.google.com/search?q=twitch+site%3Areddit.com%2Fr...


Posts about it have been flying for about a day or two now. Example:

https://www.reddit.com/r/DeclineIntoCensorship/comments/hh1s...


That seems to be exclusively about Reddit. How does this show coordination?


You're right. I was more pointing out that "people knew" before hand that a ban was coming, which means other platforms/groups knew about it and so could have prepared for it. If anything that's less of an argument that it's coordinated and more an argument that they're piling on after seeing one platform do it.


Thanks, but in my first comment I described exactly that possible scenario of companies rushing these announcements once they realized a competitor was acting on the issue. Once again, I don't know why so many people are assuming this is coordinated.


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Context matters. You analogy isn't applicable because it removes the context for these response. The boycott of Facebook didn't hit critical mass until the end of last week. These companies are taking preemptive action so they don't receive a similar boycott. That is an explanation that doesn't require coordination.


> That is an explanation that doesn't require coordination.

Yes, and it's a huge stretch. That's good for Yoga, but bad for explanations, and it works just as well for 9/11. The simplest, most plausible explanation: they coordinated. Further weight for that explanation? They've coordinated on similar issues before.


"WatchRedditDie"? Hilarious. Everything reddit's done today makes me want to use the site more.


> Seems odd for multiple independent companies to act in concert like this

Yes and no, this is less collusion and more to avoid platform hopping basically if one platform bans them they’ll flock to another even if the medium isn’t identical or the platform is not optimal for their use case any platform would do in times like these.

I’m pretty sure at this point when the behavior pattern is known the platforms inform each other of high profile bans.

The others follow suit to avoid being branded as the one that didn’t or worse as the one that accepted the now pariahs “with open arms”.


If it were platform hopping, it would be ban, then hop, then ban, then hop. It takes time to hop and move all of your content and followers.

This time has not elapsed.


It’s to prevent this, so you don’t have their user base hope to the other platform to express their anger, it also helps when you share the news cycle.

This isn’t an opinion for or against this pattern just an observation on why it makes sense.


Sort of a pre-emptive revenge, then.


Moloenux has been on YouTube for over a decade. He wasn't evading any bans.


I don't know about that. Twitter didn't ban Molyneux and I've not seen people branding Twitter as "The platform that permits Molyneux". (Until me, just now)


Why? There is a massive political movement for racial equality happening all over the country. They are responding to pressure from consumers, which they very much should, because all of these companies have ignored these issues for decades. They aren't coordinating with each other in some conspiracy to silence white supremacists. The -people- want white supremacists to be deplatformed (a good thing!).


This is why you never give into the mob, even when their point is a good one. That's how individual rights are lost to the collective.


No one has a right to post on Reddit or Youtube.

If we want to be concerned about individual rights, we should at least be somewhat accurate about the definition of the word.


When a set small of companies control your ability to communicate freely on the internet and they act in consort it becomes an issue of free speech.


Honestly, we need to rethink this.

For example, I 'own' my sidewalk, but anyone can protest there. A lot of public space is privately owned, but can still be used for protest.

The internet is the new public square. It can be privately owned, but still forced to recognize the rights of the public.


I'm not sure what the laws are for physical protests. Do mall car parks and similar places on "private" but non-enclosed land have to accommodate public protest? Is that sort of thing what you're talking about?

I'm leaning towards the idea that platforms with no barrier to entry should be treated as public to some degree, while those with a sign-up process more involved than email and password are still treated as private.


No... I'm talking about things like 'privately-owned public space' in cities like San Francisco (so Salesforce park), or city sidewalks.

In most cities, the land owner even in downtown will own the sidewalks, but there is an 'easement' that says it's a public right of way. However, it's a public space, and anyone can protest or say what they want there. Their freedom of speech is protected, even though the land is private. The land is certainly private because the landowner is responsible for upkeep and can generally modify it so long as the sidewalk meets certain requirements.

Here's an example in New York City where the Occupy protests took place: https://nextcity.org/daily/entry/the-21-million-sidewalk-how...

All this is to say is that we have a model for privately owned public space -- spaces where private interests have certain rights and obligations and ownership but where accomodations for the public must be made.

Here's another example in London and Portland: https://nextcity.org/daily/entry/public-space-battle-playing...

https://www.theguardian.com/cities/2017/jul/24/revealed-pseu...

In San Francisco at least -- only using it because I'm most familiar -- certain buildings are required to have public spaces, and you in general have a right to be in this space for free. There are even some beautiful rooftop decks that are privately owned but have been made public to meet the requirement -- like the deck on one kearny.


If by “it” you mean privately-owned websites, then no, it cannot be forced to do so. That would be a violation of the websites’ owners own freedom of speech. Not to mention their property rights! I thought the right to absolutely control one’s own private property was the most sacrosanct of conservative values?


"Private" property becomes morally murky when you extend an invitation to the general public to use that space. Doubly so when a small handful of these privately-owned websites are responsible for carrying a the vast majority of the of the discourse on the internet.

As it stands, Google+Youtube, Facebook, and Reddit (1st, 2nd, 4th, and 6th most popular websites in the country) currently have the power to ban, or worse, guide, all discussion of any topic they wish, with no accountability whatsoever. That is a frightening amount of power to have, and one that I don't believe the free market is equipped to deal with its abuses.

This latter problem is something I'm legitimately surprised more people are not concerned about. Just because they're using this power to target something you don't like doesn't mean it won't be used for more nefarious purposes in the future.


The fact that it all happened on the same day does imply some kind of coordination though.


The pressure is more directly from advertisers. Major consumer brands don't want their advertisements appearing next to objectionable user generated content.


Why not? Because their customers don't like it either.

It all comes down to what is popular and unpopular--which is fine in a marketplace. That's exactly how marketplaces are supposed to work.


It could also be coming from investors. Tencent owns a major chunk of Reddit now.


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"Screaming 'racism' at people because blacks are collectively less intelligent...is insane."

“You cannot run a high IQ [white] society with low IQ [non-white] people…these [non-white] immigrants are going to fail...and they're not just going to fail a little, they are going to fail hard…they're not staying on welfare because they’re lazy...they’re doing what is economically the best option for them...you are importing a gene set that is incompatible with success in a free-market economy.”

—YouTube video, The Death of Europe | European Migrant Crisis, October 4, 2015 https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8eydDN55Vyc&amp=&feature=you...

This is just two quotes from one appearance. There are many more: https://www.splcenter.org/fighting-hate/extremist-files/indi...


Video is gone can't be verified.


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You should revise your original statement from "he didn't say those things" to "he said those things, but I agree with them". Thanks.


I don't agree with them, I don't believe that a statistically observed difference in a particular trait according to racial phenotypes implies that racial phenotype is "inferior" or "superior" to begin with. And it turns out that just as I originally said, he didn't say them.

To clarify, what exactly is it that you disagree with, that the statistical observation in question exists, or that if it does exist, it doesn't necessarily imply that the racial phenotype in question must be "superior" or "inferior"?


I'll take your second branch, and I'll take the contrapositive: Because there is such overwhelming evidence that all humans belong to a single genetic legacy, one single race, we therefore must reject the entire premise that started the statistical inquiry. Instead, we are obligated to realize that IQ is not correlated with some mythic "g" number, and instead correlated with socioeconomic status and quality of education.


> I'll take your second branch, and I'll take the contrapositive:

What I originally said was;

"it does exist, it doesn't necessarily imply that the racial phenotype in question must be "superior" or "inferior"?"

So the contrapositive to that would be that it does imply that racial phenotype differences must also necessarily imply superior or inferior.

To give you credit though, that does not seem to actually be what you're saying at all though. Breaking down what you do actually say;

> Because there is such overwhelming evidence that all humans belong to a single genetic legacy

Has nothing to do with what I said at all. I never claimed that racial phenotypes imply a separation in species.

> one single race

Appears to deny the existence of racial phenotypes by interpreting the term "race" to mean "species". That doesn't mean that racial phenotypes don't actually exist.

> we therefore must reject the entire premise that started the statistical inquiry.

Putting aside the question that this assumes that the entire premise that started the statistical inquiry in question is well known and completely accepted already, and regardless of what we do to the premise that started the statistical inquiry in question, we still have the results of the statistical inquiry in question to contend with.

This doesn't actually answer any questions.

> Instead, we are obligated to realize that IQ is not correlated with some mythic "g" number

I should hope we are not obligated to realise that at all, because as a simple question of correlation, g factor and IQ is indeed highly correlated, so any such obligation would make us willfully ignorant. In fact the way some IQ tests have their efficiency measured is to observe that correlation. To say that again for emphasis; it is the very way in which many of the tests in question are given validity.

> instead correlated with socioeconomic status and quality of education.

There's no "instead" here. IQ scores correlate statistically on all three measures (amongst many others).

Frankly, the way people address this entire issue desperately trying to make it something other than what it clearly is, when what it clearly is doesn't necessarily imply that it is thus somehow acceptable to persecute racial minorities, or view a specific racial phenotype as "inferior" or "superior" actually does favours to the racial tribalist perspective.

If there's an observable undeniable widespread campaign resulting in the continuous deplatforming and vigorous persecution of all the people in the world who dare to point out that the sky is blue because some of the people who claim that the sky is blue also claim that therefore all people that aren't blue should be killed, and that there's a conspiracy to suppress the fact that the sky is blue, that puts them at definitely correct regarding two of three points, and silencing everybody who claims simply that the sky is blue and nobody should be killed as a consequence of it removes the visibility of the most compelling argument for why the narrative that all non blue people should be killed is ridiculous.

Instead all that remains for the neutral disinterested observer is a massive chorus of people claiming that all blue people / non blue people should be killed and that the sky is any colour other than blue. All under a blue sky. Is it any wonder they throw their hands up and go crazy?

Once upon a time I would've said I don't understand this seeming stupidity, but being older and more cynical now I can't help but suspect it's simply a desperate attempt to throw more fuel on the divide and conquer bonfire by entrenched political elites so the underclass can be kept at each other's throats over table scraps while the aforementioned political overclass gleefully continues looting the vast majority of global wealth.

But hey, I'm just a crazy conspiracy theorist, now continuously rate limited for my evil wrongthink, so whatever.

I'm disgusted with, and tired of this place.

I've been here eleven years now and I've watched the quality, slowly at first, and with increasing rapidity in more recent years, decline and the minds that gather here spew thought terminating cliches in progressively more shrill chorus as time has gone on, and writing this now I realise that I just get nothing whatsoever out of engagement here anymore, so this will be my final post.

Best of luck to anyone who intends to stick around and see if it pulls out of its decade long nosedive, but I'm done.


Glad to hear it. One nitpick: The contraposition of some claim P -> Q is not ~P -> ~Q, but ~Q -> ~P. I hope that you study some logic and biology in your newfound spare time. Best of luck.


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Antifa USA 2020 is not the paramilitary wing of a german stalinist party, even if "Antifa in Germany 1931" was one. It is not the same organisation. It is a lifestyle branding sold to left wing youth, like Che Guevara t-shirts.

Now there is an organisation in the USA that has recently started to use the Antifa Branding. It's called Torch Network or https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Anti-Racist_Action but that one, too is not related to Germany 1931 or to Stalinism.


It might be news to you, but very few of the people who participated in the successful Russian communist revolution of 1917 were knowledgeable about the finer points of Marxism too. You don't really need that many. The rest can be useful idiots. The few knowledgeable people behind the scenes know and exploit this. 6 months before it happened, BTW, Lenin said in a lecture in Zurich that a revolution would not happen in his lifetime. But a rail car full of German cash helped things along quite nicely. So if you think this can't happen here, you should probably reconsider.

Same with Cultural Revolution in China or Khmer Rouge. Same with Nazi Germany - I seriously doubt Hans Sixpack hated Jews or Slavs all that much. In a way, Fascism was too "lifestyle branding". Germans, down and out after WW1, were sold this grand vision of Third Reich and Lebensraum stretching shore to shore on the Eurasian continent. Oh, and if you're against it, not only you'd get "canceled", you'd get shot by the nearest ditch. We're a few years out from that at the moment. In terms of tangibles outside lifestyle branding, BTW, Antifa at the time wasn't that different from fascists themselves. They wanted a communist authoritarianism, hammer and sickle and everything, while fascists wanted more of a capitalist version. Any sort of "democracy" wasn't even up for discussion.

Same with communism. Why wouldn't a "working class" Ivan Sixpack want to "own" the factory he works in? It did not occur to Ivan to think about what that'd actually mean in practice. 5 years later Ivan dies of starvation, 15 years later his extended family ends up dying in Gulag, for being "counterrevolutionary element". He did not end up improving his condition before he kicked the bucket either: the factory is now owned by the state, and it's illegal to not work there. Ivan was a useful idiot, and he outlived his usefulness. Don't be like Ivan.


You add nothing to your claim that it is the same organization and i will keep refuting that as the nonsense it is.

> The FBI says antifa uses social media to organize, but there’s no specific organization or leadership structure.

To me it looks like a very loose group of "anti-parental-authority" youth on the left fringe, which mostly idiolises fantasy-feelgood-anarchism, mixed with some older anti-klan streams that are special to the USA. You can't just claim that is the continuation of the paramilitary wing of KPD 1931 halfway across the planet, then also claim it is basically Thälmanns KPD, which is basically Stalin himself, because all things loosely related are the same thing. I call bullshit.

Those far fetched stories about how revolutionaries have found themselves abused by some autocratic authoritarian putschists are nice and true, but they do not give any substance to your claim that current Antifa USA is a stalinist organization. Your argument seems to be "all leftist revolution must end in stalinism, therefor they are all stalinists", which is so ridiculous, there should be some Godwins law variant for that.

That democracy you speak of is based on the believe in pluralism, yet you deny the existence of pluralism in the vague field that spans from KPD and Antifa 1931 to todays USA. You somehow completely ignore the 1980s hardcore anarchistic punk scene, 90 years of history, and instead you throw in some "cancel culture" and "maoist culture revolution". You have nothing backing your claim that it is a stalinist organization except matching symbols on anti-capitalist merchandise sold for $5.99 and a generalized red scare.

Now i agree with you on warning about the dangers of totalitarian authoritarianism. On that part we are fine. But you are crying wolves because of a freaking chihuahua! Yes that thing is related to wolves, and it is annoying, but you are the idiot for thinking they are the same. Freedom and Liberalism are not attacked by some rioting teenagers in downtown Seattle. Those who make encryption illegal and want everything on the net monitored by the Ministry for State Security for signs of domestic terrorism, those are the wolves.


> It stopped being that within a couple of days of starting and was co-opted to advance other goals. It's for "racial equality" only inasmuch as no sane person will argue _against_ racial equality. Same as "antifascism" is also _nominally_ against something that's unquestionably bad, so no sane person will disagree with the core premise.

This is a wonderful theory, but the past couple of years (Centuries, in the case of racial equality) of political discourse in America has shown that it does not match reality.

There are plenty people who have no problem arguing for racism, or for fascism, and thanks to Twitter, Facebook, YouTube, Reddit, those people have gained both a lot more influence and a lot of, to put it charitably, allies of convenience - or, to put it uncharitably, true believers.


google legal frequently shares information with legal departments from other tech companies when it comes to moderating/acting upon content/users. in fact, the big tech companies' legal teams share information pretty regularly as they all deal with the same legal hurdles e.g. users from north korea, cuba, ITAR, etc.

it wouldn't surprise me if there was an informal discussion and a decision by google led others to also take action.


This appears to be coordinated election interference from tech monopolists.


If they were monopolists they wouldn't have to coordinate anything.


Please explain. In which districts in the United States are neo-Nazis affiliated with Stefan Molyneux, David Duke (former leader of the KKK), and Richard Spencer (who was videoed performing a Sieg Heil) up for election, as challengers or incumbents? I was not aware these men were employed by one of the two major political parties, or even one of the two smaller ones.

If the specific figures being banned are not affiliated with any candidate for election, even under a minor party or for local office, how is this "election interference"?


It's probable he is referring to the also announced ban of Donald Trump's Twitch channel.


Someone doesn’t understand the terms “election interference” or “monopolists”.


People doing political things you don't like is not election interference, anymore than some billionaire bankrolling right-wing SuperPACs is election interference.

Elections aren't held in a vaccum. People 'interfere' with them by persuading, spending money, and by choosing to give political ideas access to their platform.

Media agencies 'interfere' with elections all the time, by exercising their discretion for the last point, and by actively agitating on the first point.

And why would de-platforming racist white nationalists interfere with the election, anyways? Is there a racist white nationalist on the ballot in 2020, who will be hurt by this?


Both kinda sound pretty undemocratic though, so there’s some merit to the claim.


"coincidence"


> Seems odd for multiple independent companies to act in concert like this.

It shouldn't, all social networks delegate banning "hate content" to the SPLC and ADL. It's much more efficient/effective to do things this way, and more importantly, it assures fair enforcement. Otherwise, you'd have the same content allowed on one platform, but banned on another. This approach is much better for the platforms and their users.


How does outsourcing the decision to the SPLC/ADL “assure fair enforcement”?


Consistency is a big part of fairness, maybe the biggest part. Outsourcing "cancellation" decisions to the SPLC/ADL ensures that people are being consistently banned across all of the major social networks, after a full investigation by non-profits whose entire reason for existence is to do these kinds of investigations. They have, collectively, centuries of experience (and began long before the Internet existed).

Delegating also ensures that cancellations aren't done willy-nilly—the SPLC/ADL are not like a Twitter mob. They have (combined) over a billion in funds to investigate hate speech on the Internet, and to then advise the social networks that they are hosting hate speech—who then make the actual decisions to ban or not ban. Typically, they coordinate and all ban in unison, to avoid weird situations where someone is banned on one (or a few networks), but not all.

Obviously, none of this will feel "fair" to racist Whites, but there are places online (e.g. Gab, Bitchute, etc.) for them to speak freely to other racists where they won't be banned.


This happened a couple years back when they both made some big policy changes related to guns. I'm pretty sure it's just pressure from major advertisers they both share.

Here is an HN link from it: https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=16643040


How coincidental! Surely I am to think nothing of it. Hey, let's talk about COVID-19 real quick ...


The way different actions spread are like watching the Snowcrash virus in real time. Endlessly entertaining.


Act individually, and each company is dragged over the internet rage court individually, and as a bonus the last one to act will be roasted as "only doing it because all others did."

Act together, and they are accused of conspiracy.

I guess their PR teams decided the latter is less hassle for them.


I detest Donald Trump and everything he stands for and enables, but the idea of banning him from Twitch makes me imagine a world where he didn't get banned from Twitch and instead tried to pivot to being a full-time game streamer, and that makes me laugh at least a little bit.


He would probably get banned for cheating


It’s like the nuclear arms treaty. If one company doesn’t ban these accounts, it can gain all the users who subscribe to these people and benefit. All companies agree to potentially lose these users, so no one profits from doing the so called “wrong thing”.

Same thing with mask use in airlines. Some companies do not want to enforce mask use until all airlines do it, because they do not want customers opposed to masks leaving them for competitors that do not require masks on flights.


The public square is owned by private companies and they're enforcing anti-first amendment principles. One can't even argue that these banned people can move to another platform if they're all coordinating.

Leftist extremists are effecting public banishment of their rightist extremist opponents.

It wouldn't be as bad if leftist extremists were getting banned at the same time. The problem is that leftist extremists have bullied the mainstream left into extreme action.


Today, Reddit banned the Chapo Trap House left extremist group. From someone not involved in either extreme, it appears to me like they're being consistent and banning people for behavior and not politics. I've not heard anyone calling for George Will to be deplatformed, for instance.


Just checking, but you know the standard for "consistent" is not "at least one far left extremist group was banned" right?

That is absolutely not the definition of consistent, so I have no idea why you've tried to square this circle. Consistent means proportional enforcement without political bias, which has clearly never been a priority for reddit.

After all, reddit has repeatedly targeted right-leaning subs with shadow bans and stealth editing including directly from the CEO. Which left-leaning subs have received CEO stealth editing treatment?


I don’t know. Which left-leaning subs, specifically, have violated the Reddit ToS in the same way that the_donald and the various “clown world” subs did and were not treated the same?


ChapoTrapHouse regularly called for violence and was never deranked, shadowbanned or had comments stealth edited by the CEO, for example.

There are dozens of affiliated subreddits just there.


People get regularly banned for racism, sexism, homophobia, transphobia, and many other kinds of hate, whether their profiles say 'D' or 'R' or something else. If many of their profiles tend to say 'R' or otherwise have similar political views, that's not an indication of bias on the part of platforms.


/r/politics not being banned completely invalidates your point


All people regularly get shot by the police for committing crime and other kinds of violence. Whether they're black white or something else. If many of them happen to be black, that's not an indication of bias on the part of the police.

Just a simple substitution, and now we see that this is just bad thinking.


Absolutely false. It means more of them have been banned, not more of them are participating in that. You're assuming equal enforcement of the rules, with absolutely no evidence to support that.

Reddit after all developed moderation tools like shadow banning and deranking and used them exclusively against right-leaning subs, including stealth editing from the CEO.


First amendment only protects you against the suppression of free speech from the government. It definitely does not give you the right to say whatever you want, wherever you want. Private companies have complete authority over which speech is acceptable on platforms run by them.


What part of the first amendment covers private companies?


but isn't the world of "private property" what the right wants? This kind of world, where there are no longer any public squares, but everything held in private is the world the right asks for. This is the kind of world we end up with. The irony should not be lost on them right?


It's not right-wing as much as a particular kind of very free-market-focused libertarianism. But, yes, I've thought about this discrepancy, too.

In practice, big services like YouTube, Twitter, Reddit, et. al., are going to get heat from all sides of the political spectrum. Right-wingers are positive Twitter is suppressing them, yet left-wingers frequently complain Jack Dorsey is a cryptofascist. Both of them are pushing these theories on... Twitter. And they get thousands of retweets. You would think that irony would not be lost on them, but you would be oh so wrong.


Not quite though. The right -- including libertarians -- often advocate for regulation, just less. You would be hardpressed to find a lot of libertarians disagreeing on whether or not people should be able to protest in privately owned public spaces. For example, sidewalks are privately owned in the United States, but you are allowed to hold a protest on one.


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