I get downvoted consistently in /r/christianity and you would think they would at least hear me out. Don't mean to be rude or bait, but it's just true and what happens. People write me off as crazy (maybe it's true) and down vote me because it flies against all their beliefs. Oh well, whatever, didn't mean to bore you.
I understand your tendency to talk about the downvotes, and I don't think you are being rude/baiting.
Readers here are probably more interested in your argument/contribution to the discussion itself, rather than your opinion of how your argument will be received (discussion about being downvoted).
Additionally, a broader point to take away is that downvotes and discourse work differently here than on reddit (despite what reddit's general rules claim).
The EFF has been involved in a number of lawsuits to lobby for and protect our rights. They've been offering legal support to a number of defenses including targets in Bitcoin, DRM, and CFAA prosecutions.
I haven't seen gratuitous spending on the part of EFF for marketing / promotional purposes -- they seem like one of the organizations who utilize their resources well.
> I dislike slacktivism like this. I feel that it's damaging because it wastes attention and effort that could be put to good use.
I don't think it's a waste of attention. This is also something you should share after you've done -- the hope is to raise awareness. In addition, they want to put faces to the constituents who are against privacy violations. Ethos is a valid appeal.
"Slacktivism" is a word that devalues small contributions on the part of constituents who might otherwise do nothing to express their voice. Behind every group of "slacktivists" is a passionate group whose goal is to make unheard voices apparent. To decry "slacktivisism" is to decry the work of those people, to say it doesn't matter when in reality it has a measurable effect. E.g online activism against SOPA/PIPA, Aaron's Law, these are outgrowths.
> become an informed and educated voter who actually votes... Encourage others to do the same. It's literally the only thing that will fix these problems.
The people running these campaigns are doing exactly that, encouraging people to vote if they can. Barring that, signing petitions is the next best thing. Anecdotally I've become better informed because of projects like these, and in doing so become a better voter.
The issue is not a lack of awareness. The vast majority of the voting-capable population has heard, to at least some extent, that the NSA/others are surveilling communications. The issue is either they don't care, they agree with the surveillance, or they are too lazy to become informed and vote to change it.
There is literally nothing on this site about being involved in voting or the politicians supporting or fighting this type of activity. If they at the very least gave visitors some way to continue their participation and become informed, I would be fine with it. Right now it's just attention for the sake of attention. It needs to be channeled into something useful.
> The issue is not a lack of awareness. The vast majority of the voting-capable population has heard, to at least some extent, that the NSA/others are surveilling communications.
"at least to some extent" is quite a qualifier. Fact is awareness is always important, and projects like these do exactly that.
> The issue is either they don't care, they agree with the surveillance, or they are too lazy to become informed and vote to change it.
"Awareness" also involves grabbing the attention of otherwise "lazy" people who aren't incentivized to care.
> There is literally nothing on this site about being involved in voting or the politicians supporting or fighting this type of activity. If they at the very least gave visitors some way to continue their participation and become informed, I would be fine with it. Right now it's just attention for the sake of attention. It needs to be channeled into something useful.
> See also: the online self-appointed leaders of Occupy who went to work for Google on adtech.
I don't know about the veracity of that but it doesn't seem relevant. Some people care / try to effect social change. These people are some of them. This is one of the main groups that helped bring SOPA / PIPA to light (see: Aaron Swartz)
Slave holders or not seems entirely moot: racism and oppression of colored folk exists RIGHT NOW. The civil rights movement was and continues to be violent, because it needs to be. Yes, all of this happened in a democracy. Yes troops had to help desegregate schools, and we're not even talking about slavery anymore.
1) They make us talk about motives and where the reaction is coming from.
2) They inspire empathy. They often start out as peaceful protests that go ignored -- they can be understood as the suffering going unheard.
3) They require urgent response. They are an extreme reaction, so they must have an extreme reason. And in some cases the reasons are valid (mass oppression & living in terror qualifies, I'd say). Invalid cases: Sporting events, bigotry.
In re #6:
> 6) They end up costing a lot of money, on the order of 10s to 100s of millions of dollars. Legal fees, fees paid for civil rights abuse, property destruction, hospitalization fees, and more. Most of which tax payers foot the bill for. A drop in the bucket, maybe, but this money could do a lot to improve a community instead of repair it.
You could just as easily count the number of incarcerated blacks, lives taken by cops, time caged for crimes as simple as not being able to pay a fine for "manner of walking in the street." Looking at this money in isolation without considering the poverty on the other side is myopic.
Eddie Gray et al are the MLK, Rosa Parks, Gandhi of this situation. The riots are often peaceful protests gone awry, and this has happened over the course of various civil rights movement(s).
> The only thing that riots do, in my view, is give a more negative view/stereotype of the class in question - I wouldn't say they are a step forward, but a step backward.
This assumes the reaction to the riots is a stereotype and not people trying to empathize or understand where it's coming from. While there may be some like you who seem to react in the former, journalists and bloggers (and even this discussion! thanks for engaging) are doing their best to make the outcome the latter.
> As for #6, yes, the cost of incarceration is a problem as well, but rioting is not fixing that problem in any way, only making it worse (by putting more people in prison).
Actually rioting is in response to the problem in hopes it'll change, so in the long term making it better. What I'm saying is yes short term cost of riots are a thing. Long term benefit is much greater, long term harm/suffering caused by no awareness is much greater too.
>We generally attribute the success of the civil rights movement to peaceful drives like those led by MLK and Gandhi
Gandhi protests were peaceful, but disruptive of the normal functioning of the Colonial State, like for example the Salt March. That was feasible because indians were a majority in the country. I can't imagine so many forms of economically disruptive protests that won't be considered violent in one way or another performed by a minority in a country. Specially when the people suffering the most are "de facto" segregated from most of the functioning economy.