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Hate Speech, Nazis, and How to Shut Down Anything in 2020

Arnox

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This essay here is a rather important one and I think everybody who has ever had a thought about cancel culture, mob mentality, and the strictness or looseness of site rules and moderation needs to read this.

As this video crossed my recommended feed and I began to watch it, I began to think about the TOTSE days of old, the spirit of free speech, and Sanctuary. I remember back in the TOTSE2 days specifically, we had a user by the name of Dirty Sanchez. He was a self-admitted racist. That or he was trolling, but for purposes of this discussion, it doesn't really matter either way. Now, there used to be a fair amount of users like him on OG TOTSE as well. I mean, there were a fair amount of users of all types there, period, but people like him also absolutely existed and posted there.

Now, a lot of us were annoyed with DS and argued with him, but we still tolerated him as he was surprisingly civil and didn't actually break any site rules. And now, we have today where that shit just wouldn't fly anymore, no matter how civil he might be. Let us bring our attention now to the Escapist. I remember whenever we brought up what Sanctuary was all about to them, there was one thing that many of them said in essence. "I don't want to post on a site where a racist can post his opinions."

Let us take the example of infinityshock now. I remember acutely how some people on the Giraffeboards just took ONE look at a few of his posts, even though he was obviously banned, and said pretty much the same thing. "I don't want to post on a site where someone like infinityshock posts." And now we're beginning to notice a pattern. People have been trained from popular social media that if any site even TOLERATES such people like infinityshock and Dirty Sanchez, even if they might have been banned for something else, even if none of the staff agree with such people, then that site is about as good as a flag-waving neo-nazi site.

Now, I will fully admit that the old internet wasn't perfect. It was definitely the wild west days where you were generally much less restricted in what you could say, but there was also a fair few stupid ass posts. Posts that openly promoted fascism. Predjudice. I mean, sometimes, you'd have to look for it, but it was definitely there. But times have definitely changed. The slider has gone WAY over to the other extreme. People are now more thin-skinned on the internet than they have ever been, even if they don't want to admit it. This was a slow process, but now it's starting to reach fruition. Others just don't want to "put up" with a site that has such ideals, and they will leave them for more censored sites, even if it's massive corporations doing all the censoring.

This has led to sites like ours becoming barren, and other sites, youtube channels, and beginning social media platforms that don't even have such ideals being abandoned if there's even a HINT of these undesirables. Which brings us to the topic title. How do you shut down a site in 2020? Simple. Fill it full of these undesirables, and people will leave it. Maybe even outright try to cancel it. Even if the site/channel/account staff vehemently detests such things themselves. It doesn't matter. People have become so scared of even being associated in any way with these undesirables. The fear has reached ludicrous proportions. And what is the result? Anyone that wants to shut down a site can do so ridiculously easily. All they need to do is to plant a reputation. "Oh, they're Trump supporters. Oh, they're racists. Oh, they're anti-LGBT. Oh, they're neo-nazis." Take your pick. Maybe even try to spin it as the target being all four!

With that said, it's, of course, much harder to cancel someone or something if it's large enough. You're obviously not going to shut down Reddit with such things. But what this does is give the massive sites even more power and makes it so much harder for people starting small.

As I write this, I'm reminded of a particularly relevant quote from Batman Begins.

Carmine Falcone: Look around you: you'll see two councilmen, a union official, a couple off-duty cops, and a judge.
[points a gun at Bruce]
Carmine Falcone: Now, I wouldn't have a second's hesitation of blowing your head off right here and right now in front of 'em. Now, that's power you can't buy! That's the power of fear.
I could put my tinfoil hat on now and perhaps ruminate on how convenient this is for governments and corporations, but at the end of the day, we need to ask ourselves, and I mean REALLY ask ourselves something. How much does fear dictate our online actions? How much does it decide which sites you join or even visit? Is this social tyranny really the future of our society? The power is in your hands. No matter how much others may try to say otherwise, mob mentality is never ever good.
 
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Signa

Libertarian Contrarian
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I'll point my finger at social media for normalizing the idea you can have your real name out on the internet. While I'm Signa, I can say and do anything I want, because it won't affect my real life in any meaningful life. If everyone kept it that way, like they were supposed to, then no one would have to worry about "posting on a racist site" because it could be anyone with their name out there. That fear of being found out while they are using their real name is what's keeping everyone in line.
 

Vendor-Lazarus

Disciple
Sanctuary legend
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People in power may think control is all for the good, but It's a two-edged blade however. If fascist/authoritarian governments or corporations don't let people speak their mind, then it will become invisible and fester in the dark. Until such time as they are in a position to do something, anything, about it.
They bring it on themselves.
 

gaijinkaiju

Disciple
Sanctuary legend
Game server maintainer
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295
You're obviously not going to shut down Reddit with such things.
Technically true, however they can, and have, shut down sub-reddits they don't like i.e r/thedonald. Not to mention that a social media site may not outright ban you, but they will shadow ban you.

I'll point my finger at social media for normalizing the idea you can have your real name out on the internet. While I'm Signa, I can say and do anything I want, because it won't affect my real life in any meaningful life. If everyone kept it that way, like they were supposed to, then no one would have to worry about "posting on a racist site" because it could be anyone with their name out there. That fear of being found out while they are using their real name is what's keeping everyone in line.
I partially agree and disagree. Even if you were to use your name, they may not be able to find you specifically unless there was an obvious link to site x. If you had my name for example, John Doe, would you be able to find me specifically? Probably not.

The other issue I find with social media, specifically Facebook, is that people feel a need to update it with current/previous jobs, education history, places you lived etc. That's what makes it so easy to cancel people and get them fired, when they put where they work out there.
 

Arnox

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Damn. I was hoping no one would notice that...



I partially agree and disagree. Even if you were to use your name, they may not be able to find you specifically unless there was an obvious link to site x. If you had my name for example, John Doe, would you be able to find me specifically? Probably not.

The other issue I find with social media, specifically Facebook, is that people feel a need to update it with current/previous jobs, education history, places you lived etc. That's what makes it so easy to cancel people and get them fired, when they put where they work out there.
Remember when KiwiFarms found me here through searching my avatar?

I remember...
 
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